The True Values of Zhuge Liang's Northern Expeditions

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Unread postby Ender » Fri Oct 15, 2004 4:44 am

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:Who said Zhang Liao is loyal. He only betrayed Ding Yuan, Dong Zhuo, and Lu Bu. Why won't he surrender. If he has no food, he might as well eat his soldiers if he wants to continue fighting. Zhang Liao would surrender if he was sane and if not, he would die. No army can fight without suppies.


First off, Zhang Liao did not technically "betray" Ding Yuan and Dong Zhuo. Rather, he moved with the force in control. Ding Yuan sent him with an army to the Imperial Court. He Jin then ordered him to recruit soldiers. Upon returning, He Jin had been killed by the eunuchs, Ding Yuan at Lu Bu's hands, and he was henceforth under Dong Zhuo's control. Later, Dong Zhuo was killed by Lu Bu, and he therefore served under Bu. Neither circumstance can be attributed to Liao; he simply 'went with the flow', so to say. Yes, he did surrender to Mengde after Lu Bu's defeat at Xiapi, but taking into account Lu Bu's incompetence, one cannot truly blame him. It was simply a matter of him having not found the right liege. The 'bird' found his 'perch' in Cao Cao.

Zhang Liao was extremely loyal to Cao Cao, who had treated him with the utmost respect throughout the time he had served him. So no, the chances of him simply surrendering He Fei (assuming this outlandish plan of Quan's did indeed work (I mean, placing Zhao in command of a key force? Come on)) were slim.

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:Cao Cao and Liu Bei also placed many incompetents as well but can balance it out because they had many more successes. Zhuge does not. He always places pathetic commanders and I have yet to see him use a competent military commander who wins other then Wei Yan or Wang Ping. He cannot select individual commanders well and other then the two I mentioned, the rest messed up and show how he is worse then Sun Quan in this particular feild.


Zhuge led the campaigns during Shu's waning years. Many of the Kingdom's able commanders had passed away by this point. He was working with limited resources and manpower. You have yet to see him use a competent commander? The fact is that he did not have them, other than the two you mentioned and a few others.

Yes, Ma Su, the person that Kongming had placed in command, lost a key position. However, he was given explicit orders by Zhuge, which he ignored. In a sense, yes, Kongming can be blamed for not giving the vanguard to another general. But, like Exar said, by taking on that philosophy, you would have to place the blame of every fault by every subordinate throughout history on the very people who assigned them to the position, which is ludicrous.
Last edited by Ender on Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:41 pm

There is no evidence saying he was loyal to Cao Cao. And if Hefei was surrounded without food, he would surrender and if there was a way to prove it, I would stake my life on it. No one will fight a meaningless battle and let his people starve. He has better chances surrendering and rebelling.

Also, Zhuge had many able people:

Wei Yan
Zhao Yun
Wang Ping
Deng Zhi
Jiang Wan
Fei Yi
Zhang Yi
Zhang Yi(there are two)
Ma Zhong
Wu Yi
Lu Xun- "After much observation of how Liu Bei had been leading troops in his career, I see that he had more failures than success; hence, he is not much of a threat."
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Unread postby Ender » Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:41 am

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:There is no evidence saying he was loyal to Cao Cao. And if Hefei was surrounded without food, he would surrender and if there was a way to prove it, I would stake my life on it. No one will fight a meaningless battle and let his people starve. He has better chances surrendering and rebelling.


Oh, of course there isn't. He simply followed Mengde loyally since the time he came into his service. No evidence whatsoever of his allegiance, eh? Serving under Wei until his death? Nah. Doesn't prove a thing. Please.

You're purely speculating. There have been many instances where generals have had their supply lines cut or have been under siege with limited supplies and did not surrender. I have Zhang Liao's entire Wei career right up to his death to prove his loyalty. Do you have any proof that he would simply hand over He Fei?

Really, this isn't relevant. Quan's idea of sending an army to Dangtu while he besieged He Fei was far from brilliant. Zhang Zhao couldn't gain any ground. Sun Quan couldn't bring about the fall of the city. Ultimate failure. And we've strayed from the topic of Kongming's northern campaigns.

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:Also, Zhuge had many able people:

Wei Yan
Zhao Yun
Wang Ping
Deng Zhi
Jiang Wan
Fei Yi
Zhang Yi
Zhang Yi(there are two)
Ma Zhong
Wu Yi


You do realize that you accumulated a list of only 10 people, do you not? Shu was weak and was in a small corner of the land. Talented men weren't abundant. He did make use of the skills of these few. I'm not so much a believer that Kongming was godly, so I do recognize his flaws. But you must also recognize the great deal of things stacked against him.

No, placing Ma Su in Jieting was not a brilliant move, especially when he had other capable generals who could have held the position. Had he, say, given Wang Ping complete control, it's possible that Jieting may have not been lost. And that leads us into a whole different realm of speculation about what could have resulted. But the loss of Jieting cannot be placed solely upon Zhuge. Although he appointed Su, Su is one who directly disobeyed his plan of strategic deployments. If you want to place blame upon him, then you might as well place it upon Liu Bei for ever giving Kongming the power he possessed.
Last edited by Ender on Sat Oct 16, 2004 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Sat Oct 16, 2004 2:26 am

Oh, of course there isn't. He simply followed Mengde loyally since the time he came into his service. No evidence whatsoever of his allegiance, eh? Serving under Wei until his death? Nah. Doesn't prove a thing. Please.


Mi Fang served Wu from the time he entered service to his death. I guess he's just as loyal as Zhang Liao.

There have been many instances where generals have had their supply lines cut or have been under siege with limited supplies and did not surrender.


Name them.

I have Zhang Liao's entire Wei career right up to his death to prove his loyalty.


I have Mi Fang's entire Wu career right up to his death to prove his loyalty.

Do you have any proof that he would simply hand over He Fei?


When a city has no food, it's people starve. The people would surrender to the enemy just to get food rather then die of starvation. At this point in a seige, your own population wishes you to surrender, there is no possible chance to win lest you get a large rebellion on your hands.

You do realize that you accumulated a list of only 10 people, do you not?


Did he need more then 10 for one campaign? He had other people who could do your average task well. And he has these 10 who can do the tasks exceptionally. I'm sure he didn't need 10 exceptional deeds done at once.
Lu Xun- "After much observation of how Liu Bei had been leading troops in his career, I see that he had more failures than success; hence, he is not much of a threat."
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Unread postby Ender » Sat Oct 16, 2004 3:56 am

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:Mi Fang served Wu from the time he entered service to his death. I guess he's just as loyal as Zhang Liao.

I have Mi Fang's entire Wu career right up to his death to prove his loyalty.


Whereas Mi Fang simply surrendered his district to Wu, Zhang Liao held steadfast in the face of overwhelming odds. Even while immensely outnumbered he held He Fei and even paid them a devastating blow as they withdrew. If his loyalty was as shakable as you seem to think it is would he not have simply laid down his arms when he heard of the approaching enemy? Comparing the two is absurd.

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:
There have been many instances where generals have had their supply lines cut or have been under siege with limited supplies and did not surrender.


Name them.


Cao Ren's defense of Fan. He had an extremely small amount of troops, the Han River had flooded to the point that the city was barely above water, all communications had been cut and his food stores were depleted with no sign of the relief force. Even still he went about rallying his troops and held the city, despite these immense hardships, and eventually routed Guan Yu after the arrival of Xu Huang.

I don't feel I need to explain any other occasions of something similar occurring.

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:When a city has no food, it's people starve. The people would surrender to the enemy just to get food rather then die of starvation. At this point in a seige, your own population wishes you to surrender, there is no possible chance to win lest you get a large rebellion on your hands.


Starving out the enemy is a tactic that requires a protracted campaign. Sun Quan was depending on his sheer numbers to overwhelm He Fei. After unsuccessfully doing so, he retreated when Cao sent Zhang Xi to relieve the city. His strategy was flawed, as was his choice in commanders. I'm not going to continue to debate a hypothetic situation. The fact remains is there is no proof that Zhang Liao would ever surrender the city, especially with a relief force on it's way. I'd like to believe that he would have surrendered much earlier, even before entering the siege, simply because of the numerical advantage of Quan's force, which he did not.

Again, we've strayed from the topic, and this one holds little relevance.

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:Did he need more then 10 for one campaign? He had other people who could do your average task well. And he has these 10 who can do the tasks exceptionally. I'm sure he didn't need 10 exceptional deeds done at once.


Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi held Ji Gorge as a distraction and engaged Cao Zhen. Jiang Wan provided provisions and soldiers. Fei Yi, at the time, I believe, was serving primarily as an envoy to Wu. Wang Ping was part of Ma Su's vanguard. Although talented, Wei Yan was arrogant and too daring for Kongming's conservative strategy. Does he need more than 10 for a campaign? Are you kidding? Do you realize the scale of a campaign? The many tasks involved? Of course he needed more than a handfull of able generals.
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Life is but an empty dream!
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:51 pm

I think you greatly underrate Mi Fang.

First of all, he captured Qichun commandry from Wei, according to He Qi's SGZ bio. Also, Mi Fang was a talented archer and rider. He's not the same Mi Fang as in the novel.

Also, Zhang Liao may have abondoned Hefei, but not surrender. Only if he was surrounded. Anyway, he is not extremely loyal. Instead of Mi Fang, let's use a better example; Pan Jun. Pan Jun deserted to Wu, but he was loyal. According to JBZ, Pan Jun managed to help Sun Quan settle Wuling commandry. In Bu Zhi's SGZ, Pan Jun is described to be on par with Lu Xun and Gu Yong on how much he cares about the state. He helped Wu end corruption by getting rid of Lu Yi. Pan Jun is loyal to Wu and is known to strive his hardest for Wu to be stable and cares more of the state then himself. Can Pan Jun not compare to Zhang Liao?

