The "What If" Thread

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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Boydie » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:08 pm

Wasn't he murdered?
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby capnnerefir » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:45 pm

Boydie wrote:Wasn't he murdered?

Yeah. There was a local leader in Danyang named Sheng Xian, who was killed by Sun Ce during his conquest of that commandery. Some of his associates, led by Dai Yuan and Gui Lan, went into hiding in the local wilderness. In 203, Sun Quan made Sun Yi the Grand Administrator of Danyang and Sun Yi tried to reconcile with Dai Yuan and Gui Lan. However, their follower Bian Hong assassinated Sun Yi instead. Sun Yi's death was later avenged by his widow, Lady Xu, with aid from some of Sun Yi's followers.

Presumably, had Quan died at Xuan, then Sun Yi would have taken authority after Sun Ce's death - in which case he wouldn't have been in Danyang to get assassinated.

It's also possible that Zhou Yu would take over after Sun Ce's death, but given his longstanding support of the Sun family, it seems more likely that he would support Sun Yi rather than take command himself.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:57 pm

I think either Sun Yi or Zhou Yu would have been better than the later period Sun Quan.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Xia Kyoto » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:10 am

Sun Fin wrote:I think either Sun Yi or Zhou Yu would have been better than the later period Sun Quan.


Do we know what made the later period Sun Quan irrational? His quarreling sons and slandering daughters, maybe? The same could happen to an older Sun Yi, I presume.

I don't know all the facts for this, but here goes anyway. Feel free to correct me on the information:
What if Ma Chao hadn't attacked Cao Cao during the process of Ma Teng and his sons surrendering to Cao Cao? This would assume that Ma Chao had actually obediently followed the intention of his father to surrender, too. No more Ma Chao as a 'Tiger General'? Whatever part he plays in rallying tribes/bandits to Shu's cause or rather subduing him, suddenly goes away, along with Ma Dai being added to the roster. Again, just guessing.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby DragonAtma » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:46 am

Sun Quan's oldest son (and planned heir) Sun Deng died in 241; all of a sudden, 59-year-old Sun Quan had to pick a replacement. That's likely the cause of his mental decline, especially since he let Sun He and Sun Ba squabble over who would be the new heir.

As for the Ma clan, they surrendered to Cao Cao shortly after the Battle of Guandu (who brokered peace between Ma Teng and Han Sui, who were basically at war despite being sworn brothers). Ma Teng and most of the clan were summoned to the capital, and they served Cao Cao for a full decade or so before Ma Chao and Han Sui's rebellion.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby capnnerefir » Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:39 am

Ma Chao was pretty irrelevant, in the end. In a lot of ways, him rebelling against Cao Cao actually helped Cao Cao out. There were a whole bunch of petty warlords in Yong and Liang, and when he rebelled against Cao Cao, Ma Chao and Han Sui got most of them together in one place. That made it real easy for Cao Cao to capture or kill a lot of them, and after witnessing firsthand just how good Cao Cao was, a lot of them surrendered. Xiahou Yuan still had to spend a couple of years mopping up the remainder (including Ma Chao and Han Sui), but with most of them broken during Cao Cao's campaign in 211, it wasn't a difficult task.

While Ma Chao did cause a bit of trouble in 213, when he captured Ji city (in Hanyang), he was driven out by local rebels almost as soon as he captured the place, and these locals - along with Xiahou Yuan - prevented him from returning to cause more trouble. Ma Chao joined Shu after that, but though he was treated generously by Liu Bei, he didn't really accomplish anything under him. He participated in the Hanzhong campaign, but retreated in 217 or 218 after Cao Hong smashed Wu Lan's force. He never really provided any significant service to Liu Bei, nor did any of his retainers or relatives.

Of course, had Ma Chao remained loyal to Cao Cao, he probably would have been helpful in pacifying the warlords in Liang and Yong, as well as the foreign tribes - which is all stuff Cao Cao did anyway, due largely to Ma Chao's rebellion. So...yeah, I don't think anything Ma Chao did or didn't do would have made a lick of difference.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Xia Kyoto » Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:03 am

capnnerefir wrote:He never really provided any significant service to Liu Bei, nor did any of his retainers or relatives.


