Was Lu Meng right?

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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:12 am

There were limits, due to practicalities like logistics and the wider economy that Wei could wield at any one time across their lands or concentrate on any one front. But Wei's population and territorial size meant, if need be, they could keep filling gaps in the armies, in a war of soldier attrition, Wei would win over Wu and Shu. Cao Cao claimed 800,000 soldiers at Chi Bi so, with lands settling and expansions, Wei may well have hit a million mark with soldiers but I don't have figures.

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.


For me: The disputed heirship, brutal regencies, infighting and that the gentry became too powerful and out of central government control. Shu's loss was also a major problem
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Fornadan » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:03 am

800000 is probably just a made up number, you can't collect that many people in one place (it'd be the biggest city in the empire, just without sanitation, wells, etc.)

IIRC, Eastern Han army was about 200 000 iirc. Now on one hand Wei was a lot more geared towards war than Eastern Han, but otoh census population was way down.
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:30 am

I more meant entire army as in including garrisons and those in north rather then focused at Chi Bi
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:53 am

Fornadan wrote:800000 is probably just a made up number, you can't collect that many people in one place (it'd be the biggest city in the empire, just without sanitation, wells, etc.)

IIRC, Eastern Han army was about 200 000 iirc. Now on one hand Wei was a lot more geared towards war than Eastern Han, but otoh census population was way down.


well, if you read Wang Jian of Qin's bio. you'll know that the Qin emperor given him a command of 600.000 troop just to defeat one state alone. So i think 800.000 troop gather in one place is still possible, though it was a short term only.


Dong Zhou wrote:There were limits, due to practicalities like logistics and the wider economy that Wei could wield at any one time across their lands or concentrate on any one front. But Wei's population and territorial size meant, if need be, they could keep filling gaps in the armies, in a war of soldier attrition, Wei would win over Wu and Shu. Cao Cao claimed 800,000 soldiers at Chi Bi so, with lands settling and expansions, Wei may well have hit a million mark with soldiers but I don't have figures.


well, he had 300.000 mark of Yellow Turbanies from Qing, Runan etc. then 100.000 bandits and tribesman alike from Zhang Yan. then many other including Yuan's and Wuwan tribes which is roughly 300.000 tribesman, and then those who surrendered alongside Cai Mao. i think he's not just mere claiming though. he has the number, only they weren't gather in one place.
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Fornadan » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:23 am

Li_Shengsun wrote:
Fornadan wrote:800000 is probably just a made up number, you can't collect that many people in one place (it'd be the biggest city in the empire, just without sanitation, wells, etc.)

IIRC, Eastern Han army was about 200 000 iirc. Now on one hand Wei was a lot more geared towards war than Eastern Han, but otoh census population was way down.


well, if you read Wang Jian of Qin's bio. you'll know that the Qin emperor given him a command of 600.000 troop just to defeat one state alone. So i think 800.000 troop gather in one place is still possible, though it was a short term only.
Well, why do you think that number is accurate? Just because it's written down doesn't mean its true

Fornadan wrote:
Li_Shengsun wrote:800000 is probably just a made up number, you can't collect that many people in one place (it'd be the biggest city in the empire, just without sanitation, wells, etc.)

IIRC, Eastern Han army was about 200 000 iirc. Now on one hand Wei was a lot more geared towards war than Eastern Han, but otoh census population was way down.


well, if you read Wang Jian of Qin's bio. you'll know that the Qin emperor given him a command of 600.000 troop just to defeat one state alone. So i think 800.000 troop gather in one place is still possible, though it was a short term only.
Well, why do you think that number is accurate? Just because it's written down doesn't mean its true
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:37 am

Fornadan wrote:Well, why do you think that number is accurate? Just because it's written down doesn't mean its true


Well, why do you think its not accurate?

Just because its written down, doesn't mean its a mere exaggeration. if a mere Wang Jian and/or Cao Cao give a rough estimate of their troops were wrong, then that means millions of life lost in order to build The Great Wall of China were lies and inaccurate. :lol:
Take a note of Chinese people during that time. Theres no birth control. each family with having many children is not uncommon since they needed them to tend on their farm.

