How Cao Cao became strong: Huang Jin reduced his troops to become the largest expansion capital

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After DongZhuo robbed and moved to Xiandi, no one in Dongfang Prefecture could track down and suppress him. Naturally, he had to take the opportunity to occupy his own territory. At that time, the South was not very developed, and its political relationship was relatively shallow. In the north, Luoyang is broken. From the west of Hangu pass, it is still in DongZhuo’s hands. Therefore, the northern part of the seven prefectures of you, Bing, Qing, Ji, Yan, Yu and Xu and the two prefectures of Jing and yang are the most important. This is now the four provinces of Shandong, Shanxi, Henan and Hebei, as well as the four provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui, Jiangxi and Hubei, along the three rivers of Zhongjiang, Han and Huai.

At the end of yuanshaoxiang’s reign as Emperor Ling, Liu Yu was the shepherd of Youzhou. He was the imperial clan of the Han Dynasty. He is kind-hearted and has a good reputation as a resident official. He is loved by the people. But there is really no talent. There is an officer in Youzhou who is called gongsunzan. He has a rebellious disposition, and his soldiers are quite strong. Naturally, he has some ambitions. But when the political order is not so bad, they dare not resist openly. After dongzhuoxing was abolished, the situation was different. Since Emperor Xian was established by Dong Zhuo, he could not be justified in the law of succession to the throne in the autocratic era. Those who denounce Dong Zhuo may not recognize the emperor. So Yuan Shao and Jizhou Mu Hanfu united to make Liu Yu emperor. Liu Yu was a man without strength. If he admitted it, he would not consider himself a rebel and be willing to be a puppet of others, so he would resolutely not accept it. They sent people to Chang’an to see Emperor Xian. Emperor Xian is trapped by DongZhuo and cannot escape. I was overjoyed to see Liu Yu’s messenger coming. At this time, Liuhe, the son of Liu Yu, was still an official in Chang’an. Emperor Xian asked him to see his father again and secretly sent an imperial edict to Liu Yu to send troops to meet him. Liu he dared not take the Hangu pass road and went out from Wuguan in the east of Shang county. At this time, Yuan Shu, fearing DongZhuo, led his troops to station in Nanyang. It happened that Sun Jian led troops from Changsha to the north and killed the Nanyang prefect. Yuan Shu took this opportunity to occupy Nanyang. It is a great credit for Yuan Shu to greet the emperor, and it is also a great hope that he intends to monopolize power. With this opportunity, how can Yuan Shu let Liu Yu monopolize it. When Liu He passed by, Yuan Shu left him behind and sent someone to tell Liu Yu to send soldiers to the West together with his own soldiers. As expected, Liu Yu sent thousands of horsemen, who were called commander Liu He. If this thing succeeds, Liu Yu’s fame and status will be even higher. It will be difficult for gongsunzan to overthrow him. So gongsunzan urged Liu Yu not to send troops. Liu Yu did not listen. Gongsunzan colluded with Yuan Shu to detain Liu He and took away the soldiers sent by Liu Yu. This is a scene of intrigue between several people with military power and territory about the throne after DongZhuo robbed and moved to offer the emperor. Because it didn’t make a big deal, people who read history didn’t pay much attention to it and read it lightly. In fact, this conspiracy had a lot to do with the opening of the prelude to the eastern war.

Gongsunzan colluded with Yuan Shu to detain Liu He, and the soldiers sent by Liu Yu were taken away, which not only prevented Liu Yu from succeeding in meeting him, but also connected with Yuan Shu. His plot seemed to have a good chance of winning. So he was so satisfied that he led troops to invade Jizhou in the name of crusading against DongZhuo to seize Han Fu’s territory. How can Han Fu defeat the enemy?

But the mantis catches cicadas, and the Yellow finch follows. The snipe and clam stand in a stalemate, and the fisherman gains profits, which creates an opportunity for Yuan Shao. At this time, yuanshaozheng took the opportunity to send people to lobby Han Fu because DongZhuo moved west and returned to Hebei. Han Fu abandoned his official position and gave Jizhou to Yuan Shao. Yuan Shao’s Gao, Zeng, Zu and father were all prime ministers of the Han Dynasty (the so-called “four generations and three gongs”, and the later Han Dynasty held the posts of Sima, situ and Sikong Suan). Many people fell in love with him. His talent is naturally several times higher than that of Han Fu. Gongsunzan wanted to occupy the territory, but instead he hurried to a useless neighbor and replaced him with a strong enemy. Things in the world are changing so much that people can’t help but make up their minds.

