The "What If" Thread

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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:55 am

Li_Shengsun wrote:I think it was right Cao Cao kill the man, Lu Bu was only loyal to himself. About Liu Bei advises thing is part of novel i think. i doubt Lu Bu was the greatest warrior anyway, he even lose to Li Jue and Guo Si on Changan so far i know.


Liu Bei's advice (and the big ears shotback) is historical.

People tend to divide warrior (feats of streth and archer) from abilities as commander/general (winning battles). Lu Bu was famed as one of the great warriors of his era and had many such feats, his weaknesses as a commander were badly exposed and as a general his record was a bit erratic. Though no shame, given their skill and circumstances of that war that saw even Xu Rong lose, in losing to Li Jue and co.

Li_Shengsun wrote:Im not sure even with better childhood, that Sun Hao would change things. I remember reading somewhere, it wasn't his intelligence that causes the fall of Wu. It was how he underestimate his enemies is, not to mention his overconfidence on Wu's natural barrier, the River. Wasn't it mentioned he neglecting to station any defense just because he believed Jin wouldn't invade Wu because of those natural barrier?


Sun Hao was an intelligent figure, he got picked for the throne based on that, he was apparently an accomplished lyricist and was a great wit. There were fundamental issues with Wu's miliatry, some of which was due to Sun Hao's paranoia but also due to long issues (both on Wu and Jin's side) before he became heir that led to Wu's defences weakening.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:58 am

Dong Zhou wrote:People tend to divide warrior (feats of streth and archer) from abilities as commander/general (winning battles). Lu Bu was famed as one of the great warriors of his era and had many such feats, his weaknesses as a commander were badly exposed and as a general his record was a bit erratic. Though no shame, given their skill and circumstances of that war that saw even Xu Rong lose, in losing to Li Jue and co.


Uhh, what are his many feats? Assassinating Ding Yuan and Dong Zhuo? Beating Heishan bandits azz? or his ability in seizing Cao Cao's and Liu Bei's land while they're away? or allying with Yuan Shu?
so far i know about Seizing's warlords land wasn't his feat, but Chen Gong's advise is, so the credit must go to Gong.

Li_Shengsun wrote:Im not sure even with better childhood, that Sun Hao would change things. I remember reading somewhere, it wasn't his intelligence that causes the fall of Wu. It was how he underestimate his enemies is, not to mention his overconfidence on Wu's natural barrier, the River. Wasn't it mentioned he neglecting to station any defense just because he believed Jin wouldn't invade Wu because of those natural barrier?

Sun Hao was an intelligent figure, he got picked for the throne based on that, he was apparently an accomplished lyricist and was a great wit. There were fundamental issues with Wu's miliatry, some of which was due to Sun Hao's paranoia but also due to long issues (both on Wu and Jin's side) before he became heir that led to Wu's defences weakening.


Well, i know about him dividing Lu Kang's power to his sons after Kang died, thus weakening Wu military strength. Was his underestimation on his enemies were part of his paranoia or something?

---

About the Yu Jin's SGZ were stated on Daolunshiji's Comprehensive Biography for Yu Jin.
It was clearly stated there, because of Yu Jin and his men surrendering, Yu's supplies were running low, so he raided Wu depot on Xiangguan.
Its also true that Wu has been prepared for an attack on Jingzhou, and that Xiangguan incident were used to justify those attack.
i remember reading it somewhere that Sun Quan purposely told an emissary thing to slow their travel to notify Yu about passing their territory thing, or was it novel invention? :?

im also remember reading somewhere that the supplies sent by Mi Fang (or was it both Mi Fang and Shi Ren?) were insufficient that Yu wanted to 'deal' with them when he return? thats also a prove that his supplies weren't meant for a long run, let alone feeding thousands of surrendered enemies troop and general.

I'm wondering why you to doubted it when there was many sources pointing it up?
I were meant to say, Wu are clearly wanted Yu to act first to justify their invasion, and Yu was taking up those bait. Had he thought it up calmly, he wouldnt fall into Wu's bait and Wu, albeit they're going to invade Jing sooner or later, might decided thats not the right time to act.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:13 am

Li_Shengsun wrote:About the Yu Jin's SGZ were stated on Daolunshiji's Comprehensive Biography for Yu Jin.
It was clearly stated there, because of Yu Jin and his men surrendering, Yu's supplies were running low, so he raided Wu depot on Xiangguan.


