This is a very famous fight in the Han period . It established the foundation of the Three Kingdoms . After unifying the north, Cao Cao leads his force down to the south where there are already two leaders, Liu Bei and Sun Quan, both of whom are weak because of their new - established lands . But as Cao Cao is pride of his strong army, he ignores his disadvantage -- his soldiers are all north local native, so they aren’t used to the battle on water . Liu and Sun ally together and take advantage of the ways of wind . Then they use fire to defeat Cao Cao completely . The Battle of Red Cliff
In the late Eastern Han Dynasty ( 25 A . D . to 220 A . D .) , the warlord Cao Cao was able to take advantage of the instability by unifing north China under his rule.
In 208 A . D . , Cao Cao took the emperor Hsien Ti captive, and named himself the prime minister of the imperial government . He prepared to defeat Liu Bei, the ruler of the Shu Kingdom and Sun Quan, the ruler of the Wu Kingdom at the south.
Cao Cao claimed Sun Quan that he had an army combined of 800,000 soldiers . Sun Quan sent Lu Su to meet Liu Bei of Shu Kingdom to form an immediate alliance. Liu Bei sent Zhuge Liang, the advisor, to help Lu Su.
Sun Quan was discussing the military situation with his civil and army officials . Chang Chao advised him to surrender Cao Cao for a peaceful and stable life. Sun Quan kept silent with his head bowed .
Lu Su gave advise to Sun Quan if they surrender to Cao Cao, Chang Chao and his team could keep their positions as county officials, but Sun Quan would have a title but no power at all.
Sun Quan agreed with Lu Su. Then Lu Su advised Sun Quan to meet with Zhuge Liang from Shu Kingdom and to ask for his assessment of the actual strength of Cao Cao's troops .
Zhuge Liang advised Sun Quan that Cao Cao have an army of 1 million soldiers. If Sun Quan wanted to resist Cao Cao, he had to cut his ties with Cao Cao, but if it was impossible to resist, he should surrender to Cao Cao.
Sun Quan asked if Liu Bei did not surrender to Cao Cao. Zhuge Liang explained that Liu Bei was highly respected by his people, so it was unacceptable for him to do that. Sun Quan confirmed to resist Cao Cao.
Zhuge Liang said if he made an alliance with Liu Bei, they together will surely defeat Cao Cao . Sun Quan was very happy to hear this . He said “ My hesitation is gone now and I have decided to resist Cao Cao . ”
The civil official Chang Chao was very upset to hear Sun Quan's decision to fight Cao Cao and added that Liu Bei simply wanted to use Wu Kingdom so that Shu Kingdom would not have to fight . Listening to their arguments, Sun Quan lost his resolve .
At home,Sun Quan's mother asked him to consult Zhou Yu for external affairs . Sun Quan then remembered his brother's words and asked the servant to send for Zhou Yu at once .
While training the Wu Kingdom navy at Po Yang Lake, Zhou Yu came to meet with Lu Su, who reported all the details of the discussion of how to deal with Cao Cao .
After Zhou Yu's arrival in Ch'aisang, Chang Chao, and his team met with Zhou Yu to argue for surrender while the generals, Huang Kai, Han Tang, etc . , came to argue for resistance . He asked them to meet with Sun Quan.
Zhou Yu said that Cao Cao army had no stable home front, they are not good at naval battles, and they were not used to the weather and living conditions in the South. He asked for 50,000 soldiers to fight with Cao Cao.
Zhou Yu told Sun Quan if he was afraid that Sun Quan would lose his resolve again. Sun Quan pulled out his sword and chopped off a corner of his desk and said that he would kill those, who want to surrender Cao Cao .
Sun Quan gave the sword to Zhou Yu and appointed Zhou Yu as Marshal, and he conferred on the power to kill anyone who dared to disobey orders .
Zhou Yu met Liu Bei at the west, and informed Liu Bei that he would use 30,000 soldiers to defeat Cao Cao’s forces. After seeing Zhou Yu full of confidence, Liu Bei satisfied.
Cao Cao sent a letter of challenge to Zhou Yu and he flew into a rage when he saw the letter . Without opening it, he tore it into pieces and ordered his soldiers to kill the messenger and take his head back to Cao Cao .
Cao Cao became angry when he knew the result. He ordered Generals Cai Mao and Zhang Yun to lead the advance fleet to attack Zhou Yu. Cai Mao's younger brother Cai Hsun was shot down with an arrow.
After returning to his camp, Cao Cao blamed Cai Mao and Zhang Yun for the defeat . Cai Mao explained that they must defend the camp and train all soldiers to become good at naval Battle. Cao Cao agreed with him.
Both forces had halted at Red Cliff on the Yangtze River for more than a month. Cao Cao’s advisor, Chiang Kan suggested that he would talk to Zhou Yu, his schoolmate to change his mind and surrender to Cao army.
Zhou Yu suspected the purpose of Chiang Kan's visit and quickly devised a way to use Chiang Kan to trick Cao Cao . He left his tent with 100 servants and guards and went to greet Chiang Kan .