Yuanshao and gongsunzan are close to each other. Naturally, they want to annex each other. They will not fit in. Yuan Shu was connected with gongsunzan, and he also had an ambition for the north. Yuan shaolai jumped out of the air. This ambition will inevitably be hit. Naturally, I have to be wrong with Yuan Shao. I don’t care about any brothers.

Cao Cao and Yuan Shao were friendly forces to fight against Zhuo Shi. At the beginning of the rise, everyone was afraid of not having enough troops and always wanted to help. When there is no conflict of interests and truth, we should always wear masks and use each other. This was the reason why Cao Cao, Liu Bei, Lu Bu and others at that time, despite internal discord, always pretended to be perfunctory and refused to break up abruptly when people came from poverty. Yuan and Cao supported each other at the beginning for the same reason. At this time, there was chaos in the north of Yanzhou, and the original local officials could not calm down. Cao Cao led his troops to knock him out. Yuan Shao recommended him to be the prefect of Dongjun (governing Dongwuyang, in the west of Chaocheng County, Shandong Province). It happened in the second year of Emperor Xian of Han Dynasty. Next year, Qingzhou yellow scarf will enter Yanzhou. Liu Dai, the assassin of Yanzhou, was killed by him. In Jibei (the state of Jibei, in the south of Changqing County, Shandong Province today), Xiang Baoxin most appreciated Cao Cao, so he persuaded Liu Dai’s men to welcome Cao Cao as Yanzhou herdsman. At this time, Huang Jin was so powerful that Cao Cao and Bao Xin entered the army to fight against him. Bao Xin fought hard and died. Cao Cao broke the yellow scarf. More than 300000 people surrendered to Huang Jin. Cao Cao left his elite behind and organized them into an army, which was called the Qingzhou army. These are all fierce thieves. So Cao Cao not only took Yanzhou as his territory, but also his army was more refined and strong.

Nanyang was also a dependency of Jingzhou in the later Han Dynasty. At this time, Liu Biao, the governor of Jingzhou, had moved from Hunan to Xiangyang, Hubei, which was close to the Central Plains and was particularly close to Nanyang. SunJian is also a man without territory. He is Tunza in Lushan County, Henan Province. Yuan Shu recommended him to be the governor of Yuzhou, and connected with him to seize Liu Biao’s territory. In this way, Yuan Shao should be connected with Liu Biao. Xuzhou and Yanzhou are connected. Xuzhou can annexe Yanzhou, and Yanzhou can also annexe Xuzhou. According to the romance of the Three Kingdoms, Xuzhou Mu Tao Qian is a good man. This is not the truth. Although he has no talent, he is also ambitious. Tiankai, the governor of Qingzhou, was originally from gongsunzan.

The struggle at that time became a situation in which yuanshao of Jizhou, Cao Cao of Yanzhou and Liu Biao of Jingzhou stood on the same line, gongsunzan of Youzhou, Yuanshu of Jingzhou, Sun Jian of Yuzhou and taoqian of Xuzhou stood on the same line. Liu Bei started his army by begging for yellow scarves. Later, he followed gongsunzan. Gongsunzan recommended him to be the Prime Minister of Pingyuan (now Pingyuan County, Shandong Province). Pingyuan belonged to Qingzhou and often served as an assistant to Tian Kai, so it was also in the front line of gongsunzan and Yuanshu.

