Crouching Phoenix, Hidden Dragon: A Shu-Han Victory Timeline

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Re: Crouching Phoenix, Hidden Dragon: A Shu-Han Victory Time

Unread postby To Establish Peace » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:44 pm

Part 3

221 was a year of relative quiet militarily, as Shu began to consolidate their massive gains of the last two years, while rebuilding from the Jingzhou struggle. In the west, Zhuge Liang and the Shu military began solidifying the administration and military readiness of the Han Zhong area, making it into both an impregnable fortress and a base of operations for future operations. Guan Yu and Pang Tong began to disperse the surrendered Wei soldiers throughout Jing to lower their burden on food supplies. However , on the political front, there was a great deal of action. Cao Pi, the successor to Cao Cao, had to fight off sporadic rebellion for other contenders to his father’s position. At the same time, there were rebellions aimed at restoring Emperor Xian’s power with Wei’s power seemingly at an ebb. However, and this is a move that is still debated to this day (some scholars believe that formally ending the Han, with Shu having momentum and Wu still strong, was a mistake), Cao Pi moved to remove Xian from the court and declare himself Emperor of Wei, formally ending the 400 year Han Dynasty. This created consternation in the Shu court, with Liu Bei expressing personal outrage (historians have debated the extent to which Liu Bei was a heartfelt Han loyalist but the consensus is that he genuinely believed in the Han Dynasty, though he also certainly wanted power within the framework of the Han) and swearing revenge. At the same time, a growing movement of his officers, led by Zhuge Liang, began pushing for Liu Bei to assume the title of “Emperor of Han” in Xian’s place. While Liu Bei was initially reluctant, the support of his followers convinced him to take that step. In early 222, Liu Bei was declared Emperor of Han, with Zhuge Liang as Chancellor of Han, Guan Yu as Viceroy of Jingzhou, and Pang Tong as General Who Commands Armies.

Meanwhile, Sun Quan grew restive. Sun Quan was “merely” a king while the two other powers made plays for empire. He also knew he needed all of Jing to make a play for power. At the moment, he was largely confined to Jiang Nan and eastern Jing. Finally, the death of Lu Meng from sickness in late 221 only further motivated Wu. Slowly, he and the new Wei Emperor Cao Pi began to reach out to each other once more, with Cao Pi trading non-aggression and Sun Quan’s recognition of his regime, for recognition of Sun Quan’s authority over Jiangnan and Jingzhou. Unlike the sneak attack in 220, Sun Quan would go for broke here, eschewing surprise as well as his customary caution and launching an all-out assault on Shu’s Jingzhou territory. In the late spring of 223, the attack came, with Wu troops attacking on land and sea from Chang Sha, Jiang Xia and Chai Sang.

While Shu had some advance warning of Sun Quan’s assault, they simply did not have enough time for an effective response. Armies were still being reorganized, and despite Shu numerical superiority, Shu armies struggled heavily in the face of the Wu advance. These issues were compounded by Guan Yu’s customary recklessness, losing troops in futile counterattacks despite Pang Tong’s recriminations. Furthermore, the hot summer created the opportunity for a massive fire attack east of Gong An, planned by Lu Xun, that took advantage of Shu armies camping in the shade to avoid heatstroke. For a short time, Jiang Ling and Gong An were under threat, however logistical issues as well as the greater quality of Shu defenders in this area checked their advance. It was clear that Lu Xun was a masterful commander, and morale was high for a fight that Wu had been looking for for years.