Zhou Yu hosted Chiang Kan with a big feast and introduced him to his officers. Zhou Yu said, " Since I was appointed Marshal, I have not had any wine . Today is a reunion of two old friends, so let us drink to celebrate . ”
When the feast ended at midnight, Zhou Yu asked Chiang Kan to sleep in the same tent with him . Soon after going to bed, Zhou Yu appeared to be sleeping soundly . Chiang Kan was worried about his mission .
Chiang Kan quietly got up and looked through the letters on the desk . It was from Cao Cao's generals, Cai Mao and Zhang Yun, which stated that they would like to surrender to Wu Kingdom with Cao Cao’s head.
Lying awake in bed until early morning, Chiang Kan escaped from Zhou Yu’s tent and persuaded the guards to let them leave the camp, and then got into the boat and sailed back across the river .
Cao Cao asked Chiang Kan what had happened, and Chiang Kan told him that although he didn't succeed in persuading Zhou Yu to surrender, he found a much more important secret for him.
Cao Cao asked the others to leave the camp, Chiang Kan took out the letter and handed it to Cao Cao. After Cao Cao read the letter, Cao Cao ordered the guards to arrest Cai Mao and Zhang Yun and kill them at once .
Cao Cao explained that the two generals and he appointed generals Mao Chieh and Yu Chin to be the new generals. Mao Chieh and Yu Chin suggested connecting the warships with iron chains to reduce the motion .
Z hou Yu knew the news of Cai Mao and Z hang Yun, Z hou Yu asked Lu Su to go and test whether Zhuge Liang knew his Thought. Lu Su paid a visit to Zhuge Liang . Zhuge Liang told Lu Su not to tell Zhou Yu that he knew.
But Lu Su told Zhou Yu that Zhuge Liang had figured out the trick . The next day, Zhou Yu asked Zhuge Liang if he could make 100,000 arrows in 10 days . Zhuge Liang replied, " I need only 3 days to make the arrows ."
Then Lu Su was instructed by Zhou Yu to watch Zhuge Liang's response . Zhuge Liang complained to Lu Su and he asked Lu Su to provide him 20 boats, 600 soldiers, some black cloth and some straw .
Zhuge Liang asked the soldiers to wrap the boats in the black cloth and set up scarecrows on both sides of each boat . He assigned 30 soldiers to each boat and instructed them to wait for further orders .
By daybreak, Zhuge Liang then ordered the soldiers to beat their drums and shout loudly . Cao Cao asked the archers to shoot the attacking enemies on the river . Zhuge Liang had got more than 100,000 arrows then.
In the morning Zhuge Liang ordered his soldiers to sail back . Lu Su asked Zhuge Liang how he had predicted the fog . Zhuge Liang Explained that he could predict the weather and knew Zhou Yu’s plan to kill him.
Lu Su went back to the camp first and told Zhou Yu all about how Zhuge Liang. That evening, Zhou Yu congratulated Zhuge Liang with a banquet .
Zhou Yu would like to know Zhuge Liang’s plan, so Zhuge Liang asked Zhou Yu to write his idea on his palm.They both laughed when both had written the character for " Fire” on their palms .
Several days later, Cai Mao's younger brothers Cai He and Cai Zhong crossed the river with 500 soldiers to surrender to Zhou Yu . Zhou Yu was glad to hear this and sent them to serve under his general Kan Ning .
Zhou Yu told Kan Ning secretly that Cai He and Cai Zhong might be spying for Cao Cao. He wanted to turn Cao Cao's trick against him by using Cai He and Cai Zhong to pass false Information to him .
Zhou Yu asked Huang Kai to help him make a false surrender to Cao Cao. Huang Kai agreed. The next day, Huang Kai told that they could not defeat Cao Cao’s giant army within 3 months and they should surrender Cao Cao.
Zhou Yu replied that Sun Quan said anyone who wanted to surrender to Cao Cao should be killed . Zhou Yu ordered the soldiers to take Huang Kai out and punish him by flogging 00 lashes.
Nobody dared to disobey Zhou Yu's order . The soldiers took off Huang Kai's uniform and pushed him on to the ground and then started the flogging . After 50 lashes, Huang Kai was bruised and lacerated .
Lu Su asked Zhuge Liang why he didn’t make Zhou Yu stop. Zhuge Liang said with a smile, “One was willing to beat; the other was willing to be beaten . Why should I tell them to stop?” Then Lu Su understood the truth .
Huang Kai asked his friend Kan Ze to take a letter to Cao Cao offering surrender . When dark fell, Kan Ze disguised himself as a fisherman and sailed to the north bank of the river and arrived at Cao Cao's camp.
Cao Cao's soldiers guided Kan Ze into a tent brightly lit with candles and lamps . Cao Cao demanded that Kan Ze tell him his real purpose for coming to his camp .
Kan Ze told Cao Cao that the old general Huang Kai from Wu Kingdom advised Zhou Yu to surrender to you, but he was badly beaten as a result . Huang Kai hated Zhou Yu and wanted to surrender to you .
Kan Ze passed Huang Kai's letter to Cao Cao . After he read the letter, the servant passed another letter to Cao Cao . Kan Ze thought that it might be the news of Huang Kai sent by Cai Zhong and Cai He .