The two groups began to struggle. On the one hand, Yuanshu and gongsunzan failed. Gongsunzan was defeated when he entered the army to attack Yuan Shao (that is, in the romance of the Three Kingdoms, yuan shaopan fought Gongsun. According to the romance, it seems that there is no great victory or defeat between the two armies, but gongsunzan was defeated). Yuan Shu sent SunJian to attack Liu Biao. Although he defeated him and besieged Xiangyang, Sun Jian was too rash in his use of troops. He was shot and killed by Liu Biao’s Sergeant because he left alone. Liu Biao marched to cut off Yuan Shu’s grain road. It happened in the four years of Emperor Xian of Han Dynasty. The year before, gongsunzan had already mobilized Liu Bei and taoqian to invade the north and west of the mountain to force Yuan Shao. Defeat Yuan Shao and Cao Cao. At this point, Yuan Shu led his troops to Chen Liu in Eastern Henan, who was defeated by Cao Cao. Yuan Shu fled to Jiujiang. Jiujiang County in Han Dynasty is now Shouxian County in Anhui Province, which is also the seat of Yangzhou governor. After escaping to Jiujiang, Yuan Shu killed the governor of Yangzhou and occupied the land. Although Shouchun is an important city in the southeast, its potential is far from the north. At this time, taoqian launched a large army to attack Cao Cao. He joined forces with que Xuan, a local self proclaimed emperor in xiapi (now in Pixian County, Jiangsu Province), and captured Tai’an and Fei counties in Shandong Province, advancing into Jining.

In the autumn of that year, Cao Cao attacked taoqian and destroyed more than a dozen cities. In the summer of next year, we will continue to attack until we reach the eastern boundary of Xuzhou. Cao Cao’s attack on Tao Qian, the book of the later Han Dynasty and the annals of the Three Kingdoms all said that he wanted to avenge his father. This sentence is not true.

Cao Cao’s father, Cao song, was born in Qiao County, peiguo. Qiao County in Han Dynasty is now Bo County in Anhui Province. The circumstances of his murder: the annals of the Three Kingdoms · the chronicle of emperor Wei Wu said: “Dong Zhuo took refuge in Langya during the rebellion and was killed by Tao Qian.” The biography of Tao Qian in the later Han Dynasty says that he took refuge in Langya. Some of Tao Qian’s other generals (those who left the main general and stationed a troop outside with their own troops, called other generals) guarded Yin and Ping. Soldiers greedy for his treasures and killed him. These two theories must complement each other before they feel complete. Langya, where Cao song took refuge, should be Langya Mountain in the southeast of Zhucheng County, Shandong Province (there was Langya County in the later Han Dynasty, in the north of Linyi County, Shandong Province today). Bo county was not affected by Dong Zhuo’s rebellion. Cao song wanted to take refuge because Cao Cao set up an army to fight against DongZhuo. This is to avoid people’s eyes and ears, not to avoid the war, so we should hide in the mountains. Yinping County in the Han Dynasty was located in the northwest of Shuyang County in Jiangsu Province. It was quite close to Langya Mountain, so the soldiers guarding Yinping would kill Cao song. The book of the later Han Dynasty did not tell the reason why Cao song sought refuge. The annals of the Three Kingdoms did not specify the name of the person who killed Cao song. So I said: the two should complement each other before I feel complete. As for the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, it is from the “world language” cited in the “annals of the Three Kingdoms”. The “world language” says that Cao song was killed between Taishan and Huaxian. Taishan County in the Han Dynasty is now Tai’an County in Shandong Province, and Huaxian county is Fei County. Tao Qian once captured his land, so it is untrustworthy to make such a false statement. However, Cao song was killed by the soldiers of Tao Qian’s Ministry.

As a general, he has the responsibility to restrain his subordinates, but only until he is restrained. It is also unreasonable for the generals to be held responsible for murders committed by soldiers of the Ministry of foreign affairs, except for lax restraint. Therefore, there is not enough reason for Cao Cao to claim revenge on taoqian because Cao song was killed. However, it’s just an excuse to learn from the unknown. It can be seen that all those who used the army at that time, in terms of their reality, did not intend to expand their territory.

Cao Cao’s use of troops this time was quite brutal. The annals of the Three Kingdoms said that he had “killed too many people”. This is not like what Cao Cao did. At about this time, Cao Cao’s troops were mainly composed of Qingzhou yellow scarves. He is a robber, so it is difficult to restrain him. However, their combat effectiveness was quite strong, so Yuan Shu, Liu Bei and Tao Qian were not their enemies. If he had annexed Xuzhou, Cao Cao would have occupied two prefectures with one man, and the situation would be even stronger. Suddenly a Lv Bu sprang up.

