Wu's destiny

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Wu's destiny

Unread postby Tokugawa Liang » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:07 am

After the Three Kingdoms established, Shu led 15 invasions of Wei. Wei defended itself and sometimes counter-attacked. What was Wu doing all that time? It was waiting for them to destroy themselves but didn't he miss the occasions he had to overcome on of the two other kingdoms? Would things have changed if Wu had attack Wei more actively at the same time as Shu?
I was just wondering if it was Wu's inactivity that caused their downfall?
English is not my mother tongue. I hope the comprehension isn't too hard.

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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby GuoBia » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:15 am

Wu's downfall wasn't really caused by either of the two kingdoms. It was caused by internal divisions, a leader who seems to have had dementia or something, and enough catfighting to fill two sororities and a high school prom court election.

You're going to have to be a bit more specific on the "after the Three Kingdoms was established" part because I recall Wu being quite active, like destroying Liu Bei and stuff.
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby Jordan » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:03 am

Wu wasn't inactive at all.

Its internal conflicts really screwed it over though, especially after the death of Sun Quan. If it had been able to capitalize on the rebellions in Shouchun, it could have gained some serious ground against Wei. It is unfortunate for Wu that those rebellions took place after Sun Quan had died.
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby Yang Dayang » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:10 am

Wu and Wei had many battles during that time actually.

It's just that Jiang Wei hyper, not just "active".
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby Tokugawa Liang » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:19 am

I meant from the time point when Zhugr liang led his first invasion. At that time Yiling was already done. Since then Zhuge Liang had time to lead 5 invasions of Wei, and at that time, correct me if I'm wrong but Sun Quan was still alive, had plenty of capable officers and the catfight as you say so well, hadn't started. Still Wu's reaction was to post troops at the Shu frontier, preventing them to use their full troops to attack Wei and representing a direct threat to them. In other words, Wu reinforced that blocus situation. That in turn, led to time passing without anything happening from Wu, and in time Sun Quan would eventually die. That is when internal dissention came up and ruined Wu's politic.
English is not my mother tongue. I hope the comprehension isn't too hard.

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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:07 am

Didn't Sun Quan invade Wei about 11 times in his life? Between Yi Ling and Zhuge Liang's death, Wu fought 3 defensive camapigns (not counting Peng Qi) against Wu and 6 (counting aiding Meng Da, counting ambush on Wang Ling as offensive) offensive camapigns against Wei. Possibly 7. Obviously that doesn't include the aggressive drive south as far as the ill-fated invasion of Taiwan.

Wu were aggressive against Wei. It is just some of the camapigns sucked and the novel ignored Wu as a general rule. Perhaps Wu were put in a bad position at Chi Bi becuase they were not aggressive enough in Jing so there is a case there but don't believe Wu can be considered overly cautoius during the timeline Tokugawa Liang is discussing. I can also see the argument that Wu's invasion of Jing 219 greatly hurt Wu/Shu's chances and was a mistake, the troops on the borders though probably didn't hinder either and was more a sign of the 219 issue then a problem itself.

Wu couldn't make headway against Wei but it hit a long decline due to the heir crises, just when Sun Quan seemed to go senile, an unstable court that led to infighting that even Quan struggled to control, weak or incompetent emperors and their last gasp hope in Sun Hao being corrupted by power.
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby Elitemsh » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:16 am

Tokugawa Liang wrote:I meant from the time point when Zhugr liang led his first invasion. At that time Yiling was already done. Since then Zhuge Liang had time to lead 5 invasions of Wei, and at that time, correct me if I'm wrong but Sun Quan was still alive, had plenty of capable officers and the catfight as you say so well, hadn't started. Still Wu's reaction was to post troops at the Shu frontier, preventing them to use their full troops to attack Wei and representing a direct threat to them. In other words, Wu reinforced that blocus situation. That in turn, led to time passing without anything happening from Wu, and in time Sun Quan would eventually die. That is when internal dissention came up and ruined Wu's politic.


Wait how do you know that Wu posted troops at the Shu frontier? Where is this stated? I know that after Liu Bei's death Shu posted troops at the frontier with Wu so it would make sense. Still i would really appreciate knowing where you found out this info.
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby Tokugawa Liang » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:52 am

Dong Zhou: I was ignorant of the 11 campaigns as you say, and it is possible that the louo Guanzhong novel overlooked Wu a bit
Elitemsh: the novel by Louo Guangzhong indicates that Wu posted troops in a commandery near the frontiers with Shu.

