The reason for the rapid death of Shuhan: Zhugeliang’s desire for power and lack of experience as his successor

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Baidi city Tuogu

In April of the third year of Zhangwu period (223 AD), Zhugeliang began to govern the government of the Shu and Han Dynasties in the Baidi city of Liubei. In August of the 12th year of Jianxing period (234 AD), he died of illness in the Northern Expedition army for 12 years. During this period, Zhugeliang took charge of the military and political power of Shuhan, implemented the strategic policy of ruling Shu by law at home, united with the eastern Wu and jointly fought against the Cao Wei, and maintained the confrontation between the Shuhan regime and the Wei and Wu. After Zhugeliang’s death, his successors Jiang Wan, Fei Yi, Jiang Wei and others successively took over the military and political power of Shuhan until the first year of Yanxing (AD 263).

Zhugeliang chooses his successor

After Liu Bei’s death, Zhugeliang established his government as prime minister and mastered the military and political power of the Shu Han Dynasty. “There are no big and small political affairs, but it is decided by Liang.”. Zhugeliang’s choice and cultivation of successors directly related to the rise and fall of the Shuhan regime.

Zhugeliang chose his successor mainly because of the selection of talents, while the Shuhan Dynasty was restricted by regional conditions in terms of talents. Shu Han is located in the southwest corner and is short of talents. As Xi qiaochi said, “it is only in the remote and rough part of Shu that there is little access to the country”. The reason for this is that Liu Bei was defeated repeatedly at the beginning of the separatist regime of the late Han Dynasty. He was unable to establish a foundation until the battle of Chibi occupied Jingzhou. Later, he entered Yizhou and captured Hanzhong from Cao Cao, laying the foundation for the regime of Shuhan. However, as early as before the battle of Chibi, all the talents in the Central Plains had almost gone to Cao Cao. The sun brothers in Jiangdong also recruited a considerable number of talents. Liu Bei could appoint only those in Jingzhou and Yizhou except Guan, Zhang and Mi Zhu who had followed him at the beginning of the war. Wang Fuzhi said that “Cao Cao is able to employ people and make full use of their talents. People fight for their return, and the income of Shu is collected for their own use. The people of Jiang, Xiang, Ba and Shu have ears”, which refers to this situation. Later, when Guan Yu lost Jingzhou and Yiling, Liu Bei was defeated, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Ma Liang died, Huang Quan fell to Wei, and wise generals such as Fazheng, Huang Zhong and Ma Chao died. Therefore, the Shuhan regime suffered a serious loss of talents. After Zhugeliang took office, restricted by objective conditions, he did not have much room to choose his successor. The number of talents is small, and the quality is far inferior to that of the Cao Wei and the eastern Wu. “The people of Chu are clear and the people of Shu are impatient. Although they are as popular as Fei Yi and Jiang Wan at that time, those who can be as popular as Zhong Yao, Du Ji, Cui Yan, Chen Qun, Gao Rou, Jia Kui and Chen Jiao will die.”. Although Wang Fuzhi’s comments are exaggerated, they can basically reflect the talent situation of the Shu Han and the Cao Wei dynasties. In addition, Zhugeliang chose his successor. In addition to paying attention to his personal talent and morality, he was consistent with his idea of governing Sichuan in terms of strategy, that is, he took Jingzhou group as the center, united with Dongzhou group, and adopted a two pronged strategy against Yizhou group, that is, to win over and attack.

After Liu Bei occupied Yizhou, there were mainly three factions within his ruling group, namely Jingzhou group, the old Dongzhou group and Yizhou group, in addition to the old followers who followed him at the beginning of the war. Led by Zhugeliang, Jingzhou group mainly includes Jingzhou people who joined the group when Liu Bei was in Jingzhou; The Dongzhou group, led by Fazheng and Li Yan, was the political basis and military guarantee for Liu Yan and Liu Zhang to maintain their rule in Yizhou; Yizhou aboriginal group is composed of local landlords in Yizhou, represented by huangquan. As early as the reign of Liu Yan and his son, the contradiction between the Dongzhou group and the Yizhou group had intensified. According to the legend of Liu Zhang in the annals of the Three Kingdoms, the hero records: “Nanyang and Sanfu people entered tens of thousands of homes in Yizhou and took them as soldiers. They were called Dongzhou soldiers. Zhang was gentle and had no authority. Dongzhou people invaded and raped the old people. Zhang could not be banned. There were many government decrees, and Yizhou was very resentful.” Due to its remote location and inconvenient transportation, Yizhou is relatively backward in politics, economy and culture compared with the Central Plains, even Jingzhou and Jiangdong; Militarily, Yizhou group can not compete with Dongzhou group, and has been in a inferior position.