After Lu Bu escaped from Chang’an, he went to Yuan Shu. Yuan Shu was perfunctory. The army under Lv Bu was very undisciplined and specialized in looting. Yuan Shu had some difficulty in accommodating him. Feeling uneasy, Lu Bu fled to Wuzhi County, Henan Province, and went to rely on Hanoi Prefecture governor Zhang Yang. At this time, Chang’an hung a reward to arrest Lu Bu. Lv Bu was afraid that Zhang Yang’s men would plot against him, so he fled to Yuan Shao and helped Yuan Shao attack Zhang Yan, a robber in Changshan. Lv Bu’s martial arts are quite excellent. His army was also very sophisticated, and the horse team was particularly effective.

The war between the two armies described in Pinghua is mostly about fighting between generals, but it seems that there is little relationship between fighting between soldiers. This is certainly not true. However, the generals will fight with each other, while the rest of the soldiers will not move. It happened occasionally in the previous generation. However, unlike what is said in Pinghua, it is only an element for deciding the outcome. For example, the legend of Lu Bu in the annals of the Three Kingdoms cites the story of heroes, saying that when Li Xi and Guo Si attacked Chang’an, Guo Si was in the north of the city. Lu Bu opened the door to meet the enemy and said to Guo Si, “we can make an appointment to withdraw our troops and fight for the victory.” Guosi listened to his words and was stabbed by Lv Bu with a spear. Guosi’s soldiers came to rescue him. Each of them withdrew. This is an example of a duel between the two. This is about a game left over from the small scale of ancient wars. Lu Bu can stab Guo Si, which shows that his martial arts are really superior to Guo Si. The courage of such individuals is certainly not the only condition for deciding the outcome of a war. However, the Lord’s ability to attack the enemy is enough to arouse the soldiers’ courage.

The biography of Lu Bu in the annals of the Three Kingdoms said that he had a good horse and was called a red rabbit. When attacking Zhang Yan, he often fought with his close generals, so he had to break Zhang Yan’s soldiers. According to the biography of Cao Ji, there was an oral saying at that time that “there is Lu Bu among people and a red rabbit among horses”. Later, when Lu Bu was captured by Cao Cao, he said to Cao Cao, “there are no more people you fear than me. Now I have served you. If you bring infantry and I bring horsemen, the world is uncertain.” As a prisoner, he can still say these words. It can be seen that his horse team is really strong and not empty words. Cao Cao’s soldiers in Qingzhou, who had been spared by taoqian, Yuanshu and Liu Bei for a long time and gathered in Wuhe (according to the biography of the Three Kingdoms, when Liu Bei left Tiankai to return to taoqian, there were only more than 1000 soldiers. In addition, there were miscellaneous horsemen and some hungry people). Although they were surplus, they really met a powerful enemy when they became Lv Bu’s soldiers. However, throughout his life, Lu Bu also suffered from the army’s lack of discipline. Therefore, he could not stand his ground in yuanshao. When I wanted to go to Zhang Yang again, I passed by Chen Liu, but I had good luck for a while.

Zhang Miao, the governor of Chen Liu, was the most friendly person with Cao Cao. Cao Cao’s uprising soldiers attacked DongZhuo, and Zhang Miao was the first to sponsor him. At this time, Cao Cao made an eastern expedition to Xuzhou and said to his family: “if I die and don’t come back, you can rely on Zhang Miao.” His friendship is so deep. Chen Gong was also a confidant of Cao Cao. Cao Cao was originally a prefect of Dongjun county. At this time, taoqian was in the eastern expedition, but Chen Gong stayed in the eastern county. It is known that he is a trusted follower. Somehow, the two turned against Cao Cao.

The romance of the Three Kingdoms says that Cao Cao tried to stab Dong Zhuo to death on the pretext of offering a treasured knife, but he failed, and escaped in vain. DongZhuo wrote to arrest him everywhere. At this time, Chen Gong was a county magistrate. Cao Cao got it on the road. Chen Gong asked him secretly. He knew his intention and felt his loyalty. He abandoned his official position and fled with him. I passed by the house of Lu boshe, Cao Cao’s old friend, and went to lodge with him. Bo she treated her family with hospitality. She went out to buy wine and ordered her family to prepare food. Cao Cao was guilty. Hearing the sound of sharpening his knife from the kitchen, he suspected that he had a bad heart. After listening again, I heard the inside say, “can you tie it up and kill it?” Cao Cao said, “yes.” He drew his sword with the Chen palace and killed LV Bohe’s family. He went straight to the kitchen and saw a pig tied up. Chen Gong said, “Meng De is so kind that he kills good people by mistake.” They had to set off in a hurry. When Lu Bo came back from buying wine, Cao Cao killed him again. Chen Gong was terrified. Cao Cao said, “I would rather lose the world than make the world lose me.” Hearing the speech, Chen Gong hated Cao Cao’s cruel hand. After Cao Cao was asleep, he wanted to kill him. On second thought, this was not the case, so he abandoned Cao Cao and left. This is the words of the romance.

After DongZhuo was abolished, Cao Cao changed his name and returned to the East, but not because he offered a knife to assassinate. Wang Yun and Lv Bu conspired to kill DongZhuo, but they could not stop Li Pei and Guo Si from rebelling, resulting in the fall of Chang’an. What will happen if a single Dong Zhuo is stabbed to death? Cao Cao passed by Zhongmou county (now Zhongmou County in Henan Province). He was suspected by the pavilion chief and was captured and sent to the county. Some people who knew him released him. This is also true. However, the county magistrate is not Chen Gong.

When Cao Cao passed Chenggao (now Sishui County, Henan Province), he went to his old friend Lu boshe’s house and killed his family. This can be seen in the notes of the annals of the Three Kingdoms, citing the book of Wei, the world language and Sun Sheng’s miscellany. The book of Wei said that Cao Cao rode to LV boshe’s house with his number, but boshe was not there. His son wanted to rob Cao Cao’s horses and luggage with guests (those who had no kinship, were not friends, and were called guests. Those who were like door guests, and those who were like old men in Shanghai who supported a few white men could be called guests). “Cao Cao killed several people with his sword.” The language of the world said that Bo she was absent, and his five sons entertained Cao Cao. Cao Cao “suspected that he wanted to kill himself, and killed eight people with his sword at night”. “Miscellaneous notes” said that Cao Cao “heard the sound of his food utensils, thought it was for himself, so he killed them at night. Then he said sadly: it is better for me to bear others, but no one should bear me. So he went ahead”. The truth of the matter is unknown. However, Cao Cao used to have some martial arts (the annals of the Three Kingdoms · the chronicle of Emperor Wu of Wei cited Sun Sheng’s miscellaneous words: Cao Cao “once privately entered the middle school and often served Zhang rang’s room. He felt that he was dancing with halberds in the court and went out over the wall”). The Han Dynasty was close to the Warring States period, and the road before the Warring States period was not very peaceful. People who walk in groups should defend themselves with weapons. It is not surprising that people at home often recruit disciples to do things like robbing their homes or customers in the past. It is reasonable for Cao Cao to kill Lu boshe’s family because he suspects them, or for Lu boshe’s son to be killed by Cao Cao if he wants to rob Cao Cao. But there is no Chen palace.

The legend of Lu Bu in the annals of the Three Kingdoms quotes the story of heroes, saying that after the Chen palace returned to Lu Bu, Lu Bu’s Department secretly led haomeng to revolt against Yuan Shu, and Chen Palace also conspired with him. Lu Bu, as a great general, did not ask. Chen Gong seems to be a man who has repeatedly lost faith. But it is difficult to believe all the words of heroes.

As for Zhang Miao, the annals of the Three Kingdoms said that because Yuan Shao was at odds with him, he asked Cao Cao to kill him, but Cao Cao didn’t listen. Zhang Miao was afraid that Cao Cao would eventually listen to Yuan Shao, so he went against Chen Gong. This is not reasonable.

In a word, there are many things in history, the inside story of which is unknown. This is because the inside story is by no means known to outsiders, while the people in the bureau are in the Bureau and refuse to announce the truth. Unless something is too obvious and complete, it can be used to measure its inside story. In addition, it has to be put into doubt. Why did Chen Gong and Zhang Miao betray Cao Cao? It seems that they have to put it into doubt. However, this was indeed an important page in the history of the eastern war of that day.

In the summer of the fifth year of Emperor Xian of the Han Dynasty, Cao Cao made an eastern expedition to Xuzhou. Zhang Miao and Chen Gong rebelled against Lv Bu. Yanzhou prefectures and counties responded everywhere. The headquarters behind Cao Cao was presided over by Gou Yu and Cheng Yu. Only juancheng (in puyangdong, Henan Province) was conservative. In addition, only fan (today’s fan County in Henan Province) and Dong’e (today’s a town in Yanggu County, Shandong Province) are firmly entrenched. This was indeed a critical moment for the survival of Cao Cao. If its base camp is broken by Lu Bu; Or Cao Cao was saved, and his main force was crushed by Lu Bu; If Xuzhou is not won, Yanzhou will be lost first, and Cao Cao will have no foothold. Fortunately, the three counties were firmly guarded, and Cao Cao’s troops in the eastern expedition were still strong, but he was in a hurry to save them. At this time, Lu Bu stationed troops in Puyang. According to the annals of the Three Kingdoms – Emperor Wudi of Wei, Cao Cao said: “once Lu Bu won a state, he could not take the road of Dongping (Hanjun, now Dongping County, Shandong Province), cutting off Taishan and Kangfu (now the south of Jining County, Shandong Province), and take the danger to me. But he was stationed in Puyang. I knew he was powerless.” So he entered the army and attacked it. This is also a postscript to the meeting. Lu Bu’s army is quite elite. He probably wanted to entice Cao Cao’s soldiers to break his main force at one stroke, so he refused to defend the danger. Sure enough, during the war, Lu Bu first attacked the Qingzhou soldiers with cavalry. When the Qingzhou soldiers shook, Cao Cao’s formation became chaotic and was defeated by Lv Bu. This is the battle of Wenhou defeating Cao Cao in Puyang City, which is in full swing in the romance. However, Cao Cao, who is strong in troops and good at using them, will never be defeated. So they stopped and entered again. The stalemate lasted for more than a hundred days. In this year, locusts rose, and Guyi Dendrobium sold for more than half a million dollars. In the Han Dynasty, one Dendrobium was equivalent to the current two Dou. When the grain was cheap, one Dendrobium only sold for 30 copper coins. Now it sells for more than half a million dollars, an increase of 20000 times. Can the army support the lack of material? Cao Cao had to discharge some of his soldiers. Lu Bu had to move to Shanyang (Hanjun, now Jinxiang County, Shandong Province). In this way, Lu Bu’s offensive was frustrated and lasted for a long time, which naturally benefited Cao Cao. Next year, Lu Bu will be defeated by Cao Cao. At this time, Tao Qian is dead. Liubeichu and Tiankai saved taoqian together, so he left Tiankai to return to taoqian and stationed in Xiaopei (now Pei County, Jiangsu Province). When taoqian died, he ordered him not to drive Mi Zhu to meet Liu Bei as a state shepherd. Liu Bei then took possession of Xuzhou. Lu Bu was defeated by Cao Cao and went to Liu Bei. Liu Bei also took him in.

Liu Bei’s talent and strategy are naturally different from Tao Qian’s. If he had been in Xuzhou for a long time, he might not have been able to send troops to attack Cao Cao, but he would also be a strong enemy of Cao Cao. Because his old troops and those of Xuzhou are too bad. When he got Xuzhou, Yuan Shu attacked again. Yuan Shu was originally on the same front with Liu Bei, so he should join forces with Liu Bei to attack Cao Cao. He was greedy for territory and attacked Liu Bei instead. Liu Bei was in a stalemate with him, and Lu Bu took advantage of the weakness to attack him. Liu Bei was beset by the enemy, so he had to flee to Yangzhou and send people to seek peace in Lvbu. Lu Bu also wanted to keep Liu Bei to resist Yuan Shu, so he asked him to return Xiaopei. As a result, the triangular stalemate between Liu Bei, Lu Bu and Yuan Shu in Xuzhou and Yangzhou was not enough for Cao Cao, so Cao Cao was able to divide his troops to meet the emperor in the West.

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