An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Cheying kouda hebian 車營扣答合編

Jan 15, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Cheying kouda hebian 車營扣答合編 "Combined questions and answers about chariot brigades" is a military treatise written during the late Ming period 明 (1368-1644) by Sun Chengzong 孫承宗 (1563-1638), an official employed in the Ministry of War (bingbu 兵部). It is also published with the titles Chezhen kouda hebian 車陣扣答合編 and Cheying baiba koudashuo hebian 車營百八扣答說合編.

The book has a length of 4 juan and consists of the parts Cheying baiba kou 車營百八扣, Cheying baiba da 車營百八答, Cheying baiba shuo 車營百八說, and Cheying tuzhi 車營圖制. The book is composed in a question-answer-and-explanation model in which 108 different problems of garrisons, encampment, battle and logistics are dealt with. It specializes on the use of firearms and the combination of different types of troops, like cavalry, infantry, chariots, in one corps. Chariots (che 車) are combined in groups of four (cheng 乘), four groups are combined to a unit (heng 衡), two units to one company (chong 衝), and four companies to one brigade (ying 營), with 6,000 troops and 128 chariots. Combined infantry-cavalry brigades were equipped with 352 pieces of firearms. During battle, the chariots were positioned in the front, while the infantry and cavalry units followed them. Among the latter, 800 special cavalry troops were selected to build the heart of this corps. The infantry troops were equipped with different types of muskets (niaoqiang 鳥槍, Folangjijqiang 佛朗機槍 "Portuguese muskets", sanyanchong 三眼銃, and huojian 火箭 "rockets"), the cavalry units with less muskets, but instead with hand cannons (huopao 火礟). The combination of different types of troops in one corps was very useful because they could mutually support each other and thus employ all their strengths, while being protected in their weak points. This method to fight was thoroughly new in Chinese warfare.

The book was not printed because it was rated as secret material during the Ming period. The first print was only published in 1868.

Huang Huihua 黃水華 (1997). "Cheying kouda hebian 車營扣答合編", in Men Kui 門巋, Zhang Yanjin 張燕瑾, ed. Zhonghua guocui da cidian 中華國粹大辭典 (Xianggang: Guoji wenhua chuban gongsi), 153.
Kong Deqi 孔德麒 (1990). "Cheying kouda hebian chutan 《車營扣答合編》初探", Junshi lishi yanjiu 軍事歷史研究, 1990 (2): 144-151.
Qu Fuping 曲富萍 (1995). "Cheying kouda hebina qianshuo pingxi 《車營扣答合編淺說》評析", Junshi lishi 軍事歷史, 1995 (5): 52.
Sun Deqi 孫德騏 (1989). "Cheying kouda hebian 車營扣答合編", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, part Junshi 軍事 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 1, 85.