Zhou Yu the Great

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Unread postby Yorak » Thu May 01, 2003 3:43 am

In regards to my earlier statements regarding Zhuge Liang's literary works vs. his actual skills:

So you're saying Sun Wu (Sun Zi) who wrote the famous Sun Zi's Art of War couldn't apply his own strategies in the field of battle?


I said no such thing, nor did I mean to imply that because you write about something, it proves you suck at it. I'm not saying that because Zhuge Liang wrote a book on about strategy and leadership, that proves he was a poor strategist and leader, and I'm certainly not saying that about Sun Tzu.

What I'm saying is that there's a difference between conceptually grasping the concepts behind something and actually doing that thing. Some people might know the concepts behind something in and out, but can't actually enact them to save their souls. Others might be brilliant masters of their field, but they can't explain worth a damn exactly how they do what they do. And some can both do something well and successfully instruct others on how to do it.

Just because Zhuge Liang wrote a book on how to lead an army, even if it's a good book, doesn't prove, in and of itself, that Zhuge actually could lead an army. It proves that he could write good books about it. His actual performance is what marks how well he's actually able to apply it (and personally, I think he did quite a good job).
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Unread postby Pang Shiyuan » Thu May 01, 2003 6:07 am

TheGreatNads wrote:There's a big difference between what you're saying and he said. You see Sun Wu like you said laid waist to the state of Chu. So that can be looked at as proof Zhuge Liang never did such a thing.


Sorry, I don't quite understand what you just posted...

I just gave proof that someone who teaches (Sun Wu), can also apply his knowledge on-field. Cao Cao is another such person who compiled a war manual and still proved his abilities in battle.

Yorak wrote:I said no such thing, nor did I mean to imply that because you write about something, it proves you suck at it. I'm not saying that because Zhuge Liang wrote a book on about strategy and leadership, that proves he was a poor strategist and leader, and I'm certainly not saying that about Sun Tzu.


lol, sorry about that, I was just feeling a bit picky when i posted.

What I'm saying is that there's a difference between conceptually grasping the concepts behind something and actually doing that thing. Some people might know the concepts behind something in and out, but can't actually enact them to save their souls. Others might be brilliant masters of their field, but they can't explain worth a damn exactly how they do what they do. And some can both do something well and successfully instruct others on how to do it.

Just because Zhuge Liang wrote a book on how to lead an army, even if it's a good book, doesn't prove, in and of itself, that Zhuge actually could lead an army. It proves that he could write good books about it. His actual performance is what marks how well he's actually able to apply it (and personally, I think he did quite a good job).


That may be true....it is hard to judge Zhuge's real millitary talents because of the fact that he never really truly won a campaign. Sure, he managed to capture the cities of Tian Shui and An Ding, but that success was cancelled out by Ma Su's loss at Jieting.

However, the fact remains that Zhuge's management of his army was nothing short of brilliant. He commanded the respect and loyalty of his soldiers and officers, enforced discipline with impartiality and treated his soldiers as if they were his own sons.

The proof? During one campaign against Sima Yi, Zhuge was on the verge of capturing a key city of Wei, but received a report that most of the veteran soldiers were to be paid and allowed to return home. One of his counsellors advised Zhuge to make the veterans fight one last battle before their return home, but Zhuge refused. He then sent a message to his army that all veterans were to be sent home as an appreciation of their long service to the country. Upon hearing that, the vets who were expecting to be retained for the last assault were touched by Zhuge's magnanimity and vowed to fight in the coming battle with every ounce of their strength.

Delighted beyond measure, Zhuge subsequently attacked Sima's forces and scored a complete victory, mostly due to the renewed spirit and vigour of his forces. After the battle, the vets were rewarded with gold and silk for their bravery and sent home. Zhuge then explained to his counsellors that the reasons for his actions were due to the fact that a commander must not lose the trust of his men at any cost.
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Unread postby Jimayo » Thu May 01, 2003 12:17 pm

jiuwan wrote:Can you tell me where I can find Pei's annotations? I would like to read it in chinese if possible, but english just as good. Is it some where on the net?