Aside from Ma Dai I thought, who fought down in the south against the Nanman?

DragonAtma wrote:Sun Quan's oldest son (and planned heir) Sun Deng died in 241; all of a sudden, 59-year-old Sun Quan had to pick a replacement. That's likely the cause of his mental decline, especially since he let Sun He and Sun Ba squabble over who would be the new heir.


So people only critique Sun Quan on being an impractical ruler later in his reign due to deciding who to pick as an heir? I know it was eventually his youngest (or perhaps one of his youngest) sons Sun Liang. But I figured he'd have to have made some more bad decisions, though that being the worst.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby capnnerefir » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:16 am

Xia Kyoto wrote:Aside from Ma Dai I thought, who fought down in the south against the Nanman?

Historically speaking, the campaign against the Nanman didn't actually happen - at least. Zhuge Liang DID lead a large campaign in the south in 225, but it was against rebels led by Yong Kai (who appears to have been Han Chinese) rather than an alliance of southern tribes. While Yong Kai certainly had support from some tribes (particularly Gaoding[yuan]'s Sou tribe), most of his supporters were southern administrators who refused to acknowledge Liu Bei's authority when he seized Yi province in 214. In any case, there is no record of Ma Dai participating in this campaign. He did fight in Zhuge Liang's final northern campaign in 234, and during the debacle after Zhuge Liang's death, he killed Wei Yan, though given that Wei Yan's army had deserted him, it wasn't a great feat.

Xia Kyoto wrote:So people only critique Sun Quan on being an impractical ruler later in his reign due to deciding who to pick as an heir? I know it was eventually his youngest (or perhaps one of his youngest) sons Sun Liang. But I figured he'd have to have made some more bad decisions, though that being the worst.

He had a lot of other really terrible decisions. His politicking with Gongsun Yuan was 100% disastrous, his naval excursion to Tanzhou and Yizhou (also a disaster), various difficulties with, personnel (trying to murder Yu Fan, setting Zhang Zhao's house on fire, etc.)... The Crown Prince affair was far from his only disaster. But it was the one that had the most impact on Wu, since it created problems that would last well after Sun Quan's death.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Lynx the Antithesis » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:18 am

The southern campaign is usually pretty glossed over historically. This has to mean that it was particularly insignificant, and that it was most likely dealt with fairly promptly. The specifics are succinct, and lacking in any strong detail even in Zhuge Liang's bio.

Sun Quan is terribly vexing. Continued the buildup of a powerful regime, but had numerous failures militarily and domestically throughout his reign.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby capnnerefir » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:27 am

Lynx the Antithesis wrote:The southern campaign is usually pretty glossed over historically. This has to mean that it was particularly insignificant, and that it was most likely dealt with fairly promptly. The specifics are succinct, and lacking in any strong detail even in Zhuge Liang's bio.

It was a major revolt that lasted from 214-225. It started after Liu Zhang surrendered to Liu Bei in 214. Yong Kai, a respected man from Yizhou commandery, refused to accept Liu Bei as the new provincial head. He gathered followers in rebellion against Liu Bei's illegal regime, and he sent messengers to Sun Quan, declaring himself one of Sun Quan's subjects and asking for aid. Sun Quan did send him a few soldiers, though since he did not trust Yong Kai and didn't want him to gain too much power or independence, Sun Quan only provided limited aid. Liu Bei was more concerned with Cao Cao and Sun Quan in the north and east, so he focused his attentions on them while leaving Yong Kai and his rebels to the local commanders in the south.

However, Liu Bei's local commanders weren't skilled enough to put down Yong Kai's revolt. On the contrary, Yong Kai soon killed Zheng Ang, Liu Bei's Grand Administrator of Yizhou commandery. This victory successfully wrested most of the commandery from Liu Bei's control, and Yong Kai spread his influence to the neighboring commanderies.

Around 220 (6 years into Yong Kai's rebellion), Sun Quan named Yong Kai as the Grand Adminsitrator of Yongchang (which neighbored Yizhou), prompting Yong Kai to invade that commandery. In order to help him take the commandery, Yong Kai recruited a respected local man named Meng Huo, who swayed many of the commoners of Yongchang to Yong Kai's cause. However, a local official named Lü Kai was able to seal off the roads and prevent Yong Kai from advancing into Yongchang and capturing it. This was the first significant setback that the rebel forces suffered.

