Li Shimin in the Historical Transition!

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Author: Wen Boling Source: Fireworks World of Wen Boling (ID: wenboling2020)


Today we’ll talk about Li Shimin.

Li Shimin is really important to the Tang Dynasty. To some extent, Li Shimin saved the fate of the Tang Dynasty in the early days of its entrepreneurship, and after the Xuanwu Gate coup, he raised the ceiling of the national fortunes of the Tang Dynasty with his own efforts to prevent the Tang Dynasty from becoming a replica of the Northern Song Dynasty.

However, everything has its source. We will talk about how Li Shimin saved the fate of the Tang Dynasty with the theme of the collapse of Li Yuan’s layout, how Li Shimin turned over, and how to defeat powerful enemies after he took the throne.

The article is too long. The first article will be published today, and the rest will be published tomorrow.

With regard to Li Yuan, we often ignore his role because of his aura. In fact, Li Yuan was the most central figure in the early days of the founding of Datang.

As early as the end of 616, Emperor Yang Guang of the Sui Dynasty appointed Li Yuan to stay in Taiyuan. As a result, Li Yuan became the highest military and political official in Jinzhong. In addition, Li Yuan’s hereditary position as the Duke of the Tang State made him higher than other colleagues.

Li Yuan, who had just been appointed, began to form his own direct team.

Sun Shunde, the leader of Youxun Wei, Liu Hongji, the aide of Youxun Wei, and Dou Cong, the left hand guard, all ran to Taiyuan to escape the invasion of Liaodong and lived in fear. Now Li Yuan, an old colleague, has stayed in Taiyuan. Instantly, they feel that there is hope for life, and they all go to Li Yuan’s command.

Pei Ji, the deputy supervisor of Jinyang Palace, is Li Yuan’s old cousin, and Liu Wenjing, the order of Jinyang, is Pei Ji’s friend. Through this relationship, they also closely unite around Li Yuan.

In addition, the marching armor warrior Another, the former crown prince Zuo Xunwei Tang Xian and his younger brother Tang Jian also wanted to take advantage of the turbulent times and bet on Li Yuan to persuade him to rise up and seize the world as soon as possible, so that they could earn the status of dragon hero.

Li Shimin, however, “devoted himself to corporal, scattered money to settle customers, and won their favor”, and rallied a large number of heroes in the wilderness, so that Liu Wenjing said that Li Shimin was “open-minded, like Han Gao, and had the same kung fu as Wei Zuzong. Although he was young, he was also talented.”

Did you find that Li Yuan and Li Shimin have a clear division of labor.

Li Yuanli used his status as a stay in Taiyuan to attract people, and Li Shimin used his status as a prince of the Tang State to make friends with heroes, both in order to prepare for the war.

The mode of cooperation between father and son was the same as that of Yuan Wei uniting court officials and Yuan Shao making friends with savages in the late Han Dynasty.

In other words, Li Shimin is an important helper for Li Yuan to set up a direct team, and Li Shimin is an important member of Li Yuan’s direct team.

In this group, Li Shimin, who contributed money and effort, has shares, while Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji, who are far away from Hedong, did not participate in the formation of the group. They should later be cadres, not shareholders.

What does Li Yuan want to do to form a direct team?

Fight the world and sit on the land.

From a distance, the Han Dynasty was usurped by the Cao family for four hundred years. In a few decades, the Han family changed its name to Sima, followed by Liu Yu, Xiao Daocheng, Xiao Yan and Chen Baxian in the south, Tuobatao, Gao Huan and Yu Wentai in the north, and finally fell into the hands of Yang Jian.

Closer to the point, Liu Wuzhou, depending on the Turks, dominates northern Shanxi. Lin Shihong started in Yuzhang. Xue Ju in western Gansu claimed that the overlord of the Western Qin Dynasty was supporting 300 thousand soldiers. Zhai Rang and Li Mi crisscrossed Henan, and Dou Jiande was in Hebei.

From a vertical or horizontal perspective, the four hundred years of chaos has not ended. With the change of the King’s Flag at the city head and your singing, the word “emperor” has no divinity, and those who are strong and strong can do it.

