Was Lu Meng right?

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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:23 pm

Those are big if's about Shu taking those cities though
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby LiuBeiwasGreat » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:16 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:Those are big if's about Shu taking those cities though


The vast majority of the discussions on the forum is based upon "if's" in fact this discussion itself is based on one. Guan Yu showed that he had the potential to take territory even if he failed to do so in his northern strike. Zhuge Liang might of if he had more experience and his opponents hasn't been so talented. Again, big if's.
Shu-Han had potential however was never able to follow through in my opinion.
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby greencactaur » Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:19 am

Dong Zhou wrote:Those are big if's about Shu taking those cities though

Yes those are :p I just think if they did then wei would've fallen due to internal problems. I mean the chances are so slim and they'd need a miracle to take those cities but I feel like when jing was in lius hands they were pushing wei back and they were riding on a lot of momentum to take the western flank of cao. That being said wu also desired more land, more soldierst, more resources, so sun quan not having those lands is like cao cao was in control of those lands. Sun obviously wanted to expand just as much as everyone else.
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Iain » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:03 am

Guan Yu was too stubborn and too wrapped up in his own greatness to worry about anything else besides his plan to gain victory over his foes, I really think that a string of good fortune made his ego too unflappable, he thought he could just march into his enemy's and they would fall apart at his mere presence.

Lu Meng seems to have been a smart man that observed what was transpiring and decided to act upon events as they unfolded, I don't think he lived a long time after Guan's defeat, Wu seemed to lose many good men in their prime.
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby LiuBeiwasGreat » Mon Sep 05, 2016 2:15 pm

Iain wrote:Guan Yu was too stubborn and too wrapped up in his own greatness to worry about anything else besides his plan to gain victory over his foes, I really think that a string of good fortune made his ego too unflappable, he thought he could just march into his enemy's and they would fall apart at his mere presence.

Lu Meng seems to have been a smart man that observed what was transpiring and decided to act upon events as they unfolded, I don't think he lived a long time after Guan's defeat, Wu seemed to lose many good men in their prime.


Well, the same could have been said about Lu Meng. After all, if I am not remembering correctly Lu Meng said that his presence was one of the only reasons why Guan Yu doesn't just sweep away the Southland and take over everything.

Also considering that even without Lu Meng's actions Guan Yu would have still lost to Xu Huang I think that would have been a humbling event to put his ego in check.
Most major generals who achieved a string of victories tended to become arrogant, Cao Cao became arrogant after his conquest of the north and the take over of Jing. However his defeat at Chi Bi humbled him and he didn't make a similar blunder.

Lu Meng's victory at Jing while fantastic and one of the best campaigns ever did shatter any real attempt of cooperation between Wu and Shu-Han. The two sides kept large armies at each others boarder for decades for "mutual defense" but were really there in case the other one started failing so they can steal land.
The possibility of either defeating Wei was small enough, but Lu Meng guaranteed Wei's victory.
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby greencactaur » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:08 am

I agree that Shu having Jing was just as bad as Wei having Jing.
I also agree that Lu Meng taking Jing was actually detrimental in the long run for Wu. Shu was able to push Wei back in Han Zhong and had a lot of momentum riding on them to take even more of the NW. I'm not to familiar with the geography in ancient China, but it seemed like Liu Bei had an easier time to attack Cao Cao in the NW then Sun quan had in the NE. Liu Bei could attack him from Han Zhong into areas like Wu Du, Tian shui etc and it was harder to send forces to those areas because there seems to be less cities there. Sun Quan on the other hand has to send troops across the river to attack. Also the cities seem to be a lot more dense and closer together and the north east then the north west. the cause of this ultimately being that neither Shu or Wu were able to dent Wei any further because the weaker flank of Wei was extremely well guarded now that Shu had lost jing + the incident at Yi Ling.
NOW the thing with all that being said is Lu Meng obviously doesn't know what's going to happen in the future, I mean for all we know maybe Lu Meng planned on taking Jing, and then possibly attacking Yi while Sun Quan guarded his territory? I think as soon as jing was taken Lu Meng became ill, so i don't know if he ever had any plans as to what to do next.
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:16 am

Shu wanted Jing partly becuase the Hanzhong route was difficult, like Wu wanted Jing partly becuase Hefei was a problem. The problem with Hanzhong is the supplylines are bad and areas taken don't seem to have been easy/worth holding for long, it also puts them in terrotry that favoured Wei's cavalry

greencactaur wrote: I think as soon as jing was taken Lu Meng became ill,


It is quite possible Lu Meng hadn't recovered from illness when he entered Jing but clearly the illnesses that hit the Jing force didn't help his fragile health
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby PyroMystic » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:05 pm

Dong edit: added the post adressed to Zyfy below bits adressed to me, added === and ZY for clarity. Please avoid double posting if you can

It has been a very long time since I last visited this thread (3 years! :shock: )

Also, thank you for everyone's reply! Sorry for being to harsh in the first post. Please do forgive me :oops:

Dong Zhou wrote:PyroMystic

Warfare

Firstly, screw it if anyone thinks like this! Of course ANYONE who is right in their mind would only launch an offensive campaign for something they know FOR CERTAIN they will win. Why a commander gamble his troops for an OFFENSIVE battle he isn't sure he will win? That would be suicide, and killing soldier in vain.

People can actually say this, shows how ignorant they are about war. This is NOT an adventure, nor a game. This is WAR. You won't risk people's life for something you aren't sure you will succeed.


Cao Cao, Han Sui, Ma Chao and Zhang Xiu were ignorant of war when they fought camapigns/battles they doubted on? General Eisenhower prepared a letter for if he failed with the D-Day invasions, taking personal responsibility, was he ignorant of war?

