|Battle of Jianwei|
|Part of the third of Zhuge Liang's Northern Expeditions|
The third of Zhuge Liang's northern expeditions
|Cao Wei||Shu Han|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Guo Huai|| Zhuge Liang |
|Battle of Jianwei|
The Battle of Jianwei was fought between the contending states of Shu Han and Cao Wei in the Three Kingdoms period of China. The battle was also the third of a series of military campaigns against Wei launched by Shu's chancellor,Zhuge Liang. The battle concluded with a Shu victory and the capture of Wudu and Yinping commanderies,which were located near present-day Longnan,Gansu.
In the spring of 229,Zhuge Liang ordered Chen Shi to lead troops to attack the Wei-controlled Wudu (武都;near present-day Cheng County,Gansu) and Yinping (陰平;present-day Wen County,Gansu) commanderies,In response,Guo Huai led his troops in an attempt to rescue those commanderies Upon receiving news that the Wei general Guo Huai had mobilised his forces to attack Chen Shi,Zhuge Liang moved his army from Yangping Pass to Jianwei (建威;in present-day Longnan,Gansu) in the northwestern corner of Wudu Commandery.
Later;Guo Huai and his troops withdrew. The Shu forces thus successfully captured Wudu and Yinping commanderies.
When Zhuge Liang returned from the campaign,the Shu emperor Liu Shan issued an imperial decree to congratulate him on his successes in defeating Wang Shuang during the second Northern Expedition,forcing Guo Huai to flee,winning back the trust of the local tribes and capturing Wudu and Yinping commanderies during the third Northern Expedition. He also restored Zhuge Liang to the position of Imperial Chancellor (丞相).
Achilles Fang's translation of Liu Shan's memorial is as follows:
"The fault at the battle of Jieting lay with Ma Su, but you held yourself responsible and demoted yourself drastically. Respecting your wishes, I complied with your principle. In the past year, you made our army illustrious and beheaded Wang Shuang. In the present year you led a campaign and put Guo Huai to flight, won the Di and the Qiang over to us, restored the two jun; your prowess has shaken the lawless, your achievements have become pre-eminent. At present, the Empire is in disorder and the chief criminal is not yet decapitated. To allow you, who are entrusted with a great work and important business of state, to remain demoted for a long time is not the way to glorify grand merit. I now reinstate you as chengxiang; do not refuse it."
Following this battle, Cao Wei's state would launch their own campaign the next year called the Ziwu Campaign.
Jiang Wei, courtesy name Boyue, was a military general of the state of Shu during the Three Kingdoms period of China. Born in Ji County, Jiang Wei started his career as a military officer in his native Tianshui Commandery, which was a territory of Wei. In 228, when Wei's rival state Shu launched an invasion led by Zhuge Liang, Jiang Wei was distrusted by Ma Zun, then administrator of Tianshui Commandery. As such, Jiang Wei had to defect to Shu. Zhuge Liang, the Imperial Chancellor and regent of Shu, highly regarded Jiang Wei and appointed him as a general in Shu. After Zhuge Liang's death in 234, Jiang Wei continued serving as a military commander during the regencies Jiang Wan and Fei Yi, eventually rising to the highest military rank of General-In-Chief (大將軍) after Fei Yi’s death in 253. Between 240 and 262, he continued Zhuge Liang's legacy of waging war against Wei by leading another 11 military campaigns. However, Jiang Wei's campaigns were relatively constrained in terms of both scale and duration due to Shu’s limited resources and inadequate food supplies, as well as internal political faultlines. In 263, when Wei launched a massive invasion of Shu, Jiang Wei led Shu forces to resist the invaders at Tazhong, Yinping and Jiange, himself defending Jiange which was under Zhong Hui's attack. While Jiang Wei managed to temporarily stall Wei’s main force led by Zhong Hui, Deng Ai, another military commander of Wei, took a shortcut via Yinping and showed up at Chengdu unexpectedly. Liu Shan surrendered to Deng Ai without putting up resistance and ordered Jiang Wei to surrender to the Wei general Zhong Hui; this event marked the end of Shu's existence. In the following year, Jiang Wei instigated Zhong Hui to launch a rebellion in Chengdu against the Wei regent Sima Zhao and hoped to use the opportunity to gain military power and restore Shu. However, some of Zhong Hui's officers were unwilling to participate in the rebellion and started a mutiny, killing Jiang Wei and Zhong Hui.
Zhang He, courtesy name Junyi, was a military general serving under the warlord Cao Cao in the late Eastern Han dynasty of China. He continued serving in the state of Cao Wei under its first two rulers, Cao Pi and Cao Rui, during the Three Kingdoms period until his death.
Sima Yi, courtesy name Zhongda, was a Chinese military general, politician, and regent of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China.
Wei Yan, courtesy name Wenchang, was a Chinese military general and politician of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period of China. Originally a subordinate of the warlord Liu Bei in the late Eastern Han dynasty, Wei Yan rose through the ranks and became a general when Liu Bei seized control of Yi Province in 214. His performance in battle helped him to become a prominent figure in the Shu military in a short period of time. He was later appointed as the Administrator of Hanzhong Commandery and as an Area Commander in 219. Between 228 and 234, he participated actively in the Northern Expeditions led by the Shu regent Zhuge Liang against Shu's rival state, Cao Wei. After Zhuge Liang's death in 234, Wei Yan was killed by another Shu general, Ma Dai, for alleged treason.
