Top 5 Naval Battles of the Asia-Pacific
Image Credit: Wikicommons (for all pictures used)

Top 5 Naval Battles of the Asia-Pacific


Ranking apples against oranges is always a slippery process. How does one maritime battle rise above others in importance? One benchmark is whether an encounter saw one fleet crush another. We could put Lord Nelson’s face on such a list. The Battle of Trafalgar (1805) delivered astounding tactical results. Yet the Napoleonic Wars raged on for another decade after Trafalgar, until Europeans finally banded together to put a stop to the little emperor’s marauding. It was indecisive. So why not rank battles by the magnitude of the issues they decided? Which sea fights yielded the most fateful results, reshaping the Asian order?

Herewith, my list of the Top 5 Naval Battles of the Asia-Pacific:

5. Battle of Yamen (1279). Sometimes dubbed “China’s Trafalgar,” this clash between the  Mongol Yuan Dynasty and the beleaguered Southern Song determined who would rule China. It was far more decisive than Nelson’s masterwork. Over 1,000 men-of-war crewed by tens of thousands of men took part in the engagement. Yuan commanders deployed deception and audacious tactics to overcome at least a 10:1 mismatch in numbers. Most important, Yamen claimed the life of the Song emperor, clearing the way for Kublai Khan’s dynasty to rule for nearly a century.

March 30, 2013 at 03:09

Umm… No, the Indian powers lacked a blue water navy. Saying that they did not engage in naval warfare therefor they welcomed their new masters would be akin to arguing that because the Iraqi's did not have much of an Air Force that they therefor welcomed the invasion.

March 30, 2013 at 03:04

Midway and Lake Poyang.

Lauren Garza
February 21, 2013 at 02:40

Hello! Midway?

HH Datu Dr. Fernando Cruz
February 18, 2013 at 10:45

The difficulty in determining the top is because you have a difficulty as well in determining the bottom. Remember? In war, there are no winners, only degree of losses…

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