My take from that wasn't made too clear as those previous biographies are far less detailed than my current batch, but I drew the conclusion that it was Yu Jin's men surrendering that drained Guan Yu's supplies because of a two reasons.

1: The surrendered armies of Yu Jin were said to be 30,000 in strength irc, I cannot recall where this number was pulled from but I will look it up in the near future.
2: Guan Yu's SGZ references that Mi Fang and Shi Ren, who were in charge of supplies, never delivered them.

And so without extra supplies and taking on more men, whether it was 30,000 or not does not matter too much, was a strain on Guan Yu's supplies which obviously were specified for his army size, and not that of any numbered of surrendered forces. Thus he felt justified to take from Wu in a raid on their supply depot.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:51 pm

Li_Shengsun wrote:
Uhh, what are his many feats? Assassinating Ding Yuan and Dong Zhuo? Beating Heishan bandits azz? or his ability in seizing Cao Cao's and Liu Bei's land while they're away? or allying with Yuan Shu?
so far i know about Seizing's warlords land wasn't his feat, but Chen Gong's advise is, so the credit must go to Gong.


Sorry I am a little unsure what your requesting? My many feats was about warriors, not generalship were I said his record was a bit erratic. But you then give examples of generalship (and an assassination or two) so not sure which one you want? Examples of his skill as a warrior or general?

Chen Gong deserves credit for building the alliance for the attack and that's about it. For his entire Lu Bu time. Apart from failed treason, blaming everyone else, getting his master killed and being hated by what seems to be the entire officer core of Lu Bu. Novel really overhyped Chen Gong. :wink: Lu Bu's successes during that camapign once it started, including driving Cao Cao to the point of surrender, and his mistakes (failure to stop Cao Cao returning from Xu), are down to Lu Bu

Well, i know about him dividing Lu Kang's power to his sons after Kang died, thus weakening Wu military strength. Was his underestimation on his enemies were part of his paranoia or something?


Which made sense in Sun Hao's position given that Wu was crippled by the power of such families. I had a quick glance through the ZZTJ, it makes comments about poor quality of the armies (which would be wider issues) and there is one incident where Sun Hao doesn't listen to an adviser a few earlier about preparations being made. I'm not sure underestimation was the issue

---

About the Yu Jin's SGZ were stated on Daolunshiji's Comprehensive Biography for Yu Jin.


I was referring to the Yu Jin SGZ

i remember reading it somewhere that Sun Quan purposely told an emissary thing to slow their travel to notify Yu about passing their territory thing, or was it novel invention? :?


Off the top of my head, no idea. Ask in questions thread, someone may be able to help?

im also remember reading somewhere that the supplies sent by Mi Fang (or was it both Mi Fang and Shi Ren?) were insufficient that Yu wanted to 'deal' with them when he return? thats also a prove that his supplies weren't meant for a long run, let alone feeding thousands of surrendered enemies troop and general.


I think the fire was more of an issue with why those two were set to be punished but sure, I accept the sheer scale of the Wei army captured was far more then Guan Yu and co would have reasonably expected and it created logistical problems.

I'm wondering why you to doubted it when there was many sources pointing it up?
I were meant to say, Wu are clearly wanted Yu to act first to justify their invasion, and Yu was taking up those bait. Had he thought it up calmly, he wouldnt fall into Wu's bait and Wu, albeit they're going to invade Jing sooner or later, might decided thats not the right time to act.


1 line in the primary sources. That is all so not many. Add it isn't in the ZZTJ (which either means Sima Guang felt unsure about it or felt it too minor, I suspect the latter) and misremembering a passage about it being propaganda in De Crespigny's work.

Wu literally had their army about to invade, the army was moving, the plans had been drawn up, Lu Meng had faked resigned, preparations all done. They didn't do that on the off chance Guan Yu's army might raid supplies and if he didn't, they would go home to tea. I certainly think it was foolish of whoever authorized the raid but it had no reflection on the invasion that followed, everything was already in motion
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby PyroMystic » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:41 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:Cao Cao let him go and Guan Yu would be heavily watched by Wu to prevent such escape. Liu Bei needs Jing and needs to show it is not Wu's puppet after a second invasion in a few years, I can't see Liu Bei letting the loss of Jing go. Guan Yu was a defeated captured general, Sun Quan was a warlord safe in his lands, different kinds of surrender with very different options.

