Divine Wind

Divine Wind

August 15, 1281 - Kublai Khan's massive Mongol invasion of Japan was thwarted on this day by a typhoon that destroyed the invader's fleet of more than 4000 ships and 140,000 men. Next to D-Day, this was the largest naval invasion force ever assembled.

It was actually Kublai Khan's second attempt at conquering Japan by sea. 7 years earlier he came ashore and hammered the Japanese in a brutal battle that the Mongols were clearly winning. The arrival of a typhoon saved the day for the Japanese as Kublai Khan withdrew to his ships and sailed away.

By the time the Mongols returned, the Japanese had constructed a huge system of walls along their beaches. Kublai Khan sailed around for a couple of months looking for a weak spot in the Japanese defenses. Once again, mother nature came to Japan's rescue and unloaded on the invaders with a powerful typhoon that decimated the Mongol fleet.

The Mongols never returned.

The Japanese refer to the well-timed storm as a kamikaze, or "divine wind." The same name was applied to the suicide attacks that Japanese airmen used during World War II.

The Man Who Fell to Earth

The Man Who Fell to Earth

Bones of the Magi

Bones of the Magi