Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Join the Romance of the Three Kingdoms discussion with our resident Scholars. Topics relating to the novel and history are both welcome. Don't forget to check the Forum Rules before posting.
Kongming’s Archives: Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms Officer Biographies
Three Kingdoms Officer Encyclopedia
Scholars of Shen Zhou Search Tool

Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Unread postby Han » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:59 pm

On Guan Yu, 

What exactly happened at The Battle of Baima/Boma?

For example, did Guan Yu really charge through thousands of soldiers to slay Yan Liang? What were these thousands of soldiers busy doing to the point where they were not defending their Commander in Charge? Did Guan Yu charged at Yan Liang by himself or did anyone else helped him? What role did Zhang Liao and Cao Cao play during the battle? How much did the loss of Yan Liang and later on Wen Chou impact the morale of Yuan Shao?


Furthermore, why did Guan Yu left Cao Cao the Chancellor Of Han and the Han Emperor for Liu Bei- a bandit pillaging Runan? What were Liu Bei and his surbodinates reaction to Guan Yu surrendering to Cao Cao and his exploits at Baima/Boma and him rejoining them?


It is said that the fame of Guan Yu quickly spread through the Central Plains of China after his famous charge at Baima/Boma. Before the battle of Baima/Boma how famous was Guan Yu when he was Liu Bei surbodinate. Did guys like Liu Zhang, Zhang Lu and the Sun Clan know the achievement of Guan Yu?


Why did Liu Bei never make Guan Yu the official Grand administrator or Inspector of Jing Province? Is it because he had doubts about Guan Yu? Was Liu Bei ever mad or disappointed over Guan Yu surrender of Xu Province?


Is the story of how Guan Yu was friends with Zhang Liao and Xu Huang true? Why did he committed so many tactical and diplomatic blunders during his Jing Province campaign?



On Zhuge Liang,

How much authority did he have in Shu after Li Yan downfall compared to before Li Yan downfall? What role did he play when it comes to Liu Feng execution? 


Zhuge Liang is said to be intelligent yet manipulative and benevolent yet harsh when necessary. Therefore, in your opinion, if Liu Shan ordered the execution of Zhuge Liang using the Northen Campaigns as the official reason, would Zhuge Liang turn himself in and let himself be executed or declare a rebellion/revolt.


In your opinion is Zhuge Liang superior, inferior or equal to the likes of Xun Yu, Zhang Zhao, Chen Qun, Sima Yi,  Lu Xun, Jiang Wan, Zhong Yao, Zhang Hong and Fei Yi when it comes to administration of territory.


Many historians have compared Zhuge Liang to Xiao He when it comes to administration of territory, what is your opinion on this? Who is better?


When comparing Shu Han to Cao Wei, Sima Jin and East Wu we see that there were very little revolts and rebellions in Shu Han compared to the other states. In your opinion, is it because of Shu Han small size or the talents of its Ministers like Zhuge Liang, Jiang Wan, Fei Yi etc.


On Zhang Fei,

When Zhang Fei abducted his wife, he was in his mid 30s and Xiahou was in her young 10s. This means according to todays law, 

Zhang Fei is not only a pedophile but also a rapist as women in their 10s cannot give consent when it comes to marriage and sexual relations. Was this common in the East Han dynasty? Was Liu Bei okay with such an act? What was the reaction of the Xiahous and Caos?

I know it is wrong to enforce the moral values of the 21st century onto the people of the past but I hope that you will not be offended by my controversial question.


When Zhang Fei was screaming at Cao Cao army at the bridge, why did Cao Cao not order his troops to shoot arrows at Zhang Fei or send 1000 men against him? Did Zhang Fei have a reputation of valor and bravery like that of Guan Yu and Zhang Liao?



On Pang Tong and Fa Zheng,

What were their exact roles during Liu Bei Sichuan campaign? Who did Liu Bei prefer? Who had the higher rank at that time and at their respective peaks? What were the relationship between the two of them and Zhuge Liang like? 


Out of these 4, Liu Bei, Fa Zheng, Pang Tong and Zhuge Liang. Who deserve the most credit for the Sichuan campaign from biggest to least?

Likewise during the Battle for Hanzhong, who deserved more credit ; Liu Bei or Fa Zheng.


What were Zhuge Liang greatest successes and biggest failures in his Northen and Southern campaigns.