After Liu Bei entered Yizhou, Dongzhou and Yizhou group had different attitudes towards the new regime. Most of Dongzhou group are Jingzhou people, such as Li Yan, Donghe, Fei Yi, etc. Therefore, Dongzhou group has a regional internal relationship with Jingzhou group, and takes a positive cooperative attitude towards Liubei group, which has a majority of Jingzhou people. The aboriginal landlords in Yizhou have two attitudes towards Liu Bei’s group because they have not formed a unified and powerful group. Some people want to rely on new external forces to overthrow the Dongzhou group and gain a political dominant position; However, a considerable number of people hold strong opposition to the newly established Liu Bei group.

Zhugeliang is the head of Jingzhou group. His employment has an obvious regional tendency. His successors are mainly Jingzhou people in Jingzhou group and Dongzhou group, while Mazhong, Zhang Yi and others in Yizhou group, although they are talented, cannot be reused by Zhugeliang. After the disastrous defeat of Liu Bei’s Yiling mausoleum, Huang Quan was blocked in the north of the river and had no choice but to surrender to Wei, while Mazhong sent 5000 elite soldiers to Liu Bei in time. Liu Bei greatly appreciated Ma Zhong’s talent and sighed: “although Huang Quan died, Hu Du was recovered. There is no shortage of sages in the world.” Liu Bei compares Mazhong to Huang Quan, an outstanding figure of Yizhou group, which shows his outstanding talent. During the reign of the late Lord, after calming the rebellion in nanzhong, Mazhong used political skills instead of military action to govern ethnic minority areas. “Wei and en stand side by side, and the barbarians fear and love them.” a long-term stable situation has emerged in nanzhong. Mazhong showed outstanding political and military talents in the process of governing nanzhong. Although Mazhong also served as the Prime Minister for a short time, he was unable to participate in the central government in the life of Zhugeliang. In sharp contrast to Mazhong, Ma Su of Jingzhou group. Ma Su was born in Xiangyang, a big family. He was “talented and good at military planning”. His brother Ma Liang had an unusual relationship with Zhugeliang. Zhugeliang was also “deeply different” from Ma su. On his deathbed, Liu Bei warned Zhugeliang, “Ma Su overstated the truth and should not be used too much. You should observe it!” However, Zhugeliang “still said that it was not the case, so he took Su as his army.” Ma Su claimed in his letter to Zhugeliang that “the Ming public regarded Su as his son and Su as his father”. Obviously, due to the close relationship between Ma Su and Zhugeliang, Zhugeliang has trained him as his successor. “Every introduction and discussion, from day to night”, which shows his trust in Ma su. In the third year of Jianxing (A.D. 225), Zhugeliang calmed nanzhong, that is, he adopted Ma Su’s suggestion of “attacking the mind, attacking the city, fighting the mind and fighting the army”. As a result, he not only calmed down the rebellion, but also “in the end of Liang Dynasty, the South dare not return to rebellion”. In the sixth year of Jianxing (AD 228), Zhugeliang made his first northern expedition. Contrary to the opinions of the people, he did not appoint Ma Su, who had no actual combat experience, as the vanguard. As a result, Ma Su made a serious strategic mistake, “relying on the southern mountains, but not on the city”. He was “defeated by Zhang Ying, a famous general of the Cao Wei Dynasty”. It should be said that Ma Su had a certain talent. As a military division and staff officer, he was not a general, nor a suitable candidate for Zhugeliang’s successor. However, because of his good relationship with the Ma brothers and despite Liu Bei’s dying exhortation, Zhugeliang blindly trusted Ma Su, which eventually led to the defeat of Jieting and the first northern expedition.

It must be pointed out that although Zhugeliang misused Ma Su, it does not prove that all the Jingzhou group are “flashy” and that no one can be a great leader. In fact, Zhugeliang had a certain strategic vision in training and investigating his successors. He did not place his hopes and responsibilities on Ma Su alone. Moreover, Jingzhou group and Dongzhou group, including Cao Wei’s generals, were full of talented people. Under the constant attention and careful cultivation of Zhugeliang, Jiang Wan, Fei Yi, Jiang Wei and others stood out and emerged on the political and military stage. Before Zhugeliang died, Liu Chan, the empress, did not dare to advocate the appointment of the highest military and political officer of the Shuhan Dynasty. He sent people from Chengdu to Wuzhang former army in Qishan, Shaanxi, to ask Zhugeliang for his opinions. The notes and quotations from the old miscellaneous notes of Yibu in the annals of the Three Kingdoms – Yang xizhuan contain the following records:

Zhugeliang was seriously ill in martial arts. Later, he sent (LI) Fu to save money, so he consulted the national plan. Blessing to have a proclamation, listen to what Liang said. After a few days’ absence, I suddenly thought about what I meant, so I rode to see the light, and the light said: “I know you have returned your meaning. Recently, although I have spoken for many days, I have more to hear. If you ask me, I will do my best.”. Thank you for blessing: “I have failed to consult with you before. If you are a hundred years later, who can take charge of important affairs? So you often return your ears. After Jiang Wan, who can take charge?” Liang said, “Wen Wei can succeed.” He asked again, but did not answer. The blessing is returned, and the decree is given by the envoy.

