Lu Bu or Liu Bei: who is the bigger traitor?

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Re: Lu Bu or Liu Bei: who is the bigger traitor?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:40 pm

1) That Cao Cao had control of the Emperor and could grant ranks? Sure. That he was most powerful figure? No. Having control of the Emperor was a political tool and it elevated Cao Cao but it alone did not make one one the most powerful figure in the land. The only past Han controller that had been the big beast for any time was Dong Zhuo. Sure, whoever controlled the court, got what was "by the by, I'm taking this rank"

In terms of charge of disloyalty, I don't have a copy of the memorial but ZTJ has some lines
se, "Though your lands are broad and you have many soldiers, you have set up a party solely for yourself. We do not hear of you as a leader to give help to the true king, we only hear that you usurp authority and attack others."
while De Crespigny in imperial warlords mentions
He immediately had himself named General-in-Chief, and arranged for an edict to be sent to Yuan Shao, accusing him of failing to give support to the throne and of setting up a faction in his own interest: the very word “faction” was anathema to the concept of unified rule under a benevolent sovereign, and had been used in the recent past to punish and proscribe men for treason


Yuan Shao gained that becuase he politically humiliated the controller of the Han and left said controller franticly backpeddling. Publicly being demoted is humiliating in most circumstances, that Wei tries to spin it as arrogant petty Shao and generous Cao Cao also suggests they saw it as embarrassing

It gave him more power and elevated him. He then overegged it and was forced to clamber down by a more powerful figure.

2) He sent envoys when he was in such circumstances, he was doing so when he did eventually reach out to Liu Biao for sanctuary. I agree his position, like a lot of his career, in Runan was insecure.

I agree he had different priorities. For me, he gave promise and didn't carry it out so is a betrayal. For you, it isn't.

For the last time, he fulfilled his promise. Not immediately due to the geopolitical situation AND his other duties but eventually. He was not in a position to spare any men.(Envoys wasnt just one or two btw). He was completely isolated and surrounded at all sides, dealing with various enemies and allies.


Yes, you feel he fulfilled his promise by doing it. For me, he didn't. He reached out nearly an entire year and only after Liu Bei was seeking sanctuary becuase Cao Cao had attacked him

Oh I agree an envoy would have required a miliatry escort. Liu Bei was able to spare on after being forced to flee Runan so not sure why he couldn't for an entire year before hand.

Oh I agree Yuan Shao would likely have won battles. That is different from winning the war which is more hat I was thinking, most of those you listed failed to do so and on those that did hold on, they had a good defensive position due to terrain and not been forced into a all or nothing war as Yuan Shao had been (and lost). When one throws everything one has in such camapign, then lose, against arguably the greatest miliatry figure (or one of), I don't fancy said person's chances.
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Re: Lu Bu or Liu Bei: who is the bigger traitor?

Unread postby Han » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:49 am

1) No, securing the Emperor made him THE guy to beat. And Dong Zhuo was THE guy during his time with the Emperor too. It wasnt just taking the rank but giving it to others which offer much more legitimacy than anything else.

Fair enough. Thanks for sources.

Embarassed. Not backpedal but switch. Embarassing, and Wei controllers didnt spin it arrogance just Cao Cao being worried.

He didnt clamber so much as tilt his head slightly while blushing a little. More powerful figure? More like most powerful not named Cao Cao.

2) No, when he was in Runan, he was linking with bandits, pillaging against Cao Cao, and defeating Cao Cao army. When he reached out to Liu Biao. His allies were dead, his army was rekt and Cao Cao was reconsolidating. The two circumstances are completely different.

Thats a strawman. Its more like 'For me, he gave promise and didn't carry it out so is a betrayal. For you, he EVENTUALLY carried it out so it isnt a betrayal.'.

Yes, you feel he fulfilled his promise by doing it. For me, he didn't.


He reached out nearly an entire year and only after Liu Bei was seeking sanctuary becuase Cao Cao had attacked him


Pick one.

He didnt... but he DID... but he didnt...

So he did REACH out. So he did.

