Nine Garrisons of the Ming dynasty

The Nine garrisons of the Ming or Jiubian (Chinese九 边/九 边, Pinyin Jiǔbiān, nine boundaries '), also Jiuzhen (Chinese九 镇/九 镇, Pinyin Jiǔzhèn, nine garrisons '), were a military system to guard the Great Wall of China, which was launched under the emperor Hongzhi during the Ming Dynasty.

The system of garrisons

The Great Wall became a defense network that was supported by an elaborate system of military administrative structures during the Ming Dynasty through constant development and improvement. The dispatch of special forces for the maintenance of military security allowed the leaders of the Ming, keep -winding dangers of attacks and invasion from the mainland.

The system of this defense network consisted of nine garrisons were sequentially stationed at the portions of the wall. The garrison towns were greatly expanded military, parts of the fortifications are there even today.

The nine garrisons were:

  • Liaodong garrison (辽东 镇, zhen Liaodong )
  • Xuanfu Garrison (宣 府 镇, zhen Xuanfu )
  • Datong - garrison (大同 镇, zhen Datong )
  • Yansui Garrison (延绥 镇, zhen Yansui ), and Yulin Garrison (榆林 镇, zhen Yulin )
  • Ningxia Garrison (宁夏 镇, zhen Ningxia )
  • Gansu Garrison (甘肃 镇, zhen Gansu )
  • Ji Garrison (蓟 镇, zhen ji ), also Jizhou garrison (蓟州 镇, zhen Jizhou )
  • Taiyuan Garrison (太原 镇, zhen Taiyuan ) even Shanxi Garrison (山西 镇, zhen Shanxi ) or Sanguan Garrison (三 关镇, Sanguan zhen )
  • Guyuan Garrison (固原 镇, zhen Guyuan ), also Shaanxi Garrison (陕西 镇, zhen Shaanxi )

Later, two other garrisons were starting from the Ji Garrison seconded to the northwest, so that eventually eleven garrisons were stationed at the Great Wall under Jiajing:

  • Changping Garrison (昌平 镇, zhen Changping )
  • Zhenbao Garrison (真 保 镇, zhen Zhenbao )

The garrison structure

The garrisons were placed under three commanders, the so-called generals Jiliao, Xuanda and Shaanxi Sanbian. The names of these generals were derived from the respective garrisons, which were subject to them. Under the control of " General Jiliao " were Liaodong, Jizhen, Changzhen and Zhenbao, the " General Xuanda " were under Xuanfu, Datong and Taiyuan; and "General Shaanxi Sanbian " finally the garrisons Yansui, Ningxia, Guyuan and Gansu had among themselves. Under their command was a finely structured network of lower military ranks. The higher officers were recruited from the nobility and high-ranking military, the city administrator of the respective garrison town was a civilian.

The garrison commander ( Zhenshou ) stood over various sub- commanders ( Fenshou ), which, in turn, the commander of the individual fortresses ( at Shou ) were responsible. The chain of command extended over the troops of Captain ( Zongbing ), his deputy (Fu zongbing ) and other ranks down to the individual soldier. A total of about 300,000 soldiers and officers in the garrisons in use.

The garrison buildings

The headquarters in the fortified garrison towns as the top level of the defense structure managed a system of subunits ( Lu), which varied depending on the particular situation in size. They consisted of a system of pass forts, castles, guard and signal towers and other defenses. So under stood about the Ji Garrison subunit Shanhailu, which included among others, the pass fortresses Shanhaiguan, Nanhaikouguan, Nanshuiguan and its watchtower, Hanmenguan, Beishuiguan and the associated watchtower, Jiaoshanguan, Sandaoguan and Sieryuguan.

The located in or on the wall military buildings and facilities were as clearly structured as the troops System. Of particular importance were the pass fortresses. The importance of the pass forts was determined by their particular strategic location. They were built to easily defensible positions such as hills or mountain peaks, at cliffs, river bends and in or near ravines and narrow valleys. Some of them were more attached before the Ming in use and were of them, or even relocated as in the case of Yanmenguan and rebuilt. In the event of an attack or other military emergency here the generals and high-ranking military commanders held on.

