Differences between Three Kingdoms novel and history…

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Re: Differences between Three Kingdoms novel and history…

Unread postby mrbeate » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:48 am

Liufeng wrote:By the way, sorry to disturb, but I'd like to know something about Mi Fang : Did he betray Guan Yu deliberately or was the story about the grain he couldn't gather because of Fu Shiren's betrayal true ? Because I can't really blame someone who has his life threaten like this to betray his commander.
And just another question totally different : Do we have other informations about military or domestical achievements about Jin's officers Du Yu and Wang Jun aside the Wu expedition ?


Mi Fang was not a very big traitor. It's just that, apparently his defection caused the death of the highly viewed Guan Yu. Mi Fang and Fu Shi Ren failed to fulfill a duty/task put on them by Guan Yu. For punishment, Guan Yu sent a letter that once he returns from his campaign, they will be given a harsh punishment. Their loyalties wavered. Then one day, the enemy forces are at his doorstep (Lu Meng/Sun Quan), all Mi Fang knew was.

- Guan Yu is away with the main force/army.
- Defenses are light.
- Enemies are nearby.
- Fang's ally commander Fu Shi Ren wants to surrender.
- No reinforcements
- Guan Yu wants to beat him
- Knows nothing of the situation of the other commanderies (which surrender)

In these circumstances, It's not a surprise Mi Fang surrendered.
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Re: Differences between Three Kingdoms novel and history…

Unread postby Elitemsh » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:31 am

It is also worth noting that even before Fang and Shi Ren failed in their duty (the one which Guan Yu promised to punish them for), Guan Yu is said to have looked down on them. This may have influenced their failure in their duty.

On the other hand it is possible (though the records don't state this) that Guan Yu looked down on those two officers because they were actually incompetent to begin with or their attitudes were wanting. This is worth considering as well. Would Guan Yu have treated every officer who served under him badly? What i mean is that what if other officers that we know were competent like Zhao Yun or Wei Yan were in place of Mi Fang and Fu Shi Ren? Would Guan Yu have looked down on them and treated them badly? I'm not so sure. It's a hard one to call.
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Re: Differences between Three Kingdoms novel and history…

Unread postby Liufeng » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:18 am

In both cases, Guan Yu was completely wrong to act he did, and made military grave mistakes, for me. He really prepared his own grave for these reasons :

1) If Guan Yu thought that were incompetent (that they were or not doesn't matter in this case), then it was totally foolish from him to leave those two at rear guard because they wouldn't have the "competence" to protect these. So, it would certainly best to leave it more efficient officer, like Liao Hua or even his son Guan Ping.

2) If Guan Yu was suspicious about their loyalty, it's even more foolish from him. It's inviting the enemy to attack from there. He should keep them near him to keep an eye on them.

3) Even if both cases are right or wrong, you don't beat up your men and then leave them to keep your rears. And even if you do so, you don't start threatening them.

4) Or he was completely idiot, or he was truly arrogant, but he should know that Wu would attack him. First, he refused to give back Jing several times. Second, He refused to give his daughter in marriage to Sun Quan's son and plus, insulted him. Third, he should know that when there are three kingdoms warring, we can never trust the others, even if you are allied. And you don't start insulting your allie or disappoint him, specially when you're preparing to launch an attack against the third kingdom.

5) Every commander has to prepar an escape route or reinforce route when you're going to launch a campaign on enemy territory. The only reinforcemens Guan Yu thought were Meng Da and Liu Feng, that were far away, had to traverse mountains, and in not secured zone. In these conditions, it wasn't the best choices of reinforcemens. And if he was expecting reinforcemens from the rear guard, it's also not wise because : a)if he thought they were incompetent, then they wouldn't be able to drive the men correctly into Guan Yu, b) if he questioned their loyalty, and it would have been a possibility that they wouldn't move to help him, specially if they were beaten up because they certainly have kept a grudge against him.

