Ming Lieutenant and Wolf Troop Auxillary 明军尉与土兵

Ming Lieutenant: Most of heavy infantry and heavy cavalry would have been equipped like this, with a long scale, lamellar, or mountain- scale coat armor. His rank and regiment is marked by the small pennon and feathers that peaked out from his helmet. His hat is prominently decorated with not only banners but also several variety of feathers~ sometimes multiple banners (as in the case of generals.) 

Ming Southern Auxillary called "Wolf Troops": protected by a light armor, sometimes brigandine. These southern Chinese soldier's white and blue turbans mark them of being auxiliary troops (土兵) from several ethnic minorities that enlisted in the Ming army- especially the Liang, Zhuang, and Yao minority. Many of the famous troopers of the Ming pirate- slaying general Qi Jiguang were composed of these men. 

These Wolf Troops would have been assigned with a variety of weapons ranging from saber, crossbow, spears, and gunpowder weapons such as the three eyed gun, later Ming troopers would have access to western muskets. They are known to fight with savagery and fearlessness, but conversely also extremely undisciplined. One could think of them as relying on temperament- betting all in a ferocious gambit, but once resisted, were easy to repel. 

Wolf Troops with many colored turbans, the front row carries horse repelling Zhangmadao glaives and the white turbaned troops in the rear carries scorpion hooks. When Ming aided Korea during the Imjin War against Japan, Ming veterans who had formerly served Qi Jiguang still wore their white turbans. 


The Ming infantry had a company consisting of 112 men. They were similar to their European counterparts and were essentially grouped in administrative units consisting of ordinary and specialist soldiers, all banded together for maximum battlefield efficiency. About 40% were spear-wielding foot soldiers and another 40% were armed with some sort of ranged weapon, such as bow, crossbow or firearm of some kind. The remaining 20% bore swords and shields. It should be noted, aside from the Han Chinese, had always been a great contingent of Mongol, Hui, and Liang people in the army at all times.

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➢ ☯ Stephen D Rynerson
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