On Liu Bei,

What was Gongsun Zan reaction when Liu Bei joined Tao Qian considering they were close friends. 


Was Liu Bei really a horrible commander? From what i can see, whenever Liu Bei had a numerical advantage, he never lost. For example, his battles against Yuan Shu were quite succesful until Lu Bu rebellion. The Battle of Bowang and the Battle for Hanzhong were all quite impressive too especially the latter. And he fought against Yellow Turbans too.


Why didnt Liu Bei attack Liu Cong when he heard of Liu Cong surrender? Did he play any role in Liu Qi death? Was he truly loyal to Liu Qi or did he used Liu Qi like Cao Cao used Emperor Xian? How much influence did Liu Qi have compared to Sun Quan and Liu Bei during Zhou Yu Red Cliff campaign and later on Nanjun campaign?


Was Liu Bei truly a benevolent man? If we examine his actions, we notice that he pillaged Runan and later on ChengDu. Yet, there must be something about him to be able to convince Zhao Yun, Liu Biao former officers and Liu Zhang former officers to be loyal to him.



On Cao Cao vs Yuan Shao,

Historical and fictional sources frequently portray Yuan Shao having a much greater advantage than Cao Cao during the Guandu campaign. However, Yuan Shao had 4 provinces, Bing, Ji, You, Qing while Cao Cao had Xu, Yan, Yu, North Yang and East Liang and the loyalty of West Liang warlords. Thus why is Yuan Shao frequently portrayed to have a much greater advantage compared to Cao Cao who had more provinces, stronger generals and smarter advisors while also controlling the Emperor?



Mr Rafe, I would like to thank you for your time. The online community of The Three Kingdoms consider you a living legend! I would be filled with gratitude if you could reply my questions and offer your great insights.


Have a nice day/night. I hope that this mail finds you in good health.
Last edited by Han on Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Han
Apprentice
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:46 pm

Re: So... i sent Rafe an email with lots of questions!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:33 pm

Welcome to the forum Han

I posted my concerns about this on koei warriors so will just say, I hope you will ask questions of the forum or engage in discussions here
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 14892
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: So... i sent Rafe an email with lots of questions!

Unread postby Han » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:28 pm

Hey thanks. I just notice u r a mod. Do u think i should create new topics on the different historical figures that i ask Mr Rafe about or should i just leave this thread up and hope people discuss.
Han
Apprentice
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:46 pm

Re: So... i sent Rafe an email with lots of questions!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:32 pm

Maybe edit out the email parts and the topic title, leave the questions? Imagine people will join in.
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 14892
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: So... i sent Rafe an email with lots of questions!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:53 pm

On Guan Yu,

What exactly happened at The Battle of Baima/Boma?

For example, did Guan Yu really charge through thousands of soldiers to slay Yan Liang? What were these thousands of soldiers busy doing to the point where they were not defending their Commander in Charge? Did Guan Yu charged at Yan Liang by himself or did anyone else helped him? What role did Zhang Liao and Cao Cao play during the battle? How much did the loss of Yan Liang and later on Wen Chou impact the morale of Yuan Shao?


In Baima, Yuan Shao's forces had been tricked into going elsewhere and so Yan Liang's forces were taken by surprise by Cao Cao's sudden arrival and Zhang Liao's vanguard was sent to engage. Guan Yu spotted an opportunity during the battle and broke through the lines, killing Yan Liang.

Did Guan Yu have other troops with him? Most likely given way battles were thought. Did Yuan forces fight back? Most likely but once their commander was killed, that would have demoralized the soldiers greatly.

The impact of their deaths was noted to have discouraged the Yuan soldiers. They were two highly famous captains and losing them in early stages of the camapign would have hit hard.


Furthermore, why did Guan Yu left Cao Cao the Chancellor Of Han and the Han Emperor for Liu Bei- a bandit pillaging Runan? What were Liu Bei and his surbodinates reaction to Guan Yu surrendering to Cao Cao and his exploits at Baima/Boma and him rejoining them?


Guan Yu didn't kill Wen Chou historically.

Guan Yu's stated reason was he had made a vow to Liu Bei and had received great favour while historically there may not have been an oath but they were as soon as close as brothers. One should also bear in mind Liu Bei was a man of reputation at the time rather then just a bandit

The reaction of Liu Bei and co is not recorded.