So, Guan Yu, in my opinion, prepared his own grave, and was truly foolish to act as he did.
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Re: Differences between Three Kingdoms novel and history…

Unread postby Hyper90 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:09 pm

since when guan yu started to become arrogant ?

he was modest and honest during his days in cao cao's care
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Re: Differences between Three Kingdoms novel and history…

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:48 pm

3) Even if both cases are right or wrong, you don't beat up your men and then leave them to keep your rears. And even if you do so, you don't start threatening them.


The problem was, he didn't beat them

4) Or he was completely idiot, or he was truly arrogant, but he should know that Wu would attack him. First, he refused to give back Jing several times.


Which was solved by the 215 invasion and treaty.

Third, he should know that when there are three kingdoms warring, we can never trust the others, even if you are allied


It's a risk but sometimes, he just has to judge the situation as best he can and take that risk. Wu were showing signs of diplomacy and had a change in command which could have , Wei's local defences had been disrupted by a massive revolt

5) Every commander has to prepar an escape route or reinforce route when you're going to launch a campaign on enemy territory.


He had an escape route. Jing. It would require a massive collapse of the defences and a brilliant Wu camapign for Guan Yu to be unable to withdraw and defend the area if Wu did attack him

Hyper90 wrote:since when guan yu started to become arrogant ?

he was modest and honest during his days in cao cao's care


Was he? He was a front-line warrior and that trade demanded considerable self belief/arrogance anyway. He showed a strong streak of loyalty and some personal integrity in rejecting gifts to return to his master. On the other hand he was happy to claim another's man wife and we don't really see his personality till Jing outside that brief window.
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Re: Differences between Three Kingdoms novel and history…

Unread postby Elitemsh » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:54 pm

Liufeng wrote:1) If Guan Yu thought that were incompetent (that they were or not doesn't matter in this case), then it was totally foolish from him to leave those two at rear guard because they wouldn't have the "competence" to protect these. So, it would certainly best to leave it more efficient officer, like Liao Hua or even his son Guan Ping.


You’re making at a lot of assumptions here. For example you’re assuming that Liao Hua and Guan Ping could definitely perform the duties that Fang and Fu Shi Ren were assigned. There is no guarantee that this was the case. People were skilled in different areas. Liao Hua was Guan Yu’s secretary. It is thus more than possible than he didn’t possess the expertise to take on the assignment that Fang and Ren were given. It is possible that no one else in Guan Yu’s camp had as much experience or expertise to fulfill the posts that the two traitors were given.

Liufeng wrote:2) If Guan Yu was suspicious about their loyalty, it's even more foolish from him. It's inviting the enemy to attack from there. He should keep them near him to keep an eye on them.


If I am not mistaken, Fang and Ren’s failure was in supplying the army and this was after Guan Yu had started his invasion. Therefore before the invasion when tasks were being allocated there was no reason for Guan Yu to doubt Fang and Ren’s loyalty. After they had failed, Guan Yu was in the middle of a major war. He couldn’t withdraw them from their positions.

Liufeng wrote:3) Even if both cases are right or wrong, you don't beat up your men and then leave them to keep your rears. And even if you do so, you don't start threatening them.


He never threatened them directly and as Dong points out he didn’t beat them either. Remember the key point that Fang and Ren’s failure was after Guan Yu had started his invasion. Guan Yu merely promised that he would punish them on his return but he couldn’t have said that to them (like the records imply) because they were nowhere near him. There is no way that Fang and Ren could have possibly heard of Guan Yu’s promise. They were fearful because they knew they had failed their duty and were afraid of deserved punishment.

Liufeng wrote:4) Or he was completely idiot, or he was truly arrogant, but he should know that Wu would attack him. First, he refused to give back Jing several times. Second, He refused to give his daughter in marriage to Sun Quan's son and plus, insulted him. Third, he should know that when there are three kingdoms warring, we can never trust the others, even if you are allied. And you don't start insulting your allie or disappoint him, specially when you're preparing to launch an attack against the third kingdom.


