Did Liu Bei flourished only after Zhugeliang came on board?

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Did Liu Bei flourished only after Zhugeliang came on board?

Unread postby the hidden dragon » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:00 pm

was it really zhuge lian'g's capability that lead to the later expansion and success of liu bei;s career?
or was it due to other factors, or other personnel that helped him?

any history records ..? not those of SGYY though
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Re: Did Liu Bei flourished only after Zhugeliang came on board?

Unread postby Elitemsh » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:58 pm

the hidden dragon wrote:was it really zhuge lian'g's capability that lead to the later expansion and success of liu bei;s career?
or was it due to other factors, or other personnel that helped him?

any history records ..? not those of SGYY though


Zhuge Liang's role was mostly internal. Liu Bei's later success was more to do with opportunity and geography than anything else. When he got his chance to gain land, he took it. In the earlier days it was much harder. He controlled a weak army and was surrounded by much more powerful lords. After Chi Bi, he was in a strong position in southern Jing. His rear was safe. This was not so when he controlled Xu and fought Yuan Shu. Hence him losing it (Xu) to Lu Bu.

Wu was weakened by the loss of a very important leader in Zhou Yu, this greatly helped Liu Bei's plan to take Yi. Had Zhou lived then Liu Bei may have been kept contained in the South.

So the death of key figures, the region he was located, Liu Bei's own skill and initiative and the ability of some of his subordinates allowed him success he couldn't achieve in the earlier days.
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Re: Did Liu Bei flourished only after Zhugeliang came on board?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:40 pm

any history records ..? not those of SGYY though


ZZTJ and the relevant SGZ's (Liang's and Liu Bei's is on kongming.net I believe) though it isn't a question with a 100% answer.

I think the reason Liu Bei went from wandering mercenary general to Emperor is simple: Chi Bi gave him breathing room and a base. Apart from Xu, which he inherited in less then ideal circumstances and lost through a coup, Liu Bei had not had a secure base or time. He was either in somebody's employ or in a insecure position that was quickly attacked, both of which summed up his position just before Chang Ban. Chi Bi pushed Cao Cao back, provided an alliance that acted short-term as some protection and thus time. Also with Zhou Yu taking awhile to beat Cao Ren, Liu Bei was able to nick in and create a temporary base for himself in Jing. Then Liu Zhang opened up a window of opportunity for Liu Bei to get a secure base.

So really, the opportunity for a man of Liu Bei's immense ambition/drive and abilities only really came after Liang joined but not due to Liang himself. It was Liu Bei that seized it, with his political wiles and drive to exploit the chance+miliatry ability that was needed. Liang was helpful but until Yi fell, when Liu Bei needed an administrator he could trust, he wasn't really vital. His advice at the time was erratic and the roles he took, like diplomat and reinforcing commander, could probably have been done by others.

Or what Elitemsh said.
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Re: Did Liu Bei flourished only after Zhugeliang came on board?

Unread postby Aventador951 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:20 am

His achievements and later kingdom of Shu was mostly due to the work of Zhuge Liang, but I think he was doing slightly well before Shan Fu came around. He did manage to suppress the Yellow Turban Rebellion well - but that was quietened down due to the Ten Eunuchs.
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Re: Did Liu Bei flourished only after Zhugeliang came on board?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:20 am

I think hidden dragon was looking for a historical answer?
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Re: Did Liu Bei flourished only after Zhugeliang came on board?

Unread postby Striga » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:46 am

Technically, he only flourished afterwards, since he never managed to hold any land beforehand, and capturing Jing (which was after ZL joined, but had little or nothing to do with him) was a major improvement. His luck also changed for the better, while Cao Cao was weakened from Chibi.
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Re: Did Liu Bei flourished only after Zhugeliang came on board?

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:20 pm

I would argue that Zhuge Liang was of supreme importance to Liu Bei flourishing, for the following reasons:

Articulating a strategy and a blue print to Empire

Something that Liu Bei was never able to do was to see the bigger picture. Sometimes your failure is not just due to luck, but the fact that you choose to fight on unfavourable terms. And that very accurately describes about a decade at least of Liu Bei's career. Especially his repeated attempts to take on enemies (namely Cao Cao and Yuan Shu) who he just didn't have the strength to do. Let me say this: Liu Bei's career could have taken on a similar path if he went to Liu Biao right after he lost the Xu Province for the second time, instead of dallying about and successively losing twice more. A lot of times it just felt like Liu Bei didn't know what he was doing.

Zhuge Liang changed that, he articulated a long term strategy to Liu Bei using the Long Zhong plan, and in one of his first things managed to say to Liu Bei something Liu Bei could never get out of his head, namely: Cao Cao is too strong to contend with directly. It was Zhuge Liang that set Liu Bei's path of conquest in terms of the idea of taking the Jing and Yi province and coming to a three way stalemate.

Diplomacy to enable Red Cliffs

It's immensely unlikely that Zhuge Liang, as the novels described, single handedly orchestrated the alliance with Sun Quan. But he was definitely one of the architects, and it was this alliance that really changed the whole ballgame and gave Liu Bei a chance.

Gave Liu Bei 10,000 troops and a commandery at his most desperate time

This one is a bit round about, but Zhuge Liang accidentally provided Liu Bei with half his basically starting force at around Red Cliffs. Because Zhuge Liang was the one who came up with the idea for Liu Qi to escape to Jiang Xia with 10,000 troops, and these 10,000 formed half of Liu Bei's army at Red Cliffs eventually, and also gave Liu Bei the Jiang Xia commandery to work with. Granted this one may have been more due to luck than anything else.


After THAT though, Zhuge Liang could have essentially not been there until Liu Bei dies and nothing much would be different strategically.
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Re: Did Liu Bei flourished only after Zhugeliang came on board?

Unread postby Shen Ai » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:41 pm

I agree that while Liu Bei did flousrish when Zhuge Liang joined him, it wasn't simply because of Zhuge Liang's presence. As Crazedmongoose said, Zhuge Liang was able to bolster Liu Bei's troops and offer him territory to preside over, but Liu Bei pretty much built Shu without strategic advice from Zhuge Liang.
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Re: Did Liu Bei flourished only after Zhugeliang came on board?

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:14 am

Yeah, Liu Bei improved vastly in terms of long term strategic outlook etc.

But it wasn't like he suddenly became better at battles (I mean, he was always pretty good, just that after Red Cliffs he wasn't constantly fighting against Cao Cao).

I'd also like to say that after Red Cliffs Liu Bei successively gained two decent battlefield strategists - Fa Zheng and Pang Tong. Fa Zheng's effect especially was almost reminiscent of a lesser Guo Jia for Liu Bei.
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Re: Did Liu Bei flourished only after Zhugeliang came on board?

Unread postby Shen Ai » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:36 am

Fa Zheng was good, but Pang Tong seemed reckless to a degree even greater than Guo Jia. But yes, he got more and more talent added to his forces as he gained more and more land.

People criticize Liu Bei for being a poor military commander, but it seems he's had some fantastic wins on his own. Against the Yellow Turbans, Bo Wang, the aftermath of Chi Bi, where he took a large portion of Jing, Yi province, and then in Hanzhong. He seemed to be a good campaign leader, given that he did best Cao Cao a few times.

Of course, his performance in Xu, then later against Cao Cao repeated times and finally at Yiling showed he wasn't extraordinary as a military commander, and thus, not up to Cao Cao's level, but he did well enough. I would rank him higher than Zhuge Liang as a general and commander.
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