Whatever you think of their miliatry abilities, they were experienced commanders and no hints of insanity at those times. There are circumstances where one can be near certain of victory before an invasion but rarely in a civil war like the 3kingdoms or facing a first world power like Eisenhower. Bad weather alone can destroy a camapign in those circumstances, let alone the hundreds of things that can go wrong otherwise. It wasn't that they didn't care about their men but a policy of never fighting unless you can be sure of victory has it's own flaws (and in some cases is impossible) and in each case, they had reason why they thought that taking a chance would prove beneficial in the long run.

Most offensive camapigns are calculating odds and trusting ability to see victory through, that the advantages of success are greater then the cost of failure or doing nothing.

What about Jiang Wei and Zhuge Liang then, who "always plotting to expand their own kingdom" but doing that while not sure he will succeed? They FAILED miserably. Can we say they were great strategist because they kept plotting to expand their own kingdom even when they weren't sure they will win? And also by that, do you mean Lu Xun had to be more aggresive and, say, attack Yong'an after Yi Ling? And also, is this also the case with Lu Kang?


Neither were great strategists. Shu is a good example though of the dilemma

1) The pacifistic approach. Jiang Wan and to a lesser extent didn't attack Wei (Fei Yi allowed two Jiang Wei raids). Shu's prosperity continued but it allowed Wei to relax and focus resources elsewhere and the problem with it is that it becomes a game of time-waiting. Can one province Shu outlast the far larger and better resources kingdoms of Wu and Shu? If Shu isn't going to attack, it's only hope is for Shu to outlast kingdoms with better everything. The miliatry would have lacked expirence and didn't develop officer talent within it's officer core during that

2) Jiang Wei's approach. Jiang Wei was a poor CIC for so many reasons and one of them was his fame-hungry invasions that exhausted Shu's resources, weakened the army and led to mass riots. He went to extreme, always on the war looking, always looking to attack, ignoring the politics and administrative needs

3) Zhuge Liang. He found the balance between the 2. Try to keep Wei on the defensive, ensure it has to tie up resources on it's western flank, trying to take advantage of opportunities and grow Shu. Yet without neglecting the administrative concerns of Shu, the kingdom prospered under him after all. One can say many negative things about his abilities as a commander and tactician, about his milatry record, but I don't think his policy was wrong.

I can't speak for Han Xin but I don't think Yong'an is what he meant, Lu Xun gave a reasonable explanation as to why not to press Shu further. I think Han Xin is saying Lu Xun neither pushed against Wei during his career and when he did go on the offensive, didn't do well a he lacked Lu Meng's tactical flair.

Hmmm... hmmm...

Okay, I was wrong about that. But I would not say Lu Xun was not a better strategist/commander just because he wasn't into offensive battle. I read somewhere that during the Three Kingdoms period, there was two major school on politics. The first is the Gongyang school which deemed that nothing was more important than ensuring a good living for commoners under one’s jurisdiction. The second school, the Zuo school, believed that the the standard of living of commoners must be sacrificed for a short time for the sake of the country. This in turn result in whether one is an expansionist (Zhuge Liang, Jiang Wei, Zhou Yu, etc), or a pacifist (Lu Xun, Lu Kang, Jiang Wan, (and Sima Yi? Not sure about this) etc.)

Now I read somewhere that Lu Xun is fro Gongyang school (in addition to him being a Confucian), while Zhuge Liang is from Zuo school (in addition to him being a Legalist). This is why Zhuge Liang led so many northern campaign (and succeeded by Jiang Wei who took it into extreme), and Lu Xun focused in the internal affairs.

So, okay, grant that Lu Xun was, historically, not too fond of offensive battle, I do not think that therefore it is the case that Lu Xun was not a better commander than Zhou Yu and Lu Meng. I do not know Zhou Yu or Lu Meng's political inclination at that time, but my point stand that it is about one's political view and not about abilities.


Lu Xun vs Wu commanders

Sometimes building a country does not always about quantity, but also quality. Zhou Yu (and Lu Meng) had their eyes on territoty, but Lu Xun's heart was on people. Lu Xun wanted to keep the newly build Wu safe from harm, both internally and externally. That's why he was content with just a defensive campaign. Zhou Yu and Lu Meng, however, didn't have to worry about that as the KINGDOM of Wu existed only in 222. Plus, Wu had just recovered from both Yi Ling and Cao Pi's campaign so it would be unwise to launch another offensive attack.


So when Lu Xun died with Wu still under threat from large Wei and without Wu's position strengthened since he had become CiC, didn't Lu Xun fail the people?

Lu Xun did launch some (failed) offensive camapigns so clearly not just content with defence.

The bold part is a weird argument that I don't understand. Becoming emperor didn't suddenly turn Sun Quan's regime from an army with no people or political status so that in 222, people suddenly appeared and lived in the Wu lands. Zhou Yu and Lu Meng both had the concerns of state on them, Sun Quan was an independent warlord with people living under him. 222 changed him to a formal emperor and had some political/diplomatic consequences but it didn't suddenly change the nature of Wu's CIC's.


Now that's the point about Wu I think some people just tend to forget. I do not think that Wu going more defensive after gaining Jingzhou was because Lu Xun didn't like offensive battle that much (though it might contribute). They DID try t expand their territories (Lu Xun's bio tells us about this) and not just to the north, but they were all failed. So I do not think Wu is defensive after Jingzhou. They tried offensive but failed. They attacked from Hefei and ALWAYS lost (is it true that Sun Quan led 11 northern campaign to Hefei?). They attacked from northern Jing and then we get Shiting. So yeah, Wu tried. They cannot expand their territory to the west for a VERY obvious reason.

