Did Ma Chao deserve to be one of the Five Tigers?

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Do You think Ma Chao deserved to be ranked amoung Guan Yu, Zhao Zilong and the others?

Yea
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70%
nope
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Total votes : 222

Re: Did Ma Chao deserve to be one of the Five Tigers?

Unread postby DaVinc » Mon May 09, 2011 8:53 pm

My 2cents on Ma Chao...overall, I think he deserves the title...

1) The 5 tigers (novel) cannot be judged based on military success or Shu success. Alot of other aspects are involved. Ma Chao's importance due to his heritage definitely save Shu from potential threats from the Qiangs and also Cao Cao who actually mentioned Ma Chao's prowess (SGZ).

2) Ma Chao did take part in many battles probably more than Zhao Yun and Huang Zhong(regardless with or without Shu). Yes, he lost many battles does not mean he sux. He just lack a decent strategist. Imagine Cao Cao without Guo Jia/Jia Xu/Xun Yu, he could have more battles lost. Imagine Sun Quan without Zhou Yu/Lu Su/Lu Meng/Lu Xun.

3) Many people put Ma Chao down because of his acts which got Ma Teng killed. IMO, his acts was debatable and not entirely wrong as there are way alot of loop holes which were not recorded by Chen Shou. Ma Teng was already planning something against Cao Cao but was unfortunately 'captured' by Cao Cao. An execution is unavoidable given Ma Teng's blood oath coliation with Liu Bei in the past and on-going threats with Teng. I believed Teng already has a contingency plan with Ma Chao such that, if he was to be captured then Chao should launch an attack against Cao Cao. Why so? First,Teng's effort will not be in vain...Second, there's always a possibility of Chao winning and freeing Teng. Some would say, why not wait for Teng's safety before rebeling, like i mentioned - Teng's fate was sealed upon captured. If Cao Cao killed Teng first, he would be more than prepared to know that Chao would rebel.But Chao's rebel with Teng captured would give the element of surprise.

4) Chen Shou's comment on his lack of courage. IMO he was referring to 3 things, he submitted to Shu instead of leading his heritage. Secondly, he should have trusted his own tactic instead of Han Sui when facing Cao Cao at Tong's Gate i believed. (SGZ) Stated that Cao Cao acknowleges Chao's strategy but was glad that Chao chose HanSui's strategy. Lastly, he did not take down Cao Cao due to Xu Chu's presence, Chao was at an advantage. Xu Chu' role is to keep Cao Cao safe and will be occupied if Chao really attempt. If Chao attack, capturing or injuring Cao and/or Xu Chu is considered a deed to his army. Instead, he did not have faith in his ability.

5) According to Sun Tzu, a true success in war is if you can win without army fighting. When Chao submitted to Liu Bei, his presence and reputation had Liu Zhang submitted without a fight. Isn' t this a credit to him? His presence in the North ensure no rebellion in the North is also supressing without the usage of military force.

6) If you look back, how many generals during that time can decide an attempt to capture Cao Cao in the presence of Xu Chu...How many generals can make Liu Zhang submit without a fight? Liu Bei had Guan Yu,Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun and Zhuge Liang but Liu Zhan did not surrender. Cao Ca had to heed military advice from Jia Xu to defeat Chao and Han Sui.

All in all, he deserved it because of what he had prior his stay in Shu and his immediate contribution upon his arrival. Its a pity that he died early. He would have been a pain in the neck for Cao Cao if he lived longer. =)
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Re: Did Ma Chao deserve to be one of the Five Tigers?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue May 10, 2011 5:50 am

IMO, his acts was debatable and not entirely wrong as there are way alot of loop holes which were not recorded by Chen Shou. Ma Teng was already planning something against Cao Cao but was unfortunately 'captured' by Cao Cao. An execution is unavoidable given Ma Teng's blood oath coliation with Liu Bei in the past and on-going threats with Teng.


