Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:27 am

Xun Yu's death as recorded by the SGZ is
When the Great Progenitor arrived at Ruxu, Xun Yu was left behind in Shouchun on account of illness. There, he died of grief at the age of 50.


As for the box story, that comes from the Wei Shi Chunqiu, which turns Xun Yu's death into essentially murder by forcing Xun Yu to commit suicide. This source was penned by Sun Sheng, a man known for embellishing his tales.

The text of the SGZ is vauge, though Chen Shou was never one to shy away from speaking on suicide. However one can say that since Xun Yu was very close to the royal family, particularly Taizu, it would reflect poorly on the Dynasty to record the murder of a subordinate the caliber of Xun Yu. It's entirily possibly that Xun Yu did commit suicide, however I doubt it's in the manner the WSC implies.

At the end of the day, I find no reason to trust this source over Chen Shou.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:32 pm

greencactaur wrote:Hello i have a questiob about Xun Yu. It is said that in 214 Dong zhao petitioned for Cao Cao to take the rank of duke. Xun Yu however disagreed with the promotion. Apparently after hearing of this it's said cao sent him an empty box signAling him to suicide. Is there any truth to this or is it just a legend? Other records state Xun yu died of illness in qiao. Cao cao was notoriously thirsty for talent and xun yu was stated to be equal to zhang liang. It seems out of character imo for cao cao to order one of his best to end it like that.


As Daolun says, it is an annotation
: Annals of the Wei House: The Great Progenitor sent a food box to Xun Yu. When Xun Yu opened it up, he found it to be empty. Thus he took poison and died. In the 2nd year of the Xianxi reign, Xun Yu was granted the title of Grand Commandant posthumously.
while the SGZ could be read as making a hint as just after Xun Yu's advice not to become duke Therefore, the Great Progenitor bore a grudge against him. When he marched off to fight against Sun Quan, the Great Progenitor petitioned to have Xun Yu go reward the army at Qiao. He kept Xun Yu there as a military advisor to the Prime Minister, in the position of a Jie-bearing Imperial Household Grandee and Honorary Palace Attendant. When the Great Progenitor arrived at Ruxu, Xun Yu was left behind in Shouchun on account of illness. There, he died of grief at the age of 50. He was given the posthumous title of the Respectful Marquis. In the subsequent year, the Great Progenitor became Duke of Wei

As I understand it, the academic consensus is Xun Yu committed suicide. There is the row over the Cao Cao duke thing, Xun Yu's "promotion" that just happens to take Xun Yu out of power-base, the SGZ noting Cao Cao bearing a grudge, died of grief is one of those "could be died of grief but also can mean suicide" issues while it at least indicates Xun Yu was not happy.

As to why would Cao Cao do it. Cao Cao has been willing to kill men of talent before, the Duke thing had been spread around and not happening was embarrassing, it raised questions about Xun Yu's final loyalty which given Xun Yu's connections and position makes him a threat to Cao Pi
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Han » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:28 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:So Yu Fan asks "how do your forces compare to ours" as he tried to persuade Hua Xin to submit, not sure that counts as a spy report, more a negotiation

I never said warlords didn't have some sense of events beyond their own borders. Like a revolt is happening but note Tian Feng doesn't start predicting what day Liu Bei will be defeated and going into detail about the formations, only "hey there is a revolt going on in our foes ranks, let us take advantage of it". Unlike Cao Pi who has rather more detailed accounts of a camapign of a war he has no involvement in and being able to make predictions of exact timing

Tian Feng is suggesting going on defensive and raiding against weak points on the very borders of an enemy they are fighting. Cao Pi is talking of an army miles and miles away from his borders and able to predict week of defeat in a two year camapign

The campaign took two years to complete. And it was a stalemate for roughly a few months. Seven days isnt special.


Yes it is. Predicting the week of defeat in a two year camapign is amazing, particularly given Pi is getting information late and that only one other person foresaw this.

Or... if Zhuge Ke could send spies to record key defenses in Huainan. Cao Pi could send spies during or before the campaign. And he spied on only Liu Bei military encampment. Not really two armies.


