The Qiang rebellion of 185 and Ma Chao's supposed folly.

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Unread postby Sima Hui » Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:54 am

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:
Uh-huh. Dirty traitor. So what was Cao Cao (and I don't believe that he is a traitor for rebelling against corrupt Dong Zhuo and initially helping the Emperor, just that Ma Teng/Chao situation is quite similar and your opinion of each is very different)? What was Sun Quan? If Ma Teng wanted to rebel against a man who manipulated and betrayed the Emperor, could you blame him?


Ma Teng was not loyal to Han, only Cao Cao. He rebelled agianst Han in 185. Why would he be loyal to them?

You are right on the Cao Cao and Sun Quan part.
But though rebellion may not be so bad, to rebel and have your family killed for it, and then whine about it the rest of your life is stupid. I don't hate Chao for rebelling as much as I do for the part mentioned above. I guess I just hate him for being really unintelligent.


If Ma Teng was disloyal to Han, why did he attack Li Jue and Guo Si? Why did he sign his name on the blood edict?

Ma Chao being stupid and rebelling? A true subject (Ma Teng) should be willing to sacrifice himself. By then, he may have made all the plans ready to take down Cao Cao and couldn't get home, resulting in his death. Who knows? It might have been part of the plan all along. :wink:
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Unread postby Asellas » Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:07 pm

I don't think it si fair to blame Ma Chao entirely... or even a little bit. Bu Zhi, you are talking like you knew that if Mengqi did not rebel then his father may not have been killed but you don't seem to be able to prove that.
Ma Teng could have been killed for any reason, Cao Cao could have or someone else could have posioned/assasinated Ma Teng and Cao Cao wouldn't have to fear Ma Chao knowing the cause of his father's death.

I like Ma Chao, both novelwise and historically-wise. I dare you to find proof, Bu Zhi, of him being scared of Xu Chu. I argued about this with (I believe) you in another thread that there is a difference between scared and cautious. Would you attck someone head on if they had a bodyguard in the way?

Cao Cao was wrong executing Ma Teng, it was Ma Chao's problem by revolting. Cao Cao could have used Ma Teng to manipulate Ma Chao or at least command him to stop but he chose execution, thus, one of the main reasons I hate Cao Cao as well as always executing him on the RTK games. I always believe the idea that Ma Chao rebelled because I think he thought that the hearts of his followers and people who were like commoners, were far more important than the Han and Cao Cao's army, thus I support his rebellion.
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Unread postby Shield of Rohan » Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:55 pm

Separation Anxiety wrote:Ma Chao was not smart. He does not think things through. He never had a decent strategist in his battles against Cao Cao, he was beaten and went to Liu Bei where he was never used. He didn't think that Cao Cao would kill Teng. He was stupid and sadly his father, a loyal subject of Cao Cao, was killed because of his sons stupidity and acts of filial defiance.


Historically and novel-wise, you cannot say with proof that he is an idiot, and especially cannot say he was a coward or a failure in battle. Ma Chao did take the city of Chang An and the Tong Pass, and whether you believe SGYY account on this (Chen Shou left it out entirely for whatever reason :? ), you have to have some intelligence to take such well defended locations. He is of average intelligence at least, and his fiery actions in battle, far from being hasty or stubborn, are what nearly caused Cao Cao's death twice, and forced him to use a ploy to stop Chao from completely trampling his army.

Ma Chao, true, did not have a decent strategist. I have to say that if he did, Wei may have never come about :wink: . He was used under Liu Bei, as a general in the assault on Han Zhong where he and Zhang Fei contributed to Huang Zhong's great victory. After that, he guarded Han Zhong, and died just before the Northern Campaigns, where he would have been Kongming's greatest asset. Ma Chao would have returned to Chang An, this time side-by-side with the greatest strategist of the era.

About Ma Teng, how can you say with surety that Ma Teng was loyal to Cao Cao, or that Ma Chao was disloyal to his father? Chen Shou does not give any facts further than "Ma Chao attacked Cao Cao" as to what started it all, so no judgments can be made there. You may speculate that Ma Chao was being disloyal to his father who was a servant of Cao Cao, but I say that evidence proves that it was more likely that Teng was plotting something, or Cao Cao had some tricks of his own. Regardless, history cannot back either of us, so it is impossible to judge Ma Chao in regards to Ma Teng's death.

Ma Teng was not loyal to Han, only Cao Cao. He rebelled agianst Han in 185. Why would he be loyal to them?


