How did Liu Bei finally succeed?

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How did Liu Bei finally succeed?

Unread postby Wish I was He Jin » Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:32 pm

In the novel, Zhuge Liang was a practically unstoppable power that propelled the perpetually-losing Liu Bei to glory with his omniscience and brilliant tactics.
Many have criticized Zhuge as historically being a political genius but little or nothing more. Unfortunately, I can't read San Guo Zhi, so I'll have to take their word for it.
However, what I would like to know is, if Zhuge Liang was a non-factor, how did Liu Bei emerge as emperor of Shu? How did he emerge victorious in Jingzhou despite the chaotic situation and the participation of all three kingdoms and having by far the weakest force of them all?
Yeah, he stole Jingzhou from Sun Quan, but even that was pretty clever. And how did he conquer Liu Zhang? Yes, Pang Tong was around, but unless history differs Pang Tong died in the early to middle stages because he was shot by an arrow. So how then did Liu Bei emerge victorious?
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Re: How did Liu Bei finally succeed?

Unread postby Jimayo » Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:40 pm

Wish I was He Jin wrote:In the novel, Zhuge Liang was a practically unstoppable power that propelled the perpetually-losing Liu Bei to glory with his omniscience and brilliant tactics.
Many have criticized Zhuge as historically being a political genius but little or nothing more. Unfortunately, I can't read San Guo Zhi, so I'll have to take their word for it.
However, what I would like to know is, if Zhuge Liang was a non-factor, how did Liu Bei emerge as emperor of Shu? How did he emerge victorious in Jingzhou despite the chaotic situation and the participation of all three kingdoms and having by far the weakest force of them all?
Yeah, he stole Jingzhou from Sun Quan, but even that was pretty clever. And how did he conquer Liu Zhang? Yes, Pang Tong was around, but unless history differs Pang Tong died in the early to middle stages because he was shot by an arrow. So how then did Liu Bei emerge victorious?


Historically, Liu Bei didn't "steal" Jing Zhou. He conquered the southern 4 commanderies while Wu was busy taking Nan commandery(Jiang Ling), and was "loaned" Nan commandery after Zhou Yu's death.
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Re: How did Liu Bei finally succeed?

Unread postby Iain » Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:39 am

Wish I was He Jin wrote:In the novel, Zhuge Liang was a practically unstoppable power that propelled the perpetually-losing Liu Bei to glory with his omniscience and brilliant tactics.
Liu Bei wasnt totally dependant on Zhuge, and some of his earlier battles showed quite good military tactics on his part.
Wish I was He Jin wrote:Many have criticized Zhuge as historically being a political genius but little or nothing more. Unfortunately, I can't read San Guo Zhi, so I'll have to take their word for it.
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Unread postby Devilrai » Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:06 am

After and before the Battle of Chi Bi, Liu Bei needed Zhuge Liang, in fact it was all about Zhuge Liang, he did all the work, personally he was the brainchild of the foundation of Shu. As for Pang Tong, yes he was a valuble member of Liu Bei but I think Zhuge Liang would have found a way to capture the Riverlands.

Jiangzhou, Liu Bei got it fair and square but I think he should have gave it back to Wu since he did say, many times, that he will give it back but can you blame him for that?

So mainly, Zhuge Liang and his tactics and also lets not forget the officers like Zhang Fei, Guan Yu, Zhao Yun, Ma Chao and many others and each 1000 men strong so Liu Bei just needed a right strategist to win and thats all thanks to Zhuge Liang.
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Unread postby Cao Ah Man » Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:27 am

It's true that Liu Bei was a capable general, however his skills were no match for those of Cao Cao's, who seemed to have been blessed with a Napoleonic genius, but if you note, that that before Zhuge Liang, you could say that Cao Cao kicked Liu Bei's ass all the way to the riverlands. Bei was a superpower with Bei, the only reason that they didn't succeed in conquering the northern heartland is because Cao Cao's domain was huge. He had hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Also, with the death of Fei, Yu and eventually Bei, Zhuge Liang was made the charge of Liu Feng, a son who did not and could not live up to his fathers legacy.
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Unread postby Mei Zhen » Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:48 pm

Blue Moon Samurai wrote: Also, with the death of Fei, Yu and eventually Bei, Zhuge Liang was made the charge of Liu Feng, a son who did not and could not live up to his fathers legacy.


The son who Zhuge was in charge of was Liu Chan (Ah Do), not Liu Feng, who was the adopted son.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:10 am

Blue Moon Samurai wrote:Jiangzhou, Liu Bei got it fair and square but I think he should have gave it back to Wu since he did say, many times, that he will give it back but can you blame him for that?


Novel or history,he would have been a fool to give it to Wu.Note I never said give it back.

In history Jing was his fair and square.He conquered the southern commanderies and he traded for Jiangling fair and square.He also fought hard for Yizhou and Hanzhong.He was now the bigger power of the two southern allies.If he gives Jingzhou suddenyl he's back to being the weaker power.Why in the hell should he do that for?It would be immensely stupid.

