Cao Cao vs. Zhuge Liang

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Cao Cao vs. Zhuge Liang

Unread postby Cao Ah Man » Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:55 pm

Now I know that there are many Shuists out there who are probably going to immediately jump to the defense of the near godly Zhuge Liang....but I'd like to make a point. I mean this not as just in military skill, (although being a hard-ass Weist makes me think Cao could've had a chance) but also as leaders of their kingdoms, as to the fact that Zhuge and not Liu Chan really ruled the kingdom of Shu. (Yes I do know that Cao Cao died before Zhuge became PM of Shu.) But just wondering what you guys think? (Particularly you Exar Kun...considering you're the only person I know who is a hard core Weist) :wink:
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Fri Sep 17, 2004 3:00 am

I have a huge respect for both of them by the way.

Personally I think that Zhuge Liang was easily the smartest person of the era,surpassing even Cao Cao as far as overall brilliance went.Even a hardcore Wuist like our Lu Kang admits to Zhuge's brilliance.

However,despite his advantage in intellect,Cao Cao quite simply has a record that NO ONE can assail.Cao Cao dominates Zhuge with his accomplishments.This thread could be Cao Cao vs Everybody else in 3k and he'd still win.
He was brilliant in politics,military strategy,he was a good field commander,he could attract loyal and worthy men,he was crafty in every way and probably best of all for a warlord,he did what it took.He reminds me of Canderous Ordo from KOTOR when he says "necessary force to destroy all opposition".That's Cao Cao.Brutality to the extreme in Xuzhou and Jizhou but there can be no doubt that such brutality was effective and achieved his ends,it was not wanton slaughter.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Fri Sep 17, 2004 1:48 pm

Even a hardcore Wuist like our Lu Kang admits to Zhuge's brilliance.


Well I don't. :?

However,despite his advantage in intellect,Cao Cao quite simply has a record that NO ONE can assail.Cao Cao dominates Zhuge with his accomplishments.


Yes, he does have the best accomplishments.

That's Cao Cao.Brutality to the extreme in Xuzhou and Jizhou but there can be no doubt that such brutality was effective and achieved his ends,it was not wanton slaughter.


How about I list you why it's NOT effective to use brutaility like he did:

1) You lower your own population, if you invade someone and kill their civilians, you bascily harm yourself

2) His enemies would have strengthened resolve, seeing as he would kill them and not accept them, they would fight to the end thus making life harder on Cao Cao

3) Last time I remember, Cao Cao is partially responsible for spreading cannibalism in China

4) People fled to his enemies like Sun Quan and made him stronger because they were afraid of Cao Cao.

If Cao Cao did were not so brutale, he would have unified China.
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Unread postby Rommel » Fri Sep 17, 2004 4:20 pm

Well generals do stuff differently during war time. Let me give you a good example of "massacre". During the late stage of WW2, a lot of German refugees escaped from East Prussia to avoid the brutal Red Army (Red Army committed a lot of atrocities in WW2) and fled to the city of Dresden, an ancient city with very little military value. More than 200,000 civilians ran to this temporary "haven" because no one would expect anybody who would attack this city. This day a column of British bombers flew by and dropped down flame bombs. British PM Churchill questioned the bombing but Allied Command-in-chief Eisenhower ordered continuing the bombing. More than 1,500 American and British bombers (not sorties) were sent over there to bomb with flame bombs. With wind fire spread out the city quickly. Fire burnt for a couple of weeks and destroyed many historical structures. Roughly 100,000 civilians were killed. Well do you call Eisenhower a tyrant? Let us look at situation of XuZhou massacre. I don't know how many people Cao Cao ordered to kill. His home base was attacked by Lu Bu and he just took over Xu Zhou. He had to give up the land back to his enemy and he didn't want them to organize a force quickly to attack him. From military point of view Cao Cao did the same thing as Eisenhower did: to strike the terror into enemy's heart.

"Cao Cao is partially responsible for spreading cannibalism in China."
I am curious how he did it.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Fri Sep 17, 2004 5:34 pm

Personally I think that Zhuge Liang was easily the smartest person of the era,surpassing even Cao Cao as far as overall brilliance went.



