Was Lu Meng right?

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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:15 am

Dong Zhou wrote:Because of Lu Meng's own words, on general "Shu will attack us", a surprisingly honest discussion between Deng Zhi and Sun Quan about what happens once Wei is defeated. Sun Quan wanted an attack against someone as Wu was risking falling behind, if Guan Yu won that Fan then he would have more lands, Cao Cao could face internal issues and Shu's prestige would be even higher, Liu Bei might then try another attack. Wu timed deliberately while Guan Yu were tied down and while the ailing Lu Meng was still alive. Lu Meng was considerably worried by Guan Yu (he held a strong reputation within his own time) and Liu Bei had two gains in the northwest of late.

I don't think there is any suggestion Lu Meng put glory above state


Well, understandable worries.
I doubt even with Yu won on Fan, Cao Cao would face internal issues. And doubtful Liu Bei would try another attack, not in the span of next 2-3 years or maybe more, with many resources loses during the attack on Hanzhong. Plenty of time to set up a defensive line on Changan etc. Yu couldn't advance further into Wei territory, he 'might' turn toward Wu instead, just like what Lu Meng feared about.


Sun Quan was also a liar, they didn't invade themselves so they were inconsistent about punishing fibs. :wink:


Well, they do beat Cao Cao on chibi so they have right to claim some territories as a reward right? they're just greedy, they want everything. Like i said before, who don't want a land with rich resources? :mrgreen:
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:19 am

Cao Cao feared that Guan Yu's assault alone would cause the tribes in the region to rise up in revolt, and the loss of Fancheng itself would put Xu City in direct danger. This was why he wished to move the capital north (to Ye I believe). However he was dissuaded from this thought thanks to Jiang Ji and the evil traitor (Sima Yi).
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:05 pm

Li_Shengsun wrote:Well, understandable worries.
I doubt even with Yu won on Fan, Cao Cao would face internal issues. And doubtful Liu Bei would try another attack, not in the span of next 2-3 years or maybe more, with many resources loses during the attack on Hanzhong. Plenty of time to set up a defensive line on Changan etc. Yu couldn't advance further into Wei territory, he 'might' turn toward Wu instead, just like what Lu Meng feared about.


I agree, Lu Meng and Sun Quan's concerns were understandable.

Bear in mind Cao Cao had internal revolts in lead up to Guan Yu's invasion (which may have encouraged the attack), Cao Cao is old so succession vulnerability is an issue, Fan loss leaves capital area vulnerable, he has a few internal foes. It was important for Wei not to loss Fan for the image it sent out, problems can multiply if "mmmmm their claim on power seems shaky". It is possible resources is why Liu Bei didn't move but if Wei seems shaky, that is sort of thing that encourages one to try their luck. Wei were likely prepared for an attack but it would hardly be welcome news

True

Li_Shengsun wrote:Well, they do beat Cao Cao on chibi so they have right to claim some territories as a reward right? they're just greedy, they want everything. Like i said before, who don't want a land with rich resources? :mrgreen:


Only if they took them :wink: Sorry was just teasing about Wu being as fibbing as Shu
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby PyroMystic » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:46 am

Sorry for the late reply! Very busy with my rl.

Dong Zhou wrote:I would argue it was becuase Lu Xun had a better offensive record makes him a bad offensive commander

Wait... what do you mean by this? If Lu Xun had a better offensive record, won't it make him a good offensive commander?
I might misunderstood whaat you said here but why couldn't it have been based on those philosophies? It could be very well the case that Lu Xun is quite an okay offensive commander (I'm not saing he's good), but he just choose not to lead an offensive battle because it's simply against his belief. And that's why Sun Quan choose another commander for offensive battle. Also, Lu Xun was, stated in his wikipedia page, an ardent Confucian so perhaps that's also contribute his way of planning his battle.

Dong Zhou wrote:Wei's internal issues only turned into potential advantage a few years after Lu Xun's death. Sima Yi took control four years after Lu Xun was dead.

Okay, I was wrong about this. But if this is true, then my point stand that the best time to attack Wei is not during Lu Xun's lifetime (or better still, don't mess with Wei simply because they are strong and... Hefei). Why should Wu attack Wei when it is still strong? Wait for he right moment to strike. Zhuge Liang, I think, attacked Wei when they were still strong, and the camp was not that successful.

Dong Zhou wrote:Wei attacked Wu often, they often "attacked out of the blue", seeking to destroy their biggest rival.

Wu was arguably in a worse state since Lu Xun had become CIC (as much as he was) and had failed to expand north. As commander of chief of the armies, Lu Xun had failed to strengthen Wu's miliatry position whereas Zhou Yu and Lu Meng had.

But you provided no reason why "expanding north=stronger military position". Wu always rely on natural defense (Chang Jiang river, if I'm not mistaken) and if they actually expand further, it would make their position even vulnerable and the army is stretched wider to the point the defense become thin. On the contrary, expanding north would just weaken their position as well as depleting more resources. So maybe during Zhou Yu's and Lu Meng's time, expanding their territory would actually make them stronger. But during Lu Xun's time, when they couldn't afford more offensive campaign and more troops, they'd better in a defensive position. Proven by how many failures Wu suffered on their offensive camp. Even Lu Xun himself adviced Sun Quan against attacking places and focusing on internal affairs

Dong Zhou wrote:Yes that is what I meant

A number of possible factors, letter got touched up after the effect is a possibility, Lu Xun needing to sound confident (imagine how it would have gone if he had gone "yeah I'm not sure we are going to win here), being confident Wu would win even if he didn't have a plan yet as to how but he believed the moment would come due to the reasons he gave.

So you're saying than Chen Sou actually did something to revise the letter. But I think this is strecthing the possibility too far. As far as we know from Lu Xun's letter, he already had a plan ever since he wrote that letter to Sun Quan.

Dong Zhou wrote:If he had come up with a fire attack earlier, he didn't use it and Lu Xun admitting he had just come up with the plan after the defeat/setback with earlier reasons.

As for that last sentence, now I'm not a really that knowledgable on war strategy but based on the context of the entire passage:
"...By flanking both front and rear and surrounding the enemy, I reckon that the time for us to capture and defeat Liu Bei has come.” Lu Xun then tried attacking one of Liu Bei’s camps but was unsuccessful. The Wu generals responded, “This is killing soldiers in vain!” Lu Xun replied, “I have just come up with a plan to defeat him.” Following that, Lu Xun had everyone hold a torch and carried out a fire attack to vanquish Liu Bei’s camps.
Note that before the failed attack, Lu Xun had already known that he should attack both front and rear, so he should at least attack TWO camps, one on the most front and the other most rear. But in the next sentence we read that Lu Xun only attacks ONE. Now this is contradicting what he himself said. Hence I think the failed attack is not really an attack he planned to destroy the whole Shu army. It's perhaps just a way for Lu Xun to find out which camp he should attack first or whatever. He saying that he had come up with a plan probably means he had finished planning the fire attack in a more detail. The point is that Lu Xun already planned the fire attack from the very beginning, but he didn't know how to do it. Hence, he needed to observe which point is the enemy weakness, or whatever, hence the failure. After that, he found out how to properly carry out his plan. This, I think, would be a common thing in any warfare.

Dong Zhou wrote:You don't know much about psychology but you can declare it isn't 100% impossible for a man to react like that? I don't see why it is impossible that he could come up with plan, learning from the failed attack, when he still had the miliatry advantage on Liu Bei.

Lu Xun had waited for 9 months (it's the longest campaign during 3K period, I think). His own troops grew tired and angry at him for doing nothing. Now he told everyone that it's the right time to attack Liu Bei. Hooray, everyone shouted. And then Lu Xun attack. And turns out the big speech he had earlier is a lie as he failed. And then everyone protested at him. And you're saying under that circumstances it is possible for Lu Xun to come up with a last-minute but perfectly and detailed organized plan to actually destroy the Shu army?

Let us compare which scenario is more probable:
1. Scenario #1: Lu Xun has plan A (attacking only ONE of Liu Bei's camp). When the time is ripe to carry out plan A (but why would a plan as simple as attacking one camp needs to wait that long?), he told his officers that it is the right time to defeat Liu Bei, BUT GIVE A CONTRADICTING INFORMATION ABOUT THE ACTUAL PLAN HE HAS (attcking both the front and rear flank while Plan A only involves attacking one camp). He used plan A. Failed miserably. His officers protested. Somehow Lu Xun then come up with a new, perfectly detailed plan that is the fire attack from both the front and rear flank (Plan B) that actually wins the war.
2. Scenario #2: Lu Xun has plan B (fire attack from both the front and rear flank). When the time is ripe to carry out plan B (it was hot and Liu Bei already moved his troops into the forest), he told his officers that it is the right time to defeat Liu Bei, AND ACTUALLY GIVE SOME HINT OF THE PLANT (attcking both the front and rear flank). However, he was still unsure who to actually do Plan B (which camp is the most and the least heavily guarded? Which officer is guarding which camp? Should he use fire arrow or straw or sulphur or oil or whatever? etc). Therefore, he attacked one of the camp (Plan A) to gain some information and for that he failed. His officers protested. But know Lu Xun has gained an important knowledge to plan the Plan B perfectly, hence why he said he now had devised the strategy.

I'm not saying that Scenario #1 is 100% impossible. I'm saying that, given the alternative, the probability of Scenario #1 seems pretty low compared to Scenario #2: (1. Why would Lu Xun told everyone that he would attack Liu Bei from two position WHEN he ultimately only planned to attack one? (2. How can he planned something in a perfectly detailed time in that nick of time? (3. If his plan is as simple as attacking one camp (Plan A) and not the fire attack (Plan B), why wait until Summer (or Fall)? Why would he wait for Liu Bei to moved his camp into the forest? (Also, why would he refrain from saving Sun Shao?)

So yeah, it's quite improbable and I think the more probable scenario is that Lu Xun had a vague idea on the fire attack but didn't have quite the detailed information to do it. Since Lu Xun didn't want to risk failing this, he tried the first failed attack to find out some valuable information he needed.

And why would you say he had the military advantage on Liu Bei? Liu Bei, as Lu Xun's SGZ states, "led a large army to the western borders." Even the barbarians helped Shu. Now some claims that Wu actually outnumbered Shu, but still the bulk of Wu army is with Sun Quan in the capital, not with Lu Xun. Also, grat that Lu Xun actually had some troops with him. They were disobedient and apparently were at his limit because of the very long campaign. Liu Bei also suffers the same but at least all his subordinates were loyal and not actually trying to disobey him 24/7.

