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

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Unread postby Shield of Rohan » Tue Sep 07, 2004 8:46 pm

Exar Kun wrote: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.


If your army had taken a significant blow, it still would be wise to escape across the river rather than flee back in the direction you had come, with Qiang cavalry led by Ma Chao on your heels. The army would probably be scattered before reaching the safety of Hongnong. But I can see what you say in that Cao Cao may have lost only a skirmish with a few thousands on each side, then pulled back as momentum was failing for him. This is equally possible, and I'm disappointed there isn't good enough historical record to tell the difference, as you showed it couldn't be assumed either way.

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.


I made a bad assumption with Wu, partly because it was being discussed simultaneously elsewhere :wink: . But regarding Ma Chao and Liu Bei, it is simple. Ma Chao wanted to see Wei destroyed. Liu Bei wanted to see Wei destroyed. Ma Chao showed no interest in marching south at Shu with Zhang Lu there. Liu Bei attacking Ma Chao would be out of the question with Zhang Lu in Han Zhong. So both would clearly be allies. Without Liu Bei having to worry about affairs north of him, protected by a strong defensive isolationist and a powerful general who ruled Yongzhou, Liu Bei could focus the Shu army entirely in Jing. Wu attacking would be out of the question. If they did, it would be hard to gain much ground, and Liu Bei would probably give their army a sound beating outside of the riverlands in both the south and north of Jingzhou.

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.


That was all in response to the suggestion that Ma Chao's attack was folly on his part. Considering that his attack very nearly succeeded (in killing Cao), I say it was far from it.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:36 am

If your army had taken a significant blow, it still would be wise to escape across the river rather than flee back in the direction you had come, with Qiang cavalry led by Ma Chao on your heels. The army would probably be scattered before reaching the safety of Hongnong. But I can see what you say in that Cao Cao may have lost only a skirmish with a few thousands on each side, then pulled back as momentum was failing for him. This is equally possible, and I'm disappointed there isn't good enough historical record to tell the difference, as you showed it couldn't be assumed either way.


I've taken a look at Cao Cao's bio and though his near deaths aren't mentioned,it looks like even before he used Jia Xu's ploy he was kicking the hell outta Ma Chao.Sloppy on my part.I should have seen this earlier.

Ma Chao and the others garrisoned Tong Pass, the Duke said to his generals: "The soldiers of Guanxi are elite and strong, you should garrison the fortress walls firmly and not engage in battle." In the seventh month - autumn - the Duke campaigned in the west and opposed Ma Chao and the others at the Pass. The Duke pinned down the enemy, and covertly sent Xu Huang, Zhu Ling and others to cross the Puban Ford by night and fortify the west bank of the He. The Duke himself crossed the He at Tong Pass but before he completed the operation, Ma Chao assailed his boats. Colonel Ding Fei let loose cattle and horses to distract the bandits. The bandits fell into disorder to round the beasts up, and the Duke was able to cross and formed a protected road to advance south along the He. The bandits retreated to hold the mouth of the Wei River. The Duke despatched decoy troops by boat onto the Wei, to construct a pontoon bridge, and in the night he sent a detachment to set a post south of the Wei. The bandits besieged the encampment by night, were ambushed and defeated by covert troops. Ma Chao and the others garrisoned south of the Wei and sent an emissary offering to cede the area west of the He and requesting peace. The Duke refused. In the ninth month, the army advanced to cross the Wei River. Ma Chao and the others challenged him several times to battle, but he would not accept. They repeatedly offered to cede territory and to send, and their sons as hostages. The Duke utilised Jia Xu's strategy and pretended to agree to their request.

But regarding Ma Chao and Liu Bei, it is simple. Ma Chao wanted to see Wei destroyed. Liu Bei wanted to see Wei destroyed. Ma Chao showed no interest in marching south at Shu with Zhang Lu there. Liu Bei attacking Ma Chao would be out of the question with Zhang Lu in Han Zhong. So both would clearly be allies. Without Liu Bei having to worry about affairs north of him, protected by a strong defensive isolationist and a powerful general who ruled Yongzhou, Liu Bei could focus the Shu army entirely in Jing.