Oh, and Cao Cao is not SOOO smart, so I won't say "EVEN Cao Cao.".People like Zhuge, Sima, Lu Xun, Jia Xu, Guo Jia, Zhou Yu and others surpass Cao Cao.
And I also think Lu Xun is the smartest but that's another debate.
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Unread postby James » Fri Sep 17, 2004 6:47 pm

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:Oh, and Cao Cao is not SOOO smart, so I won't say "EVEN Cao Cao.".People like Zhuge, Sima, Lu Xun, Jia Xu, Guo Jia, Zhou Yu and others surpass Cao Cao.
And I also think Lu Xun is the smartest but that's another debate.

There were many absolutely brilliant men in the era, and to say any given one of them was the smartest is certainly a stretch. Cao Cao, however, was much more than a brilliant man. He had all the qualities of a fine leader. An able strategist is a useful thing to have, but if that's their only major talent, they can only go so far. Not only was Cao Cao a wonderful strategist—something demonstrated wonderfully through his military career—he was a spectacular leader.

This, in my eyes, is what sets Cao Cao head of everyone else. He knew how to listen to his able advisors when he was making a mistake, or when there was an even better course of action. He knew how to win the hearts of men and keep their loyalty while attracting new talent to his land. He knew how to expand and promote stability in the same breath. This is something many of those men you mentioned could not achieve on his same level, and a sign of well-rounded learning and wisdom.

Was he as smart as Jia Xu and Xun Yu? Perhaps not.
Was he a better leader, officer, visionary? Certainly.

Zhuge Liang was also a visionary, and did a wonderful job of building the kingdom of Shu in his own right, and perhaps even more important, maintaining it while not being on the defensive. He too, in my view, was a wonderful ruler, a leader. He might have not been the best field commander, but in his position, that is not the most important thing. In comparing these two men, the most outstanding virtue is how they managed their lands.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Fri Sep 17, 2004 7:14 pm

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:Well I don't.


To be honest,you're not even as open minded as Bofu is.
But either way he names first since he is the hardest of the hardcore.

How about I list you why it's NOT effective to use brutaility like he did:


1)Who cares?There isn't a population shortage in the north.It isn't like he's living in a barren desert or something.

2)This only happens in certain situations.Yuan Shao's former cities had no problem surrendering,the spectre of Xuzhou didn't bother them.You need to have some actual precedence to make a point like this.
Your point is reasonable but history disproves it's importance.

3)Well last time you remembered wrong.Cannibalism spread because the north was horrifically damaged by the civil war and there was a great famine.

4)Ha!Brutality isn't why they fled to Sun Quan,they just didn't want to work in the camps.And the camps was not a brutal idea,it secured Wei's grain supply and relocated displaced peasants.Sun Quan had similar camps,so by your logic he must be brutal too.

If Cao Cao did were not so brutale, he would have unified China.


Where did that come from?
How about some evidence?
"If Yuan Shu didn't die he would have rallied and won."See,it's useless.No proof.

Oh, and Cao Cao is not SOOO smart, so I won't say "EVEN Cao Cao.".People like Zhuge, Sima, Lu Xun, Jia Xu, Guo Jia, Zhou Yu and others surpass Cao Cao.
And I also think Lu Xun is the smartest but that's another debate.


Other than Zhuge you couldn't make a case for any of them being smarter than Cao Cao.But feel free to try,I'll be glad to shoot it down. :)


Aww,when I saw James' post my heart leaped,I'd have loved to pit myself against the famous James, but there's not a single controversial statement there.
Maybe you want to expand on Cao Cao's brilliance compared to others and let me have a go? :)
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Unread postby Rommel » Fri Sep 17, 2004 7:49 pm

"3)Well last time you remembered wrong.Cannibalism spread because the north was horrifically damaged by the civil war and there was a great famine."

