Yuan Shao - Yuan Shu

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Re: Yuan Shao - Yuan Shu

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:50 pm

Scholar wrote:Sun Ce was very young, and perceived to be very inexperienced. Even if he was talented and promised positions, giving him that high of a position while there were more established and achieved generals under his command that were, perhaps, more deserving would have been a very poor move.


I agree that Ce shouldn’t have been given those roles. In which case Yuan Shu should never have promised it to Sun Ce and that shows horrendous management skills and completely undermines your claim that he treated Ce as a favourite. If he did favour Sun Ce so much then he would have given him the role regardless of the practicality of that decision.

Scholar wrote:You also run on a few assumptions:


No. I was running on what Rafe says in GoTS as I will now prove.

Scholar wrote:We have no information, or next to no information, about the campaigns and military expeditions of Yuan Shu from his arrival in Shou Chun to his conquest of southeastern China. It is very possible that many of Sun Jian's former entourage were used in a number of battles. In fact, its unlikely that they wouldn't see much use.


There remained, however, groups of recruits and followers which had owed a personal allegiance to Sun Jian or his relatives, and who had formed the loyal core of his greater command. Men such as Sun He, Cheng Pu, Huang Gai and Han Dang evidently continued to serve in identifiable units, but they played no important role under Yuan Shu. Yuan Shu had his own followers and clients, and he made small attempt to attract Sun Jian's former lieutenants or to offer them opportunities for advancement in his service.


As Rafe says they saw little action and were not advanced at all.

Scholar wrote:Further, unless Sun Ce defeated both commanders and began his conquest of Yang with the few minor forces he brought with him then it is clear that he did receive extensive reinforcement from Yuan Shu.


At any rate, he had collected something of a following, including Lü Fan, a refugee from Runan commandery, who brought Sun Ce a hundred retainers of his own, and Sun He,
who had served under Sun Jian and had at one time commanded his body-guard.


Nevertheless, Sun Ce had established connection with Shouchun, and some of his father's old soldiers came to join him.


Yuan Shu's neglect of them worked to his advantage: young as he was, Sun Ce represented a new rallying point for those who had sought a career under the banner of Sun Jian.

Yuan Shu had encouraged Sun Ce to join his relatives -very probably, of course, as a means of getting the importunate young man out of his way - and Sun Ce stayed in Danyang for some months, gradually increasing the number of his followers and gaining military experience in the petty warfare against local enemies, bandits and barbarians. Jiangbiao zhuan says that he acquired a force of several hundred men.


So no, up until this point Sun Ce had gained his own following without Yuan Shu’s help and Rafe even suggests that Yuan Shu tried to get rid of Ce, probably setting him up to fail. I don’t see how you can say Shu shows Ce any favouritism there.

Sun Ce arrived back at Yuan Shu's headquarters in 194, and on this occasion Yuan Shu transferred about a thousand men from Sun Jian's former troops to Sun Ce's command, and he kept him stationed at Shouchun.


Then, finally, after Ce had already started to prove himself, albeit on a small scale, Yuan Shu gave him some men.

Scholar wrote:While some of the generals may have defected, if any of them joined Sun Ce before the break between the two and Sun Ce's own rebellion then the officers and generals joined him while under the nominal command of Yuan Shu. It is unlikely that such moves went without Yuan Shu's notice, or approval. Warlords don't allow generals and troops to leave their command without a word, and we have virtually nothing as far as objections or attempts to stop the moves.


Believe I’ve already answered that.

I agree with most of your conclusion, as I said I don't think that Shu was unwise not to give command to Ce he just handled it all wrong. My basic point is that Yuan Shu didn’t show favouritism to Sun Ce and actually mismanaged him from the start (like he had Sun Jian’s followers), first of all sending him away and then being too weak to say no Sun Ce’s requests and promising him something he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) deliver.
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Re: Yuan Shao - Yuan Shu

Unread postby Scholar » Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:03 pm

I agree that Ce shouldn’t have been given those roles. In which case Yuan Shu should never have promised it to Sun Ce and that shows horrendous management skills and completely undermines your claim that he treated Ce as a favourite. If he did favour Sun Ce so much then he would have given him the role regardless of the practicality of that decision.
There is a difference between being favored and showing unconditional and unflinching support. While it is readily arguable and agreeable that the offer should never have even been made, giving him control of Danyang and other areas after a couple years of service was extraordinary.

As Rafe says they saw little action and were not advanced at all.
I'm a little curious how he got this information, but then again I have not read Generals of the South in two years or so. From the source material I could gather the entirety of Yuan Shu's campaigns, unless directly affecting the major power blocs (or Sun Ce), goes largely without being said. It gets a footnote or simply suddenly appears in his possession. While I would normally defer to Rafe's opinion on this, in the sources available to me I don't see this. Maybe its just because I don't have all the information, but it does seem unlikely that noteworthy generals did not see use unless their importance was vastly inflated later on. That, and the few campaigns we do have show Wu jing and Sun Ben; affiliates and relatives of Sun Jian.

So no, up until this point Sun Ce had gained his own following without Yuan Shu’s help and Rafe even suggests that Yuan Shu tried to get rid of Ce, probably setting him up to fail. I don’t see how you can say Shu shows Ce any favouritism there.
I already said Sun Ce had his own following, my point was that he attained extensive reinforcement from Yuan Shu's forces. Having a couple hundred men is not enough to go to war with Jiujiang and Lujiang, and certainly not without replacement. Therefore it is only logical to assume that he got additional forces. It was still only a token force, but simply giving him 1000 troops when he only had hundreds doubles or triples his forces. That is extensive. It is also likely that when Wu Jing made Sun Ce his commander that many more of Yuan Shu's forces were put under Sun Ce's command.

I agree with most of your conclusion, as I said I don't think that Shu was unwise not to give command to Ce he just handled it all wrong. My basic point is that Yuan Shu didn’t show favouritism to Sun Ce and actually mismanaged him from the start (like he had Sun Jian’s followers), first of all sending him away and then being too weak to say no Sun Ce’s requests and promising him something he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) deliver.
A man of about twenty being given an appointment over Jiang Dong is extraordinary and exceptional, this does imply favoritism. As does comments attributed to Yuan Shu about the talent of Sun Ce and how he wished he had a son like him. However, I'm just not sure how much of this is trustworthy. My initial basic point was that most of what we know about him has been written many decades later by the people who defeated him and betrayed him. As Sun Ce was a vassal of Yuan Shu his break must be legitimate or the foundation of Wu itself is drawn into question and becomes a dishonorable. The promises made to Sun Ce may not have been anywhere near what we think of now and merely may have been an expectation for advancement that didn't pan out.

However, I don't mean to cause an argument. I fully agree with the assessment that Sun Ce had his own initial retinue of men, and I can see that many of Sun Jian's old guard may not have seen much battle even if Wu Jing and other members of the Sun family are noted borderline excessively in military campaigns compared to Yuan Shu's other generals. I also understand that it seems clearly evident that Sun Ce was mishandled and going from what we know it was irresponsible to make multiple promises and only follow through with the third one. Further, it could have been ways to get rid of Sun Ce rather than show favor to him. However, on facts alone on the basis that Sun Ce did achieve a position of massive importance, prestige, influence, and autonomy all while he was just about 20 years of age shows something on its own. That Yuan Shu gave Sun Ce an army of officers and followers, dumping many of Sun Jian's old guard on him, implies a certain amount of trust and again only empowers Sun Ce. Yuan Shu should not have been so stupid as not to see the advantages he was giving Sun Ce. It is possible that this was a promotion as well as a marginalization, which opens up its own debate, but we do know that the apparent situation between Yuan and Sun is not what it seems. Yuan Shu-Sun Jian/Yuan Shu-Sun Ce/Sun Ce-Yuan Yao/Sun Quan-Yuan family. From what we know these relationships should be deeply flawed and filled with animosity, but we just don't see that.

I know we already agree that there is more than lies on the surface of this, we just disagree on what's underneath it all. :mrgreen:
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Re: Yuan Shao - Yuan Shu

Unread postby Yuán Shù » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:20 am

Yuan Shu's biggest mistake was giving Sun Ce any sort of real command. Sun Ce was a little Lu Bu in the making, an opportunist ready to betray anyone in his pursuit of personal glory. He gained fame for defeating a bunch of nothings in Yangzhou (usually relying on either Yuan Shu's forces, or Sun Jian's old generals), and then he subsequently used this fame to start a rebellion. Sun Ce was best used for fighting bandits and barbarian gangs, and would have remained doing so if Yuan Shu had not loved him and his father so much. Though I suppose in that case Sun Ce would have found some excuse to declare himself King of All Bandits.

I suspect that Yuan Shu would have been better off using someone like Zhang Xun or Qiao Rui to conquer the South, before focusing his best commanders on the fight against Liu Bei. Yuan Shu's great misfortune was that he was surrounded by wolves like Sun Ce and Lu Bu. He attracted men of talent from all corners of the map, and brought prestige to the backwards Southlands. The Wu Dynasty was just a shallow caricature of the mighty Zhong, built upon betrayal and the blood and bones of Yuan Shu. Yuan Shu was the greatest Emperor of his time.
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Re: Yuan Shao - Yuan Shu

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:48 am

Nice jokey first post :)
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Re: Yuan Shao - Yuan Shu

Unread postby XuSheng » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:09 pm

Yuan Shu problem was the lack of good advisors.

By the way welcome to the community Yuán Shù! :D
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Re: Yuan Shao - Yuan Shu

Unread postby Jordan » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:28 am

Yuan Shu's biggest mistake was giving Sun Ce any sort of real command. Sun Ce was a little Lu Bu in the making, an opportunist ready to betray anyone in his pursuit of personal glory. He gained fame for defeating a bunch of nothings in Yangzhou (usually relying on either Yuan Shu's forces, or Sun Jian's old generals), and then he subsequently used this fame to start a rebellion. Sun Ce was best used for fighting bandits and barbarian gangs, and would have remained doing so if Yuan Shu had not loved him and his father so much. Though I suppose in that case Sun Ce would have found some excuse to declare himself King of All Bandits.

I suspect that Yuan Shu would have been better off using someone like Zhang Xun or Qiao Rui to conquer the South, before focusing his best commanders on the fight against Liu Bei. Yuan Shu's great misfortune was that he was surrounded by wolves like Sun Ce and Lu Bu. He attracted men of talent from all corners of the map, and brought prestige to the backwards Southlands. The Wu Dynasty was just a shallow caricature of the mighty Zhong, built upon betrayal and the blood and bones of Yuan Shu. Yuan Shu was the greatest Emperor of his time.


This is by far the greatest member to join Scholars of Shen Zhou.
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Re: Yuan Shao - Yuan Shu

Unread postby capnnerefir » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:09 am

Yuán Shù, you have changed my entire outlook on life, the universe, and everything. My world will never be the same.
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Re: Yuan Shao - Yuan Shu

Unread postby Yuán Shù » Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:49 am

Thanks for the welcome. I'm glad I could clear up some misconceptions for you all. I've realized that I have kept silent for far too long. It will be a hard fight I'm sure, but I am determined to wipe away the lies of history surrounding this most underrated and noble of Emperors. 8-)
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Re: Yuan Shao - Yuan Shu

Unread postby Shen Ai » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:45 am

If we're comparing the two then Yuan Shao is far superior in almost every way to Yuan Shu. Yuan Shao was a rather underrated general in his prime, while Yuan Shu doesn't have any such record of excellent service that can be compared to his greater relation.
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Re: Yuan Shao - Yuan Shu

Unread postby Jordan » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:28 pm

Please explain why Yuan Shao was an underrated general in his prime. What outstanding victories did he personally command as opposed to, say, Qu Yi?
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