Even in terms of the qualification to be an emperor, Yang Zhong, the Duke of Sui, was just a great general of the Western Wei Dynasty. Li Hu, the Duke of Tang, was one of the “Eight Pillars”, and was on a par with Yang Zhong’s superior, Dugu Aotian.

The descendants of Yang Zhong, the Duke of the Sui State, can sit down in the beautiful mountains and rivers, while the descendants of Li Hu, the Duke of the Tang State, can’t sit down?

There is no such reason.

So in June 617, Li Yuan launched an army against the Sui Dynasty.

Li Yuan calls himself a great general and appoints Pei Ji as his envoy, Liu Wenjing as his Sima, Samurai Yang as his armor Cao, Liu Zhenghui and Zhang Daoyuan as his household Cao, Yin Kaishan as his official, Wen Daya and Wen Dayou as their brothers, and Chang Sun Shunde, Liu Hongji, Wang Changxie and Dou Cong as their uniformed troops.

At the same time, Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji from Hedong were recalled, and Li Jiancheng was appointed as the Duke of Longxi and the Left Leading General, Li Shimin as the Duke of Dunhuang and the Right Leading General, and Li Yuanji as the Duke of Guzang and Taiyuan.

A total of 30000 soldiers and horses went south along the Fen River and rushed to empty Chang’an.

This list actually shows Li Yuan’s entrepreneurial ideas, or Li Yuan’s layout——

Li Jiancheng, Li Shimin, and Li Yuanji, as the sons of Li Yuan, have continued the tradition of “prince’s military code” since the Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties. They are in charge of the army or the local government on behalf of Li Yuan. Four hundred years ago, Cao Cao’s idea of reusing Cao and Xia Hou, Sima Yan’s enfeoffment of kings, and Murong Jue’s idea of reusing Murong Ke, Murong Chui, and Yang Jian’s idea of ordering the four sons to guard the four sides were the same.

As entrepreneurs, Pei Ji and other people with foreign names closely united around Li Yuan to help him deal with military and political affairs in the center.

In this way, the entrepreneurial heroes of the Central Committee and the sons of Dian Bing check and balance each other. If they have something to do and share, no one will stop. Finally, everyone will follow Li Yuan’s lead.

Even Li Shimin, the entrepreneurial shareholder, has more opportunities to fight and make contributions, and his actual status is no higher than Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji.

The essence of politics is checks and balances. In fact, Li Yuan’s layout is still the old saying. People build princes with less power.

On the way to Guanzhong, Li Shimin once killed “two swords are short and full of blood”, while Li Yuan recruited rebels all the way, bringing Jiang County’s general guard Chen Shuda and Hedong County’s household Cao Renhuan under his command.

After entering the Central Shaanxi Plain, Wang Jungu, Li Mi’s subordinate, He Panren, and Li Zhongwen, the leaders of the rebel army in the Central Shaanxi Plain, were attached to Li Yuan, Li Shentong, Li’s eldest daughter, and Duan Lun, his son-in-law, joined forces with Li Yuan, and several prefectures, including Chen Guogong Dou and Lingwu, were attached to Li Yuan.

The arrival of these people not only strengthened Li Yuan’s army and territory, but also expanded his direct team.

In May 618, Emperor Sui Gong ascended the throne and established the Tang Dynasty.

In June, Li Yuan appointed Li Shimin as the minister’s order, Pei Ji as the minister’s right servant, Liu Wenjing as Nayan, Yin Kaishan as the minister of the official department, Chen Shuda as the minister of Huangmen, Xiao Yu as the internal historian’s order, etc. Other meritorious officials were also appointed.

In the same month, Li Yuanfeng appointed Li Jiancheng as the crown prince, Li Shimin as the King of Qin, Li Yuanji as the King of Qi, and Li Shentong, Li Baiju and other nine princes, totaling 12 kings. Then Li Shimin, the King of Qin, was appointed as the Taiwei, and Daxingtai, Shandong Road, to control the troops and horses in Puzhou and Hebei, and Li Xiaoji, the King of Yong’an, was appointed as the governor of Shanzhou, Li Yuan, the King of Lujiang, as the governor of Xinzhou, and Li Shentong, the King of Huai’an, as the pacification ambassador of Shandong Road, to control the attached troops in Henan.