After Zhugeliang’s death, Liu Chan completely complied with Zhugeliang’s last order, “Liang died, took (Jiang) Wan as the decree of the Minister of justice, and Russia added the line of governor to protect him. During the holiday, he led the governor of Yizhou, moved the generals, and recorded the matters of the Minister of justice”; After Jiang Wan’s death, he took Fei Yi as a general, recorded books and took charge of military and political power. After Fei Fan, it was general Jiang Wei who held the military power in Shuhan. Jiang Wei was a “staff sergeant of Liangzhou” who Zhugeliang accepted during the first northern expedition. He was a military successor carefully cultivated by Zhugeliang. Chen Shou wrote a biography of the Three Kingdoms; After Zhugeliang, the Shu Han Dynasty did not set up the post of prime minister, but peisongzhi and Ganbao called these three “Shu prime ministers”, which shows the importance of Zhugeliang’s successors to the Shu Han regime. Below, we will comment on the achievements of these three “Shu ministers” respectively.

Shuhan regime during the reign of Jiang Wan and Fei Yi

Jiang Wan, a native of Lingling, was well-known in the world at the time of weak crown. He “followed his predecessor to Sichuan with the help of Zhou Shu, except for Guang Du Chang”. He was a young talent within Jingzhou group, and Zhugeliang attached great importance to him. The biography of Jiang Wan in the annals of the Three Kingdoms contains such a passage:

The first lord tried to travel to Guangdu. Seeing Wan ignored all things, he was intoxicated. The first lord was so angry that he would kill more people. Zhugeliang, the general of the military division, asked: “Jiang Wan, the weapon of the country, is not a talent of a hundred miles. His administration is based on pacifying the people, not on decoration. The original Lord paid more attention to it.” The first lord, Ya Jingliang, did not add guilt, but dismissed officials in a hurry.

Jiang Wan ruled a county and was dismissed because he was not a director, which is similar to Pang Tong’s dismissal from Leiyang, and Zhugeliang’s respect and protection for him can also be seen. After Zhugeliang opened his government, he immediately appointed him as the eastern Cao fan. He cited maocai and Jiang Wan to resign. Zhugeliang taught him to answer: “thinking about betraying the people and sacrificing virtue, so that people can not hide their hearts, but also make people understand their righteousness. It is because it is appropriate for you to show their merits, so as to clarify the importance of this election.” It can be seen that Zhugeliang affirmed and trusted Jiang Wan’s talent.

Zhugeliang’s successive northern expeditions left Jiang Wan behind in the rear and “always provided with enough food and soldiers”. Every time Zhugeliang talked to people, he said: “Gong Yan entrusted Zhizhong and ya, and we should praise the king’s business together.” he also secretly played the table to the empress: “if you are unfortunate, you should pay Jiang Wan for the future.”. It can be seen that Zhugeliang has regarded Jiang Wan as his first successor. The reason why Jiang Wan is valued by Zhugeliang is that in addition to his outstanding political talents, his status as a young talent of Jingzhou group is also an important factor. Among the young talents of Jingzhou group in the same period, Ma Su was defeated and died. Although Xiang Chong’s military ability was outstanding, there was no place to be praised in terms of politics. As Zhugeliang’s successor, it was necessary for him to have outstanding political ability. The rest of dongjue, guoyouzhi, fan Jian, and others could be mediocre. Therefore, Jiang Wan became the first candidate for Zhugeliang’s successor.

After Zhugeliang’s death, Jiang Wan “led the governor of Yizhou, moved the general, recorded the book of worship, and granted the Marquis of Anyang Pavilion” for the sake of the decree of the Minister of justice. Later, Jiang Wan was promoted to the position of grand Sima, and took charge of the military and political power of Shuhan. Zhugeliang’s new death brought about a serious crisis in the Shu Han Dynasty. Jiang Wan was “outstanding, on the right side of the group of bureaucrats, with neither Qi Rong nor happy face. He kept his behavior as usual and was gradually subdued by the public’s expectations”, which saved a crisis in the Shu Han Dynasty. It should be pointed out that Jiang Wan did not govern alone, but gradually transferred part of his power to Fei Yi, another successor appointed by Zhugeliang.