Now on Lu Xun.
CMIIW but during this period, wasn't Wei weakened due to internal strife? If this is true, then all the more reason for Lu Xun to focus on Wu's internal affair because Wei would not dare to attack with Sima family suddenly taking control. Hence, while it is true that "Wu still under threat from large Wei," I do not think Wei would attack Wu out of the blue (and Lu Xun knew this). (Thinking about it, I think it could also be the case that, if Lu Xun was cunning manipulative jerk, he was just waiting for Shu and Wei to exhaust their power and then strike after both are weakened. But alas he died to soon. But I do not think it was the case here). Also, Dong Zhou, I do not understand this part: "without Wu's position strengthened since he had become CiC." But this is precisely what Lu Xun did. Wasn't avoiding to expand Wu's territory and focusing on internal matter mean strengthening Wu's position? Expanded territory =/= stronger position. Did I misunderstand something here?


And about "he only do things when he knew that he would succeed", wasn't that what's great about Lu Xun? I always get the feeling that Lu Xun WAS ALWAYS PERFECTLY SURE he was going to win. It was as if he was always thinking, like “Heh, I KNOW their fighting spirit and moral will pummel after they felt the summer heat. I KNOW they will camp near the forest. I KNOW they are angry and they are cocky just because they have more soldiers.” While Zhou Yu was more like, “Let’s just hope for the best. Who knows, maybe we can fool Cao Cao. So, okay, you do this Pang Tong. You do this, Huang Gai. You do this, Zhuge Liang…”


Not really. Partly becuase Lu Xun failed at times, partly becuase Lu Xun didn't strengthen Wu externally as CiC. Whereas Zhou Yu never ever lost a camapign and strengthened Wu

Given Lu Xun fought and lost against Liu Bei forces and changed tactics becuase of that, then came up with fire attack after a further battle, it is certainly not like he always knew that a fire attack was going to happen. Where he does deserve credit is as Wu was pushed back, he did realize there were strong advantages to taking a defensive stance, that Liu Bei would not be daring and would extend his supply lines, that a chance would come. He also deserves great credit for seeing through Liu Bei's ambush and spotting fire attack when he did

That is a poor poor representation of the battle of Chi Bi. Also Zhuge Liang and Pang Tong had no part in Chi Bi. Zhou Yu gave good reasons to fight at Chi Bi and his surmations proved to be correct, he won the naval battles and yes, the spectacular fire attack was Huang Gai's. One of the things Zhou Yu was very good at was taking advice

Wait do you mean Yi Ling? Did not Lu Xun win the battle? Or do you mean this part:
Lu Xun then tried attacking one of Liu Bei’s camps but was unsuccessful. The Wu generals responded, “This is killing soldiers in vain!”
To be honest, this is the part that has honestly baffled me as well. You said that Lu Xun only came up with a plan after this failed attack (the novel states that this failed attack is done by purpose to test Liu Bei's strength, but let's ignore the novel). But if he didn't have ANY plans whatsoever and only came up with that AFTER this failed attack, which I presume would not be a rather quick decision, then how could Lu Xun, rather confidently, said to Sun Quan,
After much observation of how Liu Bei had been leading troops in his career, I see that he had more failures than success; hence, he is not much of a threat. I was initially worried that he would lead an attack from both water and land; but now, it is evident that Liu Bei’s army had left their boats behind to take to the land, and is pitching camp all over. I observe that from his style of arrangement, there should be no further changes. Your majesty can have set your mind at rest, for there should be no worries for now.
It seems that Lu Xun had come up with the fire attack plan at this point, seeing that he was confident enough to assure Sun Quan of his victory.

Also, I don't really understand psychology but I do not think that if Lu Xun REALLY did not have any plan up his sleeve, and just come up after that idea after the failed attack, in addition to him NEVER being respected by his subordinates, he could stay calm and come up with a brilliant plan which no one, not even Liu Bei and the entire Wu forces, realized. I mean, it is psychologically impossible. One would be thrown into a state of panic after such failure. Hence, I think what this part means is that Lu Xun had already thought of the plan, but he did not know which part of Liu Bei's camp should he attack first. He then tried to attack one but was failed, and after that he knew for certain where he should start attacking.

Tl;dr Sure, Zhou Yu was a great strategist, but I won't say he's a good person. As for Lu Xun, maybe he wasn't that great of a war commander, but he was a better person


Why?

Even judging by your own demands for never launching a camapign that one isn't 100% certain of winning would favour Zhou Yu over Lu Xun


I cannot belief I wrote such embarrassing thing :oops: I mustn't be on my right mind when I wrote this. I take back my word. Zhou Yu is a good person, but his approach to things are certainly different from Lu Xun.

Jing

1) Like Zy says, your overselling the underdog bit. There is a point that Shu had overtaken Wu in terms of prestige and taking Jing reversed that but it is a bit petty a reason over the long term.
Taking Jing did a lot to assert Wu again but I don't think it's fair to say they were the underdog the entire time after Sun Ce died. Granted it was relatively quiet from 200 to 208 for them as Sun Quan consolidated his strength and dealt with Huang Zu at last, but then you've got Chibi. Chibi put them on the map in a big way, Cao Cao for the first time gets truly repulsed to the point where he has to tuck his tail between his legs. Sure, neither could gain a clear advantage after that, but Wu proved it was here to stay.