Focussing in Jing is a risky plan due to the sheer amount of forces Wei can bring to bear in Jing.Look at what happened to Guan Yu.Even if he lasted much longer he'd be swimming in Wei troops.Attacking in Jing means that Jing can be reinforced by reserves from the capitals which would obviously have huge reserves in the first place.
Liu Bei cannot best Cao Cao himself when Bei lacks even terrain advantage.

That was all in response to the suggestion that Ma Chao's attack was folly on his part. Considering that his attack very nearly succeeded (in killing Cao), I say it was far from it.


That was a freak chance.He didn't plan for that and that was never his strategic goal.It WAS folly considering that it made for him an enemy who never would have bothered with him in the first place and he ended up risking,and losing,everything.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:50 am

I made a bad assumption with Wu, partly because it was being discussed simultaneously elsewhere . But regarding Ma Chao and Liu Bei, it is simple. Ma Chao wanted to see Wei destroyed. Liu Bei wanted to see Wei destroyed. Ma Chao showed no interest in marching south at Shu with Zhang Lu there. Liu Bei attacking Ma Chao would be out of the question with Zhang Lu in Han Zhong. So both would clearly be allies. Without Liu Bei having to worry about affairs north of him, protected by a strong defensive isolationist and a powerful general who ruled Yongzhou, Liu Bei could focus the Shu army entirely in Jing. Wu attacking would be out of the question. If they did, it would be hard to gain much ground, and Liu Bei would probably give their army a sound beating outside of the riverlands in both the south and north of Jingzhou.


Who said that they werea allies? Zhang Lu was Liu Bei's enemy, Ma Chao served Zhang Lu after he lost. Why would he be allies with Liu Bei. I agree with Exar, Ma Chao's clan did not care about fighting for the Han, they had other reasons, more personal then that. Who said Ma Chao was a strong general? Who did he beat? Zhong Yao. Xiahou Yuan, Zhang He and Xu Huang destroyed him. Why do you consider him so powerfull, he got beat up just like everyone who gets so far into Wei's land except he was beat up very badly. Xiahou Yuan took most of his land that he took from Wei before Jia Xu did anything.
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Unread postby LiuBeiwasGreat » Wed Sep 08, 2004 3:48 am

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:
I made a bad assumption with Wu, partly because it was being discussed simultaneously elsewhere . But regarding Ma Chao and Liu Bei, it is simple. Ma Chao wanted to see Wei destroyed. Liu Bei wanted to see Wei destroyed. Ma Chao showed no interest in marching south at Shu with Zhang Lu there. Liu Bei attacking Ma Chao would be out of the question with Zhang Lu in Han Zhong. So both would clearly be allies. Without Liu Bei having to worry about affairs north of him, protected by a strong defensive isolationist and a powerful general who ruled Yongzhou, Liu Bei could focus the Shu army entirely in Jing. Wu attacking would be out of the question. If they did, it would be hard to gain much ground, and Liu Bei would probably give their army a sound beating outside of the riverlands in both the south and north of Jingzhou.


Who said that they werea allies? Zhang Lu was Liu Bei's enemy, Ma Chao served Zhang Lu after he lost. Why would he be allies with Liu Bei. I agree with Exar, Ma Chao's clan did not care about fighting for the Han, they had other reasons, more personal then that. Who said Ma Chao was a strong general? Who did he beat? Zhong Yao. Xiahou Yuan, Zhang He and Xu Huang destroyed him. Why do you consider him so powerfull, he got beat up just like everyone who gets so far into Wei's land except he was beat up very badly. Xiahou Yuan took most of his land that he took from Wei before Jia Xu did anything.


