On This Day
1593 – Japanese invasion of Korea: Approximately 3,000 Joseon defenders led by general Kwon Yul successfully repel more than 30,000 Japanese forces in the Siege of Haengju.
The Japanese invasions of Korea comprised two separate yet linked operations: an initial invasion in 1592, a brief truce in 1596, and a second invasion in 1597. The conflict ended in 1598 with the withdrawal of the Japanese forces from the Korean Peninsula after a military stalemate in Korea’s southern coastal provinces..
The invasions were launched by Toyotomi Hideyoshi with the intent of conquering the Korean Peninsula and China, which were respectively ruled by the Joseon and Ming dynasty. Japan quickly succeeded in occupying large portions of the Korean Peninsula, but the contribution of reinforcements by the Ming, as well as the disruption of Japanese supply fleets along the western and southern coasts by the Joseon Navy forced a withdrawal of Japanese forces from Pyongyang and the northern provinces to the south, in Busan and nearby southern regions. Afterwards, with guerrilla warfare waged against the Japanese by righteous armies (Joseon civilian militias) and supply difficulties hampering both sides, neither the Japanese nor the combined Ming and Joseon forces were able to mount a successful offensive or gain any additional territory, resulting in a military stalemate. The first phase of the invasion lasted from 1592 until 1596, and was followed by ultimately unsuccessful peace negotiations between Japan and the Ming between 1596 and 1597.
In 1597, Japan renewed its offensive by invading Korea a second time. The pattern of the second invasion largely mirrored that of the first. The Japanese had initial successes on land, capturing several cities and fortresses, only to be halted and forced to withdraw to the southern coastal regions of the peninsula. The pursuing Ming and Joseon forces, however, were unable to dislodge the Japanese from their remaining fortresses and entrenched positions in the southern coastal areas, where both sides again became locked in a ten-month long military stalemate.
With Hideyoshi’s death in 1598, limited progress on land, and continued disruption of supply lines by the Joseon navy, the Japanese forces in Korea were ordered to withdraw back to Japan by the new governing Council of Five Elders. Final peace negotiations between the parties followed afterwards and continued for several years, ultimately resulting in the normalization of relations.
Born On This Day
1915 – Olivia Hooker, African-American sailor (d. 2018)
Olivia Juliette Hooker (February 12, 1915 – November 21, 2018) was an American psychologist and professor. She was one of the last known survivors of the Tulsa race riots of 1921, and the first African-American woman to enter the U.S. Coast Guard in February 1945. She became a SPAR (Semper Paratus Always Ready), a member of the United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve, during World War II, earning the rank of Yeoman, Second Class during her service. She served in the Coast Guard until her unit was disbanded in mid-1946; she went on to become a psychologist intern at a women’s correctional facility and a clinical professor at Fordham University.[4
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