Zhuge Liang's Southern Campaign, also known as the War of Pacification in Nanzhong, was a military campaign which took place in 225 during the early Three Kingdoms period (220–280) of China. It was led by Zhuge Liang, the Imperial Chancellor of the state of Shu Han, against opposing forces in the Nanzhong region. The campaign was a response to rebellions started by local governors in the Nanzhong region and intrusions by the Nanman.
Zhuge Liang's Northern Expeditions were a series of five military campaigns launched by the state of Shu Han against the rival state of Cao Wei from 228 to 234 during the Three Kingdoms period in China. All five expeditions were led by Zhuge Liang, the Imperial Chancellor and regent of Shu. Although they proved unsuccessful and ended up as a stalemate, the expeditions have become some of the best known conflicts of the Three Kingdoms period and one of the few battles during it where each side fought against each other with hundreds of thousands of troops, as opposed to other battles where one side had a huge numerical advantage.
Jiang Wan, courtesy name Gongyan, was a regent and military general of the state of Shu during the Three Kingdoms period of China. Born in the late Eastern Han dynasty, Jiang Wan initially served as a scribe, county chief and county prefect under the warlord Liu Bei, who later became the founding emperor of Shu. After Liu Bei's son Liu Shan succeeded his father as emperor in 223, Jiang Wan gradually rose to prominence under the regency of Zhuge Liang, the Imperial Chancellor of Shu. Between 228 and 234, while Zhuge Liang was away leading Shu forces on the Northern Expeditions against Shu's rival state Wei, Jiang Wan took charge of internal affairs and provided logistical support to the Shu forces at the frontline. After Zhuge Liang's death in 234, Jiang Wan succeeded him as regent and did well in gaining the Shu people's confidence and leading them into a post-Zhuge Liang era. During this time, he considered that the land-based route through the Qin Mountains used by Zhuge Liang during the Northern Expeditions was too difficult for navigation and transportation of supplies. He thus came up with a plan to switch to a water-based route along the Han River targeting Wei territories in present-day southern Shaanxi and northwestern Hubei. However, the Shu government rejected his plan as they thought it was too risky. In 243, due to poor health, Jiang Wan relocated from Hanzhong near the Wei–Shu border to Fu County. Towards the final years of his regency, as his health worsened, Jiang Wan gradually relinquished his powers to his deputies Fei Yi and Dong Yun but he continued to rule as regent in name. He died in 246 and was succeeded by Fei Yi.
Li Yan, courtesy name Zhengfang, also known as Li Ping, was a military general of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period of China. He climbed to the zenith of his career when he was asked by the Shu emperor Liu Bei to be the military paramountcy and co-regent alongside Zhuge Liang for his son and successor, Liu Shan. After the death of Liu Bei, Li Yan was given the rank of General of the Vanguard which was last held by Guan Yu back in 220. Li served most of his career in the mid and late 220s as the area commander for the Eastern Front centered in Yong An with Chen Dao as his deputy; he never faced any major battles in his position. However, during the 230s and the 4th of Zhuge Liang's Northern Expeditions, Li Yan was given a higher rank of General of the Agile Cavalry, below only Zhuge Liang. He was assigned to handle logistics, but he was unable to deliver supplies to Zhuge Liang's army in a timely manner. After his attempt to fraudulently cover his inability to follow commands, Li Yan was stripped from positions and power.
Fei Yi, courtesy name Wenwei, was a regent and military general of the state of Shu during the Three Kingdoms period of China. Born in the late Eastern Han dynasty, Fei Yi started his career as an attendant to Liu Shan, the eldest son and heir apparent of Liu Bei, a warlord who became the founding emperor of Shu. After Liu Shan became emperor in 223, Fei Yi gradually rose to prominence under the regency of Zhuge Liang, the Imperial Chancellor of Shu. During this time, he concurrently served as a military adviser under Zhuge Liang and as Shu's ambassador to its ally state Wu. He also played a significant role in the conflict between the Shu general Wei Yan and Zhuge Liang's chief clerk Yang Yi. After Zhuge Liang's death in 234, Fei Yi served as a deputy to the new regent Jiang Wan and progressively assumed greater responsibilities as Jiang Wan gradually relinquished his powers due to poor health. In 244, Fei Yi led Shu forces to victory at the Battle of Xingshi against their rival state Wei and succeeded Jiang Wan as regent of Shu two years later following the latter's death. On the first day of the Chinese New Year in 253, Fei Yi was assassinated by a Wei defector, Guo Xiu.
Guo Huai, courtesy name Boji, was a military general of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China. He started his career towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty under the warlord Cao Cao as a subordinate of Cao Cao's generals Xiahou Yuan and Zhang He. During the Three Kingdoms period, he served in Wei, the state established by Cao Cao's son Cao Pi, and lived through the reigns of four Wei emperors. From the 220s until his death in 255, he governed and defended Wei's western borders in Yong and Liang provinces. During this time, he resisted multiple invasions by Wei's rival state, Shu Han, and quelled some rebellions by local Qiang, Di and other non-Han Chinese tribes.
