Deng Ai Question

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Deng Ai Question

Unread postby Ma_Lin » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:32 pm

When Deng Ai attacked Shu by going around Jiang Wei with a smaller force, was he actually in a position to forceably take Cheng Du after defeating Zhuge Zhan, or did Liu Shan surrender even though he could have defended against the immediate threat of Ai(Obviously, long term, Shu was going to lose).

I have seen conflicting and unclear details in some of the SGZZ bio's

Jiang Wei's SGZ

However, Deng Ai had by then infiltrated through Yin Ping Gu Dao and proceeded to attack Zhuge Zhan at Mian Zhou. Subsequently, Deng Ai captured Cheng Du and Liu Shan accepted Deng Ai's proposal to surrender.


Liu Shan's bio(although Comprehensive, since SGZ is not available here)

After Zhuge Zhan died and Mian Zhu gate was lost, Liu Shan agreed to surrender to Deng Ai.


Deng Ai's SGZ

Subsequently, Deng Zhong and Shi Zuan led a second attack and managed to serve a crushing defeat to the Shu army. Zhuge Zhan and Zhuge Shang were executed. On hearing that, Liu Shan decided to surrender and he dispatched officials to Deng Ai’s camp bearing his Seal and documents.


In Jiang Wei's bio, it says it first says that Cheng Du was captured and Liu Shan's surrender is mentioned after that, implying that the capture of Cheng Du happened first. In Deng Ai's SGZ and in Liu Shan's comprehensive, Shan surrenders immediately after the defeat of Zhuge Zhan.

I guess the common sentiment seems to be that Liu Shan surrendered without a fight.

However, I note the discrepancies. In Jiang Wei's SGZ Deng Ai seems to propose the surrender, while in Deng Ai's SGZ, Shan surrenders without such influence from Ai. I thought to check a few of the bios of some of the others at Cheng Du at the fall of Shu, but Qiao Zhou, Huang Hao, and Chen Zhi, who immediately came to mind, do not have translated SGZs up yet.

So the questions I have are
-What actually happened? Where else could I look for clarification?
-Was Deng Ai in a position to quickly sieze Cheng Du, or could Shan have probably held out?(Regardless of whether it was a good idea or bad idea)

I tend to assume that Cheng Du, being the capital, was at least somewhat defended, and Deng Ai did not have a large force equipped for siege.
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Unread postby Xiahou Mao » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:29 pm

Liu Shan probably could have defended, for a while. Cheng Du would have to have had walls, and Deng Ai couldn't exactly transport siege weapons along the route he took. But a large portion of Cheng Du's standing army would have been defeated at Mian Zhu, which likely contributed to Liu Shan's decision.

While he probably could have held out until Jiang Wei could return from Jian Ge, said return would also allow Zhong Hui to advance, compounding the situation.
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Unread postby Zhilong » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:08 am

When Deng Ai attacked Shu by going around Jiang Wei with a smaller force, was he actually in a position to forceably take Cheng Du after defeating Zhuge Zhan, or did Liu Shan surrender even though he could have defended against the immediate threat of Ai


Deng Ai had eluded the passes. The last garrisons were at Fou and Mianzhu, once he controlled them, geographically he could directly lay seige to Chengdu.

Chengdu can defend against a seige, Liu Zhang managed to hold out Liu Bei for a year but the result was a foregone conclusion.

Jiang Wei was said to have had control of 40k troops. Liu Shan despatched reinforcements to Jiang Wei. Then Zhuge's son led reinforcements. Qiao Zhou's bio tell us that Liu Shan made no prior preparations for war despite warnings so while Shu would still have troops out of its total 100k left, they weren't in a position to be used nor do we know the situation with supplies and how long supplies would enable them to hold out for.

At best they can hold Deng Ai off. But if Jiang Wei and co retreat, the combined forces of Wei now bear down on Chengdu and with Jiang Wei outside the city he will probably lose to the Wei forces. The best military officers were with Jiang Wei so Liu Shan did not have any great counsel in that direction.

Deng Ai had absorbed all of the Shu forces he met along the way and naturally all the resources in the garrisons and cities. No one in Shu was a match for Deng Ai and while defenders have the advantage, given the situation Shu was now in, they would need some pretty good defenders to turn the situation around. Wei was able to marshal more troops to deal with Zhong Hui when he rebelled, those troops could easily have been sent to reinforce the seige since they now controlled a path into Shu.

Liu Shan held court to discuss his options.

All of them involved fleeing, none of them involved defending the capital. Qiao Zhou rebuked them all and said fleeing to Wu would be pointless as without Shu, Wu would be defeated too - thus did Liu Shan prefer surrendering once to Wei or twice? He also argued that fleeing to the Nanman, if he was not assassinated on the way, was also pointless since they would have to bear the burden of supporting Liu Shan when they were only loyal out of circumstance in the first place. Defending was deemed pointless by Qiao Zhou since Liu Shan made no prior preparations for this. It also required a resolve that Liu Shan did not possess.

Domestically he was not very popular and ppl were fleeing. The gentry were oppressed since the start of the regime and had zero interest in resisting Wei. The commoners had suffered greatly under Jiang Wei's campaigns.

Thus Qiao Zhou convinced Liu Shan it was in his best interests to surrender early, if he resisted, Deng Ai may not be so forgiving.
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Unread postby Ma_Lin » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:56 am

How many troops did Deng Ai have? I heard he only had 5 or 10k, which might make it hard to successfully siege Cheng Du.
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Unread postby Tan_Binrui » Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:28 am

Ma_Lin wrote:How many troops did Deng Ai have? I heard he only had 5 or 10k, which might make it hard to successfully siege Cheng Du.


