Battle of Buir Lake

Battle of Buir Lake
LocationBuir Lake, China–Mongolia border
Result Decisive Ming victory
Ming dynasty Northern Yuan dynasty
Commanders and leaders
General Lan Yu Toghus Temur, Khan
150,000 soldiers ---

The Battle of Buir Lake (traditionally Chinese: 捕鱼儿海之战) was a battle between Ming and Northern Yuan forces at Buir Lake in 1388, on the modern China–Mongolia border.[1] In that year a Ming army led by General Lan Yu undertook a military campaign against Toghus Temur (Yizong), the Mongol dynast of the Northern Yuan.[2] Later that year, the Ming army found and defeated the Mongol horde at Buir Lake, capturing many of their people.


Bolstered by the successful military campaign against the Mongol commander Naghachu in modern Inner Mongolia and northeast China in 1387, resulting in the surrender of Naghachu and his Wulianghai horde, the Hongwu Emperor ordered General Lan Yu to lead an army on a military campaign against Toghus Temur, the Mongol khan.[3]


In December 1387, the Hongwu Emperor ordered Lan Yu to lead a campaign against Tögüs Temür.[4] Lan Yu led a Ming army comprising 150,000 soldiers in the campaign.[3][4][5]

Lan Yu and his army marched through the Great Wall, to Daning and then Qingzhou, where they were informed by spies that Toghus Temur was encamped near Buir Lake.[3] Subsequently, the Ming army advanced northward across the Gebi Desert,[3][4][5] eventually reaching Buir Lake.[3][4]

They had not seen the Mongol horde when they came within 40 li of Buir Lake, disheartening Lan Yu, but his subordinate, General Wang Bi (Marquis of Dingyuan), reminded him that it would be foolish to return with such a large army without accomplishing something.[3] The Ming army would eventually find out that the Mongol horde was located northeast of Buir Lake, and they approached them under the cover of the darkness and a sandstorm.[3] On 18 May 1388, near Buir Lake, the Ming army launched an attack against the Mongol horde, which was caught off guard by the attack.[3] The battle concluded with the Ming capturing many of the Mongols, but Toghus Temur escaped.[3][4][5]


The Hongwu Emperor issued a proclamation, praising Lan Yu and comparing him to the famous General Wei Qing of the Han.[3] Lan Yu was eventually created as the Duke of Liang with a stipend of 3,000 shi and as the Grand Tutor (Daifu, which was an honorific) for his military successes.[3] Six of Lan Yu's subordinates were created as marquises, while the other officers and soldiers received generous rewards.[3]

Langlois (1998) stated that the Ming captured 100 family members of Toghus Temur (including Ti-pao-nu, Toghus Temur's younger son), 3000 princes and their subordinates, 77,000 men and women from the camp, various imperial seals of office, and 150,000 domesticated animals, but that Toghus Temur and his eldest son T'ien-pao-nu escaped.[4] Dreyer (1982) stated that the Ming captured 3000 notables, 70,000 ordinary Mongols, many different domestic animals, the Mongol crown prince and his younger brother, but that Toghus Temur escaped.[3] Tsai (2001) stated that the Ming captured Toghus Temur's second son, General Qarajang, hundreds of thousands of Mongol people, and their livestock, but that Toghus Temur and the crown prince escaped.[5]

In his flight from the Ming army, Toghus Temur eventually arrived at the Tula River, where he was murdered by the Mongol chieftain Yesüder.[2]


  1. Chinese transliteration Bǔyú'er hǎi, Mongolian Cyrillic transliteration Buyur nor. Buir is the Inner Mongolian spelling.
  2. 1 2 Kim 1998, 293.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Dreyer 1982, 142–143.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Langlois 1998, 159.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Tsai 2001, 47–48.


This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 8/15/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.