Kobukson: The Turtle Boat
The Turtle Boat
The turtle boat (also known as Geobukseon or Kobukson by its Korean name) was a large warship belonging to the Panokseon class in Korea that was used under the Joseon Dynasty between the 15th century and 18th century. Though the turtle ship is famous for its helping the Koreans to win sea battles against Japanese ships during the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592-1598), the mainstay of the Korean navy in the war remained the panokseon warship. The first references to older, first generation turtle ships come from 1413 and 1415 records in the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty. These turtle ships were mentioned as "spear-ships" or "ramming ships" and were mainly used to thwart Jurchen and Japanese pirates. These early turtle ships soon fell out of use, though, because of a long period of peace during which Korea flourished. The Korean admiral Yi Sun-sin is credited with designing and building the craft known today. His turtle ships were equipped with at least five different types of cannons during the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592-1598). Yi Sun-sin's turtle ships had deck shielding, in the form of thin spikes and possibly iron plate.
There were three to five turtle ships built, while in 1782, there were at least 40 commissioned of them.
Custom Model of a Kobukseon: Contains detailed pictures of what the inside would have looked like.