It is said that the fame of Guan Yu quickly spread through the Central Plains of China after his famous charge at Baima/Boma. Before the battle of Baima/Boma how famous was Guan Yu when he was Liu Bei surbodinate. Did guys like Liu Zhang, Zhang Lu and the Sun Clan know the achievement of Guan Yu?


Cao Cao admired him and presumably he gained a reputation among Wei forces he was fighting but I would be surprised if it had reached far reaches of the land. Certainly by the time Liu Bei and Wu allied, Guan Yu was a big name enough for Zhou Yu to make plans about

Why did Liu Bei never make Guan Yu the official Grand administrator or Inspector of Jing Province? Is it because he had doubts about Guan Yu? Was Liu Bei ever mad or disappointed over Guan Yu surrender of Xu Province?


That might not have gone down well with Wu. I doubt Liu Bei would leave a key region in the hands of someone he doubted

Guan Yu was captured rather then surrendered in Xu

Is the story of how Guan Yu was friends with Zhang Liao and Xu Huang true? Why did he committed so many tactical and diplomatic blunders during his Jing Province campaign?


Xu Huang was a close friend, Zhang Liao there is no evidence of such.

In terms of his handling of Jing, his attack fell short and he lost to very good commanders but there isn't much suggestion of failed tactics. Had Jing not falle, the attack on Fan would have been a reasonable success. His error with Mi Fang and Fu Shiren may have been hoping hanging it over their heads might inspire them to work harder after their considerable mistakes.

For handling of Wu, many things. Arrogant nature which helped make him a great warrior didn't help as a diplomat, Shu was on the rise and Wu was the increasingly lesser partner at the time, probably annoyance with Wu over past, a feeling disagreements on Jing was settled in 215. Lu Meng's resignation from illness (he probably was ill and had a history of illhealth) meant a threat was taken off the board, Lu Xun would need time to assert himself and his early signs were on the Lu Su strategy of close alliance.
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 14892
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: So... i sent Rafe an email with lots of questions!

Unread postby Han » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:19 pm

Dong Zhou u are amazing!!!

By the way Rafe has replied.

Mr Rafe HAS RESPONDED!!!!!!

Dear (my name)[hope that is right!],
Your email is fine, and I shall respond as soon as I can. You do raise a number of questions, however, and for some of them - notably the politics of Shu-Han - I have no real expertise. But I shall put together a few comments and suggestions over the net few days.
With all good wishes,
Rafe de Crespigny

Holy f•••. This guy is a LEGEND!!!

By the way I have edited out the title and email parts. Hopefully this will generate more discussion.
Han
Apprentice
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:46 pm

Re: So... i sent Rafe an email with lots of questions!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:25 pm

Will be intresting reading his thoughts, glad you got a response and yeah, he is a lovely chap.

Also no swearing :wink:

On Zhuge Liang,

How much authority did he have in Shu after Li Yan downfall compared to before Li Yan downfall? What role did he play when it comes to Liu Feng execution?


He was pretty much running the country anyway but having your main rival powerbase fall does help. Zhuge Liang advocated Liu Feng's death to secure Liu Shan's future and for stability of Shu


Zhuge Liang is said to be intelligent yet manipulative and benevolent yet harsh when necessary. Therefore, in your opinion, if Liu Shan ordered the execution of Zhuge Liang using the Northen Campaigns as the official reason, would Zhuge Liang turn himself in and let himself be executed or declare a rebellion/revolt.


Not heard that description

Given Liu Shan's nature, that would be extremely unlikely and hard to fully know how anyone would react to such a situation. I imagine Zhuge Liang could feel he could manoeuvre his way out without going for a revolt

In your opinion is Zhuge Liang superior, inferior or equal to the likes of Xun Yu, Zhang Zhao, Chen Qun, Sima Yi, Lu Xun, Jiang Wan, Zhong Yao, Zhang Hong and Fei Yi when it comes to administration of territory.


Jiang Wan and Fei would admit Liang was superior. Rest, I'll pass on, they had different roles and challenges

Many historians have compared Zhuge Liang to Xiao He when it comes to administration of territory, what is your opinion on this? Who is better?


Pass

When comparing Shu Han to Cao Wei, Sima Jin and East Wu we see that there were very little revolts and rebellions in Shu Han compared to the other states. In your opinion, is it because of Shu Han small size or the talents of its Ministers like Zhuge Liang, Jiang Wan, Fei Yi etc.