Yes he can send spies to his enemies borders, spies that clearly didn't help him much. Whereas Pi is sending spies deep into enemy lands that are giving him such amazing detail and in a timely enough fashion for him to make a prediction like that

Again, Chen, Pei and Sima all are fine with the Cao Pi report thing. I just dont see how its propaganda.


Oh, so you have a direct copy of that moment in the SGZ? Given I have said I haven't been able to find it, I would be grateful if you share which biography it is in. I agree Sima Guang backs it

As for how it could be propaganda, it sure makes Cao Pi seem good being able to predict exact timing of a defeat of a camapign many many many miles away and being one of only two men who spot it in the entire three kingdoms.

Im do not know geography so thats a difficult question to answer. According to google, swamp is a wetland that is forested(?). If thats the case, the area was forested and probably had water sources considering it was near the Yangtze. Liu Bei lost like 30k troops and many generals in a single campaign. One of the most disastrous losses in the era which completely changed the landscape of the three kingdoms. Even Huang Quan was forced to defect. He choked.


There is no account suggesting it was in swamp or marshy land. It is near mountains, there was cities and forests but we can't declare Liu Bei is fighting in swamps

Ma Su at Jie Ting is choking. Suffering a heavy defeat in itself is not choking, there is no suggestion Liu Bei let the pressure get to him or acted out of character and defeats happen.

Sounds like panicking to me. Beating Cao Pi in naval battles isnt the same as beating Liu Bei in forests, mountains and swamps.


Reads like frustrated to me rather then panicked.

They won sieges and battles, Cao Pi should try winning major battles before I consider him anywhere near Lu Xun's level of strategic foresight. Or Liu Bei. Or even those Wu generals :wink:

The detailed report did happen according to SGZ and ZZTJ so...


and sometimes I will disagree with them and side with the pre-eminent western historian of the 3kingdoms. Your free to choose the other way, that's fine


And Hua Xin knew the difference because of possible spywork.

Detailed accounts? Most spywork probably involved geographical background, troops numbers, army provisions, enemy encampments and commander names. Out of this 5, Cao Pi knew 3. As for the prediction, he was just guessing. If Zhang Yu could predict Liu Bei downfall 7 years later, Cao Pi could predict a defeat in a few days in a campaign already lasting months.

And Tian Feng was trying to convince Yuan Shao to attack Cao Cao weak points. Cao Pi predicted Sun Quan would do the same to Liu Bei.

Other people had crazier predictions in that era.

Zhuge Ke of Wu had sent his spies afar to reconnoiter strategic points, intending to take Shouchun. The taifu (Sima Yi) led his troops into Shu, from which he intended to attack Zhuge Ke. The Sovereign of Wu was about to dispatch reinforcements when a geomantist held it to be unprofitable, so he transferred Zhuge Ke to Chaisang and stationed him there.


Afar*. Not borders. Shouchun probably. But if we consider that Shouchun border Jianye. Then Yiling can border Xiangyang.

Not amazing detail. Just encampments. No troops numbers. In time? Thats the purpose of spies. Who want spies that are late in their reports?

According to chronicles, notes section of 222.

22. From Sgz, chronicle of Wendi.


Praising Cao Pi knowledge isnt propaganda.

Again, Im not a master of geography. Achilles Fang translation is

One who encamps in grassy, damp open country or in steep places will be captured by the enemy; hence such terrain is avoided in war. Sun Quan's letter to me announcing his victory is soon to come."


I have tried to explain previously why there may be swamps. But again, Im not a master of geography.

That is not just a heavy defeat. That was one of the heaviest defeat in an era with many heavy defeats which doomed Shu Han to a single province for the rest of its statehood. A defeat which saw the death of many generals with high reputations, the defection of Yi number one gentry in terms of accomplishments, the decline in Liu Bei health and the destruction of whatever remained of Shu Han morale.