But Wu only have one province during that time while Shu had 2. So indeed Wu is quite the underdog here. Also, Zhou Yu is gone and Wu was defeated at Hefei by a smaller force. Even if they gained some fame during Chibi, the loss at Hefei and them failing to gain Jing (and instead Shu took it) undid it all.

2) Lu Xun was hardly an unknown before the taking of Jing. He was from one of the most important families in Wu, had served Sun Quan personally at the age of 21, married into the Sun clan and an experienced offical. He was Lu Meng's decoy/cover as CIC.

Jing didn't make Lu Xun either in truth (partly becuase a lot of other people had similar plans). Lu Meng wanted Zhu Ran as successor, Wu's generals nearly mutinied under Lu Xun. It was Yiling and reading Cao Pi's intentions that established Lu Xun's reputation within and without Wu. I don't recall Cao Rui ever fearing Lu Xun historically and doing a camapign to launch one guy's reputation is not a great idea.
I know Lu Xun was already known. But wasn't he known as a civil officer and not military general? Him pacifying bandit seems to be a great thing, but as I said, he wasn't that well known outside of Wu.

Now you're saying that Lu Meng wanted Zhu Ran as successor. But then at Yi Ling, Sun Quan appointed Lu Xun. Now if Lu Xun didn't join Fan, most probably Zhu Ran would be the CiC in Yi Ling. I'm not saying that Zhu Ran wasn't as capable as Lu Xun, but I do not think he would gain victory as decisive as Lu Xun did. So Lu Xun joining the Fan is a good thing. Now suppose that Fan just didn't happen. Period. What would happen? I think while Yi Ling would not happen, Lu Xun wouldn't come into fame as well. Wu would lose one great talent. Oh, and as for Cao Rui, yeah I think I took it from novel. But the fact that Wei didn't attack Wu for as long as Lu Xun lived speak something, doesn't it?

3) Wu never declared they were worried about Shu losing the province to Wei in all their discussions and plans.

Yes Guan Yu did lose Jing to an attack when his army was away, Wei would never get such an opportunity.. Lu Meng was a great tactician and one of Wu's greatest commanders while you seem a bit too keen on status, either Lu Xun was a great commander and so no shame in losing to those two or Lu Xun wasn't a great commander, his status doesn't affect it. Wu took some of their big boys

I know Wu is not concerned with Shu losing Jing to Wei. My point is that Jing is better in the hands of Wu than Guan Yu.

And I did not recall saying Lu Meng was not capable general. In fact, I think he was the best Wu general in term of offensive battle. Zhou Yu was also a good commander. He fended of Cao Cao's attack and help Sun Ce's expand Wu's territory. The point I'm trying to make is just because some commanders took a different foreign policy, doesn't mean he's less capable. Grant that Lu Xun wasn't good at offensive (whether because he was really not good at it, or he was too lazy to lead offensive battle, or it's just against his philosophy), that doesn't instantly make him less an able general than the two.
Oh, and Lu Xun said himself that he was a scholar. So one could argue that he wasn't really trained in warfare. But if this is true, then wouldn't it make Lu Xun's unwillingness to engage in offensive battle (unless Sun Quan said so) understandable?

4) The 219 invasion of Jing was a perfect camapign, it was a master-class. The question isn't the quality of Lu Meng's camapign, more whether it was the right decision long term.

I think it would all lead to the question: "was the Shu-Wu alliance worth it? Is the alliance itself the right decision long term?" And I would say, emphatically, No, it wasn't. Having Wu and Shu backstabbing each other at every opportunity (no, I'm not claiming only Shu backstabbed Wu. Both did) is just as bad as being an enemy in the first place.
The second attempt at alliance though (after Yi Ling), I do think it's a right decision. Now if what I'm saying (about Zhuge Liang's (as well as Zhou Yu and Lu Meng's) expansionist policy and Lu Xun's pacifist one) is right, then the alliance during Zhou Yu and Lu Meng's time is not very beneficial because both were thinking about how to gain as much land as possible, and would end up stealing each other's territory. Might as well end the alliance after Chi Bi. After Zhou Yu and Lu Meng, we have Lu Xun who didn't care about gaining more territory. Now this is the perfect time to forge an alliance so that at least there is less enemy to worry about and Wu can focus on internal matter.
Note that at this point I'm only talking from Wu's point of view. What about Shu? Well, I think it's still the same. Before Fan, Liu Bei still had a lot of great general, so he might as well declare war on Wu instead of forming a shaky alliance. After Fan and Yi Ling, after Shu lost almost every good general, it's time to ally themselves with Wu since they were now considerably weaker.

5) Historically, Zhuge Liang for Wu was a one time diplomat and a senior civil officer who just happened to be related to one of their senior officers. They weren't bullied or that concerned by him.

Relations with Shu were dire for some time, even after the 215 treaty. I can certainly understand Wu not trusting Shu but no threat from Shu was imminent other then Shu were doing far better then Wu at the time. Sacrificing the long term interest to given Shu a slap in the face seems petty.

Wait he didn't? My bad, then. I will check Zhuge's bio.

As for the argument saying that now they both lost chance to defeat Wei, well, what was it that Shu after? Shu was certainly not interested in defeating Wei. Shu just wanted more and more land. That's it. They won't even hesitant to attack Wu if needed. Why should Wu hold that idealism while Shu didn't? Besides, was it really TRUE that Wu lost the chance to defeat Wei? I personally think that now that Shu was extremely weakened and Wu grew stronger, their chance to actually defeat Wei is bigger, and they will defeat Wei themselves without depending on that horrible unworthiness that is Shu


1) To rule the land. Just like Wei and Wu.