The only person to record that is the novel writer LGZ who changed Ma Teng from a ally of Dong and a traitor to the Han into a Han loyalist. The reason Chen Shou recorded none of that was probably because it didn't happen. Was Ma Teng a reluctant servant of Cao Cao? Yes. Was Ma Teng a Han loyalist, a plotter and in coalition with a man he probably never met? No.

How many generals can make Liu Zhang submit without a fight?


Anybody who turns up at that point really. It wasn't Ma Chao himself, more that Liu Bei had yet more reinforcements on his side.
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Re: Did Ma Chao deserve to be one of the Five Tigers?

Unread postby mrbeate » Wed May 11, 2011 3:45 am

DaVinc wrote:1) The 5 tigers (novel) cannot be judged based on military success or Shu success. Alot of other aspects are involved. Ma Chao's importance due to his heritage definitely save Shu from potential threats from the Qiangs and also Cao Cao who actually mentioned Ma Chao's prowess (SGZ).


Qiangs/Du/Hu tribes were always against Cao Cao and Wei, never did they harm or come to war with Shu. Ma Chao facing off with them or whatever is pure fiction.

Yes, he lost many battles does not mean he sux. He just lack a decent strategist. Imagine Cao Cao without Guo Jia/Jia Xu/Xun Yu, he could have more battles lost. Imagine Sun Quan without Zhou Yu/Lu Su/Lu Meng/Lu Xun.


Cao Cao was a pretty capable commander himself. Guo Jia provided insight and long term plans, Jia Xu provided sound military advice (but he didn't even provide much strategies or advice to Cao Cao, only when he was called upon), and Xun Yu was more of a Civil/Politics/Administration officer. Cao Cao on his war with Ma Chao did not need to rely on any adviser or strategist, it was mostly due to him and his generals. It says it was due to Jia Xu that Cao Cao defeated Han Sui and Ma Chao with the divide and conquer plan, though there was already mistrust, and strained relationships between the two. Liu Bei was a capable commander on his own as well. Sun Quan well, I don't think many people think Quan was a good general, he had no military accomplishments himself (I think).

3) Many people put Ma Chao down because of his acts which got Ma Teng killed. IMO, his acts was debatable and not entirely wrong as there are way alot of loop holes which were not recorded by Chen Shou. Ma Teng was already planning something against Cao Cao but was unfortunately 'captured' by Cao Cao. An execution is unavoidable given Ma Teng's blood oath coliation with Liu Bei in the past and on-going threats with Teng. I believed Teng already has a contingency plan with Ma Chao such that, if he was to be captured then Chao should launch an attack against Cao Cao. Why so? First,Teng's effort will not be in vain...Second, there's always a possibility of Chao winning and freeing Teng. Some would say, why not wait for Teng's safety before rebeling, like i mentioned - Teng's fate was sealed upon captured. If Cao Cao killed Teng first, he would be more than prepared to know that Chao would rebel.But Chao's rebel with Teng captured would give the element of surprise.


As Dong said.. his capture and his execution for being a Han Loyalist is fiction. So by now Ma Chao is still the cause of his father's death. Possibility of freeing Ma Teng? I think it would be faster for Cao Cao to hire the guards to slit Teng's throat then for Ma Chao to travel a thousand li and set him free somehow. Also, it took about a year after Ma Chao's rebellion for Cao Cao to execute Ma Teng. I think Cao Cao MAY have used Ma Teng as a hostage to cause Ma Chao to surrender or back off. Which he didn't, so obviously he did not care of his fathers and brothers well beings. Just a thing I came up with, not necessarily believe it but it's something to think about.
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Re: Did Ma Chao deserve to be one of the Five Tigers?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed May 11, 2011 6:30 am

1) Sun Quan was a noted warrior and a capable defensive commander.

2) I agree Ma Teng would likely have been used as a hostage if Wei was losing. Ma Chao and Han Sui repeatedly tried to surrender and made concessions, Cao Cao refused each and every attempt.
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Re: Did Ma Chao deserve to be one of the Five Tigers?