Actually when Xiahou Yuan beat Ma Chao that was after the Tong Guan incident i believe. Ma Chao took some land later on and Xiahou Yuan reinforced the local garrisons and defeated Ma Chao forcing him to go to Zhang Lu. I think that is what happened.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Wed Sep 08, 2004 4:03 am

Yes, Chao seiged an area and took it, Xiahou Yuan took it back later.
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Unread postby HieiTheDarknessDragon » Wed Sep 08, 2004 4:16 pm

Yes, Ma Chao took a fortress, along the eastern bank of the river, on the western side of the feild did he not? And I believe that Bu Zhi is correct in saying it was taken back by Xiahou Yuan, in his counter attack.
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Unread postby Shield of Rohan » Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:06 pm

Exar Kun wrote:I've taken a look at Cao Cao's bio and though his near deaths aren't mentioned,it looks like even before he used Jia Xu's ploy he was kicking the hell outta Ma Chao.Sloppy on my part.I should have seen this earlier.

Ma Chao and the others garrisoned Tong Pass, the Duke said to his generals: "The soldiers of Guanxi are elite and strong, you should garrison the fortress walls firmly and not engage in battle." In the seventh month - autumn - the Duke campaigned in the west and opposed Ma Chao and the others at the Pass. The Duke pinned down the enemy, and covertly sent Xu Huang, Zhu Ling and others to cross the Puban Ford by night and fortify the west bank of the He. The Duke himself crossed the He at Tong Pass but before he completed the operation, Ma Chao assailed his boats. Colonel Ding Fei let loose cattle and horses to distract the bandits. The bandits fell into disorder to round the beasts up, and the Duke was able to cross and formed a protected road to advance south along the He. The bandits retreated to hold the mouth of the Wei River. The Duke despatched decoy troops by boat onto the Wei, to construct a pontoon bridge, and in the night he sent a detachment to set a post south of the Wei. The bandits besieged the encampment by night, were ambushed and defeated by covert troops. Ma Chao and the others garrisoned south of the Wei and sent an emissary offering to cede the area west of the He and requesting peace. The Duke refused. In the ninth month, the army advanced to cross the Wei River. Ma Chao and the others challenged him several times to battle, but he would not accept. They repeatedly offered to cede territory and to send, and their sons as hostages. The Duke utilised Jia Xu's strategy and pretended to agree to their request.


Is this SGZ? There is no SGZ for Cao Cao available, and I could not find it in Jia Xu's or Xu Zhu's. I have never seen this information before, so I would like to determine the source.

Focussing in Jing is a risky plan due to the sheer amount of forces Wei can bring to bear in Jing.Look at what happened to Guan Yu.Even if he lasted much longer he'd be swimming in Wei troops.Attacking in Jing means that Jing can be reinforced by reserves from the capitals which would obviously have huge reserves in the first place.
Liu Bei cannot best Cao Cao himself when Bei lacks even terrain advantage.


Guan Yu simply did not have the manpower to take Fancheng away from hordes of Wei troops. Even after beating Yu Jin and overwhelming Pang De, Xu Huang put up a great defense that Guan Yu could not overcome quickly without overwhelming numbers. If Shu had more troops in Jing that could have been allocated to Guan Yu (many were under Mi Fang guarding Gongan as Yu was suspicious of Wu's movements), it is more likely Fan would have fallen quite easily. I am sensing the idea that others think Wei is an invincible mass of elite soldiers again. What about Han Zhong? Huang Zhong's armies were small and elite Shu troops backed up by a larger main force against a great Wei host led by some of its very best generals. If Wei was as you say it was, the allies in the south should have just given up before Chi Bi or Han Zhong should have never been a victory as great as it was.

That was a freak chance.He didn't plan for that and that was never his strategic goal.It WAS folly considering that it made for him an enemy who never would have bothered with him in the first place and he ended up risking,and losing,everything.


His strategic goal was to topple Cao Cao's power. While he nearly killed Cao Cao, he was simultaniously beating his armies on the field. The attack was far from complete failure.

Ma Chao's clan did not care about fighting for the Han, they had other reasons, more personal then that. Who said Ma Chao was a strong general? Who did he beat? Zhong Yao. Xiahou Yuan, Zhang He and Xu Huang destroyed him. Why do you consider him so powerfull, he got beat up just like everyone who gets so far into Wei's land except he was beat up very badly. Xiahou Yuan took most of his land that he took from Wei before Jia Xu did anything.


