Zhuge Liang and Cao Cao?

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What if Zhuge Liang had not joined Liu Bei, but instead Cao Cao?

All China would have benefited tremendously!
All China would have benefited somewhat.
No votes
Pretty decent, but after boths death, things would have played out similar.
They would not have worked together well.
They were to different, no good would have come of this!
Something else... (explain in thread!)
Total votes : 33

Unread postby Zhilong » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:16 pm

Shi Tong wrote:Maybe.

My points about the places he might invade were just examples because of course, Korea and Taiwan didn't exist in the same entity at that time anyway.

As for internal politics, who's to say it would be better if Shu and Wu were long gone? Maybe the Cao's would become more corrupt sooner because of the early fall of the opposition?

Did Cao Cao, Cao Pi or Cao Rui give you any indications that they would lead to the fall of a dynasty? They all had their bad points but on balance i think their performance showed them to relatively able.
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:01 pm

They all had their bad points but on balance i think their performance showed them to relatively able.

Yeah, just like Prince Hal was a drinker and womaniser before he became Henry V and took over France.

Power changes people, as do circumstances.

I didn't even suggest that this would be what happened, I just said that it's possible that because the situation changed, the Cao's way of administrating would change is all.
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Re: Zhuge Liang and Cao Cao?

Unread postby Chen Nian Long » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:41 am

Personally, I believed MUCH would of changed. Zhuge Liang lead troops to defeat Wei forces many times, and lots of those, without Zhuge Liang's plans would not of succeeded. Personally, I believed Wei would of conquered Shu a lot faster if Kong Ming helped Wei instead, which would also lead to a speedier conquest of Wu, all possibly WITHIN Ahman's life time. The TINIEST things can change history.
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Re: Zhuge Liang and Cao Cao?

Unread postby PhoenixRising » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:29 am

Chen Nian Long wrote:Personally, I believed MUCH would of changed. Zhuge Liang lead troops to defeat Wei forces many times, and lots of those, without Zhuge Liang's plans would not of succeeded.

Wets! you are wrong my friend. All of wars was did by Liu Bei. Zhuge Liang take part in wars after Liu Bei's death, before that he just helping Liu Bei on domestic or civil matters. :D
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Re: Zhuge Liang and Cao Cao?

Unread postby hahaguy » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:11 pm

If Zhuge Liang didn't join Liu bei, I doubt Shu would have been born at all.

Liu Bei would just probably be running around all over China. He probably didn't even think of invade Yizhou until Zhuge Liang suggested it. Shu would never be created! As I see it, other people with Liu Bei would just follow Liu Bei wherever he goes, not really planning for him, so I can't imagine him invading Yizhou without Zhuge Liang.

If Zhuge Liang joined Cao Cao (Assuming that Zhuge Liang does his best, and Cao Cao trusts him like Guo Jia) , say, before Chibi, I doubt Cao Cao would have lost at all. With his ridiculously large army, he could easily capture Hanzhong and Yizhou with Zhuge's help. Then it is only a matter of time before Wu falls.
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Re: Zhuge Liang and Cao Cao?

Unread postby Diversebeats » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:48 pm

Yeah... I think Cao Cao would of easily united China after the battle of Chi Bi. I don't know if it would of helped china though since I think most people would rather live under Liu Bei than Cao Cao..

Also, for the third option, i would think that they would of already conquered China by the time Zhuge Liang died, and Cao Cao did have very capable children.
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Re: Zhuge Liang and Cao Cao?

Unread postby saneman » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:39 am

If Cao Cao was so terrified of Sima Yi's talent that he used to have nightmares about horses, how much more would he have feared Zhuge Liang's abilities (and I mean his political abilities as in historical realities).

Would Zhuge Liang really joined Cao Cao anyways? He had the means, but he did not do so.
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Re: Zhuge Liang and Cao Cao?

Unread postby Zappa » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:41 pm

What if Zhuge Liang had not joined Liu Bei, but instead Cao Cao?