The garrisons

Liaodong garrison

The commander of the unit was stationed in Liaoyang in Liaoning Province. The guarded by the garrison wall section ranged from Jinshan on the Yalu River in the east to Shanhaiguan in the west and had a length of 975 kilometers.

Xuanfu Garrison

This garrison was located near the present-day circle Xuanhua in Hebei Province and was classified as one of the main garrisons. Your wall section had a length of 510 kilometers and started on Juyongguan in the east and north-east of Datong handed to the river He Xihun in the West. Due to the strategic location in the northwest of the capital, the walls were in this section extremely solid, in some sections of nine walls were built one after the other, each of them filled with strong forces.

Datong - garrison

The garrison was stationed in Datong in Shanxi province and was responsible for more than 330 km long section between Zhenkoutai in the northeast of the circle and the Tianzhen Yajiao Shan in a circle Qingshuihe in Inner Mongolia.

Yansui Garrison

The headquarters Yulinbao ( "Fortress of Yulin " ) was in Yulin. The troops monitored the wall section between Qingshuiying at Qingshui in Inner Mongolia in the east to Huamachi (now Yanchi, Ningxia ) to the west over a length of about 885 km.

Ningxia Garrison

The headquarters of the garrison was located in Yinchuan, Ningxia. Controlled by their section of the Wall was more than 1,000 miles long and stretched from Dayanchi (now Yanchi ) in Ningxia in the east to Lanjing in Gansu Province.

Large parts of this section are now buried under sand, which was approach driven by the wind from the Gobi desert, only in the area of ​​Helanshan long sections have been preserved. At one point in Shizhuishan the offset of the wall by earthquake- induced ground displacements can be observed by several meters.

Gansu Garrison

The more than 800 -kilometer section between Jincheng on the Huang He (now Lanzhou, Gansu ) to the east and the Jiayuguan Pass in the west was guarded by the Gansu garrison that was stationed in Zhangye in Gansu. Again, many sections sunk in the sand, though some areas are still well preserved. A good example are the ten meters next to each other shuttling twin walls of Shandan.

Jizhou garrison

The barracks of the garrison was moved several times and eventually was in Santunying in Jixian County in Hebei. Your wall section had between the passes Shanhaiguan and Juyongguan at its endpoints a length of more than 600 kilometers, the portion of the Changping Garrison will be included as well, the total length is about 880 kilometers.

Changping Garrison

The garrison was in Changping Changping northwest of Beijing, it was therefore considered to be the guard of the capital and the imperial tombs. The approximately 230 -kilometer stage began in the East and proceeded to Zijingguan in the West.

Zhenbao Garrison

The Zhenbao garrison was stationed in Baoding and guarded the approximately 390 -kilometer section between Yanhekou (now in Mentougou, Beijing) to Lululingkou in Shanxi, where for example the transitions Longguan and Niangziguan lie.

Taiyuan Garrison

The garrison was also referred to as Shanxi garrison and had its headquarters in Ningwu on Pianguan ( Pian- pass). The approximately 800 -mile wall section is located between the banks of the Huang He at Hequ in Shanxi and Huangyuling (now east of Heshun, Shanxi ). He was exceptionally well fortified and included the "Three exterior passports " Pianguan, Ningwuguan and Yanmenguan as well as the transitions of the Pingxingguan, Longquanguan and Guguan, and finally the celebrations Laoyingbao. The wall section was in the south of Datong garrisons and Xuanfu and was also called "Inner Great Wall ".

Guyuan Garrison

The troops of the garrison Guyuan monitored from Guyuan near present-day Huaishupu in a circle Pingding in Ningxia province a more than 500 -kilometer-long section of wall between Jingbian in Shaanxi in the east to Gaolan in Gansu Province in the west.

The wall of this section is hardly recognizable to the surroundings of the Guguan Pass in poor condition and in the field.