The pages of history sometimes tend to be forgotten, but in the early 15th century AD China had at its disposal the largest and most powerful fleet in the world, culminating in counting many hundreds of ships. Between 1403 and 1433 the navy made seven major expeditions and reached as far as Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Africa, Yemen and the Persian Gulf. The first voyage in 1403 was attended by over 60 large ships, and according to some estimates some of them were about 120 meters long and the fleet included 27,000 crew members. For comparison Columbus set out on his famous voyage in which he discovered America in 1492, with three ships, the largest of which was about 19 feet long, and with a crew of less than 100 men.

By Editor

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