Battle of Sacheon, 1592

Click here to view animation.

(Ensure you hit F5 or View Show)
Animation not displaying properly?

Yi Sun-sin versus various commanders: A Korean naval force under Yi aims to destroy a Japanese naval force under various commanders in its own harbour base. Will Yi be able to lure out the various commanders and use superior technology to overcome superior numbers?

sacheon preview 1


Sacheon is constantly overlooked by Western historians despite being the decisive battle of a titanic clash in an Asian war involving three great powers of the time. Korean naval victories forced Japanese withdrawals from Korea in 1593 and 1598, of which Yi was largely responsible:


With an admiral of genius in charge, Yi Sunshin, the Koreans repeatedly outmaneuvered and outfought the Japanese. Yi Sunshin used local knowledge of currents, tides, and winds to gain a huge advantage for his ships, even in situations where they were vastly outnumbered by the enemy. (Grant, 2008: 109)

Yi’s tactics allowed this battle to take place but his technological development of the Kobokson won it. While Yi was an excellent naval tactician, Sacheon is a poor example of his tactical ability; it is a much better example of his engineering ability. Nonetheless, this battle was the first recorded use of the Kobokson, and would be followed by many victories won by Yi, including the Battles of Hansando, Pusan, Myongyang, and Noryang.

sacheon preview 2


This was only the second naval animation so I do not feel guilty that it is a simplistic battle. The most bothersome part of naval battles is drawing a new ship symbol for every era and sometimes every class. However, I feel it is important to distinguish between them and continue to fulfill one of the goals of the site: making battles graspable and visually appealing.

– Jonathan Webb

Works Consulted

Grant, R.C. Battle at Sea: 3,000 Years of Naval Warfare. New York: DK Publishing, 2011.

McNab, Chris. “Sacheon, 1592.” In Battles that Changed Warfare 1457 BC – AD 1991, 108-117. London: Amber, 2008.

Turnbull, Stephen. The Samurai Invasion of Korea 1592-1598. Oxford: Osprey, 2008.


Japanese Atakebune:

Japanese Sekibune:

Korean Panokson:

Korean Kobokson:

Map of Korea:

Map of the world:

Yi Sun-sin:


If you enjoyed the Battle of Sacheon 1592 battle animation, you may also enjoy these other battle animations:


Battle of Sekigahara 1600, a land battle fought during the Sengoku Period of Japan:

sekigahara preview 1

Battle of Cape Ecnomus 256 BC, another naval battle in which innovative technology proved decisive:

cape ecnomus preview 1

Battle of the River Plate 1939, another naval battle featuring a contest of superior armour and firepower versus strength of numbers:

river plate preview 1Thank you for visiting The Art of Battle: Animated Battle Maps.

Readers Comments (7)