By the end of the summer of 223, Liu Bei and Zhang Fei had come from the capital with reinforcements. Liu Bei, surveying the situation, gave the order to fight defensively, perform fighting retreats if needed, and attempt to fight on mountainous terrain if possible, where Shu troops had the advantage. Even though Wu advances continued into the winter of 223, by the beginning of 224, the offensive had ground to a halt. Shu armies were either retreating in good order, where before they had taken large losses due to Guan Yu meeting the Wu advance with headon attacks, or they were counterattacking in force in favorable terrain. Slowly, Wu morale began to drop as their momentum stalled. With Lu Xun now in command of the Wu army, he attempted to fight defensively, matching Liu Bei’s tactics. While Guan Yu wanted to attack in force, Pang Tong and Liu Bei dissuaded him – Lu Xun was waiting for Shu to make a mistake. That mistake never came.
On the Wu side, the endless waiting nearly brought the army to the point of mutiny. Lu Xun was being unfavorably compared to the more aggressive Lu Meng. Commanders under Lu Xun were secretly writing back home asking for orders to attack in order to break the stalemate. The breaking point came when an effigy of Lu Xun in women’s clothing was burned in the main camp – a clear sign that the army had lost the respect of the young commander. Finally, Lu Xun gave in, and launched an attack on Gong An. That was the chance that Shu was waiting for. Sending Zhang Fei with roughly 5,000 troops to lie in wait on Lu Xun’s flank, the main Shu army gave ground, almost to the gates of Gong An. It was at that point that Zhang Fei’s flanking attack struck. While casualties were relatively low, the attack threw the entire Wu army into confusion, compounded by the false rumors spread by Shu informants that Lu Xun had been killed in battle.

While Lu Xun survived, it was clear that the Jing offensive had failed. In the summer of 224, Sun Quan asked for terms from Liu Bei. Liu Bei at first was inclined to demand all of Jingzhou, returning the situation to the 214 borders, as well as a large indemnity. However, Zhuge Liang argued against this, stating that the logistical burden would be too great and would create too much ill will. The final settlement would have Wu retain most of the Chang Sha and Ling Ling commanderies, as well as retaining Jiang Xia. Furthermore , due to Zhuge Liang’s diplomacy, the alliance between Shu and Wu was restored, under terms far more favorable to Shu, including Sun Quan “permanently” renouncing all imperial aspirations and recognizing Liu Bei and his line as the legitimate continuation of the Han Dynasty. In response, Cao Pi, the new Wei emperor launched a massive attack on Wu from He Fei and Lujiang, however, this attack was repulsed due to the control of the eastern river that Wu continued to hold, and with the threat of a Shu flanking attack from Jiang Ling, Cao Pi was forced to retreat. So it was thus that the initial shape of the Three Kingdoms would take hold.
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Re: Crouching Phoenix, Hidden Dragon: A Shu-Han Victory Time

Unread postby To Establish Peace » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:46 pm

Please rate and critique for accuracy as always. I kind of played with death dates a bit since this is an alternate history.
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Re: Crouching Phoenix, Hidden Dragon: A Shu-Han Victory Time

Unread postby Jolt » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:28 am

It's a good post all around, a few things though:

1.
I would imagine Pang Tong submitting memorials and rather openly reinforcing rather than openly removing but coverting keeping hold of them, the defences along the Yangtze river, would make Wu attack. If anything, it would lead Lu Xun to wait it out until Guan Yu's offensive ran out of steam and was forced back, bringing a furious Guan Yu back and cutting the head off the man who had actually predicted what Lu Meng and Lu Xun were attempting to do.

2.
One of the primary captains of the Shu defense force, Shi Ren, actually suggested that he and his friend, Mi Fang, kill Pang Tong and go over to Wu. This was met with a sword through the gut from Mi Fang, who while not particularly brave (some historians speculate that Mi Fang would have gone over had Pang Tong not been there to keep the troops near Jiang Ling), was fundamentally loyal and refused to surrender a winnable fight.


Does not make sense historically since Mi Fang was Grand Adminstrator of Jiangling while Shi Ren was overseeing the Gong'an defences, when the attack came.

Now from what you write, either some teleportation by Shi Ren takes place from Gong'an to Jiangling.
Here's an image to better see the distances between important places (Click it to for bigger image).
Image

Or it is implied both Mi Fang and Shi Ren were in Gong'an?

3. You do not mention what the Wei army does, if it does anything at all, when Guan Yu retreats. Wei reinforcements had come and in the historical invasion, they pursued Guan Yu South down to Maicheng, nor what happens to the main Shu fleet holed up in Han river (Their fate is unknown in history, but it probably surrendered to either Wei or Wu).

