Why didn't Cao Cao learn from Guan Du?

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Why didn't Cao Cao learn from Guan Du?

Unread postby KingOfWei » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:41 am

I always wondered this. Guan Du, Cao Cao used superior strategy to overcome Yuan Shao's much larger army, so why didn't he plan like that for Chi Bi? If he knew that he was able to overcome Yuan Shao, why didn't he think about the Wu/Shu army overcoming him? I always wondered this.
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Re: Why didn't Cao Cao learn from Guan Du?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:38 am

I'm not sure the two are directly comparable beyond the little guy won. Yuan Shao lost becuase he had, perhaps being senile, had lost his edge whereas Cao Cao was still at his peak at Chi Bi. Yuan Shao lost becuase his camp was badly divided, whereas Cao Cao doesn't seem to have such internal trouble, Yuan Shao lost becuase momentum stalled, he got hit with key defections, Yuan Shao's best commander (Qu Yi) died before hand, key defeats demoralised them and then supplies got destroyed by a daring strike from Cao Cao. Maybe the momentum one and one early defeat counts for Chi Bi.

One of Cao Cao's strengths was his willingness to take a gamble with a sudden attack that might otherwise have been inadvisable. It worked for him at the last at Guan Du, where he so very nearly lost, against the Wuhuan and yes, taking Jing. Not surprising that he followed a usually successful formula against a wavering Wu and a potentially demoralised Liu Bei to see what would happen, it was a gamble but one that might have worked. Remember Wu was divided as to how to react to Cao Cao and could easily have allowed Cao Cao to crush Liu Bei rather then oppose. They stood, Cao Cao took a gamble and it didn't work, he withdraws, it happens. Should also be noted that Jia Xu's alternative plan was not without it's flaws so there is no 100% route for Cao Cao.
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Re: Why didn't Cao Cao learn from Guan Du?

Unread postby GuoBia » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:39 am

I would agree that Chibi and Guandu have very little similarities. I'm not even sure how they are comparable.

I'd also add that Cao Cao and Yuan Shao were both in familiar terrain (or at least similarly compatible to what they were familiar with).

When Cao Cao went out to the South, well, just look at the geography, the climate, the physical environment. I attribute that as one of the main factors- the South is known for its navy while Cao Cao was on unfamiliar land. Like a fish out of water. But... Reversed. Like a ladybug in water. ...Or me in a swimming pool.

Look at China geographically- there's no way that you can expect that Cao Cao cannot be at a disadvantage terrain-wise, while the South was fighting on their own home turf.
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Re: Why didn't Cao Cao learn from Guan Du?

Unread postby Cao Ah Man » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:32 am

Beyond Cao Cao being out of his element, I had always gotten the feeling that he wasn't necessarily all the way there either. I think we have a Cao Cao who is confident in his victories and his triumphs, underestimating his opposition and hoping that a swift show of force with a large army would cow Sun Quan into surrendur. I actually doubt he had ever intended in engaging in any sort of real military engagement- he went in without a clear objective or strategy and was promptly punished for it. You can tell by how ill prepared he was for most of the incidents at Red Cliffs, the sickness of his troops, his inability to handle naval warfare, etc.
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Re: Why didn't Cao Cao learn from Guan Du?

Unread postby the hidden dragon » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:40 pm

so did cao cao really got 250k soldiers @ chi bi?
was it realistic? dun think he was so stupid to really camp 250k army there. what good does it make?
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Re: Why didn't Cao Cao learn from Guan Du?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:54 am

Having a bigger army then the enemy, as long as you can supply and control it properly, tends to be the better then going in with smaller army then the enemy, particularly if you can't match them in that speciality (naval warfare) and are on the away ground.
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Re: Why didn't Cao Cao learn from Guan Du?

Unread postby the hidden dragon » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:38 am

Dong Zhou wrote:Having a bigger army then the enemy, as long as you can supply and control it properly, tends to be the better then going in with smaller army then the enemy, particularly if you can't match them in that speciality (naval warfare) and are on the away ground.


my issue is if Cao Cao got 250k men. and how many ships he needs to actually transport these soldiers to the other bank ? and for what i know, the shipping tech then was not that good yet until the ming dynasty during the Zheng He expeditions where ships can ferry more people. maybe 100 ++. During han, their so call ship or warships might only carry like 50? or slightly more. that means they need at least 5000 ships? of cos historic records might say so, but sometime when certain events were so way back, we have to discount it alittle with some logic base on true circumstances.
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Re: Why didn't Cao Cao learn from Guan Du?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:35 am

Most historians agree with 250,000, he had the Jing navy and long been prearing his own navy so presumably had the numbers of ships needed for a naval battle.
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Re: Why didn't Cao Cao learn from Guan Du?

Unread postby the hidden dragon » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:39 am

Dong Zhou wrote:Most historians agree with 250,000, he had the Jing navy and long been prearing his own navy so presumably had the numbers of ships needed for a naval battle.


so i guess Cao cao din prepare too many of his much fear cavalries forces for that war. or during that era, were horses able to be boarded on ships?
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Re: Why didn't Cao Cao learn from Guan Du?

Unread postby mrbeate » Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:21 am

the hidden dragon wrote:so i guess Cao cao din prepare too many of his much fear cavalries forces for that war. or during that era, were horses able to be boarded on ships?


Yes it is possible to board horses on to ships but! It was very difficult.

Horses can not swim (or at least for long) and can be spooked by water. You must have a large food storage on the boat to supply the horses with water and food. Horses take up a lot of space. Once a naval battle engages, it would be a hardy task to maintain the horses.

Yangzhou's terrain is jungle like, and much of it is long grass I believe. Calvary will not do well in such terrain.
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