Because when your CIC(Yuan Shao) order you(Liu Bei) to operate in the area, you are suppose to use all of your men to concentrate on doing said job. And when you are busy doing said job and crushing your enemies(Cao Cao's vanguard), it will be difficult to mobillise any men especially with a lack of resources, complete isolation and zero coordination with potential hostile forces in between. Therefore, once your CIC and you are crushed, and you have did your job as good as possible, you move on to your secondary task in an attempt to salvage whatevers left of the situation and fulfill your promise. Its common sense, not rocket science.

Define war. Do you mean the time period or military campaigns. Because if its the former, even Cao Cao failed to win and its a very weird stick to hit Yuan Shao with. If its the latter, Liu Bei and Sun Quan not only won but crushed Cao Cao numerous times while having much less than Yuan Shao. Aka doing more with less. Excuse me, Yuan Shao did have great terrain. Hebei LITERALLY means 'North of the River'. Yuan Shao also had the support of various nomadic tribes as auxillaries. His Northen border had no zero hostile forces while his Southern one is protected by water. Thats the best terrain one can have. Liu Bei Hanzhong campaign against Xiahou Yuan and Cao Cao were literally 'All or Nothing', something Liu Bei needed to secure the support of local gentries to launch, and something Zhuge Liang was wary of during the Xiahou Yuan phase. The same goes for Sun Quan Chibi campaign which Sun Quan himself called 'A last stand' to Zhou Yu and something most of his domestic gentries were against.

As for losses, losing was part of the time period. Everyone including Cao Cao had their fill of losses. Chibi was a chokejob, Hefei was a chokejob, Xiaoting was a chokejob. Yuan Shao successfully dealt with the rebellions at Qing and still retained Northen support. He was still in a position to overcome Cao Cao.

Cao Cao was the greatest of the era in terms of generalship and administration. But he wasnt God. If a divided Yuan clan can endure for 5 years while nearly killing Cao Cao, I still like Yuan Shao's chance.
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Re: Lu Bu or Liu Bei: who is the bigger traitor?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:07 pm

1) In your view, yes. Dong Zhuo was the guy to beat but also becuase of his large army that worried the others, he was no longer the guy to beat even before he was death. Neither was Wang Yun, Li Jue or Emperor Xian's alliance. I do agree the ability to give ranks was an important political tool but I don't think simply holding the Emperor made one the big power

Embarassing, and Wei controllers didnt spin it arrogance just Cao Cao being worried.


From Cao Cao's SGZ Thereafter Yuan Shao was appointed to the post of Grand Commandant, but he was ashamed at his rank being beneath that of His Excellency and would not accept it. His Excellency thereupon insisted on resigning his position, allowing Shao to replace him as General-In-Chief.

On the rest of point 1, I just think we have a fundamentally different view of what the rank issue showed and the scale of change from traitor to highest ranked Han minister. I also think Cao Cao being rattled by Yuan Shao's latter after defeat to Zhang Xiu also reflects Cao Cao not being the big power quite yet but I imagine we also read that differently

2) Liu Bei, after defeating Cai Yang, did not make much headway and had a year or so to send an envoy. He didn't reach out to Liu Biao until after he was driven from Runan at which point Mi Zhu and Sun Qian were dispatched

I didn't. I set out a simple one linger point of view on the matter and that simply you disagreed (that your not happy with it doesn't make it a strawman or an attack), I'm happy to use yours bar I don't think he ever really carried it out till he became Liu Biao's subordinate.

No contradiction, I don't believe doing a job (if he even did that when seeking sanctuary, we know he did afterwards) after a year from being hired, when it is too late for the person you promised and only when Liu Bei needed sanctuary rather then when Yuan Shao needed it is remotely acceptable. So I don't feel Liu Bei did his job. There are jobs where a year is a reasonable time-frame, sending a letter or an envoy isn't one of them. You differ in your interpretation/reading/view of events, that's fine

When your dispatched to make contact with another force, your supposed to make contact in some decent time frame. Not sure Cai Yang was Cao Cao's vanguard?

War as in who conquers whom between Cao Cao and Yuan Shao. I agree with you that Yuan Shao had northern flank protected, problem is east was being attacked, west was seeing Cao Cao strengthening there via diplomacy in Liang and the capital region, there were nominal Cao Cao forces in You province and south as you mentioned, Yuan Shao has threats on three sides (plus an internal one the Yuan's were never able to defeat). In terms of the Yellow River being a great defensive barrier, Cao Cao, Yuan Shao and others seemed to cross without too much trouble, it never seems to have been used as a great defensive point (as a border marker yes, a great naval defence asset no) in the way the Chang Jiang was for Wu. Liu Bei and Sun Quan both won those camapigns though, Yuan Shao lost his

You and I have different definitions of chocking. None of those were all or nothing clashes for the losing side

Fair enough
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Re: Lu Bu or Liu Bei: who is the bigger traitor?

