Chinese River Troops
Middle Ming era painting: 1550-1600.
Guards on river barges, escorting an imperial procession, you can find the full image of the procession here. These are rudimentary transports at best, at most designed to ferry troops across rivers. These soldiers, although on escort duty, are likely what the mass majority of combat sailors of the day look like. Blue brigantine surcoat, warmace and bow. They wore the standard red hats of soldiers bearing "勇" (Brave) sigil on their head.
Although the dragon banner does lend the troops an air of imperial authority.
Boats with heavier detachment of imperial troops, from medium- heavy to ultra heavy. The first painting depicts soldiers wearing the standard scale coat cuirass with segmented arm guards. They are armed with sabers and bows. Behind them rowed two ships of heavier detachments, veterans in bronze gilded cuirass with long polearms. The letter for brave "勇" sown on their backs.
Imperial guards on barges, armed with bronze gilded weapons, armors, and bows.
The whole version here. Keep in mind this is only an escort for an Emperor on ceremony, it is by no means represents a combat fleet, it does not represent the grand treasure fleet of early Ming under Admiral Zheng He, or the later patriot-pirate fleet of Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga.)
The arms and armor does correspond to the Imjin War era.
Hope you enjoyed the details. Thank you again.
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