Thanx Exar Kun for clearing it up. I tend to agree with Exar Kun because cannibalism only happened during great famines throughout Chinese history. It is why I am an anti-Hanist. The corrupted & ineffective Han government induced peasant revolts and famines continuously. Just ended the damned Han dynasty, disarmed the army, and put peasants back to field to work.
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Unread postby Xiahou Mengde88 » Sat Sep 18, 2004 2:27 am

Hey, don't forget me; I'm a Hardcore Wei-ist, too. (Don't you see the name?)


PrimeMinister Bu Zhi Wrote:

If Cao Cao did were not so brutale, he would have unified China.


No, what you meant to say was that if Cao Cao would not have died of natural causes, he would have unified China. Brutality has nothing to do with it. If Cao Cao had not have died when he did, I say that he probably would have destroyed Shu within a few years, especially after defeating Guan Yu at Jing, and having Zhang Fei and Liu Bei die shortly after. Even with Z. Kongming, I doubt that Shu would have lasted anymore than 8-10 years after the loss of the sworn brothers.


PrimeMinister Bu Zhi Wrote:

His enemies would have strengthened resolve, seeing as he would kill them and not accept them, they would fight to the end thus making life harder on Cao Cao


Would kill them and not accept them? People like Zhang Liao were accepted. Other people, like Chen Gong, were put to death because, not only is that what they wanted, that's just what Cao Cao had to do (and Cao Cao often cried over some of these people, including Chen Gong, {although Chen Gong hated him, even though Cao Cao liked Chen Gong}). But, anyway, some of those people Cao put to death weren't worthy fighters or advisors to join;it's either kill them, or let them go. What can you do? :?

But, people that weren't worthy fighters or advisors would have lost even if they do have strengthened resolve, because they suck! That's a simple concept. A person who sucks with normal resolve will still suck with extra resolve. In fact, some people that can fight well or are good advisors with strengthened resolve still lose (remember Ma Chao, by any chance?).


Prime Minister Bu Zhi Wrote:

Oh, and Cao Cao is not SOOO smart, so I won't say "EVEN Cao Cao.".People like Zhuge, Sima, Lu Xun, Jia Xu, Guo Jia, Zhou Yu and others surpass Cao Cao.
And I also think Lu Xun is the smartest but that's another debate.


Zhou Yu...again!? The single most overrated strategist in the entire period!? Please!

Zhuge's smarter, Guo's smarter, maybe Lu,maybe Sima, not likely but possibly Jia Xu, Zhou Yu definitely not.

My list would read:

1. Zhuge Liang
2. Pang Tong (whom you forgot)
3. Guo Jia
4.Cao Cao
5. Lu Xun
6. Sima Yi
7. Jia Xu
8. Zhou Yu

Face it, PrimeMinister; You're completely surrounded. Surrender your opinions on this thread, or you won't make it out alive.

-----------------------------------

But, anyway, yes, Cao Cao would have had a chance, as he would have realized the military genius of Sima Yi, and if he didn't send Sima Yi out to the front lines against Zhuge Liang, in the first place, he would have had Sima Yi right by his side, as his official Head Advisor, and since Sima Yi was the only man that could suppress ZL, that probably would have been enough.

But if not, Cao Cao would have figured something out, for sure. :P
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Sat Sep 18, 2004 3:09 am

Cao Cao killed his captives. Yuan Shao's men were buried alive. That is no way to treat them. Xuzhou was a slaughter. His men at Changban were drived to insane limits.


As for my INT list:

1. Lu Xun
2. Zhuge Liang
3. Guo Jia
4. Fa Zheng
5. Zhou Yu
6. Jia Xu
7. Sima Yi
8. Lu Kang
9. Pang Tong
10. Lu Meng

And the most overrated strategist is Xu Shu. Definatly.

Face it, PrimeMinister; You're completely surrounded. Surrender your opinions on this thread, or you won't make it out alive.


I will never surrender. Cao Cao will just kill me as a captive of war and Zhuge would misuse my talent with his bad eye for people.

and since Sima Yi was the only man that could suppress ZL


Hao Zhao.
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