Hmmm... So you're saying that Liu Bei's main reason to attack Wu was not revenge? I have heard something like this but never actually entertain the though. Is there any definite proof of this? Because Liu Bei's SGZ reads this:
At the start of the sixth month, the First Sovereign was angry with Sun Quan executing Guan Yu, so he proposed an Eastern expedition. Seventh month in Autumn, he led troops to attack Wu. Sun Quan sent a letter to the First Sovereign to ask for peace. The First Sovereign was angry and did not accept.
So I still think that had Sun Quan not behead Guan Yu (or more accurately, had Guan Yu not be such an arrogant sore loser), Yi Ling would have been avoided.

Dong Zhou wrote:I see the comparison your making and novel only I think

But you're saying that Liu Bei telling Cao Cao not to spare Lu Bu's life is historical?
As for Lu Meng telling Sun Quan to not spare Guan Yu's life, turns out it's not Lu Meng but some unspecified subordinates:
Sun Quan had desired for Guan Yu to be kept alive for the purpose of fending off Shu and Wei. However, his subordinates petitioned, “To rear the wolf’s cub will breed nothing but trouble in the future. Lord Cao did not kill him and resulted in bringing calamity to himself, to the point of having to decide whether to shift his capital or not. How can we let him live today?” Thus Guan Yu’s execution was ordered.

I don't know... But I disagree that Sun Quan immediately executed Guan Yu. Sun Quan had at least the time to think about letting him alive.

Dong Zhou wrote:Weak heir, he failed to gain some key figures of Wu's support despite the advantage of being heir. He couldn't command the gentry, he couldn't command family, he allowed things to spiral away from him. I base it on his struggles as heir and there doesn't seem to be anything to suggest Sun He would be a good ruler. Maybe there is something in Sun He's biography or something I missed that suggests he could be a good ruler or had real potential but I haven't seen anything but loss of support and failure in political sphere.

Oh, okay. But I want to ask another question: what about Sun Ce's son Sun Shao (the biological one)? Why didn't anyone ever talk about him and suggested him to be the heir?

Li_Shengsun wrote:How can a lone old rebel accompanied only by his son could survive against hundred or thousand of angry and wary soldier chasing him?
Umm, aside of Novel though, the kindhearted Cao let the long beard rebel Yu go. Unlike the angry blue eyed Quan who wanted his head, thats pretty much notable difference.

Okay, here it is:
Cao Cao: "We're cool?"
Guan Yu: "Cool! *:wink:*"

Sun Quan: "We're cool?"
Guan Yu: (glaring at Quan, as if he wanted to behead Quan)
Sun Quan: (felt insulted, glare back, order his men to chase and behead Yu) :mrgreen:

Please refer to the quotation above. Sun Quan was angry, but not that angry. He actually wanted Guan Yu to live. But Guan Yu is just too, as Chen Shou himself commented, "unyielding and overly self-respect"
On a side note, that scenario, though... :lol: it all the more proved my point that the death of Guan Yu is caused by his own arrogance... :mrgreen:
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:52 pm

PyroMystic wrote:Hmmm... So you're saying that Liu Bei's main reason to attack Wu was not revenge? I have heard something like this but never actually entertain the though. Is there any definite proof of this? Because Liu Bei's SGZ reads this:
At the start of the sixth month, the First Sovereign was angry with Sun Quan executing Guan Yu, so he proposed an Eastern expedition. Seventh month in Autumn, he led troops to attack Wu. Sun Quan sent a letter to the First Sovereign to ask for peace. The First Sovereign was angry and did not accept.
So I still think that had Sun Quan not behead Guan Yu (or more accurately, had Guan Yu not be such an arrogant sore loser), Yi Ling would have been avoided.


There isn't definitive proof on motives usually unfortunately and I don't believe we even have Liu Bei's public proclamation (though in itself, wouldn't be definite proof). Revenge must have been on Liu Bei's mind but histories could prone to narrative if a big final defeat with a convenient death soon after. The advice not taken becomes right, rejects peace (even thoguh Wu's attempts at peace were laughable), warlord wanders off right path due to attitude (in this case revenge, in Yuan Shao's case arrogance) and thus brings defeat and death upon himself.

We do have a Liu Ye analysis of why Liu Bei had to fight included more then revenge “Though Shǔ is small and weak, yet [Liú] Bèi’s desire is to use military authority to make himself powerful, and he will certainly use his army to make a show that he has abundance. Moreover Guān Yǔ and [Liú] Bèi, though their relationship was ruler and servant, their closeness was like father and son. With [Guān] Yǔ did if he cannot raise his army to take revenge on the enemy, it will not be enough to fulfill [the promise to stay together from] beginning to end.”