Unread postby LiuBeiwasGreat » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:57 pm

Now I have nothing to back this up so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but perhaps Liu Bei wanted to delay sending someone to Liu Biao for personal glory.

He starts his rebellion in Ru Nan and defeats Cai Yang, maybe he was hoping that his rebellion would be enough to enable Yuan Shao to win. After all, if he enlists Liu Biao then he is pretty much nothing more then a glorified messenger, Liu Biao becomes the big help that will recieve the greatest reward. However if Liu Bei managed to distract Cao Cao's forces long enough for Yuan Shao to win then he becomes the big hero. A victorious Yuan Shao would probably grant Liu Bei a very high rank and probably lots of land and power. That would put Liu Bei in a great position for his own ambition.

Of course when Yuan Shao failed he had little choice but to go to Liu Biao then. Perhaps he thought if Liu Biao marched north the situation could be salvaged, but as we know Liu Biao felt that there would be no point at that point.
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Re: Lu Bu or Liu Bei: who is the bigger traitor?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:02 am

LiuBeiwasGreat wrote:Now I have nothing to back this up so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but perhaps Liu Bei wanted to delay sending someone to Liu Biao for personal glory.

He starts his rebellion in Ru Nan and defeats Cai Yang, maybe he was hoping that his rebellion would be enough to enable Yuan Shao to win. After all, if he enlists Liu Biao then he is pretty much nothing more then a glorified messenger, Liu Biao becomes the big help that will recieve the greatest reward. However if Liu Bei managed to distract Cao Cao's forces long enough for Yuan Shao to win then he becomes the big hero. A victorious Yuan Shao would probably grant Liu Bei a very high rank and probably lots of land and power. That would put Liu Bei in a great position for his own ambition.

Of course when Yuan Shao failed he had little choice but to go to Liu Biao then. Perhaps he thought if Liu Biao marched north the situation could be salvaged, but as we know Liu Biao felt that there would be no point at that point.


Possibly and it's an intresting idea.

My feeling of it is Liu Bei possibly calculated Yuan Shao's odds were not great, he may have been a little annoyed if Yuan Shao had kept him back while Guan Yu was in Wei hands and the sgz suggests he wanted out. He would have said what he thought would get him out of Yuan Shao's camp, it worked and Runan gave him a base of independence and that he could play it by ear from there. If Yuan Shao was successful? Liu Bei could claim some credit for being a distraction and use Cao Cao's sudden need to focus forces to try to build a stronger base for himself then decide how he wishes to play it. If Yuan Shao lost and Cao Cao turned focus on Liu Bei, well he now had a retreat route to Liu Biao if need be. It was a clever move by Liu Bei for his warlord ambitions
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Re: Lu Bu or Liu Bei: who is the bigger traitor?

Unread postby Han » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:15 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:1) In your view, yes. Dong Zhuo was the guy to beat but also becuase of his large army that worried the others, he was no longer the guy to beat even before he was death. Neither was Wang Yun, Li Jue or Emperor Xian's alliance. I do agree the ability to give ranks was an important political tool but I don't think simply holding the Emperor made one the big power

Embarassing, and Wei controllers didnt spin it arrogance just Cao Cao being worried.


From Cao Cao's SGZ Thereafter Yuan Shao was appointed to the post of Grand Commandant, but he was ashamed at his rank being beneath that of His Excellency and would not accept it. His Excellency thereupon insisted on resigning his position, allowing Shao to replace him as General-In-Chief.

On the rest of point 1, I just think we have a fundamentally different view of what the rank issue showed and the scale of change from traitor to highest ranked Han minister. I also think Cao Cao being rattled by Yuan Shao's latter after defeat to Zhang Xiu also reflects Cao Cao not being the big power quite yet but I imagine we also read that differently

2) Liu Bei, after defeating Cai Yang, did not make much headway and had a year or so to send an envoy. He didn't reach out to Liu Biao until after he was driven from Runan at which point Mi Zhu and Sun Qian were dispatched

I didn't. I set out a simple one linger point of view on the matter and that simply you disagreed (that your not happy with it doesn't make it a strawman or an attack), I'm happy to use yours bar I don't think he ever really carried it out till he became Liu Biao's subordinate.