2) Given Shu was doing the heavy lifting against Wu during that spell, they were clearly interested in taking Wei's lands.

3) No idea why your suddenly claiming anyone is arguing Wu should be idealistic. The argument is whether attacking Jing was right policy, not on it's morals

4) Would Shu attack Wu if it felt it needed to? Yes. However Shu's only invasion of Wu was Yiling after Wu seized Shu lands and killed a senior general. Wu invaded Shu 2-3 times. One has a rather larger track record of attacking it's own ally

5) If Shu is unworthy, what does it make Wu who were doing worse? Also Wu didn't defeat Wei so that clearly didn't work

The argument is that before Wu took Jing, Wei was on the backfoot due to Shu. It had lost Hanzhong, it was panicking over Guan Yu's attack, it had one of it's most seniors captured, it was pulling troops out of Hefei. Wu took Jing, pressure was off Wei and it was never put on the backfoot again.

My point is that people should stop saying "Wu is wrong because now they lost the chance to defeat Wei." Wait, I do not recall Cao Cao being the final boss of an RPG that they both have to defeat no matter what for whatever reason. Why cannot I say the same about Shu "Wu is right because now they had the chance to defeat Shu"?
- Some would say, "because Shu is Wu's ally." But this is simply not true. I have said that their alliance is shaky and might as well be an enemy from the very beginning.
- Another would say, "Because Cao Cao is the traitor to Han." Honestly, I cannot take this seriously because in fact everyone and their mother ended up declaring themselves emperor so by that logic, everybody is traitor to Han.
You're saying that Wei was on the backfoot because of Shu. Is there any definite proof on this? It is true that Wei lost some vital territory (and poor Xiahou Yuan), but I think they were far from being on the backfoot. Wei still had a lot of capable officers, didn't it?

Attacking Fan Castle while at the same breaking the already broken alliance and killing a huge threat was the best decision Lu Meng had ever taken in his life. Heck, it's the best decision anyone in Three Kingdoms had ever taken.


Tuntian farming system that ended famine might be a better one?

Okay... that was exaggeration... :D :D :D :D I just want to express my opinion that Lu Meng did something that is ABSOLUTELY right. :D

=====

Zy's

Continued from the last post...

Zyzyfer wrote:
PyroMystic wrote:1. By eliminating Guan Yu, Wu would at least have a face in this war. I mean, look, Wu had ALWAYS been like a complete underdog ever since Sun Ce's death, that's why Cao Cao decided to attack Chibi. And letting Shu keep Jing Province for god-knows-how-long would only make it worst as Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang would continue underestimating Wu. And now that Lu Meng attacked and defeated Guan Yu, it was a message from Wu to the likes of Zhuge Liang, "DON'T MESS WITH US." This is also true for Wei, expecially after Cao Pi's attack had been repelled.


Taking Jing did a lot to assert Wu again but I don't think it's fair to say they were the underdog the entire time after Sun Ce died. Granted it was relatively quiet from 200 to 208 for them as Sun Quan consolidated his strength and dealt with Huang Zu at last, but then you've got Chibi. Chibi put them on the map in a big way, Cao Cao for the first time gets truly repulsed to the point where he has to tuck his tail between his legs. Sure, neither could gain a clear advantage after that, but Wu proved it was here to stay.

I have addressed this in my previous post. In short, it's about Wu controlling the least province and having their ass handed to them at Hefei.

3. While it's true that Wu spent a great deal of effort to guard Jing (Lu Kang's bio states this), at least it's now safe in Wu's hand instead of Shu. IF that Guan Yu who guarded Jing are easily defeated by someone like Lu Xun who was pretty much a nobody that time, and by Lu Meng who wasn't as capable as Zhou Yu, then Jing was doomed. Guan Yu would be defeated by Wei sooner or later. Period. It would be better for Wu to take it before Wei did. In fact, Wu had been keeping it safe even to Sun Hao's reign.


I don't know, it's hard to guard Jing when you're off attacking elsewhere. Not that Guan Yu is completely innocent here, but I think it's pretty clear that he was operating under the assumption that Wu wouldn't make a move on Jing. Which, that's a kind of unintelligent thing to think in general, leaving your land barely defended, so I think it's fair to assume that he was relying on their alliance.

But the handling of Jing during those years is one of the most hotly contested topics of the era. People often debate, who was in the right? No one really was devoid of wrongdoing at some point in its handling, so I get the impression it was a powder keg waiting to go off.

Anyway, my point is, I believe there was a lot more behind Guan Yu losing Jing than something as simple as him being inept.

And as for your other points, they seem to be coming from the novel, so I refrained from responding to them since I'm not that versed in the novel now.

But didn't Guan Yu attack Fan because he was, in a sense, jealous of Zhang Fei's achievement in Hanzhong, that's why he wanted to gain some fame for himself? Now this is the problem with Guan Yu being the governor of Jing. I'm not saying he was inept. I'm saying that entrusting Jing to someone as petty (I do not know the word for this other than arrogant? Vain?) as Guan Yu is kinda risky.

As for hard to defend Jing when one was attacking somewhere else, wasn't Lu Xun defending Jing the entire time he was fighting Wei at Shiting? Please correct me if I'm mistaken here. But my point is not that defending Jing is easy. I'm just saying that Guan Yu was not really up for this task, I think.

As for the argument saying that now they both lost chance to defeat Wei, well, what was it that Shu after? Shu was certainly not interested in defeating Wei. Shu just wanted more and more land. That's it.