Sigh... according to google

panic1
ˈpanɪk/Submit
verb
past tense: panicked; past participle: panicked
feel or cause to feel panic.
"the crowd panicked and stampeded for the exit"
synonyms: be alarmed, be scared, be nervous, be afraid, overreact, become panic-stricken, take fright, be filled with fear, be terrified, be agitated, be hysterical, lose one's nerve, be perturbed, get overwrought, get worked up, go/fall to pieces, lose control, fall apart; More


I would say Wu generals were alarmed, nervous, overreacted and etc etc.

I dont care what you consider about Cao Pi. Cao Pi do not need military foresight to recite from a book. Knowledge was more than enough.

Sure. But never is a strong word. And the 3 historians I mentioned would definitely disagree.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri May 04, 2018 3:33 pm

I'm sure Hua Xin had spies in his local area. I'm not arguing spies didn't exist, I'm arguing that there were no examples of spies being so good that people could predict the exact timing of a camapign from miles and miles and miles away. In a war the ruler isn't involved in. I also imagine Xin's poor state of forces vs one that had been beating stronger armies, talking to soldiers from Liu Yao's remnants who had fought Sun Ce, Sun Ces's army being encamped quite close to his city all helped.

So why does nobody else make these exact predictions if all spies are that detailed and timely? Prophecy (and I believe I have discussed before how I suspect they get fixed up) from a mystic is different from a warlord making a miliatry prediction

Where is the timing of Liu Bei's defeat being predicted by Tian Feng? His working out how he can use that and knowing his direct opponent has weak points is not same as being able to predict exact time of events in a distant war

Bar prophecies, which ones are you thinking of as crazier predictions?

Afar*. Not borders. Shouchun probably. But if we consider that Shouchun border Jianye. Then Yiling can border Xiangyang.


Yeah I assume Shouchun but still within what Wu considers striking distance. Where is Ke predicting the exact timing of the events? :wink:

Not amazing detail. Just encampments. No troops numbers. In time? Thats the purpose of spies. Who want spies that are late in their reports?


Yet apparently that detail is not enough for anyone else in the 3kingdoms to make such predictions. In time as in given the spies reports have to be sneaked out of Wu/Shu lands (in this case) and carried by messenger, that is quite a delay. That can gain you extremely useful information (like on a city's defences since a city can't move and defenders take time to build) or generally what is happening but that delays makes exact predictions of timing difficult

According to chronicles, notes section of 222.

22. From Sgz, chronicle of Wendi.



Praising Cao Pi knowledge isnt propaganda.


and you have a translation of this somewhere to be able to tell me what the historians in the sgz were saying?

"look how amazing our new Emperor is, a foresight and vision that can predict the exact timing of a camapign, where only one other person in the entire 3kingdoms foresaw this". Propganda

I have tried to explain previously why there may be swamps. But again, Im not a master of geography.


Neither am I. I'm not the one claiming Liu Bei was fighting in swamps though and that it impacted him

That is not just a heavy defeat. That was one of the heaviest defeat in an era with many heavy defeats which doomed Shu Han to a single province for the rest of its statehood. A defeat which saw the death of many generals with high reputations, the defection of Yi number one gentry in terms of accomplishments, the decline in Liu Bei health and the destruction of whatever remained of Shu Han morale.


I agree it was a disaster of a defeat. Shu could not afford to be beaten heavily. I wouldn't be sure that Liu Bei's health was just due to the defeat but that aside, it was indeed a disaster. A disaster that means disaster that doesn't mean choking, it means the consequences were disastrous

None of those seem to fit Wu generals bar possibly nervous (I would more go furstrated) about their commander, they were extremely confident about fighting Liu Bei

You have yet to provide me a case similar to Cao Pi's.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Han » Sat May 05, 2018 6:45 pm

I'm sure Hua Xin had spies in his local area. I'm not arguing spies didn't exist, I'm arguing that there were no examples of spies being so good that people could predict the exact timing of a camapign from miles and miles and miles away. In a war the ruler isn't involved in. I also imagine Xin's poor state of forces vs one that had been beating stronger armies, talking to soldiers from Liu Yao's remnants who had fought Sun Ce, Sun Ces's army being encamped quite close to his city all helped.