To be fair to Guan Yu, Lu Meng was clever. Guan Yu knew that Lu Meng was very sick (that sickness was real) and thus Lu Meng retiring from duty was not suspicious from Guan’s perspective. Lu Xun’s letter fooled Guan Yu into thinking that another Lu Su had arrived. Lu Su believed in cooperation with Guan Yu and was not an aggressive general. Guan Yu knew that Lu Meng was aggressive hence why he left the strong guard behind at the start of the invasion. Guan Yu misjudged Lu Xun and clearly Guan wasn’t very intelligent but that doesn’t mean he was stupid either. Those two Wu officers were very smart.

The refusal of Sun Quan’s marriage proposal was actually the smart thing to do. Sun Quan likely wanted Guan’s daughter as a hostage. The woman always goes to where the husband lives. Many leaders used this kind of strategy to gain an advantage. Cao Cao moved Ma Teng and most of his family close to him so as to deter Ma Chao from attacking while he dealt with other enemies. Guan Yu was apparently said to have refused harshly which I admit wasn’t smart but it’s understandable. Guan Yu knows that Sun Quan wanted his daughter as a hostage and he got angry. I can’t blame him too much for that. Guan Yu was a warrior not a politician.

Liufeng wrote:5) Every commander has to prepar an escape route or reinforce route when you're going to launch a campaign on enemy territory. The only reinforcemens Guan Yu thought were Meng Da and Liu Feng, that were far away, had to traverse mountains, and in not secured zone. In these conditions, it wasn't the best choices of reinforcemens. And if he was expecting reinforcemens from the rear guard, it's also not wise because : a)if he thought they were incompetent, then they wouldn't be able to drive the men correctly into Guan Yu, b) if he questioned their loyalty, and it would have been a possibility that they wouldn't move to help him, specially if they were beaten up because they certainly have kept a grudge against him.


I admit that Guan Yu timing of his invasion was poor. Perhaps he should have timed his attack when Wei was attacking Wu which they did a fair few times. He shouldn’t have attacked when Wu wasn’t distracted. He should have waited for a better opportunity but I think his desire for glory clouded his judgment.
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Re: Differences between Three Kingdoms novel and history…

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:17 pm

I admit that Guan Yu timing of his invasion was poor. Perhaps he should have timed his attack when Wei was attacking Wu which they did a fair few times. He shouldn’t have attacked when Wu wasn’t distracted. He should have waited for a better opportunity but I think his desire for glory clouded his judgment.


Did Wu and Shu coordinate between Chi and 219 or help each other? I think Guan Yu thought his own army was as big as it was going to be, Wu was under new command that seemed inclined to help, Guan Yu was invited into Wei by a revolt and the local forces were meant to be busy. He moved too late to really take advantage but I think the opportunity was worth it
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Re: Differences between Three Kingdoms novel and history…

Unread postby Elitemsh » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:01 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:Did Wu and Shu coordinate between Chi and 219 or help each other? I think Guan Yu thought his own army was as big as it was going to be, Wu was under new command that seemed inclined to help, Guan Yu was invited into Wei by a revolt and the local forces were meant to be busy. He moved too late to really take advantage but I think the opportunity was worth it


There are a few revolts but i am assuming the one you're referring to is the following one:

At this time Guan Yu [in Jing province] was growing stronger. Jin Yi of
Jingzhao,27 realising the Han Emperor was in danger of being deposed,
arranged a plot with the Privy Treasurer Geng Ji, the Director of Uprightness
Wei Huang,28 the Prefect Grand Physician Ji Ben, and with Ji Ben's sons Miao and Mu. They planned to kill Wang Bi, use the Emperor as a means to turn against WEI, then call Guan Yu to bring help from the south.
In the spring, in the first month Ji Miao and his party led a thousand
followers to attack Wang Bi by night. They burnt down his gate and shot
Wang Bi in the shoulder. His Controller at Headquarters helped him escape
to the southern part of the city,1 and when dawn came Ji Miao's party was
in disorder. Aided by Yan Kuang, General of the Gentlemen of the
Household in Charge of Agriculture in Yingchuan,2 Wang Bi attacked them
and cut off their heads.