Partly Liu Shan provided a lot of political stability that Wei and Wu didn't have, partly size, partly the revolts are more forgettable (which I think is more the answer) but it is clear the four great ministers were highly popular as well.
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 14892
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Unread postby LiuBeiwasGreat » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:57 pm

I am at work but I just want to mention one small thing about Shu-Han revolts. As Dong Zhou mentioned there were revolts but they tended to be minor. Li Yan's bio implies that he put down at least one rebellion after Liu Bei took over. In addition both Zang Yi's (or Ni I cannot remember) put down rebellions in the Nan Man region. Also the Nan Man campaign that Zhuge Liang was in charge of was technically a rebellion. However as Shu-Han was the smallest kingdom it delt with fewer rebellions.
"If you can't drink a lobbyist's whiskey, take his money, sleep with his women and still vote against him in the morning, you don't belong in politics."
LiuBeiwasGreat
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 2505
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 4:13 pm
Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:55 pm

On Zhang Fei,

When Zhang Fei abducted his wife, he was in his mid 30s and Xiahou was in her young 10s. This means according to todays law,

Zhang Fei is not only a pedophile but also a rapist as women in their 10s cannot give consent when it comes to marriage and sexual relations. Was this common in the East Han dynasty? Was Liu Bei okay with such an act? What was the reaction of the Xiahous and Caos?


Of age was 14 then and Xiahou was either 13 or 14. There is no recorded reactions from Liu Bei or her family and given daughters became Empress and lack of scholarly criticism, this was not considered an issue at the time.


When Zhang Fei was screaming at Cao Cao army at the bridge, why did Cao Cao not order his troops to shoot arrows at Zhang Fei or send 1000 men against him? Did Zhang Fei have a reputation of valor and bravery like that of Guan Yu and Zhang Liao?


Cavalry forces so not archers. Wei didn't press against him becuase Zhang Fei faked an ambush behind him and that put them off.

Zhang Fei had the same 10,000 men rep as Guan Yu
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 14892
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:53 pm

Han wrote:
On Pang Tong and Fa Zheng,

What were their exact roles during Liu Bei Sichuan campaign? Who did Liu Bei prefer? Who had the higher rank at that time and at their respective peaks? What were the relationship between the two of them and Zhuge Liang like?


Pang Tong helped run the army and was main strategist while Fa Zheng gave advice and inside info plus tried to persuade Liu Zhang to submit. Fa Zheng was Liu Bei's Guo Jia, Pang Tong was the senior adviser but Fa Zheng held higher rank (what with being alive when Liu Bei had a kingdom) at peak. Pang Tong was an old friend of Zhuge Liang and recommended by Liang (and Lu Su) to Liu Bei, Fa Zheng and Zhuge Liang respected each other but were often at disagreement and Liang's comment when asked to help persuade Liu Bei to restrain Fa Zheng's murder and robbery might hint at frustration.


Out of these 4, Liu Bei, Fa Zheng, Pang Tong and Zhuge Liang. Who deserve the most credit for the Sichuan campaign from biggest to least?


Liu Bei, Fa Zheng, Pang Tong, Zhuge Liang

Likewise during the Battle for Hanzhong, who deserved more credit ; Liu Bei or Fa Zheng.


Depends who you credit for that fatal attack on Huang Zhong

What were Zhuge Liang greatest successes and biggest failures in his Northen and Southern campaigns.


Success: Few losses, tended to win the small battles, embarrassed Sima Yi, took two towns, killed Zhang He and Wang Shuang in retreat. His armies tended to be very well organized.

Failure: The first NC was a golden opportunity wasted by the inexperienced commander, loss at Chen Cang, failure to do more then take two small areas and struggled to deal with being turtled by Sima Yi.

======

On Liu Bei,

What was Gongsun Zan reaction when Liu Bei joined Tao Qian considering they were close friends.


Not recorded. Some argue Zan would have been happy to see ally Tao Qian strengthened, others not convinced by that given Zan's nature and losing officer amidst a war.


Was Liu Bei really a horrible commander? From what i can see, whenever Liu Bei had a numerical advantage, he never lost. For example, his battles against Yuan Shu were quite succesful until Lu Bu rebellion. The Battle of Bowang and the Battle for Hanzhong were all quite impressive too especially the latter. And he fought against Yellow Turbans too.