I don't think Zhang Liao is any more loyal then people like Wang Ping, or Xu Sheng or Gan Ning or whatever. Many people served a kingdom till their death. Zhang Liao is not extrordinary for this.
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Unread postby Ender » Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:52 pm

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:I think you greatly underrate Mi Fang.

First of all, he captured Qichun commandry from Wei, according to He Qi's SGZ bio. Also, Mi Fang was a talented archer and rider. He's not the same Mi Fang as in the novel.


I'm not underrating him, I'm simply bringing up the fact that he defected to Wu solely for personal gain, which Zhang Liao could have easily done at Hefei in the face of Quan's significantly larger force, but did not.

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:Also, Zhang Liao may have abondoned Hefei, but not surrender. Only if he was surrounded. Anyway, he is not extremely loyal.


Once again, groundless. There is nothing during Liao's career that makes his allegiance to Wei questionable. Nothing. I've already explained that his wandering from force to force in the earlier years was not of his doing and is hardly an accurate representation of his loyalty to Wei. His surrender is only speculation. There is absolutely nothing whatsoever that could possibly support this claim. Quan's forces had far superior numbers. The city was under siege. If he was going to surrender, he would have done so. You're putting him in a hypothetical situation, ignoring what he actually did, and creating a completely baseless, hypothetical conclusion then claiming he was unloyal because of it.

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:Instead of Mi Fang, let's use a better example; Pan Jun. Pan Jun deserted to Wu, but he was loyal. According to JBZ, Pan Jun managed to help Sun Quan settle Wuling commandry. In Bu Zhi's SGZ, Pan Jun is described to be on par with Lu Xun and Gu Yong on how much he cares about the state. He helped Wu end corruption by getting rid of Lu Yi. Pan Jun is loyal to Wu and is known to strive his hardest for Wu to be stable and cares more of the state then himself. Can Pan Jun not compare to Zhang Liao?


Zhang Liao surrendered to Cao Cao after Lu Bu's defeat at Xiapi. Under Cao Cao he conquered various prefectures in Lu after Yuan Shao's defeat. Liao ended the siege of Donghai, while others called for withdrawal, by convincing Chang Xi to serve Mengde. During the conquest of Ye he earned a great deal of merit, as well. He was sent to conquer Zhao and Changshan and accepted the surrender of many bandits. Zhang Liao assisted in the defeat of Yuan Tan and commanded a seperate force to defeat the bandits at Liaodong and Liu Yi. He then struck the Jing province and conquered Jiangxia. He followed Cao Cao in his attack on Yuan Shang and advised him to continue fighting when they suddenly encountered the enemy, which led to a major victory and the beheading of Ta Dun. He was dispatched to handle Chen Lan and Mei Cheng who were in revolt, and crushed them at Qian mountain. At Hefei he raided Sun Quan's camp with a mere 800 men and suceeded in undermining their moral. He held the city, which was weak and far from help, while outnumbered more than 10 to 1 and routed Quan as he retreated.

And you dare say he would hand over Hefei because you have a hunch that he wasn't completely loyal to Wei? Bull. Just as Pan Jun's allegiance was to Wu, Zhang Liao's was to Wei. Their past actions do not prove unfaithfulness to the regime that they served. Pan Jun defected and gave himself fully to Wu; Zhang Liao surrendered to Wei and did the same.
Last edited by Ender on Tue Oct 19, 2004 3:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem."
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Sat Oct 16, 2004 8:06 pm

Who said Zhang Liao is loyal. He only betrayed Ding Yuan, Dong Zhuo, and Lu Bu. Why won't he surrender. If he has no food, he might as well eat his soldiers if he wants to continue fighting. Zhang Liao would surrender if he was sane and if not, he would die. No army can fight without suppies.


That doesn't balance with realistic expectations.The only way Sun Quan can expect Zhang Liao to surrender is if he surrenders either upon the Wu arrival or very shortly afterwards.Thus Quan is banking that Liao is afraid of him.Which is dumb.
Food would never be a problem.He Fei was the Wei stronghold of the east.The fact that it was garrisoned by three first rate generals proves how important it is.Thus it would have to be well provisioned.Thus Zhang Liao would never run out of food,Cao Cao would arrive to shup Wu long before.

He always places pathetic commanders and I have yet to see him use a competent military commander who wins other then Wei Yan or Wang Ping. He cannot select individual commanders well and other then the two I mentioned, the rest messed up and show how he is worse then Sun Quan in this particular feild.


Sad.
The selection of individual commander has repercussions in no place other than in direct combat.Agreed?
Kongming has only ever lost one battle.Agreed?
So how is his selection of commander wrong?
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