I never tire of talking about Li Yuan’s appointment of personnel, which means:

After the establishment of the Tang Dynasty, Li Yuan continued the layout of Taiyuan when it started the army, that is, the Emperor Zong led the army to fight or pacify the local area. Foreign heroes either stayed in the center to handle military and political affairs or served under the Emperor Zong.

After his meritorious service, the emperor and his meritorious officials checked and balanced each other, the emperor and his meritorious officials checked and balanced each other, and Li Yuan ruled in the Tai Chi Palace. The Tang Dynasty would be prosperous.

These emperors and meritorious officials, in the final analysis, are the basic foundation of Li Yuan.

According to the political tradition of the Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties, Li Yuan’s layout is very reasonable. The successful experience of the previous four hundred years has given Li Yuan great confidence in this political line.

But how can the course of history be as you wish.

After repeating the four hundred year historical process, at the end of the Sui Dynasty and the beginning of the Tang Dynasty, a 90 degree turn suddenly occurred, completely breaking the layout of Li Yuan.

This was unexpected to Li Yuan.


In April 619, Liu Wuzhou of northern Shanxi combined with the Turkic cavalry to attack Taiyuan. Liu Wu made great progress on Monday, and the Tang army was defeated in successive battles. When Liu Wuzhou came to the city, Li Yuanji, who was guarding Taiyuan, lied to Sima and Liu Dewei, saying:

“You use the old and weak to defend the city, and I will take the elite out of the city for field operations.”

As a result, Li Yuanji did not turn back after leaving the city, but went straight to Chang’an. Later, Liu Wuzhou sent Song Jingang to attack Jinzhou, defeating Liu Hongji, the general of Youxiaowei, and capturing Liu Zhenghui, the guard captain.

At this time, Li Shimin is not the leader of the fire fighting team of the Tang Dynasty, and Li Yuan is not prepared to use one person to lead the fight.

So Li Yuan appointed Pei Ji as the general manager of the Jinzhou Road march, responsible for the crusade against Liu Wuzhou and the recovery of Shanxi.

However, Pei Ji’s military ability was too poor. When he led the troops to Jiexiu, Song Jingang cut off the water, which led to the annihilation of the whole Tang army. Pei Ji ran back to Jinzhou one day and one night.

So far, the whole Shanxi region was occupied, and Liu Wuzhou directed his troops to Chang’an.

In the same period, Wang Shichong, based on Luoyang, either appeased or attacked, and opened up the situation in Henan. It is said in history that “all the places in Henan were in Shichong at that time.”

Dou Jiande also captured Li Shentong and Li Shiji, the Huai’an kings, and connected with Wang Shichong’s territory.

For the Tang Dynasty, which established its capital Chang’an, this situation means that Chang’an, the capital of the country, is always under the threat of the enemy troops from the north, northeast and west. They may enter the Central Shaanxi Pass and destroy Li Yuan at any time.

Geographically, this is a big taboo.

For Li Yuan personally, the failure of Li Yuanji, who guarded Shanxi, Li Shentong, who pacified Shandong, and Pei Jidu, who recovered Shanxi, meant that the political line of Emperor Zongwang’s leadership was frustrated.

However, the double failure in politics and military means that Li Yuan’s layout in Taiyuan was completely collapsed.

By analogy with modern history, the collapse of Li Yuan’s layout is similar to the failure of the Red Army in its fifth counter campaign against encirclement and suppression.


When a boxer is fighting in the ring, he will instinctively curl up to protect the key parts in case of periodic failure. When businessmen encounter setbacks, they instinctively sell off non-performing assets and collect funds to make a comeback.

So the Red Army started the Long March, and Li Yuan, who was planning to abandon Kanto, gave an edict to his officials: “It is difficult to compete with thieves because they are so powerful. It is better to abandon the east of the river and guard the west of Kanto.”

Li Yuan felt that under the fierce attack of Liu Wuzhou, Dou Jiande and Wang Shichong, the Yellow River and the place to the east of Hangu Pass had become the non-performing assets of Datang. He was ready to give up these non-performing assets temporarily, recall officials and troops to Guanzhong, rest for a period of time, and then go out of Hangu Pass to compete for the world.