I think he gets that bad rep due to novel incompetence (once Xu Shu appears) and Yiling. Liu Bei was a skilled but cautoius commander rather then a bad one

Why didnt Liu Bei attack Liu Cong when he heard of Liu Cong surrender? Did he play any role in Liu Qi death? Was he truly loyal to Liu Qi or did he used Liu Qi like Cao Cao used Emperor Xian? How much influence did Liu Qi have compared to Sun Quan and Liu Bei during Zhou Yu Red Cliff campaign and later on Nanjun campaign?


Trying to besiege Jing's main city with a small army and Wei forces rapidly approaching was suicide. No accusations at all in records of Liu Qi's death being anything but natural causes. There isn't much on the Liu Qi/Liu Bei dynamics but Wu pretty much dealt with Liu Bei and it was Liu Bei that did conquering which would suggest he was the effective power. Liu Qi is pretty much "Liu Bei meets p with him, Liu Qi is nominated Liu Biao's successor, Liu Qi dies"

Was Liu Bei truly a benevolent man? If we examine his actions, we notice that he pillaged Runan and later on ChengDu. Yet, there must be something about him to be able to convince Zhao Yun, Liu Biao former officers and Liu Zhang former officers to be loyal to him.


Pillaging wasn't that unknown by professional armies of the time and there wasn't any criticism of Liu Bei for that at the time.

The truly benevolent warlords like the saintly Liu Yu died very quickly in the war. To be a successful warlord requires aspects that do not put you next in line for sainthood. Liu Bei was a successful warlord, he got there with ruthlessness, manipulation and force. Being a powerful ruler will also tend to mean that even the good ones have their jerk side show and there are plenty of things Liu Bei's critics can point to.

In his own time, Liu Bei had a reputation for being kind (something his son Shan also had) and Liu Bei never carried out a massacre unlike various rivals. He had his dark deeds be it betrayal, wrongful executions, the freedom he gave his friends for various crimes but Liu Bei does lack the darker deeds of Quan and Cao Cao.

As for why people followed him, in Liu Zhang's officers case either they were stuck with him or they defected to the winning side. For others, all sorts of possible reasons. Liu Bei was immensely charismatic by all accounts, he was a famous commander, ambitious, intelligent, that would have drawn people to him and he handled people well. It's possible that his stated goals might have won a few over but frankly I suspect the large majority of his loyalists were Liu Bei supporters rather then Han given attitudes towards Han at the time. Ambitious figures may have looked at Wei and Wu's already established courts and felt it would be harder to get through their established ranks and believing Liu Bei would be a successful figure, got in before he had a kingdom to ensure their future.

On Cao Cao vs Yuan Shao,

Historical and fictional sources frequently portray Yuan Shao having a much greater advantage than Cao Cao during the Guandu campaign. However, Yuan Shao had 4 provinces, Bing, Ji, You, Qing while Cao Cao had Xu, Yan, Yu, North Yang and East Liang and the loyalty of West Liang warlords. Thus why is Yuan Shao frequently portrayed to have a much greater advantage compared to Cao Cao who had more provinces, stronger generals and smarter advisors while also controlling the Emperor?

.


As Rance at KW says, the idea of Yuan's forces being much bigger has been disputed and there are certainly contradictions in the historical texts (it tells us Yuan Shao has bigger numbers but also, while having forces to engage elsewhere, Cao Cao's camps were able to match Yuan Shao's inch by inch....). There may have been some exaggeration from the Wei sources to make their last gasp victory a bit more dramatic and impressive.

I would be wary of saying Wei had the better officer core, Yuan Shao had some very able advisers and some of the famed generals of his day like Hao Meng, Yuan Tan and Chunyu Qiong. Yuan Shao's forces were experienced, had taken on a lot of foes and won, the problem Yuan's forces get is we know little about them whereas we get full bio's of even lesser Wei figures. Chunyu Qiong for example was personally made one of Emperor Ling's eight colonels, a senior general under Yuan Shao and admired by Cao Cao who wanted to recruit him, we know nothing of his miliatry career bar his defeat at Wuchao but I doubt he gained such fame for no reason. Cao Cao had Xian but that wasn't much help during Guan Du itself.
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 14892
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Next

Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 3 guests

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved