S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.69-72(2015)
丙子胡亂 당시 淸軍의 構成과 規模
A Numerical Estimation of the Qing Forces in the 1637 Qing Invasion of Joseon Korea
- 구범진; 이재경
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.72, pp. 433-465
- In January 1637, Hongtaiji, the ruler of the Qing empire that was proclaimed in the previous year, personally led his imperial forces to invade Joseon Korea. As for the number of the soldiers Hong Taiji mobilized for this invasion, known as Byeongja Horan(丙子胡亂) in Korean history, previous studies have estimated the number at more than one hundred thousand, which is basically a direct quotation of exaggerated ball-park figures in Korean sources. In this paper, we attempted to arrive at a more accurate estimation of the number of regular soldiers Hong Taiji mobilized for the war, based upon close analysis of contemporary Qing archival sources as well as recent scholarly understanding of the Eight Banners system(八旗, jakūn gūsa). Our conclusion can be summarized as follows: the Qing invading forces included about ten thousand regular soldiers from the Eight Banners of the Manchus and Mongols, about ten thousand soldiers from ujen cooha, later reorganized as the Chinese Martial of the eight Banners(八旗漢軍), and 1,900~2,000 soldiers led by Kong Youde(孔有德), Geng Zhongming(耿仲明) and shang Kexi(尙可喜). And the invading forces were augmented by Mongol soldiers from the nomadic Mongol tribes which amounted to 12,000. Even if we take into account auxiliary elements in the Manchu-Mongol allied troops, the total number could not exceed fifty thousand men. Although the numbers we have estimated in this paper are less than half those in the previous studies, it should be emphasized that the number of regular soldiers estimated at about 34,000 was the biggest one that Hong Taiji had ever mobilized until 1637.