In the battle of Changping in the state of Qin and Zhao, why was Bai Qi able to kill 400,000 soldiers of the Zhao army?

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In 260 BC, a protracted battle broke out between Qin and Zhao in Changping (now northwest of Gaoping City, Jincheng, Shanxi) in Zhao State. The war lasted for three years, and finally ended with the victory of the Qin State. In this battle, the Qin army killed 400,000 Zhao troops. Bai Qi was therefore called “human slaughter”. This battle was also his battle of conferring gods.

For a long time, people have deeply doubted the killing of 400,000 people in the Battle of Changping. The point of questioning is that Zhao Jun’s prisoners are all fools? When the Qin army raised the butcher’s knife to them, there was no resistance at all. How did the Qin army do it? There is also suspicion of massacres, as there are no statistics on the populations of the countries in the 3rd century BC.

At present, there is a preliminary consensus among historians that the total population of the Qin State and the Six Eastern States is about 40 million, of which the Qin State is about 5 million and the Zhao State is 4 million. After a war, only 400,000 people were killed, and they were still young adults. It sounds appalling.

According to Sima Qian’s “Baiqi Wang Jian Biography” and “Lian Po Lin Xiangru Biography”, the Qin army successively executed (including pit killings) a total of 450,000 people in the Battle of Changping, “including the defeat of the army, hundreds of thousands of people Then they surrendered to Qin, and Qin killed them. 450,000 people died before and after Zhao.” Fortunately, after more than 2,000 years, archaeologists finally got the truth that the Qin army killed 400,000 Zhao soldiers.

One day in May 1995, in Yonglu Village, Yonglu Township, Gaoping City, in the southeastern part of Shanxi Province, villagers Li Zhuhe and Li Youjin and their son, as usual, were digging the land at the foot of Yangjia Mountain, Jiangjunling, at the western foot of Hanwang Mountain. However, this time they accidentally dug out human bones, and they dug more and more.

In the past, Li Zhuhe often heard about the discovery of cultural relics around, and many people dug out knives and arrows from their crops. After discovering a large number of corpses, Li Zhuhe’s first thought was to report it quickly. With the arrows they dug out, they found the cultural relics department of Gaoping City, and one stone caused a thousand waves.

After the news spread, archaeologists rushed to the scene immediately, and the excavation and protection work began immediately. As the excavation area continued to expand, everyone was stunned. The bones in the pit were stacked on top of each other, some on their backs, some on their sides, and some with their skulls and torso separated. Not only that, there are obvious wounds caused by blunt weapons, bladed weapons, stones, and fire on the bones, and the scene is shocking.

In the corpse pit, archaeologists also found a lot of coins, arrowheads, iron belt hooks on clothes, etc. Obviously, this is the site of Baiqikeng killing Zhao Jun. After some research, the experts finally got the truth that the Qin army killed 400,000 troops. These Zhao troops were not killed together, they were probably killed separately and then buried here.

In addition, judging by the scars on the bones, many people were killed in battle. Therefore, killing 400,000 people throughout the war. At that time, the Qin State implemented the military merit system implemented by Shang Yang, that is, the number of beheaded enemy heads was used as the standard for evaluating rewards and punishments. Thirteen or more, if you have more than 13 heads, you will be awarded the title of one hundred generals and the chief of the colony. If you can besiege a city and besieged a city and behead 8,000 people, you will be considered a winner; if you can behead 2,000 in the field, you will be considered a winner. Reward.”

In Yonglu Village, a large number of separated corpses and torso without heads were found, which also proved the cruelty of Shang Yang’s reforms. In fact, in the ancient battlefield of the Battle of Changping, corpses were often exposed after heavy rains for hundreds of years in later generations, and even historical records left records of “a thousand steps exposed, three feet of blood, and the place named Shagu”.

References: “Baiqi Wang Jian Biography”, “The Battle of Changping Ancient Battlefield”

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