Fei Yi, a native of Jiangxia, studied in Sichuan with his father Boren when he was young. Like Jiang Wan, he was also a young talent who became famous earlier. Liu Bei set up the crown prince, and Fei Yi became famous because of his talent and learning, so he “gave up his life and moved his concubines”. After Liu Chan succeeded to the throne, he became a servant of the yellow gate. The talent of Fei Yi was also valued by Zhugeliang. According to the biography of Fei Yi in the annals of the Three Kingdoms, “the Prime Minister Liang fought for the return of Fei Yi in the south, and the group of officials courted him for decades. Most of the years were on the right side of Yi, and Liang ordered him to carry it together, so it was easy for everyone to see.” In doing so, Zhugeliang not only appreciated Fei Yi’s talent and learning, but also took a fancy to Fei Yi as a young talent of Jingzhou nationality in Dongzhou group.

Fei Yi’s political talent was really displayed when he was an envoy to Soochow. After Zhugeliang returned from the southern expedition, “he took Yi as the commander of Zhaoxin school, Wu. Sun Quan was funny and ridiculed. Zhugeke, Yang Yi and others were able to argue fruitlessly. The argument was extremely difficult. Yi’s words were obedient and sincere. He answered with reasonable arguments, but he could not bend.” “Every time Sun Quan drinks good wine, he thinks he is drunk. Then he asks about state affairs and discusses the affairs of the world. It is hard to get tired of resigning. He often resigns and gets drunk. He retreats and writes down his questions. Everything is answered, and nothing is lost.” Sun Quan was impressed by Fei Yi’s talent and said that “you must be the leader of the Shu Dynasty for your virtue in the world. I’m afraid you can’t count it.” During Zhugeliang’s Northern Expedition, Fei Yi was invited to join the army. “He was called an envoy and frequently annoyed by Wu.”. In addition to Fei Yi’s outstanding talent, it also shows Zhugeliang’s understanding and good use of people.

On his deathbed, Zhugeliang appointed Jiang Wan and Fei Yi, two young talents of Jingzhou and Dongzhou groups, as his successors, which was in line with the principle of the alliance of Jingzhou and Dongzhou groups within the Shuhan regime. The arrangement of Jiang Wan in Jingzhou before Fei Yi in Dongzhou reflected the needs of the Jingzhou group, which was the dominant group within the Shuhan regime, and the representative of the Jingzhou group was Zhugeliang himself. Therefore, Zhugeliang’s arrangement was based on the interests of the group, and also took into account the interests of the Dongzhou group. The two groups jointly suppressed the local Yizhou group, effectively maintaining the stability of the Shuhan regime. After Zhugeliang’s death, Jiang Wan took charge of the military and political power in the Shu Han Dynasty. He first served as the minister and then as a general. Fei Yi succeeded Jiang Wan as the minister. Shangshu decree was responsible to the monarch in the later Han and Three Kingdoms, and took charge of all the decrees. Later, it was equivalent to the post of prime minister. The appointment of Fei Yi as the Minister of state actually divided part of the power in internal affairs. Jiang Wan was in power and Fei Yi was in charge, coordinating the interests of the two groups of Jingzhou and Dongzhou.

During the period when Jiang Wan and Fei Yi were in charge of the Shuhan regime, Zhugeliang’s practice was continued in terms of internal affairs, while the military learned the lessons of Zhugeliang’s successive northern expeditions, such as the “Air Division brigade” and the “western land bitter service transfer”. Instead, they adopted the policy of closing the customs and retreating, and temporarily suspended the attack on the Cao Wei. But “rejuvenating the Han Dynasty” was, after all, the basic state policy of the Shu Han Dynasty, and Jiang Wan could not completely change it. In the first year of Yanxi’s reign, the later Lord issued an imperial edict, saying: “the bandits have not been eliminated, Cao Rui is arrogant and fierce… You are strict in governance, and the commander-in-chief has stationed his troops in Hanzhong”, ordering Jiang Wan to stand by for the northern expedition.

Jiang Wan “thought that Zhugeliang in the past could not overcome the dangers and difficulties of the Qin and Sichuan rivers. Instead, he used to be a boat. He wanted to attack Wei Xing and Shang Yong from the Han Dynasty to Mianyang”. This was done in order to overcome the transportation difficulties of Zhugeliang during the northern expedition, and follow the example of Liu Bei when he subdued Hanzhong to attack the three eastern prefectures of Cao and Wei. Although Jiang Wan died of illness and failed to implement it, this move not only attracted the opposition of Shuhan ministers including Fei Yi and Jiang Wei, who believed that “if victory is not overcome, it will be very difficult to return the road, and it is not a long-term strategy”. At the same time, it also caused the unease of the ministers of the eastern Wu, who worried that Shu and Han would go back to the alliance to attack Wu. Fortunately, the power of the Lord Sun of Wu was exclusive, which did not affect the alliance between the two countries. Jiang Wan’s weakness in military and diplomacy was also exposed.

In the sixth year of Yanxi’s reign (AD 243), Fei Yi took up the post of senior general and recorded books. He changed from simply taking charge of political affairs