Wu: The Lone Warrior of ChiBi.

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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Mon Aug 02, 2004 3:53 pm

So your interpretation is that Liu Bei and Zhou Yu attacked and Liu Bei dealt a greater blow. Mine is that Zhou Yu did more damage becuase he had a fire attack, and Huang Gai is a Wu general, not an "allied" general. But only Cao Cao's SGZ says this. You make Chi Bi seem almost like there was no skill involved in Cao Cao's defeat. But wheather Liu Bei, or Zhou Yu dealt the greater blow, Cao Cao was defeated by both of them, not by one of them.
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Unread postby Lu Kang » Mon Aug 02, 2004 5:49 pm

I don't see what the problem with the SGZ bios is here. Shu and Wu bios both directly contradict Cao Cao's bio, who's bio is also contradicted by other Wei bios. Cao Cao's bio is quite wrong on the matter as it is on the matter of Sun Quan attacking He Fei for Liu Bei (and attacking it before Chi Bi too).

Wu and Shu bios have a great deal of agreement between them. Both Liu Bei and Zhou Yu led their forces and combined forces at Chi Bi. There is no seperation at Chi Bi as they are now a combined and allied force. At Chi Bi the deal Cao Cao a minor defeat as an allied force. This is everywhere, including Zhou Yu's bio. Now after the defeat at Chi Bi, Huang Gai carries out his fire attack at Wu Lin across the river. This is the fire attack that deals significant damage to Cao Cao's fleet. Now the epidemic had already effected Cao Cao's troops at this time and his troops were sick so that could have contributed to the damage. Cao Cao with his moral destroyed is pursued to Nanjun.

I thought I'd just deal with a few specifc points of Exar Kun's post:

At Nanjun,his army begins to feel full blown plague and are devastated.With no other choice he retreats to Xuchang and burns the remainder of his fleet to avoid their seizure.


THe plague had already done significant damage to Cao Cao's men as Sun Quan's bio points out, more than half perished from famine and disease. Also reports of great illness all come before any retreat so I would say that the sickness hit it's peak much earlier than Nanjun.

As to the burning of the remaining ships. Those ships were burnt before Cao Cao was pursued to Nanjun so they weren't burned there. I think that you're assumption that the fire attack wasn't as bad isn't correct as Cao Cao was forced to burn what ships remained before he went to Nanjun.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Mon Aug 02, 2004 8:06 pm

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:So your interpretation is that Liu Bei and Zhou Yu attacked and Liu Bei dealt a greater blow. Mine is that Zhou Yu did more damage becuase he had a fire attack, and Huang Gai is a Wu general, not an "allied" general. But only Cao Cao's SGZ says this. You make Chi Bi seem almost like there was no skill involved in Cao Cao's defeat. But wheather Liu Bei, or Zhou Yu dealt the greater blow, Cao Cao was defeated by both of them, not by one of them.


I never said anything about Liu Bei dealing a 'greater blow'.Not at all.What I was suggesting is that Liu Bei attacked the command sections or at least closest to the command sections which could possibly account for Cao Cao naming him alone.

Lu Kang wrote:Cao Cao's bio is quite wrong on the matter as it is on the matter of Sun Quan attacking He Fei for Liu Bei (and attacking it before Chi Bi too).


That doesn't have any bearing on Chi Bi.And it's not like Cao Cao's bio was put together by Cao Cao himself.Unified Wei histories would have been used to make it.
Additionally I think everyone takes that "Sun Quan attacked He Fei for Liu Bei" out of context.


Dealing with the rest of your post,you say that he was already heavily weakened even before he goes to Nanjun.My reasoning is that if he has already lost then there is simply no reason to go to Nanjun at all.Nanjun should never be mentioned since any significant loss at Chi Bi,be it fire or plague,should result in immediate withdrawal to Xu Chang.That Nanjun is identified specifically as a stop doesn't make sense if his loss was so horrendous.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Mon Aug 02, 2004 8:17 pm

Good point. Nanjun was were the sickness hit hardest. After the fire, Cao Cao probably went to Nanjun to regroup but then the sickness was even worse so then he went to Xu Chang.
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Unread postby Lu Kang » Tue Aug 03, 2004 3:58 am

Exar Kun wrote:That doesn't have any bearing on Chi Bi.And it's not like Cao Cao's bio was put together by Cao Cao himself.Unified Wei histories would have been used to make it.
Additionally I think everyone takes that "Sun Quan attacked He Fei for Liu Bei" out of context.