Since Liu Bei was preparing to go to war with Sun Quan around that time, he appointed a talented man named Zhang Yi (styled Junsi; not to be confused with Zhang Yi styled Bogong) as the new Grand Administrator of Yizhou and sent him to subdue Yong Kai. The two of them fought for several years, but in 223, Yong Kai defeated Zhang Yi in battle and captured him. Zhang Yi was then sent to Sun Quan as a hostage.

Inspired by Yong Kai's victory over Zhang Yi, Zhu Bao, the Grand Administrator of Zhangke, joined Yong Kai's rebellion, throwing Zhangke commandery into revolt against Liu Bei as well. The leader of the Sou tribe in Yuexi, Gaoding[yuan], also joined the rebellion, causing great trouble in that commandery and adding to Yong Kai's numbers. All of this left Yongchang totally isolated from the rest of Shu, so though Lü Kai kept the rebels out, it was effectively their territory anyway, as Shu had no real control over it. As you probably know, Liu Bei died in 223, which was certainly a boon to the rebels. By this point, Yong Kai controlled nearly half of Shu's territory.

After Liu Bei's death, Zhuge Liang made peace with Wu, which removed the support Yong Kai received from Sun Quan. With the east secure, and Wei Yan guarding the north, Zhuge Liang spent 224 preparing to march south and put an end to Yong Kai's rebellion once and for all. In the third month of 225, Zhuge Liang finally brought the Shu army south to restore order. The Shu army launched a three-pronged assault on the rebel territories. Zhuge Liang personally led an army against Yong Kai in Yuexi, where he had allied with Gaoding[yuan]. Li Hui was sent with his own army to subdue the rebels in Yizhou, while Ma Zhong was sent to pacify Zhangke.

Zhuge Liang's part turned out to be far easier than anticipated. Yong Kai took up defensive positions against him and was prepared for an extended battle that would have favored him greatly. However, Gaoding[yuan] paniced and murdered Yong Kai, then surrendered to Zhuge Liang - who quickly executed him. Meng Huo took over the remnant of Yong Kai's forces, but many scattered when Yong Kai died, and now he lacked the support of the Sou tribe. Meng Huo still tried to resist Zhuge Liang, but given the state of his army, there was little he could do. Zhuge Liang easily won the subsequent battle against him and captured him. Meng Huo surrendered after this, putting an end to any organized rebellion in Yuexi.

Li Hui ran into a spot of trouble in Yizhou. He was badly outnumbered and quickly surrounded by the rebels. Li Hui sought refuge at Kunming and was heavily besieged by them. As a native of Yizhou, Li Hui commanded some measure of respect from the rebels, so he told them that - being outnumbered, isolated, and a Yizhou man himself - he wanted to join them. The rebels believed him and lifted their siege. As soon as their guard was down, Li Hui advanced from Kunming and took the rebel army by surprise, demolishing them. He then joined up with Zhuge Liang (who had already received Meng Huo's surrender).

Ma Zhong encountered no significant difficulty in Zhangke. He defeated the rebel forces there easily and without incident.

Lü Kai still managed to keep the rebels from taking Yongchang, so when Yuexi and Yizhou were liberated, his commandery was once again united with Shu proper.

Zhuge Liang returned to Chengdu in the final month of 225, declaring the campaign a complete success. In terms of crushing Yong Kai's rebellion, this was certainly true, though the south was never truly peaceful, since most of the southern tribes did not recognize the authority of the Han or of the Liu family (or Jin, for that matter).

Yong Kai's rebellion lasted for 11 years and engulfed almost half of Shu. It was certainly significant. For the most part, though, it gets glossed over in history because it has almost nothing in common with the popular fiction of Zhuge Liang's campaign against the so-called Nanman and is rather dull by comparison. Most of the story is told in the SGZ biographies of Li Hui, Ma Zhong, and Lü Kai, with some supplemental notes in Zhuge Liang's SGZ adding some more information about his personal activities (though some of these are highly questionable).
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