I have Zi Zhi Tong Jian, Hou Han Shu, San Guo Zhi, and San Guo Yuan Yi already. I want to get my hands on Pei's annotations as well.


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Unread postby Antiochus » Fri May 30, 2003 8:53 pm

I belive that Lu Xun was alot better than him. Lu Meng was also better
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Unread postby Lady Zhuge » Fri May 30, 2003 9:50 pm

With a name like "Zhou Zero"...I thought it meant that Zhou Yu=nothing. :lol:
Anyways, I don't think that Zhou Yu was all that great, though more competent historically than he was portrayed in SGYY. I agree that both Lu Meng and Lu Xun were better.
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Unread postby TheGreatNads » Sat May 31, 2003 4:42 am

Jai Xu wrote:I belive that Lu Xun was alot better than him. Lu Meng was also better


Lu Meng was better than anyone in Wu military wise. But in my opinion Zhou Yu was better than Lu Xun.
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Unread postby Lynn » Sat May 31, 2003 6:57 pm

I think Lu Xun is better, if not because of his strategy, Lu Meng won't beat Guan Yu on Fan Castle.

Anyway, Zhou Yu is a briliant general.
I don't understand why LGZ novel criminalized him as jealous person.
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Unread postby TheGreatNads » Sat May 31, 2003 8:50 pm

Lynn wrote:I think Lu Xun is better, if not because of his strategy, Lu Meng won't beat Guan Yu on Fan Castle.


First off, there was no battle of Wu and Shu at Fan Castle. And no, Lu Meng was the person who planned the attack, launched the first night raids securing all the strategic points at Jingzhou without leaking a word to Guan Yu, came up with the idea of making Guan Yu's defense lax, feigned illness to trick Guan Yu, and lowered Guan Yu's trooops morale by treating the common people at the cities and Yunchang's soldiers families well. Lu Xun also had the idea of making Guan Yu's defense lax and lead the second attack, but he basically let his generals take everything. Lu Meng did much more than Lu Xun, and could have won without a problem had Lu Xun not been there.
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Unread postby Dalton Imperial » Sun Jun 01, 2003 9:51 pm

Based off the novel (since I haven't read the actual historic events), I don't think Zhou Yu was the greatest, but he was pretty skilled. His plans to defeat Cao Cao at Red Cliffs were pretty good and most people fell for them except Zhuge Liang. I also respect him for not giving in to Zhang Zhao and just surrendering to Cao Cao but instead encouraged Sun Quan to fight. However, his petty jealousy of Zhuge Liang was a little pathetic and his death wasn't exactly heroic.
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Unread postby Pang Shiyuan » Sun Jun 01, 2003 10:49 pm

TheGreatNads wrote:First off, there was no battle of Wu and Shu at Fan Castle. And no, Lu Meng was the person who planned the attack, launched the first night raids securing all the strategic points at Jingzhou without leaking a word to Guan Yu, came up with the idea of making Guan Yu's defense lax, feigned illness to trick Guan Yu, and lowered Guan Yu's trooops morale by treating the common people at the cities and Yunchang's soldiers families well. Lu Xun also had the idea of making Guan Yu's defense lax and lead the second attack, but he basically let his generals take everything. Lu Meng did much more than Lu Xun, and could have won without a problem had Lu Xun not been there.


I agree. Lü Meng won over the hearts of the Jing civillians by enforcing strict millitary discipline and subsequently converted most of them to Wu's cause.

However, it is noted in SGZ that Lu Xun was also a catalyst for Lü Meng's change of attitude towards Guan Yu, by providing Lü Meng with a plan to make Guan Yu complacent towards Wu. Lü Meng probably was thinking of securing Jing Zhou before (in his bio, he impressed Lu Su with several plans of dealing with Guan), but the arrival of an unknown like Lu Xun gave him room to set off the chain of plots that eventually led to Guan Yu's demise.

Funny thing is...in Guan Yu's SGZ bio, it is stated that Sun Quan held the families of Guan's soldiers hostage, which led to a decrease in morale and subsequent desertion...While in Lü Meng's bio, the men and women of Jing were treated as if they were his own flesh and blood.

Just another example of bias in SGZ.
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