You think Yellow Turban revolt were an exaggeration? wasn't the revolt are just too massive for the Eastern Han to handle, so they hired local lords to help in subduing them?
you even gave an exact number of Eastern Han's troop.
If its just mere thousands of peasants revolting, were that 200.000 men enough to subduing them? or is it because all those 'thousands' of peasants are as strong as Lu Bu armed with pitchfork, so that number cant match them to the point they hiring local lords just to subdue them? or is 200.000 men are just a 'mere' exaggeration or just too weak that they cant even fight a peasants? I don't understand your logic really. :lol:

I more thinking like this when Cao Cao claimed he has 800.000 troop. Is like,
"Hey, bruh. Look! I have 800.000 troop on my back, i can mobilize all of them just to destroy your kingdom (Wu) if need to be."
so i think, its more of a threat than true statement. if he did mobilize all 800.000 troop, whats going to happen with his rear, did you ever think local lords like Gongsun Kang, Han Sui and Ma Teng would just sits around biting their thumb if they know all Cao Cao's city were empty waiting to be taken?

Mega Zarak wrote:According to Lu Meng's SGZ biography, Lu Meng proposed to Sun Quan that it would be better for Wu that Guan Yu was eliminated and Jing Zhou became part of Wu territory. He was skeptical about Guan Yu's trustworthiness and feared that Guan Yu might attack Wu one day if the latter was weak. Also, he saw the strategic advantage that Wu might have if Jing Zhou was controlled by Wu.

Sun Quan agreed with his plans and subsequently, when Guan Yu raided a Wu silo near the Xiang river for army supplies, Wu found the excuse to launch a sneak attack at Jing Zhou. With the lost of Jing Zhou, Shu's foundation had weakened considerably. Also, in the years to come, Wu had to bear the burden of defending Jing Zhou (different parts of Nan prefecture) from multiple incursions from Wei/Jin (as noted from the annotations and the actual SGZ biographies of Sun Quan, Lu Xun, Zhuge Jin, Zhu Ran, Lu Kang, etc.). All in all, as a result of Lu Meng's plan to assault Jing Zhou, the following consequences were suffered by the alliance:

i) Weakening of Shu
ii) Increasing the burden of Wu to defend against Wei/Jin
iii) Damage of diplomatic ties leading to the battle of Yi Ling with disastrous effects on Shu
iv) Shifting of initiatives at Jing Zhou region (i.e. Guan Yu had the initiative when he attacked Fan and Xiang Yang, though we do not know how he would fare if things have gone otherwise. After Jing Zhou changed hand, Wu was more on the defensive than offensive).

As such, I would like to question if Lu Meng was right in advising Sun Quan to take Jing Zhou and eliminate Guan Yu. :D


Neither i think, Lu Meng was right bc Liu Bei promised them Jing Zhou when he took Yi Province. See, Sun Quan was willing to trust their words. But those trust were compromised when Liu Bei unwilling to hold to his words. The friction was already started there. Following by the chains of events happen in territorial dispute there, like when Guan Yu belittle Wu's men. Things just escalate when Guan Yu raided their depot, thats just a breach of an alliance treaty.
See, if Guan Yu were more diplomatic in gaining supplies from Wu, im sure Sun Quan would more than happy to lent those supplies, providing if Guan Yu REALLY gave Jingzhou to Wu. Sun Quan just wanted Jingzhou so badly. Having Guan Yu to cover their border on Jingzhou is more than welcome for Wu, they can just establish their defense at ease, despite it'll hurt Wu in long-term as Guan Yu is very much alive, but he can't do nothing on Xiangyang. If he tried to retake Jingzgou, Wei would attack the city, so Guan Yu would have no choice but to press forward.

Lu Meng is also wrong, just like you said, it does inflict a bad impact for them in long-term. But, as you know that Wu are a type who like to sits around and see two tigers fighting around. So, they'll gonna be on defensive and can hold the province on their own.
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:14 pm

Can people please try to avoid double posting when possible, if talking to difficult people quote marks or name can help separate within one post

In terms of exaggerated numbers, De Crespigny often suspects numbers are exaggerated for battles, it makes victories seem more impressive if the other guy had several thousand more, makes the battles seem grander. I don't think Cao Cao's "if I include every troop I have under my command" is as such exaggerated, just he couldn't use them in the field. In terms of the Turbans, the Han didn't have a strong standing army, it tended to rely on local forces combined with reinforcements from the capital forces whose strength was more their professional expertise rather then their number. Thus the being overhwlemed initially and the mass raising but the border governors being allowed to raise troops reflected the Han's deteriorating finances and money

The parts of Jing Wu had claim to was settled in 215
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Kongde » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:21 am

I think he was wrong. I think he made the right choice (for Wu), but he did it at the totally wrong time. Not only was Wei too immensely powerful at the time for Wu alone to handle, but Wu would also almost certainly have to worry about Shu attacking as well if they slayed Guan Yu. Perhaps if he simply captured Guan Yu to prove their point and keep Jing, they MAY have been able to recover their alliance enough for one more major decisive co-op battle against Wei to weaken it enough that perhaps then they could break off the alliance with Shu and take over both kingdoms over time.