Unread postby DaVinc » Wed May 11, 2011 6:35 am

The only person to record that is the novel writer LGZ who changed Ma Teng from a ally of Dong and a traitor to the Han into a Han loyalist. The reason Chen Shou recorded none of that was probably because it didn't happen. Was Ma Teng a reluctant servant of Cao Cao? Yes. Was Ma Teng a Han loyalist, a plotter and in coalition with a man he probably never met? No.

Ah, ok, my bad on the facts. But my whole idea was, I strongely believed there are more reasons towards Ma Chao's impulsive act. I don't deny the fact he caused Ma Teng's death. To be reluctantly served under Cao Cao and himself being a potential hostage for his clan, maybe death would be a better choice than living in Ma Teng's position? Just a thought.

Anybody who turns up at that point really. It wasn't Ma Chao himself, more that Liu Bei had yet more reinforcements on his side.

Good point but I believed it might not have the same result as Ma Chao's arrival.

Nice to have Dong's opinions, always read yours in other posts and was enriching. =)
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Re: Did Ma Chao deserve to be one of the Five Tigers?

Unread postby DaVinc » Wed May 11, 2011 6:43 am

Cao Cao was a pretty capable commander himself. Guo Jia provided insight and long term plans, Jia Xu provided sound military advice (but he didn't even provide much strategies or advice to Cao Cao, only when he was called upon), and Xun Yu was more of a Civil/Politics/Administration officer. Cao Cao on his war with Ma Chao did not need to rely on any adviser or strategist, it was mostly due to him and his generals. It says it was due to Jia Xu that Cao Cao defeated Han Sui and Ma Chao with the divide and conquer plan, though there was already mistrust, and strained relationships between the two. Liu Bei was a capable commander on his own as well. Sun Quan well, I don't think many people think Quan was a good general, he had no military accomplishments himself (I think).

I do not deny Cao Cao and Sun Quan's capability. What I meant was, without the advices from advisors like those mentioned, Cao Cao and Sun Quan might not have so many accomplishments. So is Ma Chao, had he have good advisors, he would not have suffered so many losts in battles.
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Re: Did Ma Chao deserve to be one of the Five Tigers?

Unread postby mrbeate » Wed May 11, 2011 10:56 pm

DaVinc wrote: So is Ma Chao, had he have good advisors, he would not have suffered so many losts in battles.


We can say this for a lot of generals and rulers. If Guan Yu had a good adviser, would he lose battles? If Gongsun Zan had a good adviser, would he have lost to Yuan Shao? If Lu Bu had a good adviser, would he win against Cao Cao? And it goes on. Also, we don't know that Ma Chao would even be decisive, and take plans by his "good adviser", which may fail or not.
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Re: Did Ma Chao deserve to be one of the Five Tigers?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu May 12, 2011 7:05 am

To be reluctantly served under Cao Cao and himself being a potential hostage for his clan, maybe death would be a better choice than living in Ma Teng's position? Just a thought.


Might have been but Ma Teng didn't kill himself so it wasn't bad enough to take the final step.
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Re: Did Ma Chao deserve to be one of the Five Tigers?

Unread postby Vitruvius » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:36 am

The tiger generals are made up way after the fall of Shu. My feeling is that Wei Yan would have been included as the sixth or in place of Ma Chao if he had not rebeled. It doesnt make sense to give an honory title to a traitor. Other generals such as Wang Ping just dont belong to the same generation. The 5 tigers have similar ages and are in active service during the same time.
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Re: Did Ma Chao deserve to be one of the Five Tigers?

Unread postby Shen Ai » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:39 pm

Ma Chao is overrated. What does he have but great devotion to a crazed cause before he defects. HE was fighting talent, that much is true, but his commanding skills were very lacking. He barely lived long enough to claim glory. He might have had he lived longer, but we will never know. I think Wei Yan should have been made one.
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