Though it may be believed otherwise, does rebelling against corrupt Han lords (or better worded, joining the Qiang clans against corrupt Han lords) mean the same thing as betraying the Emperor himself? Dong Zhuo was technically a Han lord, but his disobedience of higher figures including tyrannical control of the Han Emperor meant that a true Han loyalist would not have aided this Han lord, but fought against him for the sake of the people and the Emperor. Widespread corruption existed in the last days of the Han - which is why Zhang Jue rebelled in the first place, so Ma Teng was perfectly justified in joining the Qiang tribes. He did not join a rebellion against an empire controlled by a wise, benevolent, and strong government, rather he joined the Qiang in kicking out corrupt lords. And as others have mentioned before me, Ma Teng fought to help the emperor controlled by the traitors Li Jue and Guo Si.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Sat Sep 04, 2004 7:57 pm

Ma Chao's supposed folly is in fact,actual folly.

Preserving Qiang independence indeed!Cao Cao was not making any moves towards Liangzhou and more than likely he never would have made any.I can't recall any case of him attacking a 'vassal state'.

Even if Cao Cao eventually had deigns on Liangzhou,it could hardly have hurt Ma Chao to wait for it to happen.The numerical difference would not have changed sufficiently that it would give him a greater or lesser chance at protecting Liangzhou's independent status.Even if Cao Cao completed his conquest of Hanzhong,the armies of the west that would be brought to bear on Ma Chao would be much the same.

A premature act on his part,ending his role in the big picture.
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Unread postby Shield of Rohan » Sun Sep 05, 2004 3:13 pm

Here is what I question though regarding the "folly".

Would it (the initial rebellion) have still been "folly" had fortune not been against Ma Chao, and Cao Cao had died in the conflict? Cao should have died by normal circumstances twice (when Ma Chao first overran the Wei army, and when he intercepted their move by boat to the north bank of Wei River and volleyed Cao Cao's boats, killing most of the soldiers, after which Xu Zhu both rowed and blocked arrows), and was saved a third by a rare talent in his army, as Xu Zhu was the only one who could stand against Chao for any period of time.

History would have been undoubtebly kinder to Ma Chao had he won the final stroke at Tong Pass, regardless of why he first invaded. Calling it folly is merely saying that Ma Chao did not achieve the definitive victory he set out to gain, for whatever reason.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:51 am

Shield of Rohan wrote:Here is what I question though regarding the "folly".

Would it (the initial rebellion) have still been "folly" had fortune not been against Ma Chao, and Cao Cao had died in the conflict? Cao should have died by normal circumstances twice (when Ma Chao first overran the Wei army, and when he intercepted their move by boat to the north bank of Wei River and volleyed Cao Cao's boats, killing most of the soldiers, after which Xu Zhu both rowed and blocked arrows), and was saved a third by a rare talent in his army, as Xu Zhu was the only one who could stand against Chao for any period of time.

History would have been undoubtebly kinder to Ma Chao had he won the final stroke at Tong Pass, regardless of why he first invaded. Calling it folly is merely saying that Ma Chao did not achieve the definitive victory he set out to gain, for whatever reason.


That's a fine novel argument but historically Cao Cao never had a thing to worry about.The closest he was to danger was when he decided to grab Cao Cao during a parley.Cao Cao of course,isn't that stupid and brought Xu Chu along with him.

Even if Ma Chao succeeds in repelling the Wei army he has still made himself an active enemy of Wei and the biggest offensive threat on the map as far as geographical advantage goes.Wei will be back.Of that we can be sure.A larger army would be back.Even if they suffered horrendous losses of 30-40%,the central reserves would be more than up to the challenge of replenishing it.
On a purely analytical level,Wei has far more strengths than Ma Chao and their victory over him is quite certain.It doesn't help that the Chinese have put down every single Qiang rebellion to this point.
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Unread postby Shield of Rohan » Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:16 pm

Exar Kun wrote:That's a fine novel argument but historically Cao Cao never had a thing to worry about.The closest he was to danger was when he decided to grab Cao Cao during a parley.Cao Cao of course,isn't that stupid and brought Xu Chu along with him.


No, it is quite historical. Reading from Xu Zhu's SGZ bio (I wish it had put more of this in Ma Chao's...)