Look at Liu Bei's history as a pragmatic, clever warlord and all the reasons of state he had for invading Wu, I don't think he simply had one thought on his mind.

If the only motive you can think of for Guan Yu's actions (in one possible version of his fate) is negative, maybe have another think as to why he acted like that?

But you're saying that Liu Bei telling Cao Cao not to spare Lu Bu's life is historical?
As for Lu Meng telling Sun Quan to not spare Guan Yu's life, turns out it's not Lu Meng but some unspecified subordinates:
Sun Quan had desired for Guan Yu to be kept alive for the purpose of fending off Shu and Wei. However, his subordinates petitioned, “To rear the wolf’s cub will breed nothing but trouble in the future. Lord Cao did not kill him and resulted in bringing calamity to himself, to the point of having to decide whether to shift his capital or not. How can we let him live today?” Thus Guan Yu’s execution was ordered.

I don't know... But I disagree that Sun Quan immediately executed Guan Yu. Sun Quan had at least the time to think about letting him alive.


Yes, Lu Bu's SGZ Tàizǔ (Cao Cao) had a look of doubt. Liú Bèi came forward and said: “Would you wise excellency not meet how Bù handled Dīng [Yuán] Jiànyáng and Grand Teacher Dǒng [Zhuó]?” Tàizǔ nodded to him. Bù therefore accused [Liú] Bèi: “You are the most untrustworthy one!”

Who ordered what is a little unclear when it comes to Guan Yu's death but Professor De Crespigny notes SGZ 36:942 PC note 3 quoting Shu ji, suggests that Sun Quan had hoped to keep Guan Yu alive and use him as an assistant against Cao Cao and Liu Bei, but his attendants pointed out that Guan Yu had always remained loyal to Liu Bei and would never serve anyone else. So Sun Quan had him killed. Pei Songzhi, however, remarks that this is a most unlikely story: it is hard to imagine Sun Quan would ever believe Guan Yu might support him; and in any case the operations against Guan Yu's remnant forces were taking place a considerable distance away, so he was in no position to make detailed decisions about life or death.


It probably wasn't down to Quan but the commanders on the ground.

Oh, okay. But I want to ask another question: what about Sun Ce's son Sun Shao (the biological one)? Why didn't anyone ever talk about him and suggested him to be the heir?


While his failure to make an impression may have been due to Sun Quan, shifting the lineage back across risks splitting Wu with a risky succession. It was easier to focus on the children rather then open up another candidature
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:10 am

I have no doubts that Sun Shao was kept as far away from the chance to gain glory as possible, to prevent that very future from unfolding.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:27 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:Sorry I am a little unsure what your requesting? My many feats was about warriors, not generalship were I said his record was a bit erratic. But you then give examples of generalship (and an assassination or two) so not sure which one you want? Examples of his skill as a warrior or general?

Chen Gong deserves credit for building the alliance for the attack and that's about it. For his entire Lu Bu time. Apart from failed treason, blaming everyone else, getting his master killed and being hated by what seems to be the entire officer core of Lu Bu. Novel really overhyped Chen Gong. :wink: Lu Bu's successes during that camapign once it started, including driving Cao Cao to the point of surrender, and his mistakes (failure to stop Cao Cao returning from Xu), are down to Lu Bu


I'm sorry for too harsh on Lu Bu, aside of Novel though, after reading his bio on few sources made me think that he's not fit to be called the best warrior of that Era, i mean, he's just simply not the best. I would say, Sun Jian (since he beaten Lu Bu several times) would best called the best warrior of the era.
Well, i would say, Lu Bu's success in driving Cao to the point of surrender is because of the opportunity created by Chen Gong and Zhang Miao who are rebelled against Cao that time, and also Cao Cao's men were exhausted from their campaign on Xu. I might say hes a good commander who able to to use an opportunity created for him.