Same could be said about Wu, de Crespigny himself says that Wu's strength was essentially based on continued expansion.
Yes, indeed. But my point is that people should stop saying "Wu is wrong because now they lost the chance to defeat Wei." Wait, I do not recall Cao Cao being the final boss of an RPG that they both have to defeat no matter what for whatever reason. Why cannot I say the same about Shu "Wu is right because now they had the chance to defeat Shu"?
- Some would say, "because Shu is Wu's ally." But this is simply not true. I have said that their alliance is shaky and might as well be an enemy from the very beginning.
- Another would say, "Because Cao Cao is the traitor to Han." Honestly, I cannot take this seriously because in fact everyone and their mother ended up declaring themselves emperor so by that logic, everybody is traitor to Han.
You're saying that Wei was on the backfoot because of Shu. Is there any definite proof on this? It is true that Wei lost some vital territory (and poor Xiahou Yuan), but I think they were far from being on the backfoot. Wei still had a lot of capable officers, didn't it?

They won't even hesitant to attack Wu if needed.


I guess you're referring to Guan Yu seizing supplies? That wasn't smart and was really short-sighted, but I wouldn't outright call it not being hesitant to attack Wu.

Actually I'm not referring to any actual case, though that one case might be a good example. This is a mere speculation on my part seeing that Liu Bei didn't seem to be hesitant to attack their former ally. So I presume that Shu would not hesitant to attack Wu as well :oops:

Besides, was it really TRUE that Wu lost the chance to defeat Wei? I personally think that now that Shu was extremely weakened and Wu grew stronger, their chance to actually defeat Wei is bigger, and they will defeat Wei themselves without depending on that horrible unworthiness that is Shu


Quite negative about Shu haha

It's true that taking Jing positioned Wu better for taking on Wei. And that Shu was weakened. That's basically in Wu's best interests, of course, but I think it's a net loss for the two of them as allies. Why not just cooperate after the 215 split was negotiated? That's a question directed toward both sides, by the way.

Ahaha... sorry, I just don't get a good impression on Shu :D :D :D

Now I'm not going to object to any point you mentioned here. But I would like to ask a more fundamental question: Supposing we're talking about each kingdom's interest and not "For the glory of Han!!!", why do you think Wu better ally themselves with Shu and not Wei (except for a moral reason which, more than often, questionable)? If we're only talking about Wu's survival (and not the survival of Han dynasty, or even defeating Cao Cao), then why does everyone insist on Wu MUST ally themselves with Shu and not Wei. I know that Cao Pi is trying to attack Wu but I think it's because Sun Quan didn't send Sun Deng? Or is it about Cao Pi not wanting an ally but a vassal, like Cao Cao during Chibi? But this only happened after Yi Ling and, as I have said in my previous post, it's time to forge alliance between Shu and Wu. So I would argue that the alliance would be better start in 222 after Yi Ling and not before that because, again, Shu and Wu are just trying to stab each other back prior to 222.

tl;dr why is everyone so obsessed with defeating Cao Cao? I think he could be a good ally? Not saying that Wu should ally with Wei prior to 222 but why do everyone condemns Wu for being themselves (that's it, concerned for their own survival and wasn't not obsessed to defeat Cao Cao like Shu did)?

Attacking Fan Castle while at the same breaking the already broken alliance and killing a huge threat was the best decision Lu Meng had ever taken in his life. Heck, it's the best decision anyone in Three Kingdoms had ever taken.


I wouldn't say it's a bad decision, and I don't know what else could qualify as a best decision, but he had to have known what path his choice was taking their two countries down.
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I think there is much exaggeration here. It might be the case that they lost the chance to defeat Wei (which I don't grant given they could take the chance during Sima's usurpation). But I think it is hardly the case that Lu Meng's decision bring about the downfall of both kingdoms. Wu survived until 280. I think nobody would blame Lu Meng on Wu's surrender to Jin. It's 100% Sun Hao's fault. As for Shu, I think it's Jiang Wei exhausting Shu's resource (and partly because Liu Chan). Even if Lu Meng didn't attack Fan, having a CiC like Jiang Wei and emperor like Sun Hao would 100% guarantee the downfall of any kingdoms.
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:35 pm

Ok my arguments from few years may be out of date or I may not remember point I was making but here goes

Hmmm... hmmm...

Okay, I was wrong about that. But I would not say Lu Xun was not a better strategist/commander just because he wasn't into offensive battle. I read somewhere that during the Three Kingdoms period, there was two major school on politics. The first is the Gongyang school which deemed that nothing was more important than ensuring a good living for commoners under one’s jurisdiction. The second school, the Zuo school, believed that the the standard of living of commoners must be sacrificed for a short time for the sake of the country. This in turn result in whether one is an expansionist (Zhuge Liang, Jiang Wei, Zhou Yu, etc), or a pacifist (Lu Xun, Lu Kang, Jiang Wan, (and Sima Yi? Not sure about this) etc.)

Now I read somewhere that Lu Xun is fro Gongyang school (in addition to him being a Confucian), while Zhuge Liang is from Zuo school (in addition to him being a Legalist). This is why Zhuge Liang led so many northern campaign (and succeeded by Jiang Wei who took it into extreme), and Lu Xun focused in the internal affairs.

So, okay, grant that Lu Xun was, historically, not too fond of offensive battle, I do not think that therefore it is the case that Lu Xun was not a better commander than Zhou Yu and Lu Meng. I do not know Zhou Yu or Lu Meng's political inclination at that time, but my point stand that it is about one's political view and not about abilities.