After reading the letter, Cao Cao told Kan Ze tell Huang Kai to arrange a meeting place so that he could send his troops to escort him . Then Kan Ze reported all the details of his meeting with Cao Cao to Huang Kai .
Although Zhou Yu had decided to make a fire attack, and Huang Kai had succeeded in deceiving Cao Cao with his offer to surrender, Zhou Yu was still very worried . Lu Su told Zhuge Liang that Zhou Yu was ill.
Then Lu Su and Zhuge Liang went to see Zhou Yu . Z hou Yu looked at the message that Zhuge Liang wrote,“ To defeat Cao Cao , a fire attack is the only way . Everything is ready except the south east wind. ”
Zhuge Liang had studied the weather . He knew that the southeast wind would begin to blow in a couple of days, but he convinced Zhou Yu that he had magic powers and that he could summon wind and rain .
Zhuge Liang went up to the altar in a Taoist robe and with a sword in his hand . Zhou Yu and all the generals waited for the wind to change . The wind had died down, but it was still blowing from the northwest .
At midnight, they heard the flags on their tents whipping in the wind . Zhou Yu and Lu Su ran out of their tents and saw all the flags pointing to the northwest . The southeast wind had come up . They were all greatly relieved .
Zhou Yu worried about Zhuge Liang and decided to kill him, but he found that Zhuge Liang had left in a boat. Lu Su advised him to fight with Cao Cao first. Zhou Yu killed Cai He and asked soldiers to raid Cao Cao’s camp.
In the letter, Huang Kai explained that he would kill the other Wu Kingdom generals and then lead his men to Cao Cao in the evening under a banner showing a blue dragon . Cao Cao was pleased .
Soon Cao Cao saw a group of boats approaching, but General Cheng Yu said, “ You can see that all Huang Kai's boats are riding high and sailing fast . We must make sure it is not a trick . ”
Wen Pin told Huang Kai to stop but he was shot. Huang Kai started the fire attack on Cao Cao’s warships. Because Cao Cao's warships were tied together and they were trapped, and the fire spread from one ship to another .
Zhou Yu and Cheng Pu, together with generals Han Tang, Chi Chin and Chou Tai, surrounded the burning ships . Hundreds of Cao Cao's soldiers were killed either by the enemy's weapons or by the fire .
Cao Cao had no choice but to escape to the riverbank . Fortunately General Chang Liao came by in a small boat and helped Cao Cao down from the warship . Huang Kai would like to Arrest Cao Cao, but he was shot too.
Chang Liao escorted Cao Cao to the riverbank. On their way from Wulin to Huajung, they were frequently ambushed by Sun Quan and Liu Bei's allied forces . It started to rain but Cao Cao and his men marched on .
Near Huajung, the road became very muddy, and the horses got stuck in the mud . Many soldiers were so anxious to escape they trampled on the weaker ones . Many old, ill, and wounded soldiers died in the escape .
Liu Bei and Zhou Yu's forces pursued Cao Cao's troops until they got to Nanchun and Chiangling. Cao Cao himself led the rest of his troops back to the north .
The Battle of Red Cliff left the Shu and Wu Kingdoms in control of the south and Cao Cao in control of the north . Thus, China was divided among three rival powers, and that period is called Three Kingdoms.
When we say about fire attack, we will most likely remember the Battle of the Red Cliff; how Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu use fire attack to defeat Cao Cao’s numerous navy fleets. Fire attack in Ancient China history was used during night raids or surprise attack. In fire tactic, instructions to the army or troop must be clear. If there is a small mistake, the plan may backfire and the enemy will have the advantage. The Summary of The Battle of Red Cliff
The Battle of the Red Cliff ( 208 A.D. ) was the war against the combined force of Liu and Sun ( Dongwu ) against the warlord Cao Cao . So how did they defeat the Cao navy troop in the battle? The Wu commanding general Zhou Yu decided to write a fake letter about Cao's navy admiral Cai Mao and Zhang Yun allied with him . This made Cao Cao executed the two generals mistakenly . Zhou Yu and the old general Huang K ai decided to plot the beating trick. By beating Huang K ai, Cao ’ s spy revealed the situation to Cao Cao. Huang K ai wrote a fake surrender letter and order his advisor Han Tz e to sent it to Cao Cao. 1 2 The Summary of The Battle of Red Cliff
Zhuge Liang and Lu Su mobilize straw boat to Cao Cao ’ s naval shipyard. This made Cao Cao use archer to defend the naval base. This made Zhuge Liang collect more than 10,000 arrows. Cao Cao chain all his ships together to ease the sea-sickness of the soldiers. After the soldiers trap the ship together , Zhou Yu ’ s fire attack Spread s easily, when the Southeast Wind comes . Huang Kai send speedboats to pretend to surrender to Cao Cao . Upon reaching the naval shipyard, Huang Kai ordered all boats to be set on fire and collide to Cao Cao's chained ships . Soon, Cao Cao's thousands ships were all burnt down . 3 4 5 The Summary of The Battle of Red Cliff