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9781553652731: Khubilai Khan's Lost Fleet: In Search of a Legendary Armada
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In 1279, off China’s southeast coast, Khubilai Khan routed the Song navy and completed the grand dream of his grandfather, Genghis Khan—the conquest of China. The Grand Khan now ruled the largest empire the world had ever seen, stretching from the China Sea to the plains of Hungary. Having also inadvertently inherited the world’s largest navy—more than seven hundred ships—the Mongols began audacious attacks on Japan, Vietnam and Java. Yet within fifteen years, Khubilai had squandered his massive fleet, and the Mongols were a spent maritime force.


Considered for centuries to be little more than legend, the story of the Mongols’ fleet has finally been confirmed. Renowned archaeologist and historian James P. Delgado has dived with the Japanese team studying the remains of the Khan’s lost fleet at Takashima. Using original sources as diverse as actual sunken ships, land excavations, temple inscriptions, hand-painted scrolls and historical and literary records from China, Japan and Vietnam, Delgado takes the reader on an exciting history of Khubilai Khan’s great Mongol navy, whose rise and fall presaged the great fleets of the fifteenth-century Ming Dynasty, made famous in the best-seller 1421.

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From the Inside Flap:
"James Delgado is one of the world's preeminent marine archaeolgists; he's also a terrific writer, and Khubilai Khan's Lost Fleet is a fascinating adventure tale packed with insights into a maritime empire about which most Westerners know almost nothing."--Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea

"The attempts by Khubilai Khan to invade Japan with his all-conquering Mongol armies were instrumental in forging Japan's national consciousness, yet the precise details of the operations have for centuries remained a mystery. Through brilliant and painstaking research James Delgado has brought Khubilai Khan's lost fleet to the surface, showing for the first time the true nature of the doomed adventure."--Stephen Turnbull, author of The Samurai Sourcebook

"This is two stories in one: how the armada sent by Khubilai Khan to invade Japan in 1281--the greatest fleet in history before D-Day--was churned to bits by a typhoon and how some of those bits are being retrieved in one of the greatest feats of modern marine archaeology. James Delgado has been at the heart of this project. He ranges widely, showing how the past and present illuminate each other. (To the Japanese, the typhoon was the original kamikaze, the 'divine wind' after which their World War II suicide bombers were named.) Objectivity is matched with personal involvement, scholarship with narrative skill. This is history at its best: rigorous, original, and vivid."--John Man, author of Kublai Khan and The Terra Cotta Army
About the Author:

James P. Delgado, PhD, FRGS, RPA, is Director of Maritime Heritage for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries based in Washington, DC. He is an historian and maritime archaeologist who has investigated shipwrecks around the world for nearly four decades. With Clive Cussler, he hosted "The Sea Hunters," a National Geographic International TV series that played for five seasons to millions of viewers in 172 countries. Dr. Delgado is the author or editor of thirty three books, including the international best-sellers Lost Warships: An Archaeological Tour of War at Sea, Across the Top of the World: The Quest for the Northwest Passage and Khubilai Khan's Lost Fleet: In Search of a Legendary Armada.

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  • PublisherDouglas & McIntyre
  • Publication date2008
  • ISBN 10 1553652738
  • ISBN 13 9781553652731
  • BindingHardcover
  • Edition number1
  • Number of pages240
  • Rating
    3.58 avg rating
    ( 81 ratings by Goodreads )
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