For the last time :? , how on earth can you assume that Ma Chao hated the Han and only wanted personal power? Ma Chao distinguished himself in war in Pingyang and at Changan against Li Jue. Zhong Yao (where did you get this one from :lol: ), Xiahou Yuan, Zhang He, and Xu Huang never beat him. That was Jia Xu. Its like saying Zhang Xiu or Hu Che-Er was responsible for nearly destroying Cao Cao, while failing to acknowledge that the entire war was conducted by Jia Xu. If you want to see beaten up, go talk to Zhang Liao and Sun Quan in a place called He Fei. At least Ma Chao put up a great fight before losing :wink: . And I want evidence that Xiahou Yuan reversed Ma Chao's military momentum before the plot.

Oh, and for all you skeptics saying Ma Teng was a mean old Han rebel who wanted personal power, etc. I have some additional evidence to back up my argument that he is far from it.

[Ma Teng] treated scholars well, and promoted the worthy. He was sympathetic to the plight of the commoners and sought to help them, and pacified and cared for Sanfu.


Straight from Ma Chao's bio. Ma Teng and his clan must be evil, power-hungry rebels, huh :wink: . Liu Bei himself couldn't have asked for any more character praise.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:22 pm

There is no SGZ for Cao Cao available


Yes there is:
http://www.3kingdoms.net/forum/showthre ... eadid=9127

My source was Xiahou Yuan's bio.

Also, I never said Zhong Yao beat him. I said that he beat Zhong Yao and that the other three destroyed him. I put a period after I said Zhong Yao. The link for Yuan's bio I posted on another topic about the same discussion.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:51 pm

Is this SGZ? There is no SGZ for Cao Cao available, and I could not find it in Jia Xu's or Xu Zhu's. I have never seen this information before, so I would like to determine the source.


Cao Cao's SGZ has been availible for a long time now.Aside from the lnik Bu Zhi gave which is Lucy Zhang's translation there is another that is without commentaries by Jack Yuan here.

If Shu had more troops in Jing that could have been allocated to Guan Yu (many were under Mi Fang guarding Gongan as Yu was suspicious of Wu's movements), it is more likely Fan would have fallen quite easily. I am sensing the idea that others think Wei is an invincible mass of elite soldiers again. What about Han Zhong? Huang Zhong's armies were small and elite Shu troops backed up by a larger main force against a great Wei host led by some of its very best generals. If Wei was as you say it was, the allies in the south should have just given up before Chi Bi or Han Zhong should have never been a victory as great as it was.


Even if Shu had more troops in Jingzhou,Wei had more as well.Behind Xu Huang was Zhang Liao as I said and behind him,Cao Cao.Liu Bei cannot defeat Cao Cao in the field.
Hanzhong,while a great victory for Shu also had them possessing many advantages.They outnumbered Wei both in soldiers and officers and they were also attacking along the easier route as Hanzhong is naturally accessible via Yizhou.Defeating Zhang He and Xiahou Yuan is a great thing but they are gnats compared to Cao Cao himself.

His strategic goal was to topple Cao Cao's power. While he nearly killed Cao Cao, he was simultaniously beating his armies on the field. The attack was far from complete failure.


After that first minor skirmish,he got beatn all the time.That's complete failure,have no doubt.He had nothing to show for his efforts.

Oh, and for all you skeptics saying Ma Teng was a mean old Han rebel who wanted personal power, etc. I have some additional evidence to back up my argument that he is far from it.


The heck does that have to do with anything?He led an armed insurrection against the Han,allying himself with the Qiang no less.If that isn't High Treason I don't know what is.And this isn't like breaking off after Dong Zhuo took over.Emperor Ling was alive and well and the Han was still in one piece and these two rebels broke away.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:57 pm

Ma Teng was a han rebel. We don't know if he's "mean" but he's a Han Rebel because he rebelled agianst them. That's like Zhang Jiao not being a Han rebel.
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