Did Wu really think Shu wouldn't attack? I'm fairly sure Lu Meng would've known that. Was Wu so confident in their forces that they truly thought they could take on Shu, and then take on Wei? If only Lu Meng had waited a little longer and continued their alliance and fought battles against Wei together to further weaken Wei and ensure Shu loses resources and men as well if possible (I'm sure you could think of strategies to ensure heavy casualties that Shu couldn't pick up on). When locked against 3 groups of power for control and you are weaker and the strongest outmatches both of you, ally with the weaker force and strike the strongest force if you are to stand any chance.

Furthermore, would there not be plenty of other opportune moments to strike Jing later? It was simply not the right time. Wu should have waited for their alliance to do more damage against Wei before making a move on each other.

By attacking and killing Guan Yu, they've guaranteed the end of their alliance and an attack from Shu. Thus, weakening both Wu and Shu. Thus, ensuring Wei the ultimate victor. This action alone may have very well been the moment Wei gave a giant sigh of relief, for a great burden was lifted off their shoulders. Together, Shu and Wu pose a threat. Against each other, especially fighting, leaves both of them vulnerable to attack from Wei. Even if one overcame the other, their resources would likely be exhausted from the fighting or at least not in good shape, against a massive army with massive resources. You've practically signed your death warrant in this scenario.

I won't claim to be sure on this, so feel free to correct me, because I'm just becoming familiar with post-Liu Bei's death. But based on what I do know leading up to that point, this definitely seems to be the ultimate pivotal downfall moment for both sides. A temporary gain for Wu, but in the long run is destined to lose to Wei.

EDIT: I've seen a few people say the alliance was shaky. Perhaps. But the fact of the matter was, without their alliance, they didn't stand a chance against the bigger force. It would be self-preserving to maintain the alliance, even if just for 1 more major decisive battle against Wei jointly.

And sure, Liu Bei did break his word. But I think the wise move would've been to smooth it out, fight wei, and deal with them once wei has weakened for breaking their promise and take jing back.

Dong Zhou wrote:In terms of exaggerated numbers, De Crespigny often suspects numbers are exaggerated for battles, it makes victories seem more impressive if the other guy had several thousand more, makes the battles seem grander. I don't think Cao Cao's "if I include every troop I have under my command" is as such exaggerated, just he couldn't use them in the field.

I am curious, just how exaggerated do you think these numbers are? Is there any evidence to give a more accurate representation the number of soldiers in Cao Cao's army or in a major battle like Chi Bi?? I might be getting off topic now.
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:38 am

Kongde wrote:I think he was wrong. I think he made the right choice (for Wu), but he did it at the totally wrong time. Not only was Wei too immensely powerful at the time for Wu alone to handle, but Wu would also almost certainly have to worry about Shu attacking as well if they slayed Guan Yu. Perhaps if he simply captured Guan Yu to prove their point and keep Jing, they MAY have been able to recover their alliance enough for one more major decisive co-op battle against Wei to weaken it enough that perhaps then they could break off the alliance with Shu and take over both kingdoms over time.

Did Wu really think Shu wouldn't attack? I'm fairly sure Lu Meng would've known that. Was Wu so confident in their forces that they truly thought they could take on Shu, and then take on Wei? If only Lu Meng had waited a little longer and continued their alliance and fought battles against Wei together to further weaken Wei and ensure Shu loses resources and men as well if possible (I'm sure you could think of strategies to ensure heavy casualties that Shu couldn't pick up on). When locked against 3 groups of power for control and you are weaker and the strongest outmatches both of you, ally with the weaker force and strike the strongest force if you are to stand any chance.

Furthermore, would there not be plenty of other opportune moments to strike Jing later? It was simply not the right time. Wu should have waited for their alliance to do more damage against Wei before making a move on each other.