Which made sense in Sun Hao's position given that Wu was crippled by the power of such families. I had a quick glance through the ZZTJ, it makes comments about poor quality of the armies (which would be wider issues) and there is one incident where Sun Hao doesn't listen to an adviser a few earlier about preparations being made. I'm not sure underestimation was the issue


I see, i do remember reading about that, when presented with evidence, he wouldnt believe it. I thought it was part of his underestimation to Jin. so it really did because of his suspicion toward his men.
i rather doubt it was poor quality of men were the issues, or maybe it does, idk. although the Jin forces led by Wang Jun are from the river of Ba commandery, the battle were mostly took place on lands (in which they never really good at) and never takes place on the river (which except Zhang Xiang who were immediately surrender). I dont know how good Wu's men is in land warfare, they just fighting against an army who were excel on such terrain.
What makes me wonder is where are those Lu Kang's sons? I mean, they did warn Sun Hao about an imminent attack from Jin, but they never took any precaution against it, were they just a bunch of nobodies?


Wu literally had their army about to invade, the army was moving, the plans had been drawn up, Lu Meng had faked resigned, preparations all done. They didn't do that on the off chance Guan Yu's army might raid supplies and if he didn't, they would go home to tea. I certainly think it was foolish of whoever authorized the raid but it had no reflection on the invasion that followed, everything was already in motion


Well, why took 3 cities when you could take 5 cities at once. I were meant to say, they really did have an army in place and will invade Jing sooner or later. Just like you said before, they were waiting for Shu and Wei to exhaust themselves. If Guan Yu were able to take Fancheng and Xiangyang, he wouldn't be able to hold it for long, since they're already fighting a long battle and in need of rest. Lu Meng surely thought this through, to get more cities than just three. Otherwise, he wouldve just attacked Jing while Yu was busy fighting Yu Jin and Pang De, and not after he raided those granary.

I think Sun Quan was more of trying to save his own pride? well, i mean, if he do nothing after Guan Yu raided Xiangguan, Quan mightve loses his face of being afraid of Yu and that could've really really bad for his reputation, he might become a laughing stock for Shu and his men mightve no longer loyal to him.


PyroMystic wrote:Please refer to the quotation above. Sun Quan was angry, but not that angry. He actually wanted Guan Yu to live. But Guan Yu is just too, as Chen Shou himself commented, "unyielding and overly self-respect"
On a side note, that scenario, though... :lol: it all the more proved my point that the death of Guan Yu is caused by his own arrogance... :mrgreen:


Not so arrogant enough in front of Cao Cao though, he's just being hypocrite. He selling his 'little' pride to Cao, but belittle those (Sun Quan) who actually managed to beat him (Cao Cao). I doubted Yu really that loyal to Liu Bei had he never made an oath with him.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:29 pm

I'm sorry for too harsh on Lu Bu, aside of Novel though, after reading his bio on few sources made me think that he's not fit to be called the best warrior of that Era, i mean, he's just simply not the best. I would say, Sun Jian (since he beaten Lu Bu several times) would best called the best warrior of the era.
Well, i would say, Lu Bu's success in driving Cao to the point of surrender is because of the opportunity created by Chen Gong and Zhang Miao who are rebelled against Cao that time, and also Cao Cao's men were exhausted from their campaign on Xu. I might say hes a good commander who able to to use an opportunity created for him.


There seems to be some confusion here between difference as a warrior (though Sun Jian showed strength, nobody called Sun Jian a great warrior) and a general (where Sun Jian was arguably one of the top three alongside Huangfu Song and Dong Zhuo in the early days). Lu Bu did lose battles to Sun Jian, that reflects the circumstances and the two respective abilities as generals, it says nothing about them as a warriors. You need to separate being a general and being a warrior

That opportunity went once Cao Cao returned. I don't think they were the freshest but being tired isn't noted and I don't think that alone explains why Cao Cao took so many defeats

I see, i do remember reading about that, when presented with evidence, he wouldnt believe it. I thought it was part of his underestimation to Jin. so it really did because of his suspicion toward his men.
i rather doubt it was poor quality of men were the issues, or maybe it does, idk. although the Jin forces led by Wang Jun are from the river of Ba commandery, the battle were mostly took place on lands (in which they never really good at) and never takes place on the river (which except Zhang Xiang who were immediately surrender). I dont know how good Wu's men is in land warfare, they just fighting against an army who were excel on such terrain.
What makes me wonder is where are those Lu Kang's sons? I mean, they did warn Sun Hao about an imminent attack from Jin, but they never took any precaution against it, were they just a bunch of nobodies?