If he really would have joined, thinks would have been different.I think without Zhuge thers no alliance between Liu Bei and Wu.
Wu might have lost and this would have been the total victory for Cao Cao.
Aside of this fact, Zhuges talent combined with Caos would be a really strong force.
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Re: Zhuge Liang and Cao Cao?

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:55 am

I don't think he would have joined period.

Because above all else Zhuge Liang was a believer, he believed in the Han Dynasty and gave his life to trying to restore that. Now Cao Cao in the early years appeared like the prime candidate for such a role, and that may have been the reason people like Xun Yu flocked to him (basically take note of the people really close with Cao Cao in his early years and then fell out as Cao Cao increased his power). Cao Cao brought peace and prosperity to the lands firmly under his control, protected the Emperor, maintained the court and the closest thing there was to an authority, cultivated education and respected capable scholars, officials and generals.

But I think by the time Zhuge Liang was ready to join the affairs of the world Cao Cao was already no longer seen as the prime candidate to restore the Han Dynasty (who could have guessed that having the emperor try to kill you severely cast doubts on how much the Emperor likes you).

And another thing is that I don't know what Zhuge Liang could have offered Cao Cao that Cao Cao didn't already have at that stage. That is, an extremely capable administrator and diplomat. Cao Cao had that, in the form of Xun Yu. What Cao Cao really needed by the time of his southern campaign was a strategist of Guo Jia's calibre. Is Zhuge Liang of Guo Jia's calibre? We really can't say since they weren't alive at the same time. But the level of daring and flair Guo Jia displays in war is far more impressive in my mind than Zhuge Liang, who like Sima Yi tends to be very cautious and conservative in war.

But who knows, it's often held (by Cao Cao for one) that had Guo Jia been alive Cao Cao would not have lost at Chibi. But it just seems to me that Cao Cao pretty much fought his southern campaign like Guo Jia would have fought it if Guo Jia were alive. The lightning maneuvers, the sweeping forced marches etc. Guo Jia's effect I'd like to think was that Guo Jia would have recognized how dangerous a Liu-Sun alliance would have been and did everything to stop that. (This could have been effected by not giving up the pursuit against Liu Bei and keep on chasing until Liu Bei surrenders/is destroyed) Obviously if Zhuge Liang joined Cao Cao and if for some reason Cao Cao didn't put his considerable administrative and political abilities to use back in the north and decided to bring him on the soutern campaign, then Zhuge Liang would have had the diplomatic acumen to realize that as well (since Zhuge Liang was the architect of the alliance). And assuming that Cao Cao actually paid any heed to Zhuge Liang, Zhuge Liang may have told Cao Cao to be more cautious on the offensive. And Cao Cao could have settled in northern Jing, consolidated, trained his navy, resupplied his men and used local men not susceptible to the plague, lay down defenses and triumph against Sun-Liu in the long term. Zhuge Liang certainly had the southern expertise Cao Cao lacked amongst his strategists.

One other reason I think Zhuge Liang would not have joined Cao Cao is that Zhuge Liang would have been less valued. One thing you have to understand is what I call the mentality of kingmakers. Strategists and advisors like to be near the top, so as to have their advices heeded. They want their master to be molded by them, to be of their creation. You can see this pattern. Initially Yuan Shao had his trusted advisors, so his lower level advisors who knew their talent would go unheeded deserted him to handpick their own candidate (ie. Xun Yu and Guo Jia). Likewise, by the time of Zhuge Liang Cao Cao already had a very established set of confidantes and advisors. Zhuge Liang would have been a junior tag along. It was much better in his view to find a talented and promising candidate lacking a chief adviser and guide him to greatness.**

**This paragraph is spoken with a bit of personal experience as my dream job would be a political campaign manager. Though being my age I haven't done anything beyond university elections or activist campaigns yet.
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Re: Zhuge Liang and Cao Cao?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:58 am

then Zhuge Liang would have had the diplomatic acumen to realize that as well (since Zhuge Liang was the architect of the alliance)

Liang fought it was intelligent to besiege Liu Zong. Also Lu Su was the guy that proposed the alliance to first Quan and then Liu Bei, he seems the architect to me

I certainly agree with the last paragraph as a possibility
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