By attacking and killing Guan Yu, they've guaranteed the end of their alliance and an attack from Shu. Thus, weakening both Wu and Shu. Thus, ensuring Wei the ultimate victor. This action alone may have very well been the moment Wei gave a giant sigh of relief, for a great burden was lifted off their shoulders. Together, Shu and Wu pose a threat. Against each other, especially fighting, leaves both of them vulnerable to attack from Wei. Even if one overcame the other, their resources would likely be exhausted from the fighting or at least not in good shape, against a massive army with massive resources. You've practically signed your death warrant in this scenario.


I won't correct you out, since everyone has their own opinion, discussion is supposed to make each other see the matter in a different point of view. So im going to share my own view.
some people says it wasn't Sun Quan who issued Guan Yu's execution, it was Lu Meng and his other minister. They are too afraid Guan Yu would've come after them should Yu kept alive. Sun Quan on the other hand, wanted to kept Yu alive just to keep Shu's forces at bay as well as had him fought Cao Cao on the frontier. Though i can't say who was it, so my source might be wrong.

See, the Wu forces never thought such thing, they only wanted more land. land, land and lands just to enrich themselves and watch the two tiger fought each other. Sun Quan attacking Hefei (and lose) because Liu Bei demanded it, by returning portions of Jingzhou's land (which he never did). Well, i think Liu Bei won't gave Jingzhou because of it's wealth, strategic position, not to mention part of ZGL's strategy was to keep Jingzhou intact so Shu couldve fought Wei on two fronts, giving pressure on their enemies.

It wasn't because Lu Meng weren't patience to wait it out, i'm sure he's thought it out about the consequences and think they would've prevail if they just playing defensive (which is successful on Yiling/Shaoting). It was Guan Yu's attitude toward their ally Wu as well as Liu Bei broke his word playing a contributing factor, not to mention their (Wu) disastrous defeat on Hefei.
See, Lu Meng was wary of Guan Yu's prowess and respected him. But those respect turn into hatred with Yu's arrogant attitude. If only Guan Yu's act are more courteous toward his ally, im sure the attack on Jingzhou wouldn't happen and Lu Meng would've more than happy to support him in attacking Wei.

There's plenty of time to wait it out until Shu and Wei exhausted themselves. However, Guan Yu's raid on Wu's depot forces their hand. See, if you're bound by alliance treaty, you wouldn't attack your ally's land, raiding their supply just to maintain yours, that's just a breach of the treaty.
Sun Jian travels miles by miles just to convince Yuan Shu when Shu stopped sending supplies to him. Yu could've do the same if Sun Quan didn't want to lend his supply for him, heck, he has that speedy Horse of Lu Bu given to him by Cao Cao. But, Guan Yu thought he could deal against both front, that attitude enough to make him raid Wu's depot which is cost of his life.

Guan Yu was a thorn on both side, he is a threat to Wu as well as Wei. Should Guan Yu prove victorious in the battle of Fancheng, he would've turn his attention toward his 'ally'. So killing Yu is a relief on both forces.

Kongde wrote:I won't claim to be sure on this, so feel free to correct me, because I'm just becoming familiar with post-Liu Bei's death. But based on what I do know leading up to that point, this definitely seems to be the ultimate pivotal downfall moment for both sides. A temporary gain for Wu, but in the long run is destined to lose to Wei.

EDIT: I've seen a few people say the alliance was shaky. Perhaps. But the fact of the matter was, without their alliance, they didn't stand a chance against the bigger force. It would be self-preserving to maintain the alliance, even if just for 1 more major decisive battle against Wei jointly.

And sure, Liu Bei did break his word. But I think the wise move would've been to smooth it out, fight wei, and deal with them once wei has weakened for breaking their promise and take jing back.


It does served as an ultimate pivotal downfall for both Wu and Shu. Just like i mention before, Wu never thought such thing, they just wanted more land just to enrich themselves by playing defensive.

Jingzhou is rich with resources, vast population and also its strategic position. Everyone want such places to be theirs. Zhuge Liang's groundwork strategy was based on those area. It's not like Liu Bei don't want to give those places to Sun Quan, it's because of ZGL's strategy. To make an attack on both fronts (Hanzhong and Jingzhou) you need an enormous of resources, you can't just rely on Yizhou alone to support such astronomical resources, so you also needed Jingzhou's resource as well. Liu Bei was trying to play on time so he could gather resource to make such attack.
Bei's word is something needed to be mindful for, if he need such enormous resource, he shouldn't make such promise to Quan. I think its also wise to smooth it out like you said, Quan is a type who can be reasoned with, in fact, he also the one who initiate a move to improve those relation, such as married Bei with his sister. I don't know whether there was any hidden motive behind it, but those action were clear that Quan wanted for their alliance to lasts long.

