Postcards From Asia

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It's widely known that warships don't just bear any old random name...

While the meaning of ship names of Western navies is normally clear, the meaning of ship names of an Asian nation's navy often get lost in translation. However, every Asian ship name carries a deep meaning and is no different to their international counterparts. Keep reading, and you'll discover names steeped in rich history and folklore.

Longjiang, the name of the Chinese Tier II destroyer, is literally translated as "Dragon River". According to Chinese mythology, dragons are water creatures that dwell in rivers, lakes, and seas and symbolize goodness and the emperor's power. A wise dragon can even fly without having wings.

An elephant is a symbol of the Thai king's power, and Phra Ruang, the Thai Tier III destroyer, is named after the first Thai royal dynasty of the 14th century. The future first king of Thailand, whose name is interpreted as "Lord Who Rules Sky", was a vassal of a ruler of the Khmer Empire. He refused to pay tribute, won a punitive battle, and then forced the Khmer monarch to grant him the title of king to give the monarch's daughter in marriage to him. Thus he became the king with the title meaning "The Sun King with the Power of Indra".

The Thai people were so fascinated by such development of events that they attributed the first king with the mysterious abilities of a legendary hero, Phra Ruang, which the first Thai royal dynasty was subsequently named after.

Gadjah Mada, the Indonesian Tier VII destroyer, is named in honour of the legendary Indonesian military leader of the 14th century. The prime minister of the Majapahit Empire—Gajah Mada—went down in history thanks to his avid patriotism and determination. He was fearless in combat and possessed a strategic mind that was unmatched, enabling him to conquer a number of island kingdoms and unite the territory now known as Indonesia under the reign of his king. It should be noted this legendary military leader started his career as a royal bodyguard and worked his way up the ranks through true grit and determination.

One of the top ships in the tech tree is the Korean Tier IX destroyer Chung Mu that is connected with the great Korean naval commander, Yi Sun-sin. He was never defeated in at least 23 naval engagements he fought in, designed the first armoured ships in the world, and sunk 72 Japanese ships at the Battle of Tanhpo. Thought 72 ships was impressive? He sank another 200 enemy ships later at the naval Battle of Noryang.

Just like Gadjah Mada, Yi Sun-sin also came from humble beginnings. He started his career from the lowest post in the Korean government hierarchy and later rose through the ranks to admiral. He later demoted to a common soldier, but was reinstated as the naval commander, and died in combat. He became a national hero in Korea and remains so today.

The Pan-Asian postcards featured above are high resolution and make a great desktop wallpaper, so help yourself!

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