Dong Zhou wrote:I agree things had shifted in Shu's favour, Shu had in the last few years become the bigger partner. Not always. Remember at the time you were talking of Wu always being the complete underdog after Ce.

But the alliance only started after Chibi. And that time, Zhuge Liang had done anything he could to actually suck Wu dry with this alliance.

Dong Zhou wrote:As you note, he had fought bandits. He held miliatry rank, held personal command and was involved in miliatry councils, he was a miliatry officer as well as civil. I agree he wouldn't have been one of the big names Wei and Shu considered when talking about Wu officers but you were talking of his talent not being discovered if not for Fan, of being an unknown. Fan certainly boosted his career
The problem is that he didn't. He was a consultant clerk for some moment and then went to take care of some cities (and defeats some bandits). But the first military rank he got was during the Fan castle (Generals who Guards the West? The Borders? I forgot).

Dong Zhou wrote:They attacked after Yiling, there was Shi Ting, Lu Shi. Those are just the ones in Lu Xun's biography and missing out major invasions that Lu Xun wasn't involved in. Whenever Wei figures argued against miliatry action against Wu, I don't recall Lu Xun being cited as to why.
Now wasn't that all the more reason to say that Wei only invaded Wu when Lu Xun is not involved in the battle? Also, Wasn't Lu Xun stationed in the West during all those time (except that one time when he planted beans with Zhuge Jin), hence why he wasn't involved in Wu-Wei battle?

Dong Zhou wrote:Wu probably also felt Yi was in better hands with Wu rather then Shu :wink:
Well that I agree :lol: But probably Shu also thought the same. So yeah. Everybody is just trying to backstab each other and the alliance is total bullcrap

Dong Zhou wrote:You dismissed Jing as unsafe due to "nobody" of status like Lu Xun and a less capable Lu Meng. With Cic's, one does also judge them on their foreign policy as part of their job knowing when to attack and when not to. If he struggles as an attacking commander and the other two were better at that while excelling on defence, that would seem to make Lu Xun a worse commander.
Well I think if someone is assigned to defend a city, then the only thing they have to do is defend the city, not attacking somewhere else. Guan Yu's pride failed him at this. I might misunderstood your point here but now since Lu Xun was at Jing and he knew what he should do, he just defend the city and not make some plan on attackin Fan. How can that make him a worse commander just because he isn't good at offense, or actually to lazy to initiate one?

Dong Zhou wrote:Many of Wu's Cic's were also scholars, it wasn't unknown for great commanders to be scholars as well. Reading the Art of War and miliatry texts could be a part of scholarship and Lu Xun had fought miliatry camapigns as a training ground for a bigger things.
When I say that Lu Xun is scholar, I mean to say that he's a Confucian scholar who is more trained in literature, politics and history than military affairs. Sorry if I didn't make that clear :)

Dong Zhou wrote:Personally, I agree with Lu Meng taking Jing was right for Wu, my goal was/is to try to make you see the other side given how strong you came in against those who you disagreed with.

I think for a time, the alliance was worth it, even after Chibi. Cao Cao would have loved the alliance to have fallen apart and gobbled up the two armies or moved to take other lands, Wu would have been hit by a massive PR hit for attacking their ally and the popular hero Liu Bei. In terms of Liu Bei doing, they only had any strength to try after conquering Hanzhong (they needed Wu's protection for some time) and that would have opened up chance for Wei to get involved
Did I sound that way? Oh, sorry... my bad :oops:
Well I think the alliance would be good at the right timing (I'm not saying that alliance is bad at itself). But I don't think pre-Yi Ling Zhuge Liang (and Liu Bei) was sincere in this alliance. I mean, they borrow Jing and planned to never return it, which is not a very nice thing to do to your ally. Shu starts of as underdog, they say they only borrowed Jing and would return it. But no, after they actually grew stronger than Wu, they break their promise. No wonder Sun Quan and Lu Meng were mad at them.
After Yi Ling and the death of Liu Bei, everything changed. Shu actually became a good ally. Now this is the right time to ally themselves with them.

Well, that's my observation, at least. I personally never see Liu Bei as an honest and benevolent man as the novel (and Dynasty Warriors) portrays him. Think about it: he told Cao Cao not to spare Lu Bu, his once ally. He then left Yuan Shao when Guan Yu joined him (granted, Yuan Shao's men wanted his head). He also betrayed Cao Cao. And now he betrayed the alliance with Wu. I do not think Liu Bei was a trustworthy ally. (On a side note, perhaps this is why DW Unleashed have him teamed with Lu Bu under the name "Liars". I'm serious).

Dong Zhou wrote:Well... Wei kind of was. Wei was much much much bigger then Shu and Wu combined, their only realistic chance of defeating Wei was together. If Shu and Wu fall out, Wei benefits particularly if Shu and Wu fight each other as Wei can pick and choose how to intervene. Shu and Wu could and would, as Deng Zhi admitted, destroy each other afterwards but the far bigger threat was needed first
That's what I mean. Why would any of them ally themselves with each other? Why it never crossed in their mind to ally themselves with the stronger one (Wei)? Well, I know Wu at least have tried but it didn't go well. But that's when Cao Pi already reigned as the emperor. Suppose it was still Cao Cao, maybe Wei were a bit nicer under his rule.

Now to use an analogy: you always finish the easiest problem in a math test and only do the most difficult the last. Now using this analogy, I think Wu (or Shu) should destroy the weaker one because it is a more realistic goal. Allying yourself with not-so-trustworthy ally to defeat the biggest thread is unrealistic. Okay, I don't know if this analogy works but you get the point.

Dong Zhou wrote:They were allies. They had agreements, envoys and declared alliance. It may have been testy and fractious but they were allies and Wu didn't declare they would rescind before attack
But they way Guan Yu treated Wu's envoy as well as the way he protected his border (before Lu Xun wrote him a love letter) doesn't show that at all. Honestly I think the alliance is in name because they both feared Wei and afraid that if Wei knew how shaky their alliance was, they would use this weakness. That's why the alliance is never revoked. In practice though, Wu and Shu are practically at each other's throat.

Dong Zhou wrote:Yes. Wei's momentum had been checked, they lost Hanzhong, they lost Xiahou Yuan, they lost Yu Jin, Cao Cao was in a panic over Fan. Wei weren't losing or destined for defeat but they were on backfoot more then they would be for some time, imagine how much more if Wu hit Hefei. Would Wei have collapsed? No, Wei still have so many resources but Wei wouldn't be as vulnerable for some time.
Fair enough. Wei lost their momentum. Let's just say that wu and Shu lost this good chance because Lu Meng attacked Guan Yu. But I think, weighting both the pros and cons, its still, as you said yourself a good thing for Lu Meng to do.

Dong Zhou wrote:Nope, an exact reason for Guan Yu's invasion isn't given off the top of my head. The need to add to his own lustre when other Shu generals were gaining fame could well have played a part in Guan Yu's calculations, there were other reasons to try with an attack on Fan. Guan Yu could be petty in his arrogance (or insecure) but Liu Bei didn't have many other realistic choices
Personally I cannot see any other reason as to why Guan Yu would attack Fan aside from arrogance. I mean, he was good guarding Jing... until he received news on Zhang Fei's feat at Yi. This is written in the novel. But when I read his SGZ, it only reads, "During the twenty-fourth year of JianAn (AD 219), Liu Bei became the Prince of Hanzhong and he appointed Guan Yu as Qian Jiangjun (General of the Front). In the same year, Guan Yu led his army to attack Cao Ren at Fan." Now we don't really understand the circumstances, but at least it's not like Guan Yu was in dire situation in which not attacking Fan equals death. And that's a sufficient reason why Guan Yu should just do his job. I mean, he only had one job...

Dong Zhou wrote:Wu wishes to unite land under their own rule, Wei wishes to unite land under their own rule, Shu wishes to... you get the idea.

So Wu has to beat Wei to do that, the question is how best to do that. Long term allying with Wei brings Wei a lot if a reliable alliance, they can focus everything on Shu then Wu is only a matter of time without Yi acting as a shield, the resources, the land route, the nobody else to oppose them now. Wu gets... well Wei attacks them later but Wu will die sooner becuase they need Yi to not be in Wei's hands.

But why did you assume that Yi will be in Wei's hand and not Wu's? I mean, look at Yi Ling. Had Lu Xun been more offensive, Yi would be in Wu's hand after Yi Ling. Now if Wei is Wu's ally and everything about Shu borrowing Jing without returning didn't happen, then surely they can do much more since they will not be afraid of any attack from the north (the reason Lu Xun didn't advance further is he feared Wei's attack).

Also, I think that's underestimating Wu too much here. They were not that weak. Wu could defend himself in Chibi. And if the novel is wrong, then they don't actually need the help of Zhuge Liang. So yeah, Wu can fend off Wei's attack by themselves. So, supposing Wu allied themselves with Wei, I think Yi would be Wu's, or perhaps it would be split into two. Then Wei grew stronger and betrayed the alliance and attacked Wu. But Wu would also grow stronger by that time. Isn't this Zhou Yu's two-kingdoms plan?

Well, there would be an everlasting stalemate between Wu and Wei, but this is at least much better than all three kingdoms fell under some guy who thinks his emperor is incompetent...
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Elitemsh » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:34 pm

There was possibly a good reason Guan Yu attacked when he did. There were a few rebellions in Wei around that time. I recall reading that one of them was planning to call on Guan for support because Guan was growing stronger in Jing province. Guan had built a reputation around the region for increasing the strength of his army. He may have felt now was a good time to capitalise on some instability in Wei.
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:29 pm

No problem

Wait... what do you mean by this? If Lu Xun had a better offensive record, won't it make him a good offensive commander?
I might misunderstood whaat you said here but why couldn't it have been based on those philosophies? It could be very well the case that Lu Xun is quite an okay offensive commander (I'm not saing he's good), but he just choose not to lead an offensive battle because it's simply against his belief. And that's why Sun Quan choose another commander for offensive battle. Also, Lu Xun was, stated in his wikipedia page, an ardent Confucian so perhaps that's also contribute his way of planning his battle.