Novelwise,he said those things out of necessity.The took all the commanderies fair and square there too but Wu was constantly menacing him for Jing.What else could be do but agree to an inane lending agreement?Wu had an army much larger than his own and their lands were tamed while his were freshly conquered.He got the land fairly so he deserved to keep it.His words to Wu were simply words keeping a bully from attacking him out of greed.
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Yeah but

Unread postby Wish I was He Jin » Sun Mar 28, 2004 1:29 pm

Seeing as the post I'm responding to is right above me, I see no reason to quote it.
Anyway, while I'm no expert on history, when I read the novel and my first impression wasn't that Liu Bei stole the land from Sun Quan, I think looking at it from Sun Quan's standpoint he certainly did. The two had pledged cooperation with each other, and Liu Bei would never have had a chance at the land without Wu's (yes, that's right, Wu's) victory over Cao Cao. Actually, Lu Su put it best:
Having finished the tea, Lu Su said, "My master, Marquis Sun Quan, and the commander of his army, Zhou Yu, have sent me to lay before the Imperial Uncle their views. When Cao Cao led his huge host southward, he gave out that it was for the conquest of the South Land. But really his intention was to destroy Liu Bei. Happily our army was able to repulse that mighty host and so saved him. Wherefore Jingzhou with its nine territories of forty-two counties ought to belong to us. But by a treacherous move, your master has occupied Jingzhou and Xiangyang, so that we have spent our treasure in vain and our armies have fought to no purpose. The Imperial Uncle has reaped the benefits to the full. This is not as it should be."

Zhuge Liang responded that it was not Liu Bei who was ruling the land, but Liu Qi, son of Liu Biao, and Lu Su could not disagree to his ruling of the lands. However...
"Should he die, then you ought to return these cities to us."
"You state the exact facts," said Zhuge Liang.

There you have it. And I would disagree if anyone said that Zhuge Liang's word didn't constitute Liu Bei's word, because in the novel Liu Bei followed Zhuge Liang's instructions to the letter (except for one case where his need for revenge proved too much for even Zhuge to overcome).
Anyway, as far as I can tell after reading San Guo Zhi and from some of the posts in this forum, the reason Liu Bei finally succeeded was that he got away from Cao Cao and he finally had a tenable situation. Previous to Chi Bi, Liu Bei would do well for a while, then Cao Cao would come and screw things up for him, or he would simply not have have the manpower or officers to be anything great. It set up a marvelous plot in the novel, where Liu Bei finally defeated Cao Cao once and for all (tho his successors and officers would return) in Han Zhong. I suppose the reason for this would be Liu Bei's new officers and strategists, his manpower, and some of Cao Cao's forces being preoccupied with the threats in Wu and Jing.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Sun Mar 28, 2004 4:33 pm

Seeing as the post I'm responding to is right above me, I see no reason to quote it.
Anyway, while I'm no expert on history, when I read the novel and my first impression wasn't that Liu Bei stole the land from Sun Quan, I think looking at it from Sun Quan's standpoint he certainly did. The two had pledged cooperation with each other, and Liu Bei would never have had a chance at the land without Wu's (yes, that's right, Wu's) victory over Cao Cao. Actually, Lu Su put it best:


1)Wu's victory?WU'S? :roll:
Victory at Chi Bi had everything to do with Zhuge Liang.Were it not for him,Zhou Yu's entire plan would have failed.No wind,no victory.Zhuge Liang's contribution is worth half a million men.So don't call it Wu's victory,it isn't.

Zhuge Liang responded that it was not Liu Bei who was ruling the land, but Liu Qi, son of Liu Biao, and Lu Su could not disagree to his ruling of the lands. However...


As I have said you need simply look at it from Liu Bei's view.The victory at Chi Bi was not a fight for Jing as Sun Quan rants and raves.It was a fight for the survival of Wu,the fate of Jing was not related as this battle was offensive acts by Cao Cao not Sun Quan.Cao Cao would not send 800K troops against a WU navy if they were trying to destroy Liu Bei.Lu Su speaks like one drunk.
Then then there's the part about saving Liu Bei.Didn't they also save themselves?You think Cao Cao was going to walk past them like they didn'e exist?Hah!And next,Liu Bei more than contributed to the victory through Kongming's sorcery.
As such the victory at Chi Bi allows for no particular claim by any on the lands of Jing save for those who can take them.And Liu Bei did.
The entire reason for the lies and the 'lending' was to avert Wu attacks.You can easily see their demeanor.Zhou Yu was driving himself insane,Quan was calling it treachery so simply Liu Bei needed to do something to stop them from attacking.So he made that dumb deal.

BUT,given that the deal constituted a lending and thatJingzhou was never Sun Quan's and he never held any claim to it,that deal is null.Given also that a contract must be entered into freely it is also null since Liu Bei had Wu armies menacing him as he made that deal.

There you have it. And I would disagree if anyone said that Zhuge Liang's word didn't constitute Liu Bei's word, because in the novel Liu Bei followed Zhuge Liang's instructions to the letter (except for one case where his need for revenge proved too much for even Zhuge to overcome).


I see no 'word' there.Only Zhuge Liang buying time against a Wu attack when they make inane claims.

I suppose the reason for this would be Liu Bei's new officers and strategists, his manpower, and some of Cao Cao's forces being preoccupied with the threats in Wu and Jing.


Don't make me laugh.The armies of the West are entirely unconnected to the forces in Jingzhou.There was no 'threat' from Wu in Jing,the only threat that existed was Guan Yu.Any Wu threat would be dealt with by the armies of the east in He Fei under Zhang Liao.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:29 pm

Exar Kun wrote:1)Wu's victory?WU'S? :roll:
Victory at Chi Bi had everything to do with Zhuge Liang.Were it not for him,Zhou Yu's entire plan would have failed.No wind,no victory.Zhuge Liang's contribution is worth half a million men.So don't call it Wu's victory,it isn't.

Whose navy was it? Who foiled Cao Cao's espionage attempts? Who came up with the actual plan for the burning? :shock:

Zhou Yu had scored victories over Cao Cao *before* the big barbeque. Sure, Zhuge Liang's wind was crucial for that particular plan, but you honestly think that Zhou Yu wouldn't have thought of another way to defeat Cao Cao even if the wind didn't work out?

And I'm not even going to go into the Jingzhou thing here. I'll stop at that.
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