No I would argue it was becuase Lu Xun had a better offensive record makes him a bad offensive commander. I can't say I have seen Gongyang or Zuo mentioned anywhere. That Lu Xun was more a dove then a hawk can be argued and if that was the right or wrong balance but it wouldn't have been based on those philosophies

Now that's the point about Wu I think some people just tend to forget. I do not think that Wu going more defensive after gaining Jingzhou was because Lu Xun didn't like offensive battle that much (though it might contribute). They DID try t expand their territories (Lu Xun's bio tells us about this) and not just to the north, but they were all failed. So I do not think Wu is defensive after Jingzhou. They tried offensive but failed. They attacked from Hefei and ALWAYS lost (is it true that Sun Quan led 11 northern campaign to Hefei?). They attacked from northern Jing and then we get Shiting. So yeah, Wu tried. They cannot expand their territory to the west for a VERY obvious reason.

Now on Lu Xun.
CMIIW but during this period, wasn't Wei weakened due to internal strife? If this is true, then all the more reason for Lu Xun to focus on Wu's internal affair because Wei would not dare to attack with Sima family suddenly taking control. Hence, while it is true that "Wu still under threat from large Wei," I do not think Wei would attack Wu out of the blue (and Lu Xun knew this). (Thinking about it, I think it could also be the case that, if Lu Xun was cunning manipulative jerk, he was just waiting for Shu and Wei to exhaust their power and then strike after both are weakened. But alas he died to soon. But I do not think it was the case here). Also, Dong Zhou, I do not understand this part: "without Wu's position strengthened since he had become CiC." But this is precisely what Lu Xun did. Wasn't avoiding to expand Wu's territory and focusing on internal matter mean strengthening Wu's position? Expanded territory =/= stronger position. Did I misunderstand something here?


We agree on first part.

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.

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.

Wait do you mean Yi Ling? Did not Lu Xun win the battle? Or do you mean this part:

Lu Xun then tried attacking one of Liu Bei’s camps but was unsuccessful. The Wu generals responded, “This is killing soldiers in vain!”

To be honest, this is the part that has honestly baffled me as well. You said that Lu Xun only came up with a plan after this failed attack (the novel states that this failed attack is done by purpose to test Liu Bei's strength, but let's ignore the novel). But if he didn't have ANY plans whatsoever and only came up with that AFTER this failed attack, which I presume would not be a rather quick decision, then how could Lu Xun, rather confidently, said to Sun Quan,

After much observation of how Liu Bei had been leading troops in his career, I see that he had more failures than success; hence, he is not much of a threat. I was initially worried that he would lead an attack from both water and land; but now, it is evident that Liu Bei’s army had left their boats behind to take to the land, and is pitching camp all over. I observe that from his style of arrangement, there should be no further changes. Your majesty can have set your mind at rest, for there should be no worries for now.

It seems that Lu Xun had come up with the fire attack plan at this point, seeing that he was confident enough to assure Sun Quan of his victory.

Also, I don't really understand psychology but I do not think that if Lu Xun REALLY did not have any plan up his sleeve, and just come up after that idea after the failed attack, in addition to him NEVER being respected by his subordinates, he could stay calm and come up with a brilliant plan which no one, not even Liu Bei and the entire Wu forces, realized. I mean, it is psychologically impossible. One would be thrown into a state of panic after such failure. Hence, I think what this part means is that Lu Xun had already thought of the plan, but he did not know which part of Liu Bei's camp should he attack first. He then tried to attack one but was failed, and after that he knew for certain where he should start attacking.


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. 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.

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.

I cannot belief I wrote such embarrassing thing :oops: I mustn't be on my right mind when I wrote this. I take back my word. Zhou Yu is a good person, but his approach to things are certainly different from Lu Xun.


Most of us don't look back on our past posts for that very reason!

But Wu only have one province during that time while Shu had 2. So indeed Wu is quite the underdog here. Also, Zhou Yu is gone and Wu was defeated at Hefei by a smaller force. Even if they gained some fame during Chibi, the loss at Hefei and them failing to gain Jing (and instead Shu took it) undid it all.


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.

know Lu Xun was already known. But wasn't he known as a civil officer and not military general? Him pacifying bandit seems to be a great thing, but as I said, he wasn't that well known outside of Wu.

Now you're saying that Lu Meng wanted Zhu Ran as successor. But then at Yi Ling, Sun Quan appointed Lu Xun. Now if Lu Xun didn't join Fan, most probably Zhu Ran would be the CiC in Yi Ling. I'm not saying that Zhu Ran wasn't as capable as Lu Xun, but I do not think he would gain victory as decisive as Lu Xun did. So Lu Xun joining the Fan is a good thing. Now suppose that Fan just didn't happen. Period. What would happen? I think while Yi Ling would not happen, Lu Xun wouldn't come into fame as well. Wu would lose one great talent. Oh, and as for Cao Rui, yeah I think I took it from novel. But the fact that Wei didn't attack Wu for as long as Lu Xun lived speak something, doesn't it?


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

Yes he did. Yes he did. Possibly, hard to know. So he is capable but you think he wouldn't have becuase? Sure Lu Xun at Fan was a good thing.

Liu Bei would attack Wu so Yiling would happen. Wu would have likely taken different tactics and may have crushed Liu Bei earlier or been forced onto defensive. Lu Xun was still a rising figure and in-law to Sun Quan, a man of one of the most leading families in Wu, he would have got to the top just slower.

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.

I know Wu is not concerned with Shu losing Jing to Wei. My point is that Jing is better in the hands of Wu than Guan Yu.

