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what happened to the chinese fleet of 4,500 ships?

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posted on Jul, 19 2004 @ 06:56 PM
in 1405 the chinese fleet of zheng he had over 4,500 ships. 1,350 warships, 400 large war junks, 3,000 merchant vessels that could be converted into fighting ships if needed. a fleet of these huge junks- some over 200 feet long were armed with cannon, rockets, and guns.

these ships had the capibility of taking over the world, the were much larger than Drake's galleons or columbus' ships.

but after 1433 the ships were withdrawn, scuttled and most of the men were killed, also zheng he was forced to live in the Forbidden City, with a cushy job. To add to this theory there are conflicting views as to why the ships were scuttled, some say this is because there wer problems on the domestic side of things (but why demolish the ships, also china was the most prosperous in the world) or some say it was because the new emporer was afraid of conflict with eruope (but the chinese were much bigger had the same capabilities and much greater numbers of ships).

with the world about to become a chinese world, why did they so suddenly stop everything, is it possible they made a discovery and had to silence everyone. it could explain why Zheng He was forced inside the forbidden City where he was allowed no contact with the outside world and all the ships were scuttled.

just food for thought, but raises some interesting questions

posted on Jul, 20 2004 @ 09:37 AM
There could be many reasons. There may have been a power struggle between admerial and emperior. There may have been a money issue,it costs a lot to man and maintain such alarge fleet. I am not great at Chinese history, but there may have been apower struggle at home, and the "other person" may have had the loyality of the navy. Just possible answers to your question.

posted on Jul, 20 2004 @ 02:54 PM
The second link suggests that there was a disaster that prompted China to lose confidence in the fleet. I think that is very likely.
A ship of those dimensions presents a much larger side into the wind, and has a lot more weight to it. Perhaps in a storm, several of these ships were broken in two by the wind and waves because the sides were too long to be sustained by the building materials used?
Maybe in their first real fight a similar problem was found- whereby the sides might give in to their own weight if only a few points were damaged?

It is very interesting to me that it was made illegal ever to build such ships again- there must have been something very very bad about them. Why not keep 50 such ships, or even the components for them, to defend your own coasts? Why not continue using the design for peaceful purposes? It seems likely that they were a paper tiger- an incredibly costly and impossibly frail design that might have been the downfall of the nation if it had remained.

One thing troubles me about my theory though. Why weren't they replaced with something better? Did China decide that seapower in general was a dead-end?

Part of me suspects that some overlooked military threat may have convinced China to scrap the fleet. Perhaps they mistakenly believed that they were at risk from overland invasion by superior forces if they invited a war by buiding such a fleet?
The percieved threat of a coup is another good explanation.

Or- what if they didn't really scuttle the ships? What if they went somewhere and didn't come back? Do you know where I'd probably send a whole bunch of ships if I had a huge navy and was exploring a lot? I'd send them to that great big continent across the ocean that nobody seemed to be using very much.

posted on Jul, 20 2004 @ 03:03 PM

Zheng He's treasure ship, illustrated above was estimated to be four hundred feet in length. Compare to Columbus's St. Maria (85 ft),

Those things were huge compared to european conterparts. Good question on why they would scrap these giants I think some of western countries would love to have ships that big back in the day

posted on Jul, 20 2004 @ 05:48 PM
i think in one of the articles it says that the chinese discovered america first.

and Vag, i agree that there would have been something to replace these large ships, especially if they were worried of attacks, you wouldn't purposefully scuttle your ships if you were afraid of attacks.

i also read that they have found some of these ships in newzeland (reminents of) and in australia. it just seems so weird that this whole mission was just stopped.

posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 01:19 AM
Maybe the ships weren't as good as we believe. Why keep a fleet of rickety leaking ships?

posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 06:29 AM
I don't think from this day and age we can look back then ad get a true idea of the reasons.

Don't forget that China is one landmass (not including tiawan that is) you don't need a huge amada, or any amada, to maintain it, yet if these figures are accurate 1000's of his best men were tied up on these ships.

There may have been a philisophical shift back to the "lets stay at home and keep it safe", internally and externally. In which case such ships would be redundant.

Of course they may all have been caught in a tsunami caused the metiorite hitting the ocean between NZ and Australia, with bits washed up and embedded in the cliffs as some nut has said.

So like Atlantis their mere distance in time, allows people to manipulate the event to support their own particular theories about the world regardless of any veracity...

[edit on 21-7-2004 by Netchicken]

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