The Empty Fort Strategy is the 32nd of the Chinese Thirty-Six Stratagems. The strategy involves using reverse psychology to deceive the enemy into thinking that an empty location is full of traps and ambushes, and therefore induce the enemy to retreat. Some examples are listed in the following sections.
Chen Shi was a military officer of the state of Shu Han in the Three Kingdoms period of China. He previously served under the warlord Liu Bei in the late Eastern Han dynasty. His name is sometimes recorded as Chen Jie.
Xiang Lang, courtesy name Juda, was an official and scholar of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period of China. He previously served under the warlords Liu Biao and Liu Bei in the late Eastern Han dynasty. In 243, Xiang Lang resigned and spent the remaining years of his life reading, writing, proofreading and editing various classical texts. By the time of his death in 247, he was one of the foremost book collectors of his time and a major source of influence for many later scholars. He was an uncle of the Shu general Xiang Chong.
Yang Yi, courtesy name Weigong, was an official of the state of Shu Han in the Three Kingdoms period of China.
The Battle of Wuzhang Plains was fought between the contending states of Cao Wei and Shu Han in 234 CE during the Three Kingdoms period of China. The battle was the fifth and last of a series of Northern Expeditions led by Shu's chancellor, Zhuge Liang, to attack Wei. Zhuge Liang fell ill and died during the stalemate and subsequently the Shu forces retreated.
Zhang Yi, courtesy name Bogong, was a military general of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period of China. Born in the late Eastern Han dynasty, Zhang Yi was a 10th-generation descendant of Zhang Liang. He started his career as a scribe under the warlord Liu Bei, who founded Shu later, and gradually rose to the positions of a county prefect and commandery administrator. In the early 230s, he served as an area commander tasked with maintaining the peace in Shu's southern commanderies. In 234, he led the Shu vanguard during the Battle of Wuzhang Plains against Shu's rival state Wei. From 238 to 259, Zhang Yi steadily rose through the ranks to become one of Shu's top generals. During this time, although he strongly opposed the Shu general Jiang Wei's aggressive stance towards Wei, he still accompanied Jiang Wei on his military campaigns against Wei. In 263, he surrendered to Wei forces along with the Shu emperor Liu Shan when Wei launched a large-scale invasion of Shu. In the following year, Zhang Yi was killed by mutineers during a rebellion by the Wei general Zhong Hui. Like Liao Hua and Zong Yu, Zhang was one of few officials who served the Shu-Han state throughout its entire existence.
Jiang Wei's Northern Expeditions refer to a series of eleven military campaigns launched by the state of Shu Han against its rival state, Cao Wei, between 240 and 262 CE during the Three Kingdoms period in China. The campaigns were led by Jiang Wei, a prominent Shu general. Unlike the previous Northern campaigns led by Zhuge Liang, which added Wudu and Yinping commanderies to Shu Han state territories, Jiang Wei's campaigns ended up being unpopular in both the military and civil circles in Shu. Also unlike Zhuge Liang's campaigns which often featured 60,000 to sometimes even 100,000 Shu Troops, Jiang Wei's were often much smaller rarely exceeding 30,000 even after the death of Fei Yi, where Jiang Wei assumed control of the military. The Zhuge Liang campaigns did suffer from logistical and supply issues for their large army. Zhuge's successor Jiang Wan, believed that it was the Hanzhong's mountainous terrain itself that were to blame for the campaigns failures and attempted to switch the route thru the Han river. Fei Yi, who succeeded Jiang Wan, agreed, and never allowed any large campaigns to be launched by Hanzhong. Jiang Wei however overlooked these concerns and used Hanzhong as his home base as Zhuge Liang did.
The Conquest of Shu by Wei was a military campaign launched by the state of Cao Wei ("Wei") against its rival Shu Han ("Shu") in late 263 during the Three Kingdoms period of China. The campaign culminated in the fall of Shu and the tripartite equilibrium maintained in China for over 40 years since the end of the Eastern Han dynasty in 220. The conquest signified the beginning of a reunified China under the Jin dynasty (266–420).
The Battle of Mount Qi was a military conflict which took place around Mount Qi between the states of Cao Wei and Shu Han in 231 during the Three Kingdoms period of China. It was also the most vigorous of the five Shu invasions of Wei, resulting in thousands of deaths on both sides. Although Zhuge Liang was able to make significant achievement in the beginning of the battle, the battle finally concluded with a strategic Wei victory due to the insufficient food supply for the Shu Han army. The insufficient food supply was caused by heavy rain and mistakes made by Li Yan. The Shu regent, Zhuge Liang, spent three years recuperating before launching another invasion on Wei in 234.
The Ziwu Campaign was a military counter offensive launched in 230 by the state of Cao Wei against his rival state Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period of China. The campaign was initiated by Wei's Grand Marshal, Cao Zhen following the numerous Northern Expeditions and more recently the battle of Jianwei.