So why does nobody else make these exact predictions if all spies are that detailed and timely? Prophecy (and I believe I have discussed before how I suspect they get fixed up) from a mystic is different from a warlord making a miliatry prediction

Where is the timing of Liu Bei's defeat being predicted by Tian Feng? His working out how he can use that and knowing his direct opponent has weak points is not same as being able to predict exact time of events in a distant war

Bar prophecies, which ones are you thinking of as crazier predictions?


Cao Pi did not base his prediction off spywork but connecting spies information of Liu Bei geography and encampments with personal knowledge. Hua Xin was also not involved in Sun Ce war against Wang Lang. Hua Xin was comparing his army to Yuzhang commandery. Not Sun Ce. Yiling was quite close to Xiangyang and Shangyong.

Because Cao Pi announced his prediction in front of various ministers and so had the benefit of being recorded down while others did not. So one can predict someone will fail in exactly 7 years base off nothing but not losing in a week due to geography? Haha.

Thats not what I claimed. I claimed that Tian Feng begged Yuan Shao to attack Liu Bei weak points like how Cao Pi predicted that Sun Quan would do the same to Liu Bei.

Literally the prophecies.

Yeah I assume Shouchun but still within what Wu considers striking distance. Where is Ke predicting the exact timing of the events?


And Yiling was within Xiangyang and Shangyong. There were no battles for Ke to predict.

Yet apparently that detail is not enough for anyone else in the 3kingdoms to make such predictions. In time as in given the spies reports have to be sneaked out of Wu/Shu lands (in this case) and carried by messenger, that is quite a delay. That can gain you extremely useful information (like on a city's defences since a city can't move and defenders take time to build) or generally what is happening but that delays makes exact predictions of timing difficult


Maybe some did but it was not recorded. Maybe they didnt because of different circumstances. Liu Bei and Sun Quan had been in a stalemate for months. Not much of a delay. No cities were built. Only an army encampments.

and you have a translation of this somewhere to be able to tell me what the historians in the sgz were saying?

"look how amazing our new Emperor is, a foresight and vision that can predict the exact timing of a camapign, where only one other person in the entire 3kingdoms foresaw this". Propganda


http://www.guoxue123.com/Shibu/0101/00sgzf/001.htm

閏月,孫權破劉備于夷陵。初,帝聞備兵東下,與權交戰,樹柵連營七百餘里,謂群臣曰:「備不曉兵,豈有七百里營可以拒敵者乎!『苞原隰險阻而為軍者為敵所禽』,此兵忌也。孫權上事今至矣。」後七日,破備書到。


Wikipedia has

(初,帝聞漢兵樹柵連營七百餘里,謂羣臣曰:「備不曉兵,豈有七百里營可以拒敵者乎!『苞原隰險阻而為軍者為敵所禽』,此兵忌也。孫權上事今至矣。」後七日,吳破漢書到。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.


Again, Cao Pi having military knowledge and being praised for it is not propaganda.

Neither am I. I'm not the one claiming Liu Bei was fighting in swamps though and that it impacted him


Yeah. Chen Shou, Pei SongZhi and Sima Guang, people who lived in antiquity China and wrote SGZ and ZZTJ were the ones who claimed it. And so did Cao Pi who actually lived in 3K China.

I agree it was a disaster of a defeat. Shu could not afford to be beaten heavily. I wouldn't be sure that Liu Bei's health was just due to the defeat but that aside, it was indeed a disaster. A disaster that means disaster that doesn't mean choking, it means the consequences were disastrous

None of those seem to fit Wu generals bar possibly nervous (I would more go furstrated) about their commander, they were extremely confident about fighting Liu Bei

You have yet to provide me a case similar to Cao Pi's.


Ok. Name me another campaign excluding Guandu and Chibi that cost the lives of 30k troops, tens of generals and the most important Yi gentry in a single campaign. Yiling was one of the most decisive losses in 3k era. He choked.

The generals all said, "This was killing our troops to no purpose."


Sounds like alarmed, nervous, overreact, agitated, hysterical, worked up.

For spywork providing 'detailed information'( according to you), I have provided Hua Xin vs Wang Lang/ Yu Fan and Fu Jia petition and Zhuge Ke actions.