Edit:
Dong Zhou wrote:The parts of Jing Wu had claim to was settled in 215


Settled when Liu position on Yi was threatened as Cao Cao's forces occupying Hanzhong. If his (Liu Bei) position wasn't threatened, i doubt he'd ever hand over such rich land to Quan. Giving up the lands just because your position was threatened by other states wasn't a very good diplomatic solution, it's as if you were forced to do so just to save yourself.
Theres so many hate and suspicion lingering around, its like conveying a message to Wu: "I gave up those lands because my position was threatened, when my position is save, i will return to take those lands i was forced to give up to you." so Wu had no choice but to raise in the defense. :|
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Re: Was Lu Meng right?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:53 pm

Welcome to the forum Kongde

I do imagine Wu expected a miliatry response but calculated they would be to beat that, keeping Jing, ensuring senior partner of alliance status in the aftermath and that in the decades to come, they would feel other opportunities would come their way to expand against Wei. They survived seventy one years after taking Jing, their decline was more due to Sun Deng's death in 241 ad the events that followed rather then Jing.

Lu Meng's calculation was that one final attack on Hefei would produce the same results as before, defeat and Wei would last even if they lost Fan.

I am curious, just how exaggerated do you think these numbers are? Is there any evidence to give a more accurate representation the number of soldiers in Cao Cao's army or in a major battle like Chi Bi?? I might be getting off topic now.


I'm not entirely sure, Chi Bi's numbers seem believable enough but other times you get man with parts of a province being declared as tens of thousands troops, Guandu of 10vs1 odds are clearly wrong, victories see mass wipe outs that the defeated force seems amazingly to shrug off.

Li_Shengsun


Just a heads up, the parts of Jing Wu had any claim to were handed over (not very willingly) in 215, Wu's claim on Jing land was done.

See, Lu Meng was wary of Guan Yu's prowess and respected him. But those respect turn into hatred with Yu's arrogant attitude. If only Guan Yu's act are more courteous toward his ally, im sure the attack on Jingzhou wouldn't happen and Lu Meng would've more than happy to support him in attacking Wei.


Not convinced with that. Wu were always aware that once Wei was done or severely weakened, Shu might try and Lu Meng was worried about Guan Yu being a threat. A more courteous attitude won't reduce that as an issue

There's plenty of time to wait it out until Shu and Wei exhausted themselves. However, Guan Yu's raid on Wu's depot forces their hand. See, if you're bound by alliance treaty, you wouldn't attack your ally's land, raiding their supply just to maintain yours, that's just a breach of the treaty.


If Guan Yu did raid the supplies (I believe it is an annotation?), it doesn't change that Wu had plans and army in place for invasion even before news of said raid came in.

Sun Jian travels miles by miles just to convince Yuan Shu when Shu stopped sending supplies to him. Yu could've do the same if Sun Quan didn't want to lend his supply for him, heck, he has that speedy Horse of Lu Bu given to him by Cao Cao. But, Guan Yu thought he could deal against both front, that attitude enough to make him raid Wu's depot which is cost of his life.


Red Hare being Guan Yu's is a novel invention.

Sun Jian was Yuan Shu's (new) subordinate, that is different from leaving your army to race into another kingdom to have a discussion.

It's not like Liu Bei don't want to give those places to Sun Quan, it's because of ZGL's strategy.


I doubt Liu Bei wanted to give up his lands anyway

Bei's word is something needed to be mindful for, if he need such enormous resource, he shouldn't make such promise to Quan. I think its also wise to smooth it out like you said, Quan is a type who can be reasoned with, in fact, he also the one who initiate a move to improve those relation, such as married Bei with his sister. I don't know whether there was any hidden motive behind it, but those action were clear that Quan wanted for their alliance to lasts long.


The relations between the two warlords can probably be described as pragmatic and wary, marriage alliances were more about symbol then real closeness. Sun Quan allied at Chi Bi due to joint foe, he let Liu Bei run free due to risk of PR blowback and it more suited Wu for an alliance at the time.
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