I believe the accepted number is 10,000. Without siege weaponry, this is hardly an army to lay siege to a city. Remember that the goal of this expedition wasn't to capture Cheng Du, it was to put Shu's army at a lose-lose choice. Lose Mian Zhu and give allow Deng Ai to stay behind Shu lines, or lose Jian Ge and give Zhong Hui a powerful foothold into Shu.

Either way, Wei wins, Shu loses. It just so happened that the best case scenario for Deng Ai happened.
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:18 am

Question of my own. Once Hanzhong had been taken, Liu Sun did reorganise and once of the things he did was call up the commander of the southern defences. Where was he during this time? With Jiang Wei? Still moving?
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Unread postby Ma_Lin » Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:36 am

Remember that the goal of this expedition wasn't to capture Cheng Du, it was to put Shu's army at a lose-lose choice. Lose Mian Zhu and give allow Deng Ai to stay behind Shu lines, or lose Jian Ge and give Zhong Hui a powerful foothold into Shu.


That's what I had thought, so I was just surprised by the wording of Jiang Wei's SGZ.

While [Shan] probably could have held out until Jiang Wei could return from Jian Ge, said return would also allow Zhong Hui to advance, compounding the situation.


If I were Liu Shan and for some reason decided that I was going to fight to the end, I think my strategy would be not to call Jiang Wei back to the capital and leave him where he is, and at the same time try to harass and tie up Deng Ai as much as possible without actually engaging him in a major battle, to delay him from from potentially going to aid Hui by attacking Wei from all sides. That way, if Jiang Wei coul continue to block Zhong Hui, and force him to eventually retreat(probably due to supplies, since the Wei invasion mostly skipped over the border cities and went straight for the passes, thus leaving them with a tenuous supply situation), then Deng Ai would be stranded with an undersized army and could be mopped up. Of course is Jiang Wei lost, then it's over, and this would also rely on Liu Shan having some sort of military talent at Cheng Du, which wasn't the case.

I'm not saying that this plan is a better idea than surrendering(Shu would almost certainly be dead long term even if the invasion failed), or even that it would work, just that, if Shan chose to fight, this plan would seem to me a lot more logical than calling Jiang Wei back to defend Cheng Du.
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Unread postby Tarrot » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:59 pm

I would also wonder just how well supplied Deng Ai was. With such an attack, I imagine supply lines would be rather difficult to maintain, and if he held out, Liu Shan could've probably lasted longer than he could have.
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Unread postby Tan_Binrui » Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:52 pm

Tarrot wrote:I would also wonder just how well supplied Deng Ai was. With such an attack, I imagine supply lines would be rather difficult to maintain, and if he held out, Liu Shan could've probably lasted longer than he could have.


This also depends on the supplies accrued from Mian Zhu. If they were enough to last Deng Ai in a harassing position, Liu Chan wouldn't have much manpower to respond with. If they were few, Liu Chan could have just waited out Deng Ai's assault.

Liu Chan's surrender came more from the long term losses and his position rather than the immediate possibilities. Whether Deng Ai was kicked out or starved out, or whether or not Jiang Wei kept Jian Ge, Shu lost Han Zhong, a major military and economic foothold for them. Their efforts would be like a light drizzle on a hefty builder after this defeat, and the Liu Chan's advisors simply used this realization to save what Shu lives they could.
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Unread postby Zhilong » Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:22 am

How many troops did Deng Ai have?

According to Zhong Hui's SGZ, Deng Ai & Zhong Hui each started out with 30k. Zhuge Xu led the 3rd main contingent was also said to be 30k. Other sub generals were also despatched with troops with different objectives. Jin Shu says that 180k troops were raised in total but i find that to be rather inaccurate. Later Jin Shu & SGZ says 100k which is seems more reasonable.

Later Zhong Hui would take over Zhuge Xu's troops via a plot.

By the time of Deng Ai's forced march, his troop number would have been greatly reduced but then bulked up again by the Shu forces he defeated. Deng Ai had already fought a severe battle with Jiang Wei and while his side won, there was likely great losses for his side too. Deng Ai calculated that if Jiang Wei and the others did not retreat, then the troops in the capital would be insufficient to resist his.

When Yang An Pass fell, Zhong Hui seized large quanities of supplies in the storehouses there. Later Zhong Hui considered retreating due to low supplies.

If I were Liu Shan and for some reason decided that I was going to fight to the end, I think my strategy would be not to call Jiang Wei back to the capital and leave him where he is, and at the same time try to harass and tie up Deng Ai as much as possible without actually engaging him in a major battle, to delay him from from potentially going to aid Hui by attacking Wei from all sides.


No one called Jiang Wei back or even suggested it, Jiang Wei retreated himself when he heard of Zhuge Zhan's defeat and Zhong Hui advanced to Fou. It was pretty obvious that Liu Shan would have to deal with Deng Ai himself. Once Zhuge Zhan was defeated that was the end of that plan.

Once Hanzhong had been taken, Liu Sun did reorganise and once of the things he did was call up the commander of the southern defences. Where was he during this time? With Jiang Wei? Still moving?


Yan Yu (one of Shu's tripartite of evil along with Huang Hao and Chen Shi) was commander of the troops in Ba Dong. He was recalled and left Luo Xian with 2k troops to defend Gongan.

Can't find any more mention of him. I don't think he was with Jiang Wei and the others.
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