That was an error, I meant I would argue it was becuase Lu Xun had a bad offensive record makes him a bad offensive commander or something like that

Jiang Wan and Fei Yi had a doveish philosophy, I wouldn't call them bad commanders becuase of it. Lu Xun was more doveish then Sun Quan but Lu Xun had plenty of failed offensive camapigns whereas those two Shu Cic's chose not to have them. Since Lu Xun led offensive camapigns and failed in them so skill gets questioned in that area

There were plenty of ardent Confucians who led camapigns and Lu Xun wasn't hugely noted as a Confucian scholar (though the doveish/hawkish line doesn't seem based on such a line either). Just for some reason, people claim him as an ardent Confucian nowadays

Okay, I was wrong about this. But if this is true, then my point stand that the best time to attack Wei is not during Lu Xun's lifetime (or better still, don't mess with Wei simply because they are strong and... Hefei). Why should Wu attack Wei when it is still strong? Wait for he right moment to strike. Zhuge Liang, I think, attacked Wei when they were still strong, and the camp was not that successful.


Usually camapigns were in result of some sort of glimpsed opportunity like a revolt or changes at the border. A tendency to attack was partly to keep Wei on the backfoot rather then allow them to focus resources against Shu or Wu, that the longer things went on then that favoured Wei due to sheer amount of resources they had.

But you provided no reason why "expanding north=stronger military position". Wu always rely on natural defense (Chang Jiang river, if I'm not mistaken) and if they actually expand further, it would make their position even vulnerable and the army is stretched wider to the point the defense become thin. On the contrary, expanding north would just weaken their position as well as depleting more resources. So maybe during Zhou Yu's and Lu Meng's time, expanding their territory would actually make them stronger. But during Lu Xun's time, when they couldn't afford more offensive campaign and more troops, they'd better in a defensive position. Proven by how many failures Wu suffered on their offensive camp. Even Lu Xun himself adviced Sun Quan against attacking places and focusing on internal affairs


Because Wu's goal was to unite the land and that requires taking it. Which means they have to go beyond the Changjiang and take land from Wei, weakening Wei's resources and adding their own. There is always the risk of over-expansion and if he had done that, he would deserve to be criticized but if you launch attacks and lose, you also get criticized

and Lu Xun deserves credit when he restrained his master becuase attacks would fail (not becuase expanding is bad, a different argument he never made)

So you're saying than Chen Sou actually did something to revise the letter. But I think this is strecthing the possibility too far. As far as we know from Lu Xun's letter, he already had a plan ever since he wrote that letter to Sun Quan.


Not Chen Shou, more Wu records as Wei did with Xun Yu's letter to Cao Cao at Guandu. Of course, that was just one possibility

Nothing in the records suggests Lu Xun had a plan. Indeed they suggest he only got one late on.

Note that before the failed attack, Lu Xun had already known that he should attack both front and rear, so he should at least attack TWO camps, one on the most front and the other most rear. But in the next sentence we read that Lu Xun only attacks ONE. Now this is contradicting what he himself said. Hence I think the failed attack is not really an attack he planned to destroy the whole Shu army. It's perhaps just a way for Lu Xun to find out which camp he should attack first or whatever. He saying that he had come up with a plan probably means he had finished planning the fire attack in a more detail. The point is that Lu Xun already planned the fire attack from the very beginning, but he didn't know how to do it. Hence, he needed to observe which point is the enemy weakness, or whatever, hence the failure. After that, he found out how to properly carry out his plan. This, I think, would be a common thing in any warfare.


I think that line might have been bad translation? The ZZTJ has "Today is the right time for us to take him by head and tail" which would suggest a phrase rather then literal plan, particularly as neither plan attacked Liu Bei's rear and didn't have Liu Bei surrounded, the SGZ line seems to be a major basis for your alternative version.

Lu Xun was confident of success due to the circumstances he laid out, he failed. It was useful and he learnt from that attacks failure but it was a failure.

Lu Xun had waited for 9 months (it's the longest campaign during 3K period, I think). His own troops grew tired and angry at him for doing nothing. Now he told everyone that it's the right time to attack Liu Bei. Hooray, everyone shouted. And then Lu Xun attack. And turns out the big speech he had earlier is a lie as he failed. And then everyone protested at him. And you're saying under that circumstances it is possible for Lu Xun to come up with a last-minute but perfectly and detailed organized plan to actually destroy the Shu army?


Snipping the rest

Liu Bei fought Liu Xun for a year during one siege, Lu Kang vs Yuan Shu forces for two years so not the longest.

Yes. He would do so under arguably worse circumstances later on when Wei intercepted his entire plans and he had to retreat with Zhuge Jin. Other generals did similar. He was a calm intelligent thinker and men of such position would be expected to handle such immense pressure.

The plan likely wasn't intricate, set up a fire attack and coordinated follow up assault. Strategies tended not to be intricate in that era, they needed to be simple so soldiers could follow and the records don't suggest it was complex and intricate. Following that, Lu Xun had everyone hold a torch and carried out a fire attack to vanquish Liu Bei’s camps. As soon as the fire attack became successful, Lu Xun led all the troops to attack at the same time or There upon he ordered each of his soldiers to hold a bundle of rushes; he attacked the Han troops with fire and thus destroyed them. With this one stroke the thing was accomplished. He then led various troops to launch a simultaneous attack. It was well coordinated though.

On Scenario 1: Lu Xun explains why he waited so long "Liu Bei is a sly fellow and moreover has much experience. When his troops were first assembled, his thoughts were concentrated and his mind sharp. We could not possibly wrangle with him. Now he has been staying here for a long time without obtaining any advantage over us. His troops are fatigued and their spirit low; he does not have any fresh plan. Today is the right time for us to take him by head and tail." . Scenario one is that it went pretty much as history tells us, Lu Xun attacked at what he thought was the right time, got the calculation wrong but learnt from it and like the calm intelligent figure he was (and handling the levels of pressure Sun Quan should be able to expect from a figure of his rank), he took the new information and used it.

Scenario 2: Why didn't Wu claim that? Why make Lu Xun look bad by rewriting the events so Lu Xun failed first time? Lu Xun also explains why he didn't reinforce Sun Huan "The andong zhonglangjiang Sun Huan has under him men who are attached to him. The city is strongly fortified and provisions are sufficient. There is nothing to worry about. Wait until my plans are realized."

And why would you say he had the military advantage on Liu Bei? Liu Bei, as Lu Xun's SGZ states, "led a large army to the western borders." Even the barbarians helped Shu. Now some claims that Wu actually outnumbered Shu, but still the bulk of Wu army is with Sun Quan in the capital, not with Lu Xun. Also, grat that Lu Xun actually had some troops with him. They were disobedient and apparently were at his limit because of the very long campaign. Liu Bei also suffers the same but at least all his subordinates were loyal and not actually trying to disobey him 24/7.


As far as I'm aware, all the records say Liu Bei had the smaller forces we have gives Wu as having the numbers, Professor De Crespigny also gives Wu the numbers edge. Wu also had the advantage of defence, shorter supply line and fortified positions, stronger officer core. That Lu Xun lost control of them and thus that advantage is on him.

The Wu officers were unquestionably loyal to the throne. They just didn't believe in Lu Xun's methods or that he was being so defensive when he had the advantage.

But the alliance only started after Chibi. And that time, Zhuge Liang had done anything he could to actually suck Wu dry with this alliance.


and from then till about seizing of Hanzhong, Wu were top dog.

The novel and culture overplays Zhuge Liang's role there

The problem is that he didn't. He was a consultant clerk for some moment and then went to take care of some cities (and defeats some bandits). But the first military rank he got was during the Fan castle (Generals who Guards the West? The Borders? I forgot).


I assume the didn't is the rank bit. He was put in charge of a garrison, was given command against Pang Lin's group, made a Colonel and given another miliatry garrison. Lu Xun was given greater command and fought the Shanyue which was something of an important step for Wu generals. So he had held miliatry command and rank by Fan

Now wasn't that all the more reason to say that Wei only invaded Wu when Lu Xun is not involved in the battle? Also, Wasn't Lu Xun stationed in the West during all those time (except that one time when he planted beans with Zhuge Jin), hence why he wasn't involved in Wu-Wei battle?


They invaded three times against armies led by him so no. Of all the reasons given for why a camapign would be a bad idea, Lu Xun wasn't mentioned so why not simply those reasons given? Why a man they had beaten several times and who they would attack when Lu Xun was on the main front?

Lu Xun being out of Wei's main focus of invasion (his death did not lead to a series of Jing invasions so not down to him, it was never Wei's focus) is indeed a reason why his being on defensive against Wei was rare.

Well that I agree :lol: But probably Shu also thought the same. So yeah. Everybody is just trying to backstab each other and the alliance is total bullcrap


The alliance being full of ill-feeling and bad will doesn't mean it wasn't an alliance

Well I think if someone is assigned to defend a city, then the only thing they have to do is defend the city, not attacking somewhere else. Guan Yu's pride failed him at this. I might misunderstood your point here but now since Lu Xun was at Jing and he knew what he should do, he just defend the city and not make some plan on attackin Fan. How can that make him a worse commander just because he isn't good at offense, or actually to lazy to initiate one?


I think there is a misunderstanding there of the job frontline governors+generals had. Guan Yu's task was yes to run Jing and protect it, he was the frontline with Wu diplomacy at local level but also to lead Shu's second army, to try to expand. There is no suggestion in the historical records that Guan Yu exceeding his authority by the attack and he wasn't without reason to try his luck at Fan.

Lu Xun led many invasions and failed. Philosophy idea only works if he committed to defensive posture.

When I say that Lu Xun is scholar, I mean to say that he's a Confucian scholar who is more trained in literature, politics and history than military affairs. Sorry if I didn't make that clear


proof?

Well I think the alliance would be good at the right timing (I'm not saying that alliance is bad at itself). But I don't think pre-Yi Ling Zhuge Liang (and Liu Bei) was sincere in this alliance. I mean, they borrow Jing and planned to never return it, which is not a very nice thing to do to your ally. Shu starts of as underdog, they say they only borrowed Jing and would return it. But no, after they actually grew stronger than Wu, they break their promise. No wonder Sun Quan and Lu Meng were mad at them.
After Yi Ling and the death of Liu Bei, everything changed. Shu actually became a good ally. Now this is the right time to ally themselves with them.