That isn't the point here. The point is that Cao Cao's bio directly contradicts every other bio. This is just a piece of supplementary information to prove that Cao Cao's bio has a history of false information, not to use to disprove any other facts but to prove it is not perfect and does contain flaws.

Dealing with the rest of your post,you say that he was already heavily weakened even before he goes to Nanjun.My reasoning is that if he has already lost then there is simply no reason to go to Nanjun at all.Nanjun should never be mentioned since any significant loss at Chi Bi,be it fire or plague,should result in immediate withdrawal to Xu Chang.That Nanjun is identified specifically as a stop doesn't make sense if his loss was so horrendous.


After rereading some bios you are correct, Nanjun shouldn't be mentioned as a stop. And looking at the bios it isn't. The Wei bios make no mention of Nanjun or Jiang Ling because it was of no importance to them. It is only mentioned when referring to Liu Bei and ZHou Yu doing pursuing and that is because Nanjun is where they pursued to then stayed and fought. The only direct subjects dealing with Nanjun are Liu Bei and Zhou Yu, not Cao Cao. Nanjun is important but only to those attacking it. It is of no importance to Cao Cao who was running right on through it.

As to why Cao Cao went to Nanjun is quite simple. It's the nearest city. Furthermore it is much easier to get to XU CHang from Jiang Ling then Chi Bi as there is a reason that you see rarely a campaign through Runan. Since he was greatly defeated (direct words from SGZ) he needed to get to the nearest city to atleast be safe. Remember he was being chased. To go directly towards Xu Chang would make the traveling much slower and surely the attackers would overtake him as his troops lost even more moral.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Tue Aug 03, 2004 12:25 pm

To go directly towards Xu Chang would make the traveling much slower and surely the attackers would overtake him as his troops lost even more moral


That's also a possible outcome. There could be two reasons he went to Nanjun. If he went to Nanjun first, then he would be safer sooner, then to go all the way to Xuchang. But I say both reasons for him going are possible.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:06 pm

That isn't the point here. The point is that Cao Cao's bio directly contradicts every other bio. This is just a piece of supplementary information to prove that Cao Cao's bio has a history of false information, not to use to disprove any other facts but to prove it is not perfect and does contain flaws.


Wu histories have cases of misinformation as well.*cough*Xiangguan*cough*.
Additionally the info in Cao's bio is not false,simply misplaced.It isn't an outright fabrication like Wu histories are famous for.

The Wei bios make no mention of Nanjun or Jiang Ling because it was of no importance to them. I


That's not correct.The bios make no mention of it because this was a huge Wei campaign disaster and a common trend,at least in Wei bios,is to talk as little about defeat as possible.Look through the bios and you can tell that.They give great detail in victory but mention defeat only in passing.

One other bit for thought.If as you say,they were simply passing through Nanjun,then why did Cao Cao pass through?If he was already defeated and he has pursuit behind him then why is he retreating with the army rather than at the mich faster pace his cavalry force could get him home at.There were competent commanders with the army and their morale was already broken so Cao Cao's deparature would mean nothing.The Minister's time is very valuable.Why would he waste it nursemaiding a foot army through Nanjun?
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Unread postby Lu Kang » Wed Aug 04, 2004 3:55 am

Exar Kun wrote:Wu histories have cases of misinformation as well.*cough*Xiangguan*cough*.
Additionally the info in Cao's bio is not false,simply misplaced.It isn't an outright fabrication like Wu histories are famous for.


That doesn't change the fact that Cao Cao's bio disagrees with every other single SGZ bio on Chi Bi, including other Wei SGZ bios, and Shu SGZ bios of which Liu Bei would have been projected as a sole fighter if he had been. It's really not up for discussion as to say that Cao Cao's bio is correct would be the equivalent as saying that Xiangguan is correct despite the fact that it disagrees with everything including physics.

[qote]That's not correct.The bios make no mention of it because this was a huge Wei campaign disaster and a common trend,at least in Wei bios,is to talk as little about defeat as possible.Look through the bios and you can tell that.They give great detail in victory but mention defeat only in passing.[/quote]

Regardless, you're assumption is wrong as mentioning it as a stop for Cao Cao because it wasn't mentioned as a stop for Cao Cao but rather a destination for Zhou Yu and Liu Bei.

One other bit for thought.If as you say,they were simply passing through Nanjun,then why did Cao Cao pass through?If he was already defeated and he has pursuit behind him then why is he retreating with the army rather than at the mich faster pace his cavalry force could get him home at.There were competent commanders with the army and their morale was already broken so Cao Cao's deparature would mean nothing.The Minister's time is very valuable.Why would he waste it nursemaiding a foot army through Nanjun?


