Cao Cao's Chi Bi Strategy

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Unread postby Lu Kang » Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:56 am

I know that about Sun Quan, but I was trying to say that Cao Cao attacked by way of river just because it was faster and easier, not because of Sun Quan's ability. He actually expected Sun Quan to surrender and didn't see him even as a threat in the slightest (despite huge warnings by his advisors). I don't think he was aiming to beat anyone at their own game but jsut use the fastest route to take Wu, probably not even expecting a fight.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:02 am

Cao Cao is not so narrow minded at all.
If he did not expect a fight from Sun Quan then there was no need for a quarter million soldiers.

As said victory at Chai Sang would provide for Cao Cao a great psychological victory.The mindset behind Wu is that they are safe behind their rivers.Victory at Chai Sang would completely shatter the mental shielding they had.
It is as you said a quicker route to a first strike,but the time it would take for overall conquest would end up being about the same if he took the land route.
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Unread postby Lu Kang » Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:17 am

Cao Cao's navy was full of "land troops". IIRC the first engagement at Chi Bi was fought on land. The ships are more or less for moving down the river but I doubt he was expecting a large naval engagement. In fact, he had written off Sun Quan completely and only thought he would fight Liu Bei. So I don't think the navy had anything to do with Sun Quan.

Using the navy did save a lot of time as to being with, after the Yangtze, there is no Wu. There was a total of 1 prefecture in Yang that did not touch the Yangtze (Kuaji). All the big cities were along it too. Taking the river makes the campaign atleast 5 times as fast, especially with tired cavalry.
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Unread postby DarkFire13 » Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:42 pm

I think you're on to something Lu Kang. I mean Cao Cao probably didn't expect Sun Quan to fight him at all. I mean hasn't Cao Cao shown what he was capable of? He crushed Yuan Shao even though he was outnumbered. He decimated Lu Bu and forced Liu Bei to flee all over China. I think that Cao Cao became overconfident and a tad bit too ambitious. He wanted to show Sun Quan how strong he really was and make an example out of him to scare the hell out of the other rulers at the time. He completely ignored his inexperience in naval warfare and naturally assumed that he could defeat Sun Quan since he had a whole lot more troops and he just acquired around several ten thousands of troops skilled in naval war. I think it was overconfidence.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:02 pm

Even using the river,territory still has to be seized on land.While river transportation will indeed alleviate the problem of tired marching troops at the same time it presents a unique opportunity for elite Wu naval units to constantly harass the Wei line.

I don't see how you deny the existence of the psychological element in Cao Cao's choice.It showed very prominently in the Wu court where the only three people who truly championed war were Zhou Yu,Zhuge Liang and Lu Su.
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Unread postby Lu Kang » Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:35 pm

Exar Kun wrote:Even using the river,territory still has to be seized on land.While river transportation will indeed alleviate the problem of tired marching troops at the same time it presents a unique opportunity for elite Wu naval units to constantly harass the Wei line.


A navy can bring an army to conquer land. Look at Wang Jun. Wang Jun's invasion more or less is what Cao Cao's was. Wang Jun wasn't trying to "beat Wu at their own game" he was just taking the easiest route.

I don't see how you deny the existence of the psychological element in Cao Cao's choice.It showed very prominently in the Wu court where the only three people who truly championed war were Zhou Yu,Zhuge Liang and Lu Su.


If Cao Cao took Sun Quan seriously then there would be a reason but he laughed Sun Quan off completely. The Navy does mean there are no land troops and it cannot take land! Liu Bei's "army" that attacked Xiling (specifically) was actually from the "Navy". As for the court, they were scared because of Cao Cao's 800,000 calimed men, they had no idea of any navy.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:38 pm

Prime Minister Cao wrote:Oh, okay. I didn't get that part. Beating Sun Quan at his own game would definitely dispirit his men. That's very clever, but hey, he is Cao Cao! That's how he does things, he's a genius! But, man, he really blew it. I mean, he used such generals like Cai Mao and Zhang Yun, and their not exactly the BEST generals, but I understand the reasoning, to use officers skilled in naval battles, but he could of done much better than them! Or, he could have just fought on land. Much easier that way. No problem there.


It was already explained why he didn't do land battles. And what's wrong with Cai Mao and Zhang Yun? Maybe you could tell me. And who did he have better in NAVAL combat?
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Unread postby Frank » Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:46 pm

I suppose you're right, in the sense of naval combat, but I know that on land there are several other generals who would be better picks than them. But, sadly, this isn't the case since he decided on taking the river, so I guess I've lost... this time...
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Unread postby Lafeel » Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:41 am

I noticed that a lot of people say he should have fought a land battle. And sure, I agree. But how? Because of the Chang Jiang there was just no way he could fight anything other than a naval battle. That river extends from at the least Yi, east to the sea. You can not simply ignore that fact.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:55 pm

Lu Kang wrote:A navy can bring an army to conquer land. Look at Wang Jun. Wang Jun's invasion more or less is what Cao Cao's was. Wang Jun wasn't trying to "beat Wu at their own game" he was just taking the easiest route.


There's a rather large difference between what happned then and the situation Cao Cao was facing at the time.It has a lot to do with Wu strength and Wei naval inexperience.By Wang Jun's time they could have accumulated a lot of naval time whereas Cao Cao's time had very little need for northern men to learn to be seafaring or riverfaring in this case.Northern armies almost never went south of the capital districts.The only case I can recall for like 50 years is Duan Jiong in Jingzhou in the 160s.

Lu Kang wrote:If Cao Cao took Sun Quan seriously then there would be a reason but he laughed Sun Quan off completely. The Navy does mean there are no land troops and it cannot take land! Liu Bei's "army" that attacked Xiling (specifically) was actually from the "Navy". As for the court, they were scared because of Cao Cao's 800,000 calimed men, they had no idea of any navy.


A big 'no kidding' on your second sentence Bofu. :roll:
I ask you,would the psychological effect on the Wu court have been the same if Cao Cao had split his 230k into multiple routes?Attacking not only at Chai Sang but further south and also in north Yang and Jiangxia?Doubt it?Doubt it.They be alarmed at the case I presented yes but not the same as when their scouts can't tell where an army ends.
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