Well, that's my observation, at least. I personally never see Liu Bei as an honest and benevolent man as the novel (and Dynasty Warriors) portrays him. Think about it: he told Cao Cao not to spare Lu Bu, his once ally. He then left Yuan Shao when Guan Yu joined him (granted, Yuan Shao's men wanted his head). He also betrayed Cao Cao. And now he betrayed the alliance with Wu. I do not think Liu Bei was a trustworthy ally. (On a side note, perhaps this is why DW Unleashed have him teamed with Lu Bu under the name "Liars". I'm serious).


The Jing borrowing is... controversial, Shu and Wu records directly contradict as to if there was any such promises and agreements. One of them is fibbing, it is up to the person to work out which one they believe. However even if one believes there was a loan agreement, that was settled by the Wu invasion of 215. It has no claim on the invasion of 219.

Liu Bei and co were (probably) sincere in they wanted alliance with Wu till Wei was dead but like all warlords (including Sun Quan), number 1 came first.

Liu Bei was, in the records, noted for his kindness and people point to his lack of massacres compared to his rivals. His honesty? Liu Bei wasn't trusted by warlords (or sometimes, the court of said warlords) and Sun Quan chose alliance over golden cage imprisonment for practical reasons rather then trust, he knew the sort of man who was allying with. Liu Bei was noted as an ambitious figure and yes with a long track record of going from warlord to warlord with varying degrees of justification. It is very different from novel reputation but that isn't the historical Liu Bei's fault

That's what I mean. Why would any of them ally themselves with each other? Why it never crossed in their mind to ally themselves with the stronger one (Wei)? Well, I know Wu at least have tried but it didn't go well. But that's when Cao Pi already reigned as the emperor. Suppose it was still Cao Cao, maybe Wei were a bit nicer under his rule.

Now to use an analogy: you always finish the easiest problem in a math test and only do the most difficult the last. Now using this analogy, I think Wu (or Shu) should destroy the weaker one because it is a more realistic goal. Allying yourself with not-so-trustworthy ally to defeat the biggest thread is unrealistic. Okay, I don't know if this analogy works but you get the point.


To survive. Because they don't want to die. It worked great for Wu as a temporary expedience to prevent a double time and such alliance was only ever going to be temporary as it suited their interests.

Destroying weaker first is fine as long as the bigger guy just sits there and lets you do it then gives you time to recover and settle. That is extremely unlikely. Allying with the fellow weaker power forces the stronger kingdom to split their focus and resources to keep all it's flanks safe rather then focus all it's forces on you.

But they way Guan Yu treated Wu's envoy as well as the way he protected his border (before Lu Xun wrote him a love letter) doesn't show that at all. Honestly I think the alliance is in name because they both feared Wei and afraid that if Wei knew how shaky their alliance was, they would use this weakness. That's why the alliance is never revoked. In practice though, Wu and Shu are practically at each other's throat.


Name a historical figure or historian who didn't consider it an alliance? It may have been testy but they still sent envoys to each other, they still were not meant to attack each other so could make decisions based on that

Wu and Shu were squabbling and testy but not at each other's throats.

Personally I cannot see any other reason as to why Guan Yu would attack Fan aside from arrogance. I mean, he was good guarding Jing... until he received news on Zhang Fei's feat at Yi. This is written in the novel. But when I read his SGZ, it only reads, "During the twenty-fourth year of JianAn (AD 219), Liu Bei became the Prince of Hanzhong and he appointed Guan Yu as Qian Jiangjun (General of the Front). In the same year, Guan Yu led his army to attack Cao Ren at Fan." Now we don't really understand the circumstances, but at least it's not like Guan Yu was in dire situation in which not attacking Fan equals death. And that's a sufficient reason why Guan Yu should just do his job. I mean, he only had one job...


A few things had changed in recent years, Guan Yu had more resources gathered in recent years so was able to strike out at last, Wei had problems in the local area as Eltemsh mentions that Guan Yu could try to exploit. Fan itself made a good target becuase if Shu could take it then Wei's heartlands became very vulnerable.

But why did you assume that Yi will be in Wei's hand and not Wu's? I mean, look at Yi Ling. Had Lu Xun been more offensive, Yi would be in Wu's hand after Yi Ling. Now if Wei is Wu's ally and everything about Shu borrowing Jing without returning didn't happen, then surely they can do much more since they will not be afraid of any attack from the north (the reason Lu Xun didn't advance further is he feared Wei's attack).

Also, I think that's underestimating Wu too much here. They were not that weak. Wu could defend himself in Chibi. And if the novel is wrong, then they don't actually need the help of Zhuge Liang. So yeah, Wu can fend off Wei's attack by themselves. So, supposing Wu allied themselves with Wei, I think Yi would be Wu's, or perhaps it would be split into two. Then Wei grew stronger and betrayed the alliance and attacked Wu. But Wu would also grow stronger by that time. Isn't this Zhou Yu's two-kingdoms plan?

Well, there would be an everlasting stalemate between Wu and Wei, but this is at least much better than all three kingdoms fell under some guy who thinks his emperor is incompetent...


Odds favour Wei in a double team on Yi, they have more resources to pour into it. Lu Xun gave reasons why Wu couldn't press on and it was by no means certain Wu would have taken Yi had they pressed on. Lu Su didn't think they could do it during Liu Zhang's time and the one time Wu did attack Yi, when Shu collapsed, they failed miserably. The southern defences and mountain passes were strong and difficult to conquer

I don't underestimate Wu, I just note far inferior resources, Wu's limited record in Yi and that when Shu was dead (and the tribes dealt with), Jin was able to bring forth... 10 armies I think. As strong as Wu's defences would be, 10 armies is extremely difficult to fend off, particularly with the river negated if Jing ends up in Wei hands. Zhou Yu's plan was while Yi was in play and when Liu Zhang was weak so he could use internal problems to take quickly, it was a bold gamble that Lu Su was less keen on.

Not sure what the last line is referring to, sorry. Sima Yan?
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby PyroMystic » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:53 am

Dong Zhou wrote:Jiang Wan and Fei Yi had a doveish philosophy, I wouldn't call them bad commanders becuase of it. Lu Xun was more doveish then Sun Quan but Lu Xun had plenty of failed offensive camapigns whereas those two Shu Cic's chose not to have them. Since Lu Xun led offensive camapigns and failed in them so skill gets questioned in that area

Hmmm... I must have missed soething but the only offensive campaigns Lu Xun led that I know is when he surpressed some rebels, which most, if not all of them, were successful. The only offensive campaign I can think of is Sun Quan's northern expedition to Xiangyang. But Lu Xun's SGZ bio said it was Sun Quan who led the expedition and he only sent Lu Xun AND ZHUGE JIN (so both, not Lu Xun only) to attack. Also, the reason why the attack falied is not because Lu Xun was not a good offensive commander but because the envoy he sent wasn't careful enough. Also, Lu Xun's response after this is trully astonishing: he planned to retreat. I mean, why? They were just arrived and now, just because an envoy was not careful enought, the expedition was cancelled? Well, it seems as if Lu Xun didn't really want to attack Wei so overall reason why Lu Xun is a bad offensive commander is simply because he didn't want to be offensive at all (except Shiting, but that's also because Sun Quan appointed him). Also, given how carefully Lu Xun planned his retreat, I think we should give credit where credit is due

Dong Zhou wrote:There were plenty of ardent Confucians who led camapigns and Lu Xun wasn't hugely noted as a Confucian scholar (though the doveish/hawkish line doesn't seem based on such a line either). Just for some reason, people claim him as an ardent Confucian nowadays

Such as? I think some people would say that Shu is the most Confucian but this is simply not true. Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang is the text book example of Legalists, not Confucians. And I think Lu Xun SGZ bio clearly portray him as a Confucian scholar. I mean, the bio tells a story about Lu Xun disliking the method of punishment and opts for a more compassionate method. The footnotes even mentioned that Lu Xun's position on education over punishment stems from classical Confucianism. Also, he insisted Sun Quan on having Sun He as his successor, even though Sun He is not that competent. This is because Lu Xun upheld the Confucian value. To be honest, I can't find a 3K individual who is more Confucian than Lu xun. And there must be some reason why nowadays people claim him as an ardent Confucian, and not a more popular figure like Zhuge Liang. Perhaps there is some truth in that?

Dong Zhou wrote:Usually camapigns were in result of some sort of glimpsed opportunity like a revolt or changes at the border. A tendency to attack was partly to keep Wei on the backfoot rather then allow them to focus resources against Shu or Wu, that the longer things went on then that favoured Wei due to sheer amount of resources they had.

Agreed. But there doesn't seem to be any opportunity for Wu (during Lu Xun's time) to attack. If the plan is only to keep Wei on the backfoot, then I think Wu has done a pretty good job by defending their border well and that one time in Xiangyang.

Dong Zhou wrote:Because Wu's goal was to unite the land and that requires taking it. Which means they have to go beyond the Changjiang and take land from Wei, weakening Wei's resources and adding their own. There is always the risk of over-expansion and if he had done that, he would deserve to be criticized but if you launch attacks and lose, you also get criticized

and Lu Xun deserves credit when he restrained his master becuase attacks would fail (not becuase expanding is bad, a different argument he never made)

Well, yeah. But that takes time (an incredibly long time, tbh), and during Lu Xun's time the moment is just right. I think Wu always had the option of waiting till Shu and Wei exhaust each other, and then take the opportunity to attack Wei. I think this is what Wu (including Lu Xun), were thinking all along. Alas before that time came, Sun Quan already got old and senile and creates the succession problem that ended Lu Xun's life. Since then, Wu never had any opportunity to fulfil their goal. Their sole existence is simply to survive.

Also, I think if the goal is simply to weaken Wei's resources and adding their own, then attacking them is not the only way to achieve that. In fact, in most (if not all) cases, the offensive side is more than often exhaust their resources more than the defensive (Wu at Hefei, Shu at Yi Ling, Wei during that three-pronged attack, etc).