This is the conservative strategy used by both Qin and Han Gaozu. Li Yuan can use it again without shame.

However, Li Shimin disagreed with Li Yuan and requested to recover the lost land:

“Taiyuan is the foundation of the king’s industry and the foundation of the country. Hedong is rich and the capital of the capital city is rich. If you give it up, your officials will steal and resent it. If you wish to fake 30000 officials and soldiers, you will hope to eliminate Wu Zhou and defeat Fen Jin.”

A year ago, Li Shimin defeated Xue Renguo in the First World War in Qianshuihuan, showing extremely high military quality, in sharp contrast to Li Yuanji and Li Shentong. Now Li Shimin asks to send troops to recover the lost territory. Maybe Li Yuan thinks that if he can succeed, he might as well try again.

So Li Yuan “learned to send soldiers in the Central Shaanxi Plain to benefit the people” and went to the Changchun Palace in Huayin County to practice for Li Shimin.

It is not an honor to learn about the soldiers in Guanzhong Pass. It is a solemn and stirring gamble on all the capital. Sending a son to fight against a powerful enemy is not filial piety, but a parting in life and death without knowing whether to meet again.

This is the most humane picture of Li Yuan and Li Shimin, but it is also the last tenderness of father and son.

Li Shimin is about to launch three battles to put himself on the top. With Li Shimin’s full wings, he will hold the Zunyi Conference of the Tang Dynasty. Li Yuan will lose his obedient son and welcome the most powerful political enemy in his life.

Next, let’s witness the supreme demeanor of Li Shimin, King of Qin.


The sentence describing Li Shimin’s departure from the army in the New Book of the Tang Dynasty Taizong Script is very concise:

“In November, I left Longmen Pass and settled in Baibi. In April of three years, I defeated Song Jingang in Baibi. King Kong went to Jiezhou and Taizong followed him. He drove 200 miles a day and night and stayed in the west of Bird Mouse Valley. Soldiers were hungry, and Taizong did not eat. Two days later, when he came to Haozhou, he got food, while King Kong’s generals, Yuchi Jingde, and Xunye, all came to surrender. Liu Wu was afraid of Zhou and ran to Turks. In July, he begged Wang Shichong and was defeated by Beimang. In February of four years, Dou Jiande led 100000 troops to help the world Chong, Taizong was defeated and built his virtue in the tiger prison. If he held on to it, Shichong would surrender. In June, it was a triumph. “

I counted 131 words.

This is the problem of ancient literati writing history. They don’t write the process, don’t draw a map, and only write the results. It gives people a feeling that Li Shimin won when he was a direct A in the past.

In fact, the three battles Li Shimin fought were very complicated and wonderful, otherwise they would not be worthy of the evaluation that “since ancient times, there has been no one to the right of Li Shimin”.

Next, I try to use simple words and maps to revive Li Shimin’s three major battles.

In November 619, Li Shimin led 30,000 soldiers and horses to enter Shanxi through Longmen Pass and stationed in Baibi.

However, Li Yuan is not an excellent logistics minister, and Li Shimin was sent to the war but did not prepare food. As a result, Li Shimin was “starved of food in the army” after arriving at Baibi, while Liu Wuzhou and Song Jingang were clearing the countryside in Shanxi, and there was not a grain of food between urban and rural areas.

The most critical factor for Li Shimin to win a hundred battles is to fight with the enemy for food consumption. Without food, Li Shimin cannot win a battle.

So Li Shimin issued the order of King Qin to let the people of Shanxi know that it was King Qin Li Shimin who led the army this time, and those who supported the Tang Dynasty came to surrender.

Two years ago, Li Yuan captured Chang’an along the Fenhe River. Li Shimin fought bloody battles all the way, leaving a very deep impression on the people of Shanxi. Now I hear that Li Shimin has returned, so I immediately unite with him, “from far to near, and more and more people will come, and later they will gradually harvest their food to feed the army.”

This is the prestige brought by fighting in person. If other people come, who do the people of Shanxi know about you? Even if you are given food, can you guarantee to win?

However, Li Shimin’s achievements and prestige have given Shanxi people confidence.

With food, Li Shimin has confidence and is stationed in Baibi to confront Song Jingang. But at the same time, Li Shimin was not idle. It can be said that a series of actions beyond the military confrontation is the key to Li Shimin’s victory over the enemy.