No contradiction, I don't believe doing a job (if he even did that when seeking sanctuary, we know he did afterwards) after a year from being hired, when it is too late for the person you promised and only when Liu Bei needed sanctuary rather then when Yuan Shao needed it is remotely acceptable. So I don't feel Liu Bei did his job. There are jobs where a year is a reasonable time-frame, sending a letter or an envoy isn't one of them. You differ in your interpretation/reading/view of events, that's fine

When your dispatched to make contact with another force, your supposed to make contact in some decent time frame. Not sure Cai Yang was Cao Cao's vanguard?

War as in who conquers whom between Cao Cao and Yuan Shao. I agree with you that Yuan Shao had northern flank protected, problem is east was being attacked, west was seeing Cao Cao strengthening there via diplomacy in Liang and the capital region, there were nominal Cao Cao forces in You province and south as you mentioned, Yuan Shao has threats on three sides (plus an internal one the Yuan's were never able to defeat). In terms of the Yellow River being a great defensive barrier, Cao Cao, Yuan Shao and others seemed to cross without too much trouble, it never seems to have been used as a great defensive point (as a border marker yes, a great naval defence asset no) in the way the Chang Jiang was for Wu. Liu Bei and Sun Quan both won those camapigns though, Yuan Shao lost his

You and I have different definitions of chocking. None of those were all or nothing clashes for the losing side

Fair enough


1) I dont see whats the point of this sentence? Obviously it was my view. And the same can be said for Cao Cao obtaining the surrender of the Qingzhou rebels and 3 provinces in the form of Yan, most of Yu and Sili by the time he acquired the Emperor. Not true, Dong Zhuo was still the guy to defeat by that time. His retreat to Guanzhong simply created a situation which led to the breakdown of the alliance. Wang Yun and Li Jue rule was never secured. At least not the way Dong Zhuo and Cao Cao were. Emperor Xian alliance lasted weeks at most so obviously not secure enough. In your view, yes. /s

At last concerned that he had gone too far, Cao Cao hastily gave up his title in Yuan Shao’s favour and appointed himself only as Excellency of Works, lowest of the three, with acting authority as General of Chariots and Cavalry, which was likewise the third-ranking general’s command under the old empire


Concerned. Aka worried.

The accusation was factionalism which although was used occasionally as a form of punishment, was common throughout the Han and even the 3K period. Cao Cao was right to be rattled by Yuan Shao. Previously, when he led an expedition against Xu, Lü Bu took the chance to cause trouble and usurp Cao Cao authority in Yan. Being far away at Northen Jing, its understandable why Cao Cao would be so worried and rush back to his homebase. Nothing about power dynamic. Just standard warlordism.

2) Liu Bei wasnt just lazing around after defeating Cai Yong. He was consolidating and working at Runan with his bandit allies. No time really. Meanwhile after getting his ass handed to him by Cao Cao, he was free to complete his secondary duty of forming an alliance because the situation at Runan was unsalvagable.

You misinterpreting my point and than debating said point is literally standard strawman but ok. I have never claimed what you originally stated. His job was to reach out to Liu Biao and form an alliance with him so yeah he did his job. Not his fault Liu Biao seldom went on the offensive.

Again, its not too late. Yuan Shao was still alive and his rule was still secure and he still had a decent chance. And from another point of view, Liu Bei simply focused on the mission given to him by Yuan Shao first and foremost which was to conduct operations at RUNAN. Obviously he would have little time or ability to reach out to Liu Biao with his hands tied behind his back concentrating on his job.

Yes. And he did it at a time after his primary duty was over. Cao Cao sent in Cai Yong to due with Bei. Cai Yong was representing Cao Cao in the front lines. Aka his vanguard.