4.
Zhuge Liang to avoid a seemingly weakly defended Chen Cang Castle defended by one of Wei’s elite generals, Hao Zhao.


Too many parelellisms for my taste. The butterfly effect of Jing being conserved is far too big for the very same things to be happening 10 years later.

5.
While Shu had some advance warning of Sun Quan’s assault, they simply did not have enough time for an effective response. Armies were still being reorganized


To me "Armies were still being reorganized" doesn't make that much sense.

6.
Furthermore, the hot summer created the opportunity for a massive fire attack east of Gong An, planned by Lu Xun, that took advantage of Shu armies camping in the shade to avoid heatstroke.


First, East of Gong'an (Across the river) there's not really much of importance. And the way I would imagine an attack by Wu on Jing would be that Wu armies would be attacking fortified positions and cities, logistically supported by its navy, on its two main thrusts towarsd Jiangling and Wuling. With Shu on the defensive, I imagine that they would be mostly holed up in their cities, while awaiting reinforcements to drive out the invaders. Not much reason to camp in the shade. The map I posted pretty much shows the main attacking points. So talking about advances and retreats, when neither Gong'an nor Wuling had fallen, makes little sense from an historical prespective to me.

7. This is my personal taste, but I was expecting a bit of comment on the reactions by Wu forces or personalities to Pang Tong's ruse, as well as Liu Bei's diligences towards solving the problem between
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Re: Crouching Phoenix, Hidden Dragon: A Shu-Han Victory Time

Unread postby To Establish Peace » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:16 pm

I would imagine Pang Tong submitting memorials and rather openly reinforcing rather than openly removing but coverting keeping hold of them, the defences along the Yangtze river, would make Wu attack. If anything, it would lead Lu Xun to wait it out until Guan Yu's offensive ran out of steam and was forced back, bringing a furious Guan Yu back and cutting the head off the man who had actually predicted what Lu Meng and Lu Xun were attempting to do.


The plague ruse was essentially a way for Pang Tong to have his cake and eat it too. Basically, a 30,000 strong garrison is scary, but not when they're all dying of sickness.

Now from what you write, either some teleportation by Shi Ren takes place from Gong'an to Jiangling.


I envisioned it as a scenario where Shi Ren and Mi Fang get together in Jiang Ling in secret and talk about the issue, Shi Ren brings up the issue, and Mi Fang offs him.

3. You do not mention what the Wei army does, if it does anything at all, when Guan Yu retreats. Wei reinforcements had come and in the historical invasion, they pursued Guan Yu South down to Maicheng, nor what happens to the main Shu fleet holed up in Han river (Their fate is unknown in history, but it probably surrendered to either Wei or Wu).


That fleet was able to withdraw in good order to meet the Wu fleet, fought a gallant holding action against the Wu fleet but was ultimately mostly lost. Also, I assumed it would be far too dangerous to pursue Guan Yu's mostly intact army that far when Wu hadn't taken Jing yet.

Too many parelellisms for my taste. The butterfly effect of Jing being conserved is far too big for the very same things to be happening 10 years later.


Maybe so - but the Northern Campaigns are going to happen regardless of Jing being under Shu, because:

1: From what I understand from the LGZ, the main attack led by Liu Bei would go through Guanzhong while another general would lead the attack through Nanyang. So an attack through Guanzhong aimed at securing Longzhou and Liangzhou would always be the plan.

2: The battles in Jing only reinforce this, in that Shu learns that even with a numerical advantage and good luck, it's simply too difficult to take a fortified castle by storm unless the men inside rebel or something. So from that perspective, the army in Jing is more of a decoy designed to tie down as much Wei resources as possible and make Wei believe any Shu attack will come through Nanyang, not Guanzhong.

To me "Armies were still being reorganized" doesn't make that much sense.


Remember all those men Guan Yu captured after the Fan flood? Those have to be worked back into the Shu army, or released, or something. Logistics in that are are not such where adding a bunch of people is a net gain - see Cao Cao's massacre of surrendering troops because he couldn't feed them. While Shu could make it work, it took time.