I (only) read The Three Kingdoms, so you may know more, I appreciate the illumination!
Still it rises another question from me. Kingdoms long divided tend to unite, therefore, though Sun Quan founded a new dynasty, it was still part of the Han pire, what was the interest of expanding south? Using troops, time and resources in wars in the south, even as their northern borders where threatened. Had Wu not better (try to) re-conquer the Han territory and eliminate other rivals, than advance in the south, warring against tribes that were not a great threat anyway and did not present a particular advantage other than expand a territory? Therefore do I think that having the blocus situation, he could make his wars in the south. Would Wu have more interest in hot, difficult lands in the south than the fertile plains in the north?
The same, what interest did Liu Bei have in the southern territories of Meng Houo. The ling of Nanman sai it himself: if he could live in peace on his own lands he would not have disturbed Shu!
.
English is not my mother tongue. I hope the comprehension isn't too hard.

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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby TooMuchBaijiu » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:30 pm

Tokugawa Liang wrote:though Sun Quan founded a new dynasty, it was still part of the Han pire, what was the interest of expanding south?


I doubt Sun Quan viewed Wu as part of the Han dominion, especially since he'd formally established the dynasty after Han's formal dissolution. That said, I doubt he ever had any real loyalty to Han even when he was nominally a subject of the Emperor. Sun Ce likely felt the same way, and so did Sun Jian, at least after the breakup of the coalition.

Wu probably expanded south for the same reasons Russia expanded east, though more dangerous rivals lay in the opposite direction. As you said, it was often easier to conquer. I'd bet many conquests weren't planned campaigns. For example, a Yue raid on a Wu village would prompt Wu's retaliation, culminating in the annexation of the Yue land, and an influx of Han Chinese settlers.

The South was also relatively undeveloped territory with massive potential. Look at China today-the richest province is not Henan, where Wei was centered, but Guangzhou, where Wu spent much of its existence developing. Zhejiang and Fujian are also rich provinces, and those regions have, I believe, been relatively wealthy ever since Han Chinese settled there.

Wu had to develop these regions for the sake of its economy. Can't fight without money, and you can't get money without resources and the ability to support a large population. They developed the South for the same reasons America developed the West. And they succeeded-the south before Wu was a backwood. After, it often eclipsed the North as the political, economic and cultural center of Chinese civilization. Not too long after Jin united the kingdoms, it was invaded by the Wu Hu. Jin survived only by retreating south of the Chang Jiang (Yangtze), and only because Wu had developed the land enough for them to rebuild.

Trade was also important. Expanding south gave Wu the chance to seize control of the maritime trade routes connecting China with India, Persia, and Rome. It's possible that this could've even them a leg up on Wei, as the land route was more contentious and less controllable.

So in short, Wu did it for the money, or acted as an empire acts.

I believe de Crespigny's Generals of the South might have more info you might like, as might this section of the Weilue (with added commentary) I posted on this thread: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=21573&p=569644#p569644

I'll warn you, though, the bastard translator used Wade-Giles. The link at the top of my post over on that thread has all the surviving Weilue, I believe.
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:41 pm

Elitemsh wrote:
Wait how do you know that Wu posted troops at the Shu frontier? Where is this stated? I know that after Liu Bei's death Shu posted troops at the frontier with Wu so it would make sense. Still i would really appreciate knowing where you found out this info.


From Zong Yu's sgz At the occasion of Zhuge Liang’s death, Wu became worried that Wei would take advantage of the situation and invade Shu, and thus she increased the guard force at Baqiu by ten thousand soldiers – first for saving Shu [if necessary], but also in preparation to carve up the land [should Shu fall]. When Shu heard about it, she increased the defences at Yong’an as well just in case.

Tokugawa Liang wrote:Dong Zhou: I was ignorant of the 11 campaigns as you say, and it is possible that the louo Guanzhong novel overlooked Wu a bit


Way more then a bit. Turned Wei's biggest rival into a third wheel. TMB addressed the Wu south question far better then I ever could

The same, what interest did Liu Bei have in the southern territories of Meng Houo. The ling of Nanman sai it himself: if he could live in peace on his own lands he would not have disturbed Shu!
.


Yong Kai and his allies rebelled and were making a nuisance of themselves with Wu's support.
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