It seems that the above rebellion was put down well before any word got out to Guan Yu. He wouldn't have even heard about this revolt because the revolters didn't succeed in the first part of their plan. I therefore don't see how this rebellion created an opportunity for Guan Yu to attack. However i did find an interesting passage in the ZZTJ which made me think:

Sun Quan attacked Hefei.26 The soldiers of several [WEI] provinces were
stationed along the frontiers in Huainan.27 The Inspector of Yang province
Wen Hui said to the Inspector of Yan province Pei Qian, "Though the enemy
come against us, we have nothing to worry about here. On the other side,
however, with the river floods rising, Zixiao [Cao Ren] keeps his army idle
and has no long-term plans for contingencies. Guan Yu is brave and
cunning. If he attacks, I fear the General Who Subdues the South [Cao Ren]
will have trouble.


It seems that these two Wei figures knew that the river level was rising and were thus worried about Cao Ren because of his proximity and vulnerability to it. Their speech clearly implies that Ren must have known the river level was rising. Therefore if Ren knew then why not Guan Yu? Have we been discrediting Guan Yu? It seems from this speech that Guan Yu would have known that the flooding was likely on its way and timed and prepared his attack accordingly. I always thought Guan Yu got completely lucky in regards to the flooding of Yu Jin’s armies but this has seriously made me think otherwise.
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Re: Differences between Three Kingdoms novel and history…

Unread postby Hyper90 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:12 pm

i read that shanyue tribes are a constant annoyance to Wu.

how much of a threat they could be to Wu?
"There are five possible operations for any army. If you can fight, fight; if you cannot fight, defend; if you cannot defend, flee; if you cannot flee, surrender; if you cannot surrender, die. " Sima Yi

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Re: Differences between Three Kingdoms novel and history…

Unread postby Qu Hui » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:54 pm

Elitemsh, Dong is referring to the large-scale revolt in the Nanyang area at the end of 218, led by Hou Yin, and not the failed coup by Geng Ji and co.
The ZZTJ, Chapter 68 wrote:The people of Nanyang were suffering under forced labour services. In the
winter, in the tenth month the officer of the garrison at Wan, Hou Yin, led a
mutiny.
The Grand Administrator of Nanyang, Dongli Gun, and his Officer of the
Bureau of Merit Ying Yu fought fiercely and managed to escape. Hou Yin
sent horsemen after them, and arrows came from every direction. Ying Yu
protected Dongli Gun with his body, he was hit seven times, and he died.
Hou Yin's horsemen captured Dongli Gun and brought him back.
At this time the General Who Subdues the South Cao Ren was camped at
Fan to guard Jing province. King Cao of WEI ordered him to go back and
attack Hou Yin.16
The Officer of the Bureau of Merit Zong Ziqing said to Hou Yin,17 "You
accord with the people's hearts, and have taken up a great affair. All men
far and near attend your actions. Yet you still hold the leader of the
commandery. That is an act of rebellion which gains you nothing. Why not
send him away?" Hou Yin did so.
Then Zong Ziqing climbed over the city wall by night, joined the Grand
Administrator, and together they collected the rest of the people to besiege
Hou Yin. Soon afterwards Cao Ren's army arrived to join the attack.

The revolt had not been quelled as of Guan Yu's attack, as evidenced by Man Chong's statement here:
The ZZTJ, Chapter 68 wrote:The Grand Administrator of Runan, Man Chong, said,33 "The mountain
waters came swiftly, and we can hope they will go down just as fast. I hear
that Guan Yu has already sent a detachment towards Jia,34 and the whole
area south of Xu city is disturbed..."
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