We don't know that he didn't take off ahead of the foot soldiers to get to Nanjun faster. We only know that Liu Bei and Zhou Yu pursued Cao Cao but as bios go you might as well put a ['s force] after all those names because Zhou Yu and Liu Bei did not just personally chase after Cao Cao alone. We don't what commanders were at Chi Bi as none were mentioned so we can't say that there were or were not competent commanders. Also he would have to retreat to Nanjun because Liu Qi still held Xiakou and Jiang Xia which is north of Chi Bi. Cao Cao would be running right into enemy territory as opposed to retreating in his own held territory. We do know however that he needed to put the state of affairs of Jing in order as they were in a mess considering that he just flew through the province. About his foot soldiers, they were being chased so they also would not just be a very slow group. BUt concerning Cao Cao staying with teh group personally all the way to Nanjun, we don't know that he did or didn't.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:29 pm

That doesn't change the fact that Cao Cao's bio disagrees with every other single SGZ bio on Chi Bi, including other Wei SGZ bios, and Shu SGZ bios of which Liu Bei would have been projected as a sole fighter if he had been. It's really not up for discussion as to say that Cao Cao's bio is correct would be the equivalent as saying that Xiangguan is correct despite the fact that it disagrees with everything including physics.


Then you MUST admit that Wu bios are equally ludicrous since they too disagree with everyone else.
It works both ways.

Regardless, you're assumption is wrong as mentioning it as a stop for Cao Cao because it wasn't mentioned as a stop for Cao Cao but rather a destination for Zhou Yu and Liu Bei.


Liu Bei's bio says "they chased Lord Cao to Nanjun".That implies very strongly that Nanjun was a destination for Cao Cao.Only after this does it mention that he had disease in his camp and that he retreated.Now then,if he was retreating all along to Xu Chang then why make specific mention of this.It is out of place with that line of events.
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Unread postby Lu Kang » Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:46 pm

Exar Kun wrote:Then you MUST admit that Wu bios are equally ludicrous since they too disagree with everyone else.
It works both ways.


I'm not making a testimony on the validity of the 3 different sections of the San Guo Zhi but rather referring to a specific line. That single line disagrees with all other bios concerning the event. It even disagrees with other Wei bios, so clearly it's a mistake or a too general line made by CHen SHou and not Wei historians. That is not to say that every other line (excluding the He Fei) could quite possible be perfectly correct just that this single line that only mentions Liu Bei, surely is not correct.

Liu Bei's bio says "they chased Lord Cao to Nanjun".That implies very strongly that Nanjun was a destination for Cao Cao.Only after this does it mention that he had disease in his camp and that he retreated.Now then,if he was retreating all along to Xu Chang then why make specific mention of this.It is out of place with that line of events.


To get a full picture one must look at all bios dealing with a certain topic and subject. If Liu Bei's bio was the only one to mention a disease then your assumption could be quite correct but many other do. The line in Liu Bei's, when taken in the context of the other bios, appears to be referring that he originally retreated becasue of the disease in camp. If it meant literally what you inferred it would be contradicting all the other bios. As Zhou Yu's bio points out, Cao Cao's soldiers were already suffering from illness before the fire attck. Sun Quan's and Cao Cao's bios both put a great epdimic before retreating to Nanjun (or just plain retreating). If you look at Sun Quan's bio it does say that Cao Cao prepared to retreat then the following line mentions that half died from famine and starvation.

This discussion I think is straying further from original points then I think I originally set out to put down. To try and get back on track I'll state what I originally meant to say (sometimes I get carried away and start to oppose all other points of discussion when really I shouldn't be).

1. Cao Cao was suffered a great loss at Chi Bi due to the fire attack which greatly destroyed his navy (he burn the remaining) and of course the epidemic and famine which most likely weakened and hurt his troops as it started even before engagements.

2. Cao Cao is chased and pursued to Nanjun as a defeated man.

3. The epdemic did not strike at Nanjun and he burnt his ships at Wu Lin.

That is all. I think that we are going too far dealing with whether it was a stop on the way to Xu Chang or whether it was a point to regroup. Those are my points above and they are quite sound on that they all deal with a rather clear outcome when all the information presented is looked at. I think that once you see all the information that then we can really get into a good discussion about the motives on going to Nanjun and what he planned to do there before going to Xu Chang.
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