For observing enemies actions and taking advantage of weakness, I have used Tian Feng advising Yuan Shao.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Sun May 06, 2018 12:15 pm

So yesterday I had the intention of writing something on my tumblr about Ma Long 馬隆, the man responsible for ending Tufa Shujineng's nine years of terror. However as I was reading through his Jinshu translations, both here on SoSZ and over on 3kfrontier (rip), I came across a glaring error.

3kfrontier version
When Wei¡¯s inspector(2) of Yanzhou(3), Linghu Yu, was found guilty of a crime and punished(4), no one within the state dared to give him a proper burial. Long, a martial clerk at the time, claimed to be serving under Yu and gave him a burial with his own fortune. He also dressed in mourning for three years and planted pines and mulberrys in Yu¡¯s remembrance, only to return after all the proper rituals have being performance. His actions are praised within the entire Yanzhou. Ma Long was then appointed to martial and bravery assistant(5) to the inspector.

SoSZ version
At one time, Wei’s Inspector of Yanzhou, Linghu Yu, was found guilty of some crime and was executed. Ma Long was a martial clerk at the time but claimed to be serving under Linghu Yu. He used his own money to provide a burial for Linghu Yu and planted trees in his remembrance. This action earned him fame and he was later promoted in rank.


Linghu Yu was not executed by anyone. Wang Ling's SGZ says on the matter
In the eleventh month of that year (249), Linghu Yu once again sent Zhang Shi to see Cao Biao, but before Zhang Shi could return this time, Linghu Yu suddenly fell ill and died.


I theorize the only possible way this story could be true is that after the court dug Linghu Yu up and disgraced him, as they did to many of Wang Ling's conspirators, Ma Long would then use his personal funds to re-bury him. But this story implies that not only was Linghu Yu executed, but Ma Long is directly responsible for burying him.

So the question I pose to you all is this: Is the Jinshu being intentionally misleading as to present Ma Long in a positive way by having him go out of his way to bury a stranger, or was there an error in translation by the people responsible for translating his Jinshu? Or perhaps, when the Jinshu was being compiled this story was apparently being told about Ma Long, and so Fang Xuanling added it as he perhaps thought it was true?
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Qin Feng » Sun May 06, 2018 9:43 pm

I read this part of a chapter in which Guo Jia gives advice to Cao Cao on how to deal with Yuan Shao after withdrawing from the battle of Wan and escaping Liu Biao and Zhang Xiu.
He talks about the 10 strong points the force of Cao Cao has and how they can overcome the 10 weaknesses of Yuan Shao. Is that historically accurate? If it is, where does that come from? I think it would be a good thing to put into my essay.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Mon May 07, 2018 7:59 am

The 10 points speech is from Xun Yu in the SGZ, however Pei Songzhi appended the Fu Zi onto Guo Jia's SGZ which includes a Ten Points speech given by Guo JIa.

Chen Shou would have had both versions at his disposal, and he chose to go with Xun Yu's versions as the accurate version. Luo Guanzhong chose to go with the Fu Zi when writing the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and so he gives this speech to Guo Jia, thus popularizing it as something from Guo Jia.

It's possible that the Fu Zi is correct, however Chen Shou disagreed.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Qin Feng » Mon May 07, 2018 8:13 am

DaoLunOfShiji wrote:The 10 points speech is from Xun Yu in the SGZ, however Pei Songzhi appended the Fu Zi onto Guo Jia's SGZ which includes a Ten Points speech given by Guo JIa.

Chen Shou would have had both versions at his disposal, and he chose to go with Xun Yu's versions as the accurate version. Luo Guanzhong chose to go with the Fu Zi when writing the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and so he gives this speech to Guo Jia, thus popularizing it as something from Guo Jia.

It's possible that the Fu Zi is correct, however Chen Shou disagreed.


Alright, thank you! I guess what matters is to explain the situation between the two forces rather than who said the speech.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon May 07, 2018 12:52 pm

Han wrote:Cao Pi did not base his prediction off spywork but connecting spies information of Liu Bei geography and encampments with personal knowledge. Hua Xin was also not involved in Sun Ce war against Wang Lang. Hua Xin was comparing his army to Yuzhang commandery. Not Sun Ce. Yiling was quite close to Xiangyang and Shangyong.


