Cao Cao's Top 5 Generals Poll

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Re: Cao Cao's Top 5 Generals Poll

Unread postby Sima Yi 77 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:52 am

My top five are:


Yue Jin
Xu Huang
Zhang He
Cao Ren
Li Dian

Yu Jin in my opinion does not deserve the top 5. Why because he surrendered at the Battle of Fancheng to Guan Yu even under Eastern Wu's leadership where he was shipped off after this battle was ridiculed by some of Sun Quan's associates but he was respected by Sun Quan himself. He was looked in another light by Cao Cao and labeled a coward disgraced by his peers. It even shows when returned to Wei Cao Pi promotes Yu to Borders Pacifying General and sends him back to Wu but before he is taken to Cao Cao's tomb where Cao Pi had an artist paint Yu Jin surrendering and Pang De dying an honorable death. This sums it up a great track record as a general but forever immortalized as a coward, who surrendered and lost favor and respect not a worthy top 5.
Li Dian and Zhang Liao have virtually the same records as generals only difference is Li served Cao Cao from early 190's fighting the Yellow Turban rebels and earning fame and respect rising the ranks with Cao Cao whereas Zhang serves Cao Cao after serving Lu Bu in 198 when Zhang surenders to Cao Cao. Both these men fought equally brave in the Battle of Hefei. Going into Xiaoyao Ford Zhang pursues Sun Quan where Li destroys the bridge almost sealing Sun's fate. Yes more has been recorded as Zhangs personal bravery in the field at Hefei then Li's both men dying in 220 and 222. It might then be a toss up to most but to me Li has the longer track record without any defeats early on with Cao Cao.
Cao Ren has a better record then Yu Jin and has great feats as a general hands down the better of the two. If Pang De would have escaped unscathed from Fancheng and continued with Cao Cao he would easily have been a top 5 what a awesome record he had with Ma Teng securing his power as a warlord by Pang's smashing the Qiang and Di tribes. Then he served Ma Chao and personally killed general Guo Yuan winning a decesive victory over Yuan Sheng. He help squash the rebelling by Hou Yin along with Cao Ren at Wan. He personally made Guan Yu retreat a couple times before his demise at Fancheng.
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Re: Cao Cao's Top 5 Generals Poll

Unread postby Elitemsh » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:08 am

Sima Yi 77 wrote:The problem with Xiahou Yuan though he served for a number of years as mainly a supplier and logistics for Cao Cao and his campaigns. About 213 after Battle of Jiangling did Xiahou Yuan get more responsibility and field commands such as battle with Ma Chao only after a long fight did Zhang He come out with the victory agaisnt Ma Chao at Mount Qi. He did get victorys against smaller warlords such as Han Sui and Song Jian thus making the tribes of Qiang and Di subjects of Cao Cao. By 216 in command of Cao Cao's defense at Yangping Pass were Xiahou was routed and killed in battle. It shows that this man was a capable Logistics officer but not a field general when he faced a well rounded army resulted in his demise.


Very good summary. I think a lot of us don't know much Yuan. I think there is an SGZ on him at this site somewhere. Probably should read that again. I've never heard someone come out with this argument that he was a supply officer. Quite interesting. To add to your account on Yuan, there is also the fact that Liu Bei was quite confident about beating Yuan but was worried about Zhang He. I think that's further evidence of the difference between someone of Yuan's level and the five elite.
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Re: Cao Cao's Top 5 Generals Poll

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:57 pm

I would replace Yue Jin, who has never particularly impressed me, with the excellent Cao Ren. Zhang He is the next vulnerable one on my list, he doesn't have the same brilliance for me as Yu Jin/Xu Huang/Zhang Liao but don't see anyone who is good enough to replace him.
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Re: Cao Cao's Top 5 Generals Poll

Unread postby Elitemsh » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:16 pm

I can see the point about Yue Jin. He was more a vanguard (though excellent in this field). I think of him as the Gan Ning of Wu. The other four perhaps more commanding ability. I'm not sure I agree about Cao Ren being brilliant but to each his own.
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Re: Cao Cao's Top 5 Generals Poll

Unread postby XuSheng » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:34 am

Xu Huang-Zhang Liao (On par, they are the two greatest Wei general IMO. :) )

Zhang He (Very good officer, i love him but Xu Huang and Zhang Liao are higher in startegy, career, commanding and fighting IMO. Zhang He is the more all-around guy who can do anything.)

