Ma Chao probably did not participate in Ma Teng’s attack on Li Jue. If he did fight in this campaign, he did not slay Wang Fang or capture Li Meng.
Ma Chao commanded Ma Teng’s troops in the Battle of Fen River (AD 202), a battle that is not mentioned in Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Ma Chao did not slay Li Tong around Tong Pass.
Contrary to the novel, Ma Teng, Chao’s father, was killed after Ma Chao rebelled against Cao Cao.
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Ma Chao never fought a large battle with Zhong Yao.
Historical sources do not mention Ma Chao dueling with Yu Jin, Cao Hong, Zhang He or Li Tong. Ma Chao also didn’t come close to slaying Cao Cao at Tong.
Xu Chu, Cao Cao’s bodyguard, did not strip down and duel with Ma Chao historically.
Ma Chao did not historically cut off Han Sui’s left hand.
When praising Ma Chao, Yang Fu cited Ying Bu as like Ma Chao, and not Lü Bu.
It is not clear if Ma Chao dueled Yang Fu at Licheng. Yang Fu was wounded numerous times in the battle, however.
Ma Chao never dueled Zhang Fei at Jiameng Pass or fight with Liu Bei’s army historically.
Ma Chao did not guard Xiping or prevent a Xianbei invasion of Shu. In fact, Kebineng, king of the Xianbei, was an enemy of Wei, and never historically warred with Shu.
So the only historical significance Ma Chao had was the duel with Xu Zhu? Why did they give Ma Chao so much credit for something he's never done before? Is there any other generals treated by LGZ like this?