So based on spywork. His troops were, his (former) lord was. Remember the context of the chat. Which is not where Cao Pi is camped.

Because Cao Pi announced his prediction in front of various ministers and so had the benefit of being recorded down while others did not. So one can predict someone will fail in exactly 7 years base off nothing but not losing in a week due to geography? Haha.


So an amazing coincidence that only one of thousands of predictions, including from Emperors was recorded this one time?

Soothsaying. Different rules and you have forgotten what I have said about soothsaying in past?

Thats not what I claimed. I claimed that Tian Feng begged Yuan Shao to attack Liu Bei weak points like how Cao Pi predicted that Sun Quan would do the same to Liu Bei.


I know. Thing is, I'm not asking for "was spies ever used effectively." Tian Feng is taking spy information about the enemy they are about to fight and using it to form a strategy, perfectly normal and sensible. Different from being able to predict the moment of camapign victory of a camapign person is not involved in many many many miles away. Which only happens once. To a man who struggled to win big battles. Who just happens to be newly enthroned Emperor.

Literally the prophecies.


Soothsaying so different rules. Can you find a non mystic/oracle more outstanding prediction?

And Yiling was within Xiangyang and Shangyong. There were no battles for Ke to predict.


Yes there were. There were plenty of battles in Zhuge Ke's lifetime that he wasn't involved in. How many did he predict the exact timing of?
Maybe some did but it was not recorded. Maybe they didnt because of different circumstances. Liu Bei and Sun Quan had been in a stalemate for months. Not much of a delay. No cities were built. Only an army encampments.


You have one instance, which just happens to be about the Emperor. This isn't a few times which we can then translate into "and probably happened more often". Are you saying there was no long stalemate in rest of 3kingdoms? I doubt it so what is so special about Yiling that no other camapign ever could be predicted in same way?

I didn't claim cities were built, you may have misread my point there.

http://www.guoxue123.com/Shibu/0101/00sgzf/001.htm

and so on


Given I can't read Chinese, not entirely sure how you think that helps? If you have translations, that would help

Again, Cao Pi having military knowledge and being praised for it is not propaganda.


Being the only one in 3kingdoms to make such a prediction? Just as he becomes Emperor? Seems like it to me

Yeah. Chen Shou, Pei SongZhi and Sima Guang, people who lived in antiquity China and wrote SGZ and ZZTJ were the ones who claimed it. And so did Cao Pi who actually lived in 3K China.


Can you quote all four of them (translated please) saying Liu Bei was in swampland? I can't see swamps mentioned in Liu Bei's sgz. Lu Xun's sgz mentions gorge, mountains, plains. I may have missed something so please share where the four of them mentions swamps.

Ok. Name me another campaign excluding Guandu and Chibi that cost the lives of 30k troops, tens of generals and the most important Yi gentry in a single campaign. Yiling was one of the most decisive losses in 3k era. He choked.


Two parts to this

1) I agreed it was devastating defeat so not sure why you want me to agree it was devastating defeat

2) Your then saying he choked without providing reason why he choked. A devastating defeat can happen for many many reasons of course, you have yet to tell me why this one was down to choking.

Sounds like alarmed, nervous, overreact, agitated, hysterical, worked up.


Worked up yes, maybe agitated. Alarmed (at their commander getting men killed rather then Liu Bei) I would also agree. I would add frustrated. Nothing pointing to panic. Hotheaded I would agree with, mutinous perhaps, not panic

For spywork providing 'detailed information'( according to you), I have provided Hua Xin vs Wang Lang/ Yu Fan and Fu Jia petition and Zhuge Ke actions.

For observing enemies actions and taking advantage of weakness, I have used Tian Feng advising Yuan Shao.
[/quote]

I have asked for spywork of such detail that predictions of timing with far off camapigns. I'm not claiming that good spywork didn't exist (I don't agree with all the examples you gave but I agree with the general point there was good spies)
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