"First, East of Gong'an (Across the river) there's not really much of importance. And the way I would imagine an attack by Wu on Jing would be that Wu armies would be attacking fortified positions and cities, logistically supported by its navy, on its two main thrusts towarsd Jiangling and Wuling. With Shu on the defensive, I imagine that they would be mostly holed up in their cities, while awaiting reinforcements to drive out the invaders. Not much reason to camp in the shade. The map I posted pretty much shows the main attacking points. So talking about advances and retreats, when neither Gong'an nor Wuling had fallen, makes little sense from an historical prespective to me."

My idea is that Guan Yu would sally forth to repulse the attack, instead of waiting it out, because they had repulsed a Wu invasion before and Guan Yu would of course get overconfident (forgetting the lessons of the 220 campaign). Instead of holing up, he'd probably try to meet the attacks head on, get pushed back, and have key fortifications be under threat until Wu's momentum breaks.

Also I do notice that there's a great deal of parallelism btween ATL and OTL, I tend to like that as a literary device but it's a YMMV thing.

As for personalities, it's kinda hard to get into personalities without using their SGYY personalities, but I can try to work that in.
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Re: Crouching Phoenix, Hidden Dragon: A Shu-Han Victory Time

Unread postby Jolt » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:59 am

The plague ruse was essentially a way for Pang Tong to have his cake and eat it too. Basically, a 30,000 strong garrison is scary, but not when they're all dying of sickness.


Sorry, I meant "wouldn't make Wu attack". From an outsider prespective, Lu Xun would see that Guan Yu was convinced Wu was no threat, but Pang Tong was not, and was directly defying its superior and keeping troops in Jing against Guan Yu's orders. Just like Lu Xun said to Sun Quan not to attack Yizhou in conjuntion with Wei, and wait to see what happened before committing, I doubt Lu Xun would commit to an offensive that Pang Tong was rightfully anticipating, to the detriment of his relation with Guan Yu, and possibly his life. Much more prudent it would be to conserve one's strength, and wait for Guan Yu to return and execute Pang Tong for countermanding his orders without just cause, and wait for another chance when the Jing army would be comitted against Wei.

I envisioned it as a scenario where Shi Ren and Mi Fang get together in Jiang Ling in secret and talk about the issue, Shi Ren brings up the issue, and Mi Fang offs him.


The problem is that for the Jing forces to become aware of a Wu invasion, the Wu invasion was already happening and coming for Gong'an within a few days notice, and Shi Ren suddenly leaving Gong'an and his underlings with no actual reason, as important as it was, to go to Jiangling unsummoned, would be tantamount to desertion. In that context, it is virtually impossible for an individual to take several days heading for Jiangling, run lenghty diligences, and several more days to return to Gong'an. It just made little sense.

Maybe so - but the Northern Campaigns are going to happen regardless of Jing being under Shu, because:

1: From what I understand from the LGZ, the main attack led by Liu Bei would go through Guanzhong while another general would lead the attack through Nanyang. So an attack through Guanzhong aimed at securing Longzhou and Liangzhou would always be the plan.

2: The battles in Jing only reinforce this, in that Shu learns that even with a numerical advantage and good luck, it's simply too difficult to take a fortified castle by storm unless the men inside rebel or something. So from that perspective, the army in Jing is more of a decoy designed to tie down as much Wei resources as possible and make Wei believe any Shu attack will come through Nanyang, not Guanzhong.


Nothing stated that Chencang would be fortified. In history, Hao Zhao was ordered to fortify the city in preparation for the second Shu offensive only because Cao Zhen predicted an attack would come through that location. And when the offensive began, defensive works were still ongoing, therefore showing that the city wasn't that much of a fortress to begin with, and was only turned into a fortress due to that very situation. Otherwise, it would probably have been easily captured and gone unmentioned in historical records.

Remember all those men Guan Yu captured after the Fan flood? Those have to be worked back into the Shu army, or released, or something. Logistics in that are are not such where adding a bunch of people is a net gain - see Cao Cao's massacre of surrendering troops because he couldn't feed them. While Shu could make it work, it took time.


Still, "army being reorganized doesn't really make any sense". You don't see warlord State putting dozens of thousands of lives on limbo. You don't see anywhere in the Three Kingdoms records that a force was overrun because it was reorganizing its overall army. Those soldiers would be quickly distributed into tuntian or communities in strategic locations.

My idea is that Guan Yu would sally forth to repulse the attack, instead of waiting it out, because they had repulsed a Wu invasion before and Guan Yu would of course get overconfident (forgetting the lessons of the 220 campaign). Instead of holing up, he'd probably try to meet the attacks head on, get pushed back, and have key fortifications be under threat until Wu's momentum breaks.


The thing is, as per the map I've shown, the overall campaign would be, in my opinion, practically restricted to cities. Either the besieged breaks, or if they defeat the besiegers, they aren't just pushed back slightly, because their whole logistical train is not land but water-based, so in case of a Shu victory, the Wu army would rout with no friendly base to retreat to. As with most fights near a river, if the one with the backs against the river loses (Which in case would be Wu), they'd rout and melt away, with the Wu navy picking up stragglers along the river shores as they could. Your case would make sense in case, they would gain a coastal base in the area (Gong'an, Jiangling, Wuling) upon which they may strike out inland, and retreat to.
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Re: Crouching Phoenix, Hidden Dragon: A Shu-Han Victory Time

Unread postby To Establish Peace » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:47 pm

Sorry, I meant "wouldn't make Wu attack". From an outsider prespective, Lu Xun would see that Guan Yu was convinced Wu was no threat, but Pang Tong was not, and was directly defying its superior and keeping troops in Jing against Guan Yu's orders.


I see what you're saying - on the surface Jing still would seem vulnerable but to the cautious minds in Wu, Pang Tong, who has a pretty big reputation in his own right is openly defying his master because he saw right through Wu's strategy. Is there any way he can assemble these troops in secret or otherwise have Pang Tong prepare for the fight while also getting Wu to attack?

I envisioned it as a scenario where Shi Ren and Mi Fang get together in Jiang Ling in secret and talk about the issue, Shi Ren brings up the issue, and Mi Fang offs him.


The problem is that for the Jing forces to become aware of a Wu invasion, the Wu invasion was already happening and coming for Gong'an within a few days notice, and Shi Ren suddenly leaving Gong'an and his underlings with no actual reason, as important as it was, to go to Jiangling unsummoned, would be tantamount to desertion. In that context, it is virtually impossible for an individual to take several days heading for Jiangling, run lenghty diligences, and several more days to return to Gong'an. It just made little sense.


I guess that part can be taken out and replace with Shi Ren standing and fighting because of the more favorable circumstances?

Maybe so - but the Northern Campaigns are going to happen regardless of Jing being under Shu, because:


Nothing stated that Chencang would be fortified. In history, Hao Zhao was ordered to fortify the city in preparation for the second Shu offensive only because Cao Zhen predicted an attack would come through that location. And when the offensive began, defensive works were still ongoing, therefore showing that the city wasn't that much of a fortress to begin with, and was only turned into a fortress due to that very situation. Otherwise, it would probably have been easily captured and gone unmentioned in historical records.


Alright, that line can come out.

Remember all those men Guan Yu captured after the Fan flood? Those have to be worked back into the Shu army, or released, or something. Logistics in that are are not such where adding a bunch of people is a net gain - see Cao Cao's massacre of surrendering troops because he couldn't feed them. While Shu could make it work, it took time.

Still, "army being reorganized doesn't really make any sense". You don't see warlord State putting dozens of thousands of lives on limbo. You don't see anywhere in the Three Kingdoms records that a force was overrun because it was reorganizing its overall army. Those soldiers would be quickly distributed into tuntian or communities in strategic locations.


Fair enough. Basically, I'm trying to create a reason why a numerically superior force (as the Jing force would be after adding tens of thousands of troops from the Fan campaign) would struggle initially against Wu. I'm trying to be historically plausible, but I'm also trying to tell a good, exciting story too, haha.

The thing is, as per the map I've shown, the overall campaign would be, in my opinion, practically restricted to cities. Either the besieged breaks, or if they defeat the besiegers, they aren't just pushed back slightly, because their whole logistical train is not land but water-based, so in case of a Shu victory, the Wu army would rout with no friendly base to retreat to. As with most fights near a river, if the one with the backs against the river loses (Which in case would be Wu), they'd rout and melt away, with the Wu navy picking up stragglers along the river shores as they could. Your case would make sense in case, they would gain a coastal base in the area (Gong'an, Jiangling, Wuling) upon which they may strike out inland, and retreat to.


Alright, I'll rewrite that part. I really wanted to create a sense that Jing was in real danger (similar to the sense created by Liu Bei's OTL invasion of Jing) so I wanted to set up a scenario where Wu is steamrolling everything in its path, but the geography is too different.
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Re: Crouching Phoenix, Hidden Dragon: A Shu-Han Victory Time

Unread postby FoxWithWings » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:07 am

You also ought to consider that, by this point, Zhang Fei, Liu Bei, and Guan Yu were all rather old. I can easily expect any (or all) of them to die because of old age in the coming years.

And another thing, I cannot picture Sun Quan bending over to those terms. The land of Wu was very defensible and he had able officers. Not to mention, if Wei and Wu had both regrouped and committed their reserves (if they possessed any) and attacked from the east and north, then Jing would've have fallen unless a fully-fledged military expedition from Yi had arrived to help. Though with all things considered, they could still lose Jing.

In conclusion, Shu would've had to either seriously increase the size of their military forces in Jing, or struck northward at either Fancheng and Xiangyang (to gain a strong defensive foothold) or into Liang and against Chencang (or some other point of vantage) to gain more resources, knock Wei back on its heels, and persuade them to make peace so that Shu can rebuild its armies and prepare for further fighting.
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Re: Crouching Phoenix, Hidden Dragon: A Shu-Han Victory Time

Unread postby To Establish Peace » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:41 am

Zhuge Liang will deliver the Northern Campaign memorial to Liu Bei on his deathbed before he passes on. Guan Yu and Zhang Fei will die shortly before.

And another thing, I cannot picture Sun Quan bending over to those terms. The land of Wu was very defensible and he had able officers. Not to mention, if Wei and Wu had both regrouped and committed their reserves (if they possessed any) and attacked from the east and north, then Jing would've have fallen unless a fully-fledged military expedition from Yi had arrived to help. Though with all things considered, they could still lose Jing.


Sun Quan at this point has spent enormous amounts of time and resources trying to take Jing, and he's failed. Furthermore, while Sun Quan can defend Wu proper, Shu will likely retake eastern Jing in short order after the failure of the Wu invasion, especially since, as Jolt said, a Wu invasion would leave very little room for Wu to retreat, especially with the way they've committed themselves. And now Wu would have a tenuous non aggression pact with Wei, who's far stronger than Wu alone, and Wei would almost certainly rather eliminate the lips of the south than help Wu in an invasion which would immediately turn into a Wei-Wu war the minute Wei appeared to have designs on Jiang Ling. There's really nothing for Wei to gain from fighting an open war with a beaten Wu against a victorious Shu-Han, and everything to gain from just marching on Wu who recently suffered a crushing loss in Jing.

There are a lot of good reasons for Sun Quan, who's fought Shu for Jing two times and lost 2 times, to accept a VERY favorable peace.

Also Shu could likely hold off a combined Wu/Wei invasion. Wei still doesn't have much in the way of a fleet while Shu would have at least a token navy. Wei generally doesn't do good in its southern invasions and I doubt this would be any different. Basically Wu would need to overrun a prepared Jing before Liu Bei and friends can arrive, and I don't see that happening.
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Re: Crouching Phoenix, Hidden Dragon: A Shu-Han Victory Time

Unread postby FoxWithWings » Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:31 pm

(Guys, quick question, how do I quite things properly?)

Why in the world would Wei attack Wu while they have a powerful Shu-Han to their southern flank? To me, that seems like an incredibly foolish decision. Like I've said before, Wu is VERY good on the defensive (hence Red Cliffs), and even after the two disastrous Jing campaigns Sun Quan would still have reserves to call upon in case of an invasion (because he isn't a fool). So, as a result, if Wei attacked Wu then Shu-Han could easily make successful campaigns towards Fancheng or Chang An. In the later stages of the three kingdoms, you never saw Wu attack Shu with a fully fledged military expedition because they had the Wei behemoth to their north, and if Wei knew Wu was going to annex Shu (and become only stronger) they would immediately mobilize against Wu. You also raise a good point about the severe lack of a navy for Wu, and I can easily see them losing the pieces of Jing they possess to Shu if they had continued to resist. That being said, so what? Who cares? You said yourself that Zhuge LIang saw a potential logistical problem, and Lu Xun, with his stellar abilities of analysis, would've known this. The land of Wu itself (again) is extremely defensible, and (again) Wu would have reserves in case of invasion. Lu Xun could've waited, biding his time, and then took those pieces of Jing back in a lightning campaign once he had the resources again. That would both give his soldiers high morale and Shu something to worry about.

I just can't see the terms of the treaty as favorable in any way, shape, or form. Sun Quan was practically bowing down to Liu Bei and that, no matter where, when, or in what age, is a massive humiliation. It's a huge slap in the face to Sun Quan, his children, and their forefathers. No ruler would ever dare accept the terms that Sun Quan did, it would be tantamount to political suicide. Any respect the officers and officials of Wu had for their ruler would be gone, and a coup against Sun Quan could be expected to follow.
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Re: Crouching Phoenix, Hidden Dragon: A Shu-Han Victory Time

Unread postby To Establish Peace » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:21 pm

Why in the world would Wei attack Wu while they have a powerful Shu-Han to their southern flank?


Because Shu-Han's committed the bulk of their resources to Jing to stop an all out Wu invasion.

So, as a result, if Wei attacked Wu then Shu-Han could easily make successful campaigns towards Fancheng or Chang An.


Not at this point in time because Shu-Han's committed the bulk of their resources to Jing to stop an all out Wu invasion. Right now it's pretty much a purely defensive force at Han Zhong. Also why would Shu be able to take Chang An in this situation? Zhuge Liang, with almost total strategic surprise and a large commitment of resources (more than Shu would be able to spare in this scenario) not only couldn't do it, he didn't even try which is why he rejected the Wei Yan blitzkrieg idea.

If Wei goes too long without attacking Wu then yes Wei committing to a Wu invasion could put Guangzhou or Fancheng in danger, but does Wu really want to take that chance?

Furthermore, Wu's in a horrible spot diplomatically, given that there's really no reason for Wei to continue supporting Wu. And while Wu would have reserves, would they be enough to defend against an all out Wei invasion? Yes, Wu has stopped Wei invasions from the north cold but in this timeline their army west of Lake Powang has been decimated while their navy has taken a good deal of damage and is still committed to fighting Shu. And Cao Pi is certainly reckless enough to decide he'd rather try to hit a home run and destroy an weakened Wu than collaborate with Wu to fight a strong and prepared Shu.
I just can't see the terms of the treaty as favorable in any way, shape, or form. Sun Quan was practically bowing down to Liu Bei and that, no matter where, when, or in what age, is a massive humiliation. It's a huge slap in the face to Sun Quan, his children, and their forefathers. No ruler would ever dare accept the terms that Sun Quan did, it would be tantamount to political suicide. Any respect the officers and officials of Wu had for their ruler would be gone, and a coup against Sun Quan could be expected to follow.


I find the terms Shu accepted to reestablish the alliance in OTL to be just as onerous from a Shu-HAN perspective. I don't think people understand the magnitude of that. Only 8 short years after establishing that they were the one true Empire and the legitimate continuation of the Han Dynasty, they literally rolled over to Sun Quan declaring himself Emperor because Shu was in no position to resist. All Shu could do was hint at "sharing the mandate" (fat chance) just to keep what was a glorified defensive pact going.

The terms Sun Quan agrees to are essentially that Sun Quan keeps the 215 borders (as opposed to losing Jing entirely) and essentially transferring Sun Quan's allegiance as "King of Wu" from Wei to Shu, which was Wu's political status from 200 to 221 while maintaining autonomous control over Wu. That is a good deal compared to losing strategic control of the Yangzte entirely, having to fear an imminent Wei invasion, and being diplomatically isolated as Wei begins to demand more and more concessions to a weakened Wu.
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