As for the Yiling bit:
Well, I do not have access to ZZTJ but seriously why prefer one translation over another? And yes, my source is SGZ. But what of that? Now we're debating on the issue which is totally unknown to us (or at least unknown to me) as I cannot read the original text and eve if I ca somehow read Chinese, there are no available text so I will stick with the scenario that Lu Xun already knows that he had to attack from both rear and from. If that its merely a phrase than a literal plan, why did Lu Xun's actual plan (burning Shu's camp) actually involves attacking multiple location and not just one, as his original attack intended to be?
Also, SGZ reads, "By flanking both front and rear and surrounding the enemy, I reckon that the time for us to capture and defeat Liu Bei has come" Bears no similarity with "Today is the right time for us to take him by head and tail." Wikipedia has its own translation of this line from SGZ ""Liu Bei is cunning and experienced. In the initial stage, his army was very focused and its morale was very high, so we could not defeat them then. Now, however, since it has been quite some time, they are already weary, low on morale, and out of ideas. Now is the time for us to launch a multi-pronged assault on them", which again, suggest that this is an actual plan, not just a phrase. Multi-pronged assault seems to sound like a plan than some lame phrases. I do not question the accuracy of ZZTJ, perhaps ZZTJ refers to another speech by Lu Xun, but not this one.

Now that part about Xiangyang actually proves my points. When Lu Xun failed in his offensive attempt at Xiangyang, all he could think of is retreat. He cannot think of a brilliant plan to turn the situation and somehow winning the war. In Yi Ling, Lu Xun DID actually plan to attack. I agree that he was a calm intelligent thinker, but somehow came up with a detailed plan in a snap of finger is just an impossible feat. I mean, he's intelligent but he's no god.
And other general did similar. Well, yeah, I agree. But most ends in an utter failure and not a deceisive victory.

As for the two scenario:
On scenario 1: The problem with this is that it doesn't seem to be that much different from Scenario 2. I didn't say that Lu Xun didn't fail in his first attack. What I'm trying to argue is that the failure is done deliberately and planned because he already has a bigger plan in mind, the fire attack. So yeah, I agree that he learn something from that failed attack and that's why the fire attack is such a great success. Now the question is not whether the attack was a failure of not. Everybody knows it is. The question is whether Lu Xun had the fire attack in mind.
On scenario 2: Precisely because Wu didn't make Lu Xun look bad if they tell us that he tested Shu's might by attacking once. And that thing about Sun Huan clearly implies that Lu Xun already had the fire attack in mind which he was 100% sure would be successful, hence he didn't save Sun Huan. Now think about it, when his first attack failed, other generals are not quick to panic, nor they say that Lu Xun is incapable. They are merely saying that Lu xun is killing soldiers in vain, which makes sense, given how Lu Xun cannot devise a perfect strategy without actually testing anything first.

Again, I didn't say that Lu xun didn't fail. What I'm saying is that the failure is intentional because it's only to test the Wei army. But now arguing about something inside one's mind is, indeed, impossible. You said somewhere else that we cannot really know what Liu Bei's motivation to attack Wu, even if we have a proof as definite as Liu Bei's own statement. If we apply that to this case, then likewise we cannot really know whether Lu Xun has some plan in mind or really just came up with some idea after the failed attack. But seeing that coming up with a brand new plan after a failed one in a nick of time, which somehow matched Shu's disadvantaged position, I think the more probable scenario is that Lu Xun already has some plan in mind.

Dong Zhou wrote:As far as I'm aware, all the records say Liu Bei had the smaller forces we have gives Wu as having the numbers, Professor De Crespigny also gives Wu the numbers edge. Wu also had the advantage of defence, shorter supply line and fortified positions, stronger officer core. That Lu Xun lost control of them and thus that advantage is on him.

The Wu officers were unquestionably loyal to the throne. They just didn't believe in Lu Xun's methods or that he was being so defensive when he had the advantage.

Well, as far as I know, the 40,000 numbers are Liu Bei's vanguard, so yeah, in the battlefield, perhaps Shu is more at disadvantage. After all, Liu Bei stationed many man along the way and their defense became very thin. Liu Bei is no idiot. If he wanted to captue Jing, then surely he would mobilize at least a number as big as Wu's. The numbers that joined the final battle might not be as big, but he has some troops along the way.

And yes, that's also counted as disadvantage. I mean, even if the officers are loyal to the throne, they are doing everything they can to disobey him, risking foiling the plan.

Dong Zhou wrote:I assume the didn't is the rank bit. He was put in charge of a garrison, was given command against Pang Lin's group, made a Colonel and given another miliatry garrison. Lu Xun was given greater command and fought the Shanyue which was something of an important step for Wu generals. So he had held miliatry command and rank by Fan

Okay. I thought those are civil rank. Well, still, he's not that well-known, Lu Meng and Sun Quan himself knew that, and Fan and especially Yi Ling is the time for both Shu and Wei to know that Wu still has some talent (well, actually they have a lot, like Zhu Ran).

Dong Zhou wrote:They invaded three times against armies led by him so no. Of all the reasons given for why a camapign would be a bad idea, Lu Xun wasn't mentioned so why not simply those reasons given? Why a man they had beaten several times and who they would attack when Lu Xun was on the main front?

Lu Xun being out of Wei's main focus of invasion (his death did not lead to a series of Jing invasions so not down to him, it was never Wei's focus) is indeed a reason why his being on defensive against Wei was rare.

There is some indication that Wei were afraid of Lu Xun, though not a direct statement
Thereupon, Lu Xun and Zhuge Jin secretly conceived of a plan; Zhuge Jin was to lead the navy while Lu Xun commanded all the land troops feigning an attack on Xiangyang city. Since the enemies had always been fearful of Lu Xun, they immediately headed back into the city. Zhuge Jin thus led the navy to set off, while Lu Xun slowly reorganised the army, put on a false show of might, and proceeded on foot to board the ships. The enemies dared not pursue him.
So yeah, I think there is some indication that Wei avoid a battle with Lu Xun. A bit like how Jin waited until Lu Kang passed away.

By three times you mean the three pronged attack that happens right after Yi Ling? I Wasn't it one attack involving three separate armies? Now for some unknown reason, Lu Xun wasn't present at this battle so you can't say they defeated him several times. The only time I know is, as I said earlier, that northen campaign where he planted beans. But again, looking at overall context, I think the attack only happen because Zhuge Liang urged Sun Quan to attack, and Sun Quan sent Lu Xun and Zhuge Jin to Xiangyang. Another one I read is that one attack involving Man Chong. But this isn't written in bio's other than Man Chong's, so either this attack is the same as that part where Lu Xun plant beans (same situation: Wu armies immediately retreats), or it didn't really happen. So no, It could not be said that Lu Xun was beaten by Wei in a millitary warfare. It's just some envoy not doing his job good enough.

As for Lu Xun's death not lead to a series of Jing invasion, well, wasn't Wei already struggling with Jiang Wei's northern campaign? It is understandable that Wei would focus on the more aggresive Shu than Wu.

Dong Zhou wrote:The alliance being full of ill-feeling and bad will doesn't mean it wasn't an alliance

But practically it wasn't, and in real life, a piece of paper (or whatever they use that time t write down their agreement) worth nothing if no real action is taken. (But at this point, we're just debating semantics here)

Dong Zhou wrote:I think there is a misunderstanding there of the job frontline governors+generals had. Guan Yu's task was yes to run Jing and protect it, he was the frontline with Wu diplomacy at local level but also to lead Shu's second army, to try to expand. There is no suggestion in the historical records that Guan Yu exceeding his authority by the attack and he wasn't without reason to try his luck at Fan.

Lu Xun led many invasions and failed. Philosophy idea only works if he committed to defensive posture.

Okay. Let us suppose he's not a bad governor because he attacked Fan. He is still a bad governor because he bought into Lu Meng's trick. Also, he was bad for actually treating his own subordinate less kindly. I think there's a reason why there are a lot of people who defect when Lu Meng attacked Jing, and indeed, there must be a reason why Lu Meng treated the people so nicely. Not a good governor.

I'm still not convinced that Lu Xun "led many invasions." He cannot fail if he never actually lead any. Well, he did lead one, but again, Sun Quan was the leader, and Lu Xun (and Zhuge Jin) is only sent by him to attack Xiangyang. And even if he failed (because of the envoy), he has done a pretty good job retreating.

Dong Zhou wrote:proof?

As a member of the traditional Confucianist Lu family in Wu Commandery, Lu Xun had, throughout his life, maintained his beliefs in the Confucian style of governance
Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20130702172 ... /3404.html (translated in the wikipedia page. I Can't read Chinese)
Another parts reads like this:
In the millitary strategy, Lu Xun consistenly advocated against Sun Quan's military expansion. In 222, Lu Xun led an army to defeat Liu Bei at Yi Ling, but didn't pursue him to Sichua. In 228, Lu Xun again led another army to defeat 100.000 Wei troops, but again didn't pursue victory and entered the Middle Plain.
(Again, I can't read Chinese. So I used Google translate to my own language, and then translate it to English)

Doesn't seem like Lu Xun is all that learned in militry strategy. Well, if he's so against military expansion, then what is the point dedicated his time to study about warfare? And I think from his many petition to Sun Quan, apparently Lu Xun is quite a learned man, though not in warfare, which actually okay.

Dong Zhou wrote:The Jing borrowing is... controversial, Shu and Wu records directly contradict as to if there was any such promises and agreements. One of them is fibbing, it is up to the person to work out which one they believe. However even if one believes there was a loan agreement, that was settled by the Wu invasion of 215. It has no claim on the invasion of 219.

But really, if everything Zhou Yu's SGZ bio said is true, then Jing belongs to Wu because Zhou Yu actually was the one who work his ass off to take it from Wei. And somehow Liu Bei borrowed it and never return it. It leads to 215 (in which Wu lost everything and gain nothing), and finally to 219

Dong Zhou wrote:Liu Bei and co were (probably) sincere in they wanted alliance with Wu till Wei was dead but like all warlords (including Sun Quan), number 1 came first.

Liu Bei was, in the records, noted for his kindness and people point to his lack of massacres compared to his rivals. His honesty? Liu Bei wasn't trusted by warlords (or sometimes, the court of said warlords) and Sun Quan chose alliance over golden cage imprisonment for practical reasons rather then trust, he knew the sort of man who was allying with. Liu Bei was noted as an ambitious figure and yes with a long track record of going from warlord to warlord with varying degrees of justification. It is very different from novel reputation but that isn't the historical Liu Bei's fault

Yeah well okay, that's understandable. Perhaps Sun Quan was just as untrustworthy as Liu Bei. But this is precisely why I think the alliance pre-Yi Ling is not neccessary. If they can work together, that would be ideal. But history tells us that the alliance just didn't work. After Yi Ling, it is a lot better.

Dong Zhou wrote:Destroying weaker first is fine as long as the bigger guy just sits there and lets you do it then gives you time to recover and settle. That is extremely unlikely. Allying with the fellow weaker power forces the stronger kingdom to split their focus and resources to keep all it's flanks safe rather then focus all it's forces on you.

