James wrote:There’s one other thing I wonder about. How much of an excuse did Liu Bei really need to attack Wu? I mean, if he planned to attack just for the sake of attacking, he only needed to rally a degree of support from his own force. I don’t know how important Wei’s opinion in this would have been (though when and where they attack was obviously an issue).
I still wonder if Liu Bei saw the importance of his relationship with Wu…
Sun Gongli wrote:Even historically, I think the relationship between Liu Bei and Guan Yu was very close. Liu Bei was only attacking lands that Wu had conquered from him; he wasn't using Guan Yu's death as justification for annihilating Wu, because he never got that far, and his intentions after Yiling are unclear (after all, it was he who restored the alliance with Wu, not Zhuge Liang).
I think Liu Bei was just following a natural line of thought: he wanted to destroy an enemy. Keep in mind that Sun Quan had made quite a few (albeit abortive) plans regarding conquering Liu Bei - he even gave Liu Zhang provisional reinstatement as Governor of Yi, suggesting that he had his eye on conquering all of Liu Bei's territory, not just Jing. For some reason - I'm guessing realization that once Liu Bei fell, Sun Quan himself would be next - Sun Quan aborted these plans, particularly after the death of Lü Meng.
Thus, Wu was a threat. You don't need any more justification than that - Liu Bei surely had no idea that Guan Yu would be attacked by Wu at that critical juncture, and even if he did, he surely had no idea that Guan Yu would perish.
The two year period of waiting between Guan Yu's demise and Yiling is standard for a major campaign, especially considering that Liu Bei had only just then annexed Hanzhong - he needed to secure his existing territory first before launching a major campaign. (In this, Liu Bei was greatly successful - it was in the handling of the Yiling campaign itself that he brought disaster upon himself.) If Liu Bei had sent troops immediately following Guan Yu's death, that would have left Hanzhong in a vulnerable position. Better to build up his defenses and his army so that he could attack relatively safely.
I do not think that Liu Bei had any reason not to trust Guan Yu. Guan Yu was a high caliber leader who had been with Liu Bei through thick and thin. Even with Guan Yu's short career with Cao Cao, Guan Yu still demonstrated remarkable loyalty to Liu Bei, even when he could have remained with Cao Cao (granted, there are many reasons why Guan Yu left, but there were plenty of other men he could have served far more powerful than Liu Bei). And Liu Bei is not the sort to doom his men based on mere suspicion.
LiuBeiwasGreat wrote:i really couldn't have put it any better myself, i am quite impressed
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