Yue Jin (Best vanguard general, defeat the ''God of war'', but is inferior to the three other.)

Cao Ren ( Good all-around officer, I will not cited all his achievement because it is already explain in the topic! :D )

I'll never know why everyone were loving Yu Jin soooooo much, i mean what has he done that was awesome.

However, i have always a little something for Li Dian and i think he should have more high regards.
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Re: Cao Cao's Top 5 Generals Poll

Unread postby Yang Dayang » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:32 am

Xu Huang, Yue Jin, Cao Ren, Zhang Liao, then it's hard to choose between Zhang He or Xiahou Yuan.

I think Zhang He has more planning skills than Xiahou Yuan, and probably was more efficient, but I think Xiahou Yuan has a better record. That could be because Yuan was given more chances, but still, He's loss to Zhuge Liang makes me skeptical about choosing him, specially with Xiahou Yuan's huge record and experience, which is slightly tainted with his two losses against Liu Bei and Ma Chao. I dunno, I can't make up my mind between them two..

I would replace Yue Jin, who has never particularly impressed me,


Why, if I may ask? Yue Jin has a great record, including defeating the great Liu Bei twice. I find Yue Jin better than Yu Jin, who wasn't much of a field commander to me.. a general or a vanguard seems more appropriate for him. Yue Jin certainly has more wow moments.. both are awesome though.

However, i have always a little something for Li Dian and i think he should have more high regards.


Li Dian? interesting. In my opinion though, it's Man Chong who really deserves some regards.
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Re: Cao Cao's Top 5 Generals Poll

Unread postby Sima Yi 77 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:27 am

Li Dian? interesting. In my opinion though, it's Man Chong who really deserves some regards.[/quote]


Man Chong was an advisor to Cao Ren and a good one! He didn't really do any field commands until I believe 228? after Cao Cao was long gone and even in the field at commanding he did not earn any real decisive victories or titles.
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Re: Cao Cao's Top 5 Generals Poll

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:26 pm

XuSheng wrote:
I'll never know why everyone were loving Yu Jin soooooo much, i mean what has he done that was awesome.



Repelling the Huang Shao ambush and badly damaging the group, killing four of Qiao Rui's generals, Yu Jin's well organised rearguard during the crises of Wan and put duty above allies, old friends and his own reputation, killed Gui Gu, holding off then ably counter Yuan Shao's attacks including the burning and capture of 30 fortifications.

His record is strong, his resilience during difficult times shines through and his attitude admirable. Yes his career ended in defeat but again, his attitude towards his men shines through and it is a pity Cao Pi was too petty to use such a man.

Why, if I may ask? Yue Jin has a great record, including defeating the great Liu Bei twice. I find Yue Jin better than Yu Jin, who wasn't much of a field commander to me.. a general or a vanguard seems more appropriate for him. Yue Jin certainly has more wow moments.. both are awesome though.


What wow moments? He is no doubt effective but his role for so long seemed to be the very brave subordinate, bar possibly the 30 camp thing where he shares credit with Yu Jin. It is only later, against the likes of Guan Yu and Su Fei (I'm wondering where he could have fought Liu Bei during that period) that he gets independent command where he is effective but again, not many wow moments for me.
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Re: Cao Cao's Top 5 Generals Poll

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:09 pm

Man Chong had a very good record as an administrator, especially at Hefei where he oversaw the construction of their defenses against Eastern Wu. I'm of the belief that he was one of Cao Cao and Cao Pi's best administrators during the period.

You also have guys like Dong Zhao, who exemplified utility as an administrator, strategist, and advisor, and Liu Fu.
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Re: Cao Cao's Top 5 Generals Poll

Unread postby Yang Dayang » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:14 pm

What wow moments? He is no doubt effective but his role for so long seemed to be the very brave subordinate, bar possibly the 30 camp thing where he shares credit with Yu Jin. It is only later, against the likes of Guan Yu and Su Fei (I'm wondering where he could have fought Liu Bei during that period) that he gets independent command where he is effective but again, not many wow moments for me.


Defeating Liu Bei twice, Guan Yu and Su Fei, Gao Gan, northern pirates and participating in many of Cao Cao's battle is decent enough for me, not to mention He Fei. The thing is with Yu Jin is that he was rarely given independent command and was mostly fighting under Cao Cao's direct command. As I said, both are awesome but I think very highly of Yue Jin because I think he was given harder tasks.
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