Yeah, well theoretically that's true. But again, Wu wasn't as weak as the novel made them out to be. I mean, these are the guys who defeated Cao Cao at Chibi. And since all the Shu's help (including Zhuge Liang calling for wind) is likely novel-only, they pretty much can hold Wei without being helped tremendously by Shu.
Also, I do not mean that they have to attack Shu while Wei is waiting for them to exhaust themselves. No. I mean, it's Wei who attacked Shu and Wu just waited. Okay, maybe Wu have to be a vassal state for some moments but if in the end they can defeat Wei, then it's totaly worth it. I remember reading somewhere about a king of Yue named Goujian during Spring and Autumn Period. He was attacked by a stronger kingdom, became a nobody for some years while secretly building his kingdom and weakening his enemy, and BAM suddenly his enemy was defeated severly. If this can happen during that time, why can't the same happen in Wu?

Dong Zhou wrote:Name a historical figure or historian who didn't consider it an alliance? It may have been testy but they still sent envoys to each other, they still were not meant to attack each other so could make decisions based on that

Wu and Shu were squabbling and testy but not at each other's throats.

As I said, the alliance is only in theory. Yes they have some alliance established. Officially, they're ally but the alliance is very shaky to the point of non-existence.

Okay, here's some analogy: I made an agreement with a friend that we will not steal each other's cake. So he asked me nicely that he wanted mine, but later he will give his own to me later. He didn't do it. I got angry. I tried to steal his cake but somehow he could defend his cake well. Some moment later I pretend to be sick and he thought me being sick would mean I will not be able to steal his cake. He went somewhere to steal another cake. I got up from bed, and took his cake.

Of course, there's still an agreement between the two of us that we will not steal each other's cake. But what good is that agreement if we both do not honor it?

Dong Zhou wrote:A few things had changed in recent years, Guan Yu had more resources gathered in recent years so was able to strike out at last, Wei had problems in the local area as Eltemsh mentions that Guan Yu could try to exploit. Fan itself made a good target becuase if Shu could take it then Wei's heartlands became very vulnerable.

Oh, okay. You also give some reasons why Guan Yu attacked Fan aside from arrogance in another thread, and Elitemish also mention that. Okay, maybe he's not that bad. But still, the fact that he treated his subordinates not so nicely and easily flattered by a letter makes him bad.

Dong Zhou wrote:Odds favour Wei in a double team on Yi, they have more resources to pour into it. Lu Xun gave reasons why Wu couldn't press on and it was by no means certain Wu would have taken Yi had they pressed on. Lu Su didn't think they could do it during Liu Zhang's time and the one time Wu did attack Yi, when Shu collapsed, they failed miserably. The southern defences and mountain passes were strong and difficult to conquer

I don't underestimate Wu, I just note far inferior resources, Wu's limited record in Yi and that when Shu was dead (and the tribes dealt with), Jin was able to bring forth... 10 armies I think. As strong as Wu's defences would be, 10 armies is extremely difficult to fend off, particularly with the river negated if Jing ends up in Wei hands. Zhou Yu's plan was while Yi was in play and when Liu Zhang was weak so he could use internal problems to take quickly, it was a bold gamble that Lu Su was less keen on.

Not sure what the last line is referring to, sorry. Sima Yan?

Hmmm... hmmm...

This would be a huge "IF". But let us suppose that right after Liu Bei "borrowed" Jing, or better still, before Zhou Yu passed away, they ally themselves with Wei. That time, Wei was still weakened after Chibi. Also, considering that Wei has the emperor on their side, siding with Wei means having the support of emperor too. Who knows, perhaps that would bring some benefit to Wu. Now during Liu Bei's takeover of Yi Province, Cao Cao was attacking Zhang Lu at Hanzong, so Liu Zhang has to ally themselves with Liu Bei. Now if the SGZ is true, the people of Chengdu didn't really like Liu Bei that much. At this point, let us imagine that Wu meddled into this and helped Liu Zhang (I don't know how long the distance from, say, Nanjun to Chengdu, but let's just imagine). Perhaps the people of Chengdu would come to accept Wu as their protector and defeated Shu. Now if this happens, then Wu would have some control of Yi province, though inderectly. It's just a matter of time before Yi is theirs. Well, won't be this easy I know, but it won't be as bad as Wei controlling the entire province.

I agree that Wu has inferior resources, but once they control Jing, wouldn't their resources increase? I remember reading somehwere that Jing is a crucial place full of resource and it would certainly help them a lot. Also, why take Yi by force? I have shown how it is possible for Wu to take control of Yi before Shu actually take it from Liu Zhang. That would be nice. I'm not talking about the Jin era, the war is already lost by that time.

Hahaha yeah. Remember how the Sima family loves calling everyone imbeciles in DW8, including their emperor? Okay I know that's not his torical but it's still funny (and kinda ironic)
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:32 pm

Before I work on major reply, I picked the ZZTJ becuase the translations are by professionals so if there is confusion about translation or something doesn't sound right with SGZ translation (which are done by amateurs), I tend to go for that. You can find ] Emperor Ling's death to just after Guan Du, to Cao Cao's death, to fall of Shu and early bits cover fall of Wu

On the Chinese source, who is it by and what is it based off? If going to make claims that aren't in SGZ or ZZTJ, I prefer to know if it is a reputable source. Like you, I alas can't read Chinese
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:14 pm

Hmmm... I must have missed soething but the only offensive campaigns Lu Xun led that I know is when he surpressed some rebels, which most, if not all of them, were successful. The only offensive campaign I can think of is Sun Quan's northern expedition to Xiangyang. But Lu Xun's SGZ bio said it was Sun Quan who led the expedition and he only sent Lu Xun AND ZHUGE JIN (so both, not Lu Xun only) to attack. Also, the reason why the attack falied is not because Lu Xun was not a good offensive commander but because the envoy he sent wasn't careful enough. Also, Lu Xun's response after this is trully astonishing: he planned to retreat. I mean, why? They were just arrived and now, just because an envoy was not careful enought, the expedition was cancelled? Well, it seems as if Lu Xun didn't really want to attack Wei so overall reason why Lu Xun is a bad offensive commander is simply because he didn't want to be offensive at all (except Shiting, but that's also because Sun Quan appointed him). Also, given how carefully Lu Xun planned his retreat, I think we should give credit where credit is due


I hold my hand up, I got so distracted by the "he opposed offensive camapign" argument that I didn't check his offensive record and was wrong, I apologize to you and to Lu Xun who I slandered. Your right, it is good within the limited amount he did fight. He expanded in the south successfully, he pushed for invasion of Jing where he was successful, failed in a minor invasion and he fought at Xiangyang as part of a three way camapign where defeat was not his fault and he did brilliantly.

Bar the massacre issue, I think Lu Xun did well with Xiangyang (why I highlighted it as an time when Lu Xun thought of something under greater pressure then Yiling Yes. He would do so under arguably worse circumstances later on when Wei intercepted his entire plans and he had to retreat with Zhuge Jin.). It was part of a triple offensive that had gone wrong and yes becuase there was of the envoy captured. The reason the camapign got pulled is all their plans, all the information, everything was now in Wei hands and the other Wu armies were in retreat (with Wei knowing the retreat plans) and Wei suddenly had a lot of armies available to try to attack and destroy the Wu armies. Lu Xun and Zhuge Jin went from trying to take city/acting as a distraction (when Wu launched three pronged assaults), the supporting armies jobs sometimes seem to be were in deep trouble so Lu Xun deserves immense credit for way he managed to get army out before Wei could trap him and even making some gains from it.

Amount of times Lu Xun advised a policy of never attacking Wei 0. Amount of times he refused to take action against Wei on principle (rather then becuase he thought the camapign idea was a bad idea) 0. There is no evidence that he opposed invasions (given he planned and led them) on principle or even attacking Wei on principle given the lack of memorials against it as a policy, his continued service, his promotions. There is literally no evidence for "he opposed invasions on principle" and given the attacks and plans he did have, there is evidence against it. That he is doveish side of things, you can make a (pretty good) case for but opposes invasions on principle requires you to go against his own life

Such as? I think some people would say that Shu is the most Confucian but this is simply not true. Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang is the text book example of Legalists, not Confucians. And I think Lu Xun SGZ bio clearly portray him as a Confucian scholar. I mean, the bio tells a story about Lu Xun disliking the method of punishment and opts for a more compassionate method. The footnotes even mentioned that Lu Xun's position on education over punishment stems from classical Confucianism. Also, he insisted Sun Quan on having Sun He as his successor, even though Sun He is not that competent. This is because Lu Xun upheld the Confucian value. To be honest, I can't find a 3K individual who is more Confucian than Lu xun. And there must be some reason why nowadays people claim him as an ardent Confucian, and not a more popular figure like Zhuge Liang. Perhaps there is some truth in that?


Lu Zhi? Sima Yi and his allies would claim it though feel free to be cynical. Zhang Zhao? Chen Deng? Liu Biao? All with stronger claims to Lu Xun as noted scholars and/or Confucians (usually both). I suspect it is harder to think of "don't ever attack" on principle figures as either such figures had the sense not to take offical jobs in a civil war in kingdoms that wanted to win or they were seen as impractical and didn't rise up high.

I agree they aren't, Liu Bei doesn't seem to have had particularly philosophical leanings and Zhuge Liang did lean towards legalism. The locals Yi brand of Confucianism was different and seen as weird by other parts of China so it is quite funny Shu gets seen in such a light. I would, frankly, put none of the three kingdoms as a Confucian exemplar kingdom though it was a strong age for that philosophy as they kept power, it got developed further by scholars in what was a good era for philosophy.

Was Lu Xun a Confucian? Yes his record reads in that direction, you give two good examples (not the Sun He one, not wanting the kingdom to die is not a Confucian thing) and usually safe to assume Confucian by default. Did he know the texts? He would have expected to study him as part of his good education and clearly knew them. That puts him on basic gentry level. Further then that is the question. As a ardent, really noted as a Confucian example? No, there is no primary source that calls him that, he had no reputation as such, nobody is quoted as saying that from his time or the 3kingdom commentators east (like Sun Sheng, Pei Songzhi and so on) or west (De Crespigny). As a scholar? What writings, what expertise of the texts was he credited with? Where in the texts does it indicate he was devoted to his studies? All the basics "this guy is a scholar" indicators (like some of his grandchildren), never mentioned for Lu Xun. At all.