Thats your definition ok fine. The East suffered attack but Yuan Shao still maintained most of Qing.The West still remained secure thanks to Gao Gan. Cao Cao raiding You province. Ok cute. But he didnt secure much territory and it wasnt that bad. Much quicker than dealing with Liu Bei.
So its one side, not three. Internal as in succession crisis? But in this hypothetical scenario, Yuan Shao would presumably remain healthier for another decade or so to go toe to toe with Cao Cao. As for being a defensive barrier

Before this, when Yuan Shao and Cao Cao raised troops together [against Dong Zhuo in 190], Yuan Shao asked Cao Cao, "If this affair should fail, what territory would you take?" "What would your idea be?" asked Cao Cao. "In the south," replied Yuan Shao, "I would hold the Yellow River, and in the north I would reach to Yan and Dai. Then I could collect the hosts of barbarians in the north and turn south to fight for the empire. That should do it." "I," said Cao Cao, "would use the wise and strong men of the empire, and I would govern them loyally and honestly. That way, I could manage anything."


The Yellow River also allowed Yuan Shao to reconsolidate his army instead of a follow up by Cao Cao.

Yes, everyone lost campaigns. Not everyone can be Deng Ai or Sima Yi.

Sun Quan considered Chibi a last stand and was outnumbered 1 to 5. For Hefei when you outnumber your enemy 10 to 1 and get rekt... thats a chokejob. Xiaoting... Zhuge Liang considered it a disastrous defeat and Liu Bei lost tens of thousands of soldiers and tens of generals and advisors and the defection of an important military advisor and general in Huang Quan.

Now I have nothing to back this up so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but perhaps Liu Bei wanted to delay sending someone to Liu Biao for personal glory.

He starts his rebellion in Ru Nan and defeats Cai Yang, maybe he was hoping that his rebellion would be enough to enable Yuan Shao to win. After all, if he enlists Liu Biao then he is pretty much nothing more then a glorified messenger, Liu Biao becomes the big help that will recieve the greatest reward. However if Liu Bei managed to distract Cao Cao's forces long enough for Yuan Shao to win then he becomes the big hero. A victorious Yuan Shao would probably grant Liu Bei a very high rank and probably lots of land and power. That would put Liu Bei in a great position for his own ambition.

Of course when Yuan Shao failed he had little choice but to go to Liu Biao then. Perhaps he thought if Liu Biao marched north the situation could be salvaged, but as we know Liu Biao felt that there would be no point at that point.


I dont think Liu Bei cared about glory in that point in time considering that he was already defeated once and he was completely isolated with zero supply lines.

Liu Bei was a capable strategist. But I highly doubt he thought THAT far into the future which rely on whatifs and plenty of assumptions.

Exactly.

My feeling of it is Liu Bei possibly calculated Yuan Shao's odds were not great, he may have been a little annoyed if Yuan Shao had kept him back while Guan Yu was in Wei hands and the sgz suggests he wanted out. He would have said what he thought would get him out of Yuan Shao's camp, it worked and Runan gave him a base of independence and that he could play it by ear from there. If Yuan Shao was successful? Liu Bei could claim some credit for being a distraction and use Cao Cao's sudden need to focus forces to try to build a stronger base for himself then decide how he wishes to play it. If Yuan Shao lost and Cao Cao turned focus on Liu Bei, well he now had a retreat route to Liu Biao if need be. It was a clever move by Liu Bei for his warlord ambitions


If thats the case why didnt he immediately flee to Liu Biao after the first loss? I dont think Liu Bei cared about Guan Yu at that point in time. He probably thought of him/missed him but I think its just at the back of his mind. Like wayyyy back. I think he was simply prioritising the geopolitical situation back then. Runan was NOT a base of independence. Liu Bei was acting purely as Yuan Shao agent and forming alliances with local bandits for his military operations something Rafe noted. I dont see how the bandits would willingly submit to him not as junior allies but as surbodinates and how could Liu Bei attain gentry or public support considering it was Yuan Shao ancesteal home and he was pillaging the heck out of the place. Regardless, this theory just doesnt work out in my opinion. You are assuming that Liu Bei would happily stuck himself between two great powers in Cao Cao and Liu Biao while risking angering the Yuan clan and being completely surrounded by hostilr forces plus the fact that he got defeated there once before and that he was completely isolated diplomatically/militarily/geopoliticaly/logisticaly. Sorry I dont buy that. Thats too rash and foolhardy even for Liu Bei. I doubt he planned THAT far into the future.
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