First of all, Li Shimin often led his cavalry to scout the enemy camp.

This kind of thing is very dangerous. Once the enemy troops were encountered, the scout cavalry ran away, and Li Shimin had only one cavalry with him. At night, they were so tired that they fell asleep on a mountain.

In the winter of Shanxi, the night was more than ten degrees below zero, and it was still on the mountain with cold wind whistling. It can be imagined how tired Li Shimin was.

When they woke up, they rode back to the camp. As a result, the enemy troops were nearby. If other people were involved, they would almost tell them to be here. Thanks to Li Shimin’s excellent archery, he shot the enemy general with a big feather arrow, which made it possible to capture the thief first and drive the enemy back to the camp smoothly.

The teacher said that investigation is to solve problems.

Li Shimin has mastered a lot of first-hand information through countless reconnaissance of the enemy camp. The situation of both sides forms a map in his mind, which can accurately judge the enemy’s movement at any time and how the Tang army should respond.

In all previous wars, Li Shimin often predicted the enemy’s prediction, and this is the fundamental reason.

Secondly, Li Shimin opened up a second battlefield outside of Baibi.

Yuchi Jingde and Xunxiang defeated Li Xiaoji, the king of Yong’an, in Xia County, and were ready to return to the army. Li Shimin got the news and sent Yin Kaishan and Qin Shubao to Meiliangchuan, south of Wenxi, to intercept. They were ready to fight but not prepared. In the first battle, they beheaded more than 2000 levels.

When Li Shimin takes a blood, Yuchi Jingde and Xunchuan prepare to unite with General Wang Xingben of the Sui Dynasty to garrison in Puzhou, breaking Li Shimin’s retreat.

Li Shimin can suffer this loss?

So Li Shimin put down his army and ran to Anyi with three thousand cavalry. “After breaking through the war, he learned to capture the people and returned to the Baibi”. Yuchi Jingde and Xunchuan were only spared.

So far, Song Jingang’s southward invasion was completely stopped, and Li Shimin finally stabilized the Tang army’s front.

On the northern front of the battlefield, Zhang Lun, the general manager of the march, defeated Liu Wuzhou in Fenzhou, and then joined forces with Li Zhongwen to conquer Shizhou, firmly controlling the western Shanxi region, as a partial force to support Li Shimin.

In this way, Zhang Lun and Li Zhongwen of the north line, together with Li Shimin of the south line, formed a strategic situation of attacking Song Jingang from north to south.

Li Shimin is a man with special strategic determination. He said that he would fight a long war if he wanted to fight a long war. No matter what his generals said, they would not be moved. The two armies confronted each other in Baibi for five months. In April 620, Song Jingang’s army ran out of food and began to retreat north.

After hearing that Song Jingang retreated, Li Shimin moved, and then attacked like thunder and lightning.

Li Shimin commanded 30000 troops to catch up with Xunchang in Huoyi. “Breaking through, he traveled more than 200 miles a day and night, and fought dozens of battles”. He caught up with Song Jingang in Querat Valley in the southwest of Jiexiu. “Breaking through eight battles a day, he captured and killed tens of thousands of people.” Then Song Jingang fled to Jiexiu, and Li Shimin continued to chase after him. The two armies spread their lines outside the city.

Li Shimin reconnoitered again and tried to get around Song Jingang’s army. He was unprepared and beheaded more than 3000 people. After the war, Li Shimin recruited Yuchi Jingde.

Song Jingang was defeated and Li Shimin was victorious in the Battle of Baibi. Five months of boring confrontation, only for half a month of wonderful bloom.

Hearing that Song Jingang was defeated, Liu Wuzhou dared not stay in Shanxi, but went to the Turks with his trusted followers, so “all the prefectures and counties in Wu and Zhou entered the Tang Dynasty.”

Li Shimin won cleanly, without any extra moves. He is like a peerless swordsman. If he doesn’t move, he will be dead.

The elegant demeanor of the King of Qin has been fascinating for thousands of years.

And Li Shimin, who recovered Shanxi, officially entered the turning point of history and became the man who changed the trend of history.

Let’s finish the rest tomorrow.

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