As you note, Zhuge Liang is not exactly the pick for Confucian figures of 3kingdoms. As for people viewing Lu Xun as a top Confucian, they like Lu Xun, they like Confucianism, they don't know enough about Confucians in the era or the philosophical figures, they hear from others an incorrect detail which sounds right and the myth continues. People also think the novel is accurate, Zhuge Liang was at Chibi, Zhuge Liang was a Confucian icon, Liu Shan was a moron, Wu was lesser then Shu. You yourself have pointed to many "people believe" due to novel which you know is inaccurate and complain about said inaccuracy. People will believe a lot of false stuff unfortunately for a variety of reasons.

The idea that Lu Xun, who held no such reputation at that time, as the 3kingdom's great Confucian is unfair on a lot of people. I know people don't mean to be unfair, they think it is a great thing "that he was" but it is false. It is unfair on Lu Xun, he was a great figure of the era and a good man but the theory of him as a great Confucian scholar implies that Lu Xun's actual life wasn't good enough, that it needs something extra. It is also unfair to the Confucian scholars who sought to advance the understanding of the world, to advance their belief, who wrote and tutored and studied, who were seen as prime examples due to the life they led and get pushed aside for someone who was not a Confucian scholar but is simply more famous and more popular.

Agreed. But there doesn't seem to be any opportunity for Wu (during Lu Xun's time) to attack. If the plan is only to keep Wei on the backfoot, then I think Wu has done a pretty good job by defending their border well and that one time in Xiangyang.


Wu launched a lot of camapigns, just as Lu Xun wasn't involved in them and didn't protest them, they aren't noted in Lu Xun's SGZ but in other people's SGZ's.

Generally a ruler's SGZ will tell you the major events of that ruler even if they aren't involved as will act as a chronicle, a officers SGZ won't mention something unless it impacts them or they were involved (or it was embarrassing and then it gets mentioned in someone else's :wink: ). Lu Xun's doesn't mention Chibi or the 215 invasion for example

Well, yeah. But that takes time (an incredibly long time, tbh), and during Lu Xun's time the moment is just right. I think Wu always had the option of waiting till Shu and Wei exhaust each other, and then take the opportunity to attack Wei. I think this is what Wu (including Lu Xun), were thinking all along. Alas before that time came, Sun Quan already got old and senile and creates the succession problem that ended Lu Xun's life. Since then, Wu never had any opportunity to fulfil their goal. Their sole existence is simply to survive.


Sun Quan's 11 invasions of Hefei (just Hefei) alone suggests Sun Quan wasn't seeking to wait it out.

No it wasn't. Wu's intent was to win. I blame DW and the novel for the idea all Wu wanted to do was remain independent and not to take control of all of China.

Also, I think if the goal is simply to weaken Wei's resources and adding their own, then attacking them is not the only way to achieve that. In fact, in most (if not all) cases, the offensive side is more than often exhaust their resources more than the defensive (Wu at Hefei, Shu at Yi Ling, Wei during that three-pronged attack, etc).


That is a legitimate argument. Sometimes made in the era, not as a general "we should just sit back" but when opposing certain camapigns or when arguing the balance has been too offensive so need to just take a break,

As for the Yiling bit:
Well, I do not have access to ZZTJ but seriously why prefer one translation over another? And yes, my source is SGZ. But what of that? Now we're debating on the issue which is totally unknown to us (or at least unknown to me) as I cannot read the original text and eve if I ca somehow read Chinese, there are no available text so I will stick with the scenario that Lu Xun already knows that he had to attack from both rear and from. If that its merely a phrase than a literal plan, why did Lu Xun's actual plan (burning Shu's camp) actually involves attacking multiple location and not just one, as his original attack intended to be?
Also, SGZ reads, "By flanking both front and rear and surrounding the enemy, I reckon that the time for us to capture and defeat Liu Bei has come" Bears no similarity with "Today is the right time for us to take him by head and tail." Wikipedia has its own translation of this line from SGZ ""Liu Bei is cunning and experienced. In the initial stage, his army was very focused and its morale was very high, so we could not defeat them then. Now, however, since it has been quite some time, they are already weary, low on morale, and out of ideas. Now is the time for us to launch a multi-pronged assault on them", which again, suggest that this is an actual plan, not just a phrase. Multi-pronged assault seems to sound like a plan than some lame phrases. I do not question the accuracy of ZZTJ, perhaps ZZTJ refers to another speech by Lu Xun, but not this one.


Professional over amateur but hope you like the ZZTJ links I gave. Sorry for the confusion about it, I should have given you links to ZZTJ as soon as I mentioned it

He had learnt from what happened so went with a coordinated attack but he didn't attack the rear.

ZTTJ is literally the same speech, quoting from the SGZ. The ZZTJ, the SGZ description of the actual attack, De Crespigny's work like Generals of the South, what people said about the attack, nothing points to a rear attack happening.

Now that part about Xiangyang actually proves my points. When Lu Xun failed in his offensive attempt at Xiangyang, all he could think of is retreat. He cannot think of a brilliant plan to turn the situation and somehow winning the war. In Yi Ling, Lu Xun DID actually plan to attack. I agree that he was a calm intelligent thinker, but somehow came up with a detailed plan in a snap of finger is just an impossible feat. I mean, he's intelligent but he's no god.
And other general did similar. Well, yeah, I agree. But most ends in an utter failure and not a deceisive victory.


It showed the difference between a man like Zhuge Jin (intelligent and an important figure but ill-suited to command) and Lu Xun. The two Wu armies were in trouble due to collapse of Wu's camapign and that Wei knew everything now, winning was now "getting out of there intact" (taking Xiangyang was not pointless and likely impossible), not something Wu armies always managed. Lu Xun kept his head, managed to extradite his armies intact and even make a few gains in resources

If he got Xiangyang wrong, Wu army could have been massacred. He gets the reaction at Yiling wrong... Wu army will remain intact and in favourable potion, he would be in trouble but Xiangyang was a lot more pressure. He did come up with a plan in an instant at Xiangyang so why not here

As for the two scenario:
On scenario 1: The problem with this is that it doesn't seem to be that much different from Scenario 2. I didn't say that Lu Xun didn't fail in his first attack. What I'm trying to argue is that the failure is done deliberately and planned because he already has a bigger plan in mind, the fire attack. So yeah, I agree that he learn something from that failed attack and that's why the fire attack is such a great success. Now the question is not whether the attack was a failure of not. Everybody knows it is. The question is whether Lu Xun had the fire attack in mind.
On scenario 2: Precisely because Wu didn't make Lu Xun look bad if they tell us that he tested Shu's might by attacking once. And that thing about Sun Huan clearly implies that Lu Xun already had the fire attack in mind which he was 100% sure would be successful, hence he didn't save Sun Huan. Now think about it, when his first attack failed, other generals are not quick to panic, nor they say that Lu Xun is incapable. They are merely saying that Lu xun is killing soldiers in vain, which makes sense, given how Lu Xun cannot devise a perfect strategy without actually testing anything first.


The first attack wasn't failed but was deliberate tester, that the history is wrong is a big difference from failed and then he learnt and came up with the fire attack

Wu going "Lu Xun had a plan so tested out Shu's defences" is a lot better then attacked, lost further support and then came up with plan. Sun Huan line suggests Lu Xun had plans (which he did, a Fabian strategy as it were), that is very different from he had a very specific fire attack plan which would contradict the histories.

They are saying Lu Xun is failing again, that the defeat was pointless and got men killed. Not that they had any sense of a plan. I know of no interpretation of Yiling that backs the idea that Lu Xun had a fire attack planned all along

Well, as far as I know, the 40,000 numbers are Liu Bei's vanguard, so yeah, in the battlefield, perhaps Shu is more at disadvantage. After all, Liu Bei stationed many man along the way and their defense became very thin. Liu Bei is no idiot. If he wanted to captue Jing, then surely he would mobilize at least a number as big as Wu's. The numbers that joined the final battle might not be as big, but he has some troops along the way.

And yes, that's also counted as disadvantage. I mean, even if the officers are loyal to the throne, they are doing everything they can to disobey him, risking foiling the plan.


Perhaps vanguard not quite the word your looking for, frontline army and not including the logistics. That is possible (but would also have to apply to Wu) though that isn't usual practise but even then, still would be far less then the 100,000 Zhuge Liang was able to wield (and De Crespigny argues the numbers for both Shu and Wu were exaggerated). It is puzzling why Liu Bei had less then half the peak Shu amount, possibly the administration of his new state wasn't quite strong enough yet, possibly the Yong Kai situation was tying down troops, possibly need to guard Hanzhong with Wei allied to Wu tied down considerable troops. Possibly Liu Bei was holding back reserves for a second offensive, possibly Liu Bei was going for length of time in the field as Shu struggled to keep the 100k in field for long. There is no obvious answer

While it wasn't unknown for Wu officers to become that level of disobedient, I don't recall them actually disobeying orders on this one. It is a disadvantage none the less but a self inflicted one

Okay. I thought those are civil rank. Well, still, he's not that well-known, Lu Meng and Sun Quan himself knew that, and Fan and especially Yi Ling is the time for both Shu and Wei to know that Wu still has some talent (well, actually they have a lot, like Zhu Ran).


Yeah I doubt Wei or Shu court were bowled over by Lu Xun's appointment. Probably not a complete unknown given family name, Fan, marriage tie to the Sun family (also lack of "who the?" comments) but not one that would have wowed them.

There is some indication that Wei were afraid of Lu Xun, though not a direct statement


That is the local forces though, not the Wei court and, leaving aside Wu exaggeration, might have something to do with an army turning up unexpectedly. Lu Xun certainly never scared off Wei's actual commanders or court.

By three times you mean the three pronged attack that happens right after Yi Ling? I Wasn't it one attack involving three separate armies? Now for some unknown reason, Lu Xun wasn't present at this battle so you can't say they defeated him several times. The only time I know is, as I said earlier, that northen campaign where he planted beans. But again, looking at overall context, I think the attack only happen because Zhuge Liang urged Sun Quan to attack, and Sun Quan sent Lu Xun and Zhuge Jin to Xiangyang. Another one I read is that one attack involving Man Chong. But this isn't written in bio's other than Man Chong's, so either this attack is the same as that part where Lu Xun plant beans (same situation: Wu armies immediately retreats), or it didn't really happen. So no, It could not be said that Lu Xun was beaten by Wei in a millitary warfare. It's just some envoy not doing his job good enough.


