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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Deokjinjin Battery, Ganghwa County, Incheon Metropole: Turbulent Years of Joseon Dynasty (1866~1876), Part II

Deokjinjin Battery (Hanja: 德津鎭) in 34 Deokjin Avenue/Deokjinno, Deokseong-ri 846-beonji, BurEun-myeon, Ganghwa County, Incheon Metropole was the key strategic point of the outer castle wall used for defending the Ganghwa Straits during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). It was originally a military camp commanded by an official with the rank of Cheomsa under the command of the Korean naval base. In 1677, an official with the rank of Manho was assigned to this camp along with 26 military officials, 100 soldiers, 2 battle ships, and other military equipment. In 1679, the Namjangpodae and Deokjinpodae batteries were stationed here. 

The military fortress was recognized as outer lying post of strategic importance in terms of securing the command of Ganghwa Strait. The fortress was constructed in 1656 during the reign of King Hyojong of Joseon dynasty. Deokjinjin fortress, Namjang batteries, Deokjin batteries were built in the 5th year of King Sukjong (1679). 

Twenty six officers, one hundred soldiers, twelve cannon shooters and two battle ships were assigned to this fortress. In the area of Deokjinjin the largest battery of all cannons in Ganghwa-do and Deokjin outpost were installed there and a warning monument stands along the seashore giving a notice of warning message to foreign vessels not allowed to access to island. There were fifteen cannons mounted within Namjang battery in those days but only seven cannons were available for this display at present.

Deokjinjin Camp was the scene of fierce battles that took place during French Byeong-in Invasion in 1866 and American Shinmi Invasion in 1871. The battlements and gatehouse of Deokjinjin that had all been destroyed during American Shinmi Invasion were restored in 1977. At the Namjangpodae Battery, cannons used by the Joseon military have been reproduced and installed for display.