The army may have been poor quality due to issues going on for years before Sun Hao. Wu was no longer a strong central state, resources and troops were in the hands of powerful families which meant the ruler had to try to persuade what he could out of them. That would have weakened their ability to defend but some Wu armies held out, problem is that left several other Jin armies to run rampant

Lu Jing was a noted scholar, he and elder brother Lu Yan were killed during the Jing invasion, the younger sons Ji and Ying rose up through Jin ranks, highly prominent scholars but as Ji struggled in battle during the chaos of Jin, his arrest of a subordinate saw the Lu family slandered and executed.

Well, why took 3 cities when you could take 5 cities at once. I were meant to say, they really did have an army in place and will invade Jing sooner or later. Just like you said before, they were waiting for Shu and Wei to exhaust themselves. If Guan Yu were able to take Fancheng and Xiangyang, he wouldn't be able to hold it for long, since they're already fighting a long battle and in need of rest. Lu Meng surely thought this through, to get more cities than just three. Otherwise, he wouldve just attacked Jing while Yu was busy fighting Yu Jin and Pang De, and not after he raided those granary.

I think Sun Quan was more of trying to save his own pride? well, i mean, if he do nothing after Guan Yu raided Xiangguan, Quan mightve loses his face of being afraid of Yu and that could've really really bad for his reputation, he might become a laughing stock for Shu and his men mightve no longer loyal to him.



I assume you mean why not wait for Guan Yu to win then attack to take Wei's former lands as well? There is no guarantee Guan Yu would win as Wei would be desperate to hold, then Guan Yu's army will retreat into Jing and opportunity is gone while Wei is not happy at failure to help. If Guan Yu takes Fan, then his officers in Jing will likely be less inclined to surrender, Guan Yu can move his forces quickly back to Jing and Wei will be annoyed at both failure to move plus any taking of their former lands, particularly a key point like Fan.

Sun Quan had given orders to invade before that raid so that wasn't really a factor. I doubt a raid on supplies is going to cause that much damage to Wu prestige and unity. Sun Quan had other means of making clear that was unacceptable other then a full blown invasion of Jing

Not so arrogant enough in front of Cao Cao though, he's just being hypocrite. He selling his 'little' pride to Cao, but belittle those (Sun Quan) who actually managed to beat him (Cao Cao). I doubted Yu really that loyal to Liu Bei had he never made an oath with him.


Well there was 19 or so years and two very very different circumstances between the two incidents which is probably a far bigger reason then hypocrisy. Not sure what you mean by little pride with Cao Cao

I'll be interested to hear why you think that Guan Yu was not loyal. I'll be honest I can't see the justification for the "doubting Guan Yu's loyalty" for various reasons

1) He was known to be close to Liu Bei. They never actually swore oaths as brothers but were seen as so close as to be brothers, the relationship was so well know that it was to the point that Wei and Wu put in their calculations on state affairs involving them, there is no indicating that bond ever fractured or Guan Yu ever regretted his service. Have I missed something?

2) Guan Yu's personality and reputation in this own time was as, as well as skills and arrogance, for loyalty and personal honour. Not for frustrated ambition or regret. Usually when people of the time/histories have had questionable views of their fellow, it is usually for trope or political reasons but I'm not seeing how that can be with Guan Yu. So why were his fellows wrong?

3) Guan Yu had chance to leave. Nobody would have attacked him for staying with Cao Cao, other friends of Liu Bei had ended up with Cao Cao and nobody attacks them for it. Guan Yu was clearly valued by Cao Cao, he had got to know a few people, he was offered wealth and rank, Guan Yu could have had a good career there. He chose to leave to return to the uncertain life under Liu Bei and sacrificed the gains he could have had for a very risky project.

Had Guan Yu wanted to later join Cao Cao or Sun Quan (though that would have been more controversial), he would have been welcomed with rank, wealth and almost anything he wanted as both kingdoms rated him and wanted his services. He didn't.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:25 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:There seems to be some confusion here between difference as a warrior (though Sun Jian showed strength, nobody called Sun Jian a great warrior) and a general (where Sun Jian was arguably one of the top three alongside Huangfu Song and Dong Zhuo in the early days). Lu Bu did lose battles to Sun Jian, that reflects the circumstances and the two respective abilities as generals, it says nothing about them as a warriors. You need to separate being a general and being a warrior


I agree with your distinction between warrior and general, that Sun Jian was the better general and Lu Bu the better warrior.

However I don't agree that Sun Jian wasn't a great warrior, okay that exact language isn't used but I think it's heavily implied in a few places, for example when it reports he was first over the wall in the siege of the Yellow Turban remnants!
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Check out my library here for a list of Chinese history resources I have on hand!
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