After finally achieving what eluded even his grandfather Ghengis Khan - the conquest of China - and inheriting the world's largest navy, Khubilai Khan turned his sights to Japan, which he attacked with an immense armada in 1274. Vastly outnumbered and facing total massacre, the Japanese prayed to their gods for survival, and the very next day Khan's entire armada was destroyed by a 'divine wind' (kamikaze). When Khan tried again seven years later, with a fleet double the size of the first, the very same thing happened. The legend of the kamikaze - revived as a Japanese national legend as they modernized and militarized, culminating in the suicide bombers of WWII - has endured for centuries. Now, after decades of painstaking research and underwater excavation, marine archaeologist James Delgado has discovered what really happened. Based on original sources as diverse as actual sunken ships, archaeological excavations on land, temple inscriptions, hand-painted scrolls, woodblock prints, and historical and literary records from China, Japan and Vietnam, "Khubilai Khan's Lost Fleet" is a captivating journey back through the mists of time. It tells the fascinating tale of the great Mongol's maritime forays, offers a compelling study of where myth, legend and history blend and blur, and solves one of history's greatest mysteries: what sank the Khan's immense fleet?
The President of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, James Delgado is a marine archaeologist who has led and investigated shipwreck expeditions around the world. The author or editor of thirty books, when not travelling the world for the INA in quest of lost ships, he lives on the waterfront in Vancouver.