No I mean three invasions of Wu that were involving fighting Lu Xun's army. Let alone the umpteen that did not

Sure, that attack of the umpteen other Wu invasions of Wei was a coordinated with Shu one. There were plenty of others that were not.

Given the different years and different location (plus the ZZTJ), not the same one.

Ok when you don't understand something about the era, it leads to you attack 3kingdom figures unfairly. We have had it with Guan Yu and now we have it with Wei historians, it is unfair on the dead and they deserve better then this. I get being puzzled as to why one thing mentioned in one bio (in this case, an invasion in Man Chong's bio) but not the other (Lu Xun's). The problem is when confronted with something you don't understand, you then don't ask why but fit it into your own views in a way that insults figures rather then go "ok why is this so?" and asking. For record I have seen no evidence from the SGZ, commentators, the ZZTJ (which has the camapign as well) or historians that this was a fake camapign.

So why does this sort of thing happen? It is certainly true none of the 3kingdom set of historians were always honest (there are plenty of fibs) but in this case, in a minor event (a very brief invasion like this one) will sometimes only go into one bio. For Man Chong, this looks great that he was able to scare of an attack ad his advice was right so why they were hardly going to miss out. For Lu Xun and the Wu historians, it is a minor defeat they had not particular reason to need or want to mention so they skip over it and running away straight away is a bit embarrassing. This sort of omission happens a fair bit and Chen Shou didn't seem to bother to fix it since he assumed people would read the other SGZ's and thus pick up what was "dropped".

Also note underneath the quick invasion in Man Chong's SGZ (and in ZZTJ), the comment that Sun Quan planned invasions every year. Every year.

As for Lu Xun's death not lead to a series of Jing invasion, well, wasn't Wei already struggling with Jiang Wei's northern campaign? It is understandable that Wei would focus on the more aggresive Shu than Wu.


You seem to be "the novel was wrong about Wu's strength" then going with the novel pacific of Wu vs Wei rather then the historical ones. Wei were able to hold off those Jiang Wei invasions easily, Wu was nearly always Wei's main focus. There were attacks on Wu during the Jiang Wei era. Just not on Jing.

Okay. Let us suppose he's not a bad governor because he attacked Fan. He is still a bad governor because he bought into Lu Meng's trick. Also, he was bad for actually treating his own subordinate less kindly. I think there's a reason why there are a lot of people who defect when Lu Meng attacked Jing, and indeed, there must be a reason why Lu Meng treated the people so nicely. Not a good governor.


Oh, okay. You also give some reasons why Guan Yu attacked Fan aside from arrogance in another thread, and Elitemish also mention that. Okay, maybe he's not that bad. But still, the fact that he treated his subordinates not so nicely and easily flattered by a letter makes him bad.


Is he a bad governor? There is a case for that. However I think a variance of "I hold my hands up, I unfairly attacked Guan Yu and apolgize" rather then attacking Guan Yu again would have been a more generous attitude.

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20130702172 ... /3404.html (translated in the wikipedia page. I Can't read Chinese)
Another parts reads like this:

In the millitary strategy, Lu Xun consistenly advocated against Sun Quan's military expansion. In 222, Lu Xun led an army to defeat Liu Bei at Yi Ling, but didn't pursue him to Sichua. In 228, Lu Xun again led another army to defeat 100.000 Wei troops, but again didn't pursue victory and entered the Middle Plain.

(Again, I can't read Chinese. So I used Google translate to my own language, and then translate it to English)

Doesn't seem like Lu Xun is all that learned in militry strategy. Well, if he's so against military expansion, then what is the point dedicated his time to study about warfare? And I think from his many petition to Sun Quan, apparently Lu Xun is quite a learned man, though not in warfare, which actually okay.


So one one hand we have primary sources and historians that do nothing to indicate Lu Xun was any of that unlike all the other Confucian scholars and where Lu Xun wasn't noticed as opposed to invasions vs Wikipedia which is noteroius when it comes to 3kingdoms (it is better then it was) and a google translate (I can't read Chinese either so not judging).

Because he wasn't opposed to expansion as the people of Jing, people of the south and the village he massacred can testify. As can the records. I assume he studied miliatry texts as 1) histories tend to not something that unusual, 2) he was in a civil war. Military texts might be helpful to study, 3) he held and rose through miliatry ranks. Again might be helpful if he studied the basics of his job

But really, if everything Zhou Yu's SGZ bio said is true, then Jing belongs to Wu because Zhou Yu actually was the one who work his ass off to take it from Wei. And somehow Liu Bei borrowed it and never return it. It leads to 215 (in which Wu lost everything and gain nothing), and finally to 219


if true, Shu disputes Wu's version of events

Wu won lands in 215, all their claims (fair or otherwise) were settled then.

Yeah well okay, that's understandable. Perhaps Sun Quan was just as untrustworthy as Liu Bei. But this is precisely why I think the alliance pre-Yi Ling is not neccessary. If they can work together, that would be ideal. But history tells us that the alliance just didn't work. After Yi Ling, it is a lot better.


It was necessary at Chi Bi and at least for awhile afterwards. It worked well for both up to a point

Yeah, well theoretically that's true. But again, Wu wasn't as weak as the novel made them out to be. I mean, these are the guys who defeated Cao Cao at Chibi. And since all the Shu's help (including Zhuge Liang calling for wind) is likely novel-only, they pretty much can hold Wei without being helped tremendously by Shu.
Also, I do not mean that they have to attack Shu while Wei is waiting for them to exhaust themselves. No. I mean, it's Wei who attacked Shu and Wu just waited. Okay, maybe Wu have to be a vassal state for some moments but if in the end they can defeat Wei, then it's totaly worth it. I remember reading somewhere about a king of Yue named Goujian during Spring and Autumn Period. He was attacked by a stronger kingdom, became a nobody for some years while secretly building his kingdom and weakening his enemy, and BAM suddenly his enemy was defeated severly. If this can happen during that time, why can't the same happen in Wu?


I know they aren't as weak as the novel, your the one who seems keen to underplay their historical ambition and strength. They are however weaker then Wei.

Apart from the 20,000 troops Shu had in the fight? Almost half the allied forces against Cao Cao at Chi Bi? I look forward to the day one of your inaccurate assumptions rather then asking is in Shu's favour :wink: Why would you think Shu would play no part in a battle that they needed to win to survive and why do you think Wu would not insist Shu bring their soldiers?

Holding Wei off in a one off camapign? Sure. Holding off Wei long term if Wei unites the rest of China? No.

I don't know enough about Goujian and the situation he was in to know if that is a fair comparison to the entire central plains and Yi vs Wu. Which when it did happen and Jin focused, saw Wu defeated quickly

As I said, the alliance is only in theory. Yes they have some alliance established. Officially, they're ally but the alliance is very shaky to the point of non-existence.

Okay, here's some analogy: I made an agreement with a friend that we will not steal each other's cake. So he asked me nicely that he wanted mine, but later he will give his own to me later. He didn't do it. I got angry. I tried to steal his cake but somehow he could defend his cake well. Some moment later I pretend to be sick and he thought me being sick would mean I will not be able to steal his cake. He went somewhere to steal another cake. I got up from bed, and took his cake.

Of course, there's still an agreement between the two of us that we will not steal each other's cake. But what good is that agreement if we both do not honor it?


By the end possibly but still an alliance.

I note you haven't put the long term implications or the Wei aspect there in your anology.

Hmmm... hmmm...

This would be a huge "IF". But let us suppose that right after Liu Bei "borrowed" Jing, or better still, before Zhou Yu passed away, they ally themselves with Wei. That time, Wei was still weakened after Chibi. Also, considering that Wei has the emperor on their side, siding with Wei means having the support of emperor too. Who knows, perhaps that would bring some benefit to Wu. Now during Liu Bei's takeover of Yi Province, Cao Cao was attacking Zhang Lu at Hanzong, so Liu Zhang has to ally themselves with Liu Bei. Now if the SGZ is true, the people of Chengdu didn't really like Liu Bei that much. At this point, let us imagine that Wu meddled into this and helped Liu Zhang (I don't know how long the distance from, say, Nanjun to Chengdu, but let's just imagine). Perhaps the people of Chengdu would come to accept Wu as their protector and defeated Shu. Now if this happens, then Wu would have some control of Yi province, though inderectly. It's just a matter of time before Yi is theirs. Well, won't be this easy I know, but it won't be as bad as Wei controlling the entire province.

I agree that Wu has inferior resources, but once they control Jing, wouldn't their resources increase? I remember reading somehwere that Jing is a crucial place full of resource and it would certainly help them a lot. Also, why take Yi by force? I have shown how it is possible for Wu to take control of Yi before Shu actually take it from Liu Zhang. That would be nice. I'm not talking about the Jin era, the war is already lost by that time.

Hahaha yeah. Remember how the Sima family loves calling everyone imbeciles in DW8, including their emperor? Okay I know that's not his torical but it's still funny (and kinda ironic)


Not by the second point. The poltical cost of betraying your ally so quickly and one with fame across the land is probably more costly then "Wei having emperor" is a boon. Liu Bei may react diffirently if Wu has already broken alliance so if your shifting change of alliance to "when Liu Bei is in Yi". Note even with Liu Bei's built up support, the people of Chengdu supported Liu Zhang to the end as they always did. Wu would need to seize it by force/get Liu Zhang to surrender completly and take miliatry control

Do you mean they don't like Liu Zhang that much? That is true (to an extent, he also had a degree of loyalty when push came to shove), Liu Bei exploited that, Zhou Yu also wanted to use it, there was also the revolts. Liu Bei was liked in Yi. Wu would have to march through Liu Bei's lands under Guan Yu, through Yi's southern defences and wouldn't have had time to build the popular support Liu Bei did. It took Liu Bei three years from inside and out, with built up support, this could be a long camapign.

It would. Not enough to overcome Wei having the entire rest of China. Jing was a rich province but so was Yi and a lot of the Central Plains.

Yes in part becuase Jin had superior resources and negated Wu's water defences, Wu was doomed once Yi fell. Keystone of Wu's defensive strategy was Shu having Yi and so protecting their flank, ensuring Wei (and then Jin) could never muster all their resources into a overwhelming invasion force.
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