The Battle of Tamu, also referred to as the Tume Crisis, was a dramatic conflict between the Ming Dynasty and Mongols (Oirat tribes). The Mongols, under the direction of Esen Tayisi and Toqtaq-Buqa, began their widespread invasion of China in July of 1449. Emperor Yingzong of the Ming Dynasty was captured on September 1, 1449. However, the Mongols did not have a proper strategy in place. Esen attempted to hold Emperor Yingzong for ransom, but the Ming dynasty refused to pay the ransom and thrived under the leadership of General Yu Qian, who served in place as Ming commander. After four unsuccessful years, Esen released the Emperor. The Mongols were so disappointed in the failure that Esen was assassinated six years later (1455).
1521 · Battle of Tunmen
During 1521, the Ming imperial navy engaged in a naval battle with a Portuguese fleet led by Diogo Calvo. Portuguese diplomat Fernão Pires de Andrade had arrived at the mouth of the Pearl River few years earlier, in June of 1517. After an initial misunderstanding, he was able to make a good impression and began trading goods for porcelain and silk. Negotiations came to an unfortunate halt in 1519 when Andrade's brother, Simão, arrived and immediately tarnished their reputation. Simão disrespected a Ming official, kidnapped child slaves, built an unauthorized fort, and committed other atrocities. Orders came from Beijing to evict the Portuguese, but they refused. Commander Wang Hong created a blockade against the Portuguese using a squadron of over 50 ships. The Portuguese suffered heavy losses of manpower and abandoned two of their ships; they ultimately managed to retreat during a strong wind that scattered some of the Ming fleet.
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