And I did not recall saying Lu Meng was not capable general. In fact, I think he was the best Wu general in term of offensive battle. Zhou Yu was also a good commander. He fended of Cao Cao's attack and help Sun Ce's expand Wu's territory. The point I'm trying to make is just because some commanders took a different foreign policy, doesn't mean he's less capable. Grant that Lu Xun wasn't good at offensive (whether because he was really not good at it, or he was too lazy to lead offensive battle, or it's just against his philosophy), that doesn't instantly make him less an able general than the two.
Oh, and Lu Xun said himself that he was a scholar. So one could argue that he wasn't really trained in warfare. But if this is true, then wouldn't it make Lu Xun's unwillingness to engage in offensive battle (unless Sun Quan said so) understandable?


Wu probably also felt Yi was in better hands with Wu rather then Shu :wink:

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.

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.

I think it would all lead to the question: "was the Shu-Wu alliance worth it? Is the alliance itself the right decision long term?" And I would say, emphatically, No, it wasn't. Having Wu and Shu backstabbing each other at every opportunity (no, I'm not claiming only Shu backstabbed Wu. Both did) is just as bad as being an enemy in the first place.
The second attempt at alliance though (after Yi Ling), I do think it's a right decision. Now if what I'm saying (about Zhuge Liang's (as well as Zhou Yu and Lu Meng's) expansionist policy and Lu Xun's pacifist one) is right, then the alliance during Zhou Yu and Lu Meng's time is not very beneficial because both were thinking about how to gain as much land as possible, and would end up stealing each other's territory. Might as well end the alliance after Chi Bi. After Zhou Yu and Lu Meng, we have Lu Xun who didn't care about gaining more territory. Now this is the perfect time to forge an alliance so that at least there is less enemy to worry about and Wu can focus on internal matter.
Note that at this point I'm only talking from Wu's point of view. What about Shu? Well, I think it's still the same. Before Fan, Liu Bei still had a lot of great general, so he might as well declare war on Wu instead of forming a shaky alliance. After Fan and Yi Ling, after Shu lost almost every good general, it's time to ally themselves with Wu since they were now considerably weaker.


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

In fairness, Shu still had figures like Wei Yan, Zhang Yi, Wang Ping as very skilled generals.

My point is that people should stop saying "Wu is wrong because now they lost the chance to defeat Wei." Wait, I do not recall Cao Cao being the final boss of an RPG that they both have to defeat no matter what for whatever reason. Why cannot I say the same about Shu "Wu is right because now they had the chance to defeat Shu"?
- Some would say, "because Shu is Wu's ally." But this is simply not true. I have said that their alliance is shaky and might as well be an enemy from the very beginning.
- Another would say, "Because Cao Cao is the traitor to Han." Honestly, I cannot take this seriously because in fact everyone and their mother ended up declaring themselves emperor so by that logic, everybody is traitor to Han.
You're saying that Wei was on the backfoot because of Shu. Is there any definite proof on this? It is true that Wei lost some vital territory (and poor Xiahou Yuan), but I think they were far from being on the backfoot. Wei still had a lot of capable officers, didn't it?


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

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

In fairness, one doesn't see such arguments often nowadays, most in western 3k community, in my expirence, don't have a "for the Han" thing. They recognize Wu doesn't have a reason to care for the Han. There are other reasons why they argue Wu should maintain alliance

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.

Touching on stuff you asked Zy

But didn't Guan Yu attack Fan because he was, in a sense, jealous of Zhang Fei's achievement in Hanzhong, that's why he wanted to gain some fame for himself? Now this is the problem with Guan Yu being the governor of Jing. I'm not saying he was inept. I'm saying that entrusting Jing to someone as petty (I do not know the word for this other than arrogant? Vain?) as Guan Yu is kinda risky.
.


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

Now I'm not going to object to any point you mentioned here. But I would like to ask a more fundamental question: Supposing we're talking about each kingdom's interest and not "For the glory of Han!!!", why do you think Wu better ally themselves with Shu and not Wei (except for a moral reason which, more than often, questionable)? If we're only talking about Wu's survival (and not the survival of Han dynasty, or even defeating Cao Cao), then why does everyone insist on Wu MUST ally themselves with Shu and not Wei. I know that Cao Pi is trying to attack Wu but I think it's because Sun Quan didn't send Sun Deng? Or is it about Cao Pi not wanting an ally but a vassal, like Cao Cao during Chibi? But this only happened after Yi Ling and, as I have said in my previous post, it's time to forge alliance between Shu and Wu. So I would argue that the alliance would be better start in 222 after Yi Ling and not before that because, again, Shu and Wu are just trying to stab each other back prior to 222.

tl;dr why is everyone so obsessed with defeating Cao Cao? I think he could be a good ally? Not saying that Wu should ally with Wei prior to 222 but why do everyone condemns Wu for being themselves (that's it, concerned for their own survival and wasn't not obsessed to defeat Cao Cao like Shu did)?


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.
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Sakae Wu » Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:11 am

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

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

In fairness, one doesn't see such arguments often nowadays, most in western 3k community, in my expirence, don't have a "for the Han" thing. They recognize Wu doesn't have a reason to care for the Han. There are other reasons why they argue Wu should maintain alliance

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.


I agree with a lot of what you say, but I'm curious about the bolded part. No question that Wei had much more man power than either but I thought it was a bit closer to their combined numbers?
I've seen a lot of varying estimates for Cao Cao, from 700k to 1.5 million including non combatants around 217-220AD. It feels to me like anything over a million might be an exaggeration. You might have a better idea on the estimated forces though.

Either way, your point stands that Wu couldn't make headway against Wei alone. But I think Wu's eventual unraveling was as much attributed to poor leadership and infighting as anything else.
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