Afterwards Xu Chu was there for the battle at Tong Gate against Ma Chao and Han Sui. [Cao Cao] went north and crossed the river, first sending the troops. Along with Xu Chu and over one hundred tiger soldiers, they stayed on the southern banks. Ma Chao rushed at [Cao Cao’s] army with over ten thousand cavalry; shooting arrows like it was raining. Xu Chu reported to [Cao Cao] that the traitors were many. And since they ferried many troops across the river it was best for them to depart. Xu Chu helped [Cao Cao] onto a ship. The traitors continued to pour on the pressure. The troops didn’t want to drown and strived to get across. Xu Chu killed those troops on the ship; with his left hand he raised the horse saddle to cover [Cao Cao]. The ship workers were killed by the falling arrows. With his right hand Xu Chu helped ensured the boat to make it across the river. Indeed what a perilous situation they were in that day. Afterwards, [Cao Cao] met up with Han Sui and Ma Chao’s troops on horseback alone to talk. All around there was no one, except General Xu Chu. Ma Chao wanted to secretly attack [Cao Cao] unexpectedly. But he had heard of Xu Chu’s bravery and stayed his hand in doubt on his horse. He asked [Cao Cao]: “The Duke has a Tiger Marquis, where is he?” [Cao Cao] looked and pointed Xu Chu out. Xu Chu glared angrily with his eyes. Ma Chao dared not to make a move. Many days after, a battle between the two armies clashed with Ma Chao’s alliance suffering defeat. For his merits of beheading many enemies, Xu Chu was made General of the Gentleman of the Household of the Martial Commandant (wu wei zhong lang jiang). The marital guard’s name was started from this. In the army, Xu Chu’s might was like that of a tiger, thus the name ‘tiger’. From when Ma Chao asked for the ‘tiger marquis’; All under Heaven to this day referred to him as this name.


We see clearly that Ma Chao was quite powerful in battle from this excerpt, and Cao Cao was preserved only by the exceptional strength of Xu Zhu. Cao Cao moved to the north shore in the first place because he had been defeated in the south by Ma Chao, and was trying to flank him as well as regroup the army. Ma Chao took advantage, and nearly killed him en route through Han Sui's plan, not to mention caused great casualities among his forces.

Even if Ma Chao succeeds in repelling the Wei army he has still made himself an active enemy of Wei and the biggest offensive threat on the map as far as geographical advantage goes.Wei will be back.Of that we can be sure.A larger army would be back.Even if they suffered horrendous losses of 30-40%,the central reserves would be more than up to the challenge of replenishing it.


If he had ultimately beaten Wei at Tong Pass, it would take time to regroup the forces and prepare again, not to mention that winter was approaching, and both sides seemed to look down on continuing the campaigns into a harsh northern winter. The more time Ma Chao held out, the stronger Liu Bei would become as he moved closer to taking the whole of Yi. Even if Ma Chao was not able to kill Cao Cao at Tong Pass, the future would probably be different.

On a purely analytical level,Wei has far more strengths than Ma Chao and their victory over him is quite certain.It doesn't help that the Chinese have put down every single Qiang rebellion to this point.


Again, time is on Ma Chao's side, not Wei's. The longer he is able to continue the war, which he could easily do provided he does not take any critical losses, the more Sun and Liu are preparing for a war of their own. If he manages to hold on until 215 (3 years), it would probably spell the end of Wei. If he had killed Cao Cao, Wei would have been in a far worse situation, with shaky leadership compared to the other kingdoms.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:29 am

Shield of Rohan wrote:We see clearly that Ma Chao was quite powerful in battle from this excerpt, and Cao Cao was preserved only by the exceptional strength of Xu Zhu. Cao Cao moved to the north shore in the first place because he had been defeated in the south by Ma Chao, and was trying to flank him as well as regroup the army. Ma Chao took advantage, and nearly killed him en route through Han Sui's plan, not to mention caused great casualities among his forces.


Well I gotta give you that first part.Cao Cao was in danger on the ship.
But you overstate the damage done to Cao Cao's forces.If it was as crushing a defeat as you say he would never have been able to bounce back so easily.
While he may have lost the skirmish you can't think that that was a major victory in any way.

If he had ultimately beaten Wei at Tong Pass, it would take time to regroup the forces and prepare again, not to mention that winter was approaching, and both sides seemed to look down on continuing the campaigns into a harsh northern winter. The more time Ma Chao held out, the stronger Liu Bei would become as he moved closer to taking the whole of Yi. Even if Ma Chao was not able to kill Cao Cao at Tong Pass, the future would probably be different.


Liu Bei would claim Hanzhong either way.The differences are now Cao Cao never suffers defeat in Hanzhong(good).and Liu Bei advance from the west is blocked as Ma Chao holds Liangzhou.The advance from Jingzhou is a more difficult path for him to take.

Again, time is on Ma Chao's side, not Wei's. The longer he is able to continue the war, which he could easily do provided he does not take any critical losses, the more Sun and Liu are preparing for a war of their own. If he manages to hold on until 215 (3 years), it would probably spell the end of Wei. If he had killed Cao Cao, Wei would have been in a far worse situation, with shaky leadership compared to the other kingdoms.


If he killed Cao Cao yes,but he didn't and it's not likely he;d get another chance to do it so there's not much chance of it happening.
Ma Chao's rebellion in the west,I assure you is of little consequence in action in the east.The armies of the east and central regions were independent of the western forces,such was the might of Wei.They could handle Quan and Liu Bei still.
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Unread postby Shield of Rohan » Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:29 am

Exar Kun wrote:Well I gotta give you that first part.Cao Cao was in danger on the ship.
But you overstate the damage done to Cao Cao's forces.If it was as crushing a defeat as you say he would never have been able to bounce back so easily.
While he may have lost the skirmish you can't think that that was a major victory in any way.


Cao Cao only beat Ma Chao's army when the leadership had started killing each other due to Jia Xu's ploy. He wouldn't have completely evacuated the southern bank of the river if he wasn't soundly beaten there, so I think it is safe to say that Ma Chao dealt him a significant blow.

Liu Bei would claim Hanzhong either way.The differences are now Cao Cao never suffers defeat in Hanzhong(good).and Liu Bei advance from the west is blocked as Ma Chao holds Liangzhou.The advance from Jingzhou is a more difficult path for him to take.


The difference is that the alliance would start in possession of Yongzhou, not to mention Liangzhou. If Ma Chao had the province solidly held, Xu Huang would have a hard time defeating a much larger Shu force than what Guan Yu led against him.

If he killed Cao Cao yes,but he didn't and it's not likely he;d get another chance to do it so there's not much chance of it happening.
Ma Chao's rebellion in the west,I assure you is of little consequence in action in the east.The armies of the east and central regions were independent of the western forces,such was the might of Wei.They could handle Quan and Liu Bei still.


Handle individually, yes, but Wei couldn't stop full invasions on all fronts. Wei is not as powerful as Ma Chao, Liu Bei, and Sun Quan combined. If he had killed Cao Cao earlier when he was in peril, Wei would have certainly fell apart in short time. Unfortunately, Ma Chao didn't seem to get any lucky breaks in the battle. Had one minor battle event changed, the "folly" would have become the fall of Wei.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Tue Sep 07, 2004 1:03 pm

Cao Cao only beat Ma Chao's army when the leadership had started killing each other due to Jia Xu's ploy. He wouldn't have completely evacuated the southern bank of the river if he wasn't soundly beaten there, so I think it is safe to say that Ma Chao dealt him a significant blow.


Not so safe to say at all.It is better to have the river in front of you when you build a defensive fortification,rather than at your back.While Cao Cao was defeated,if that defeat was great then it would have necessitated more than simply falling back from one side of the river.

The difference is that the alliance would start in possession of Yongzhou, not to mention Liangzhou. If Ma Chao had the province solidly held, Xu Huang would have a hard time defeating a much larger Shu force than what Guan Yu led against him.


The Alliance?What alliance is this?Exactly what makes you think Ma Chao will care much about Liu Bei and his fight for the Han?You might remember that the Ma clan are Han rebels.
Also,even with a larger Shu force,as long as Wu gets greedy,they have no chance.A larger Shu force would also end up engaging a larger Wei force who would have the advantage of being on the defensive.Zhang Liao was en route and Cao Cao was ready to march as well.

Handle individually, yes, but Wei couldn't stop full invasions on all fronts. Wei is not as powerful as Ma Chao, Liu Bei, and Sun Quan combined. If he had killed Cao Cao earlier when he was in peril, Wei would have certainly fell apart in short time. Unfortunately, Ma Chao didn't seem to get any lucky breaks in the battle. Had one minor battle event changed, the "folly" would have become the fall of Wei.


And if Liu Bei had made it to Huarong in time Cao Cao would also be dead.Well in both cases he wasn't killed so such ideals are useless.
The kind of thing you mention would be a diplomatic utopia and it would never happen.By the time Liu Bei has finished in Hanzhong Sun Quan would have already given up attacking the north and Ma Chao would already be finished.The coordination was all wrong.No way Ma Chao can hold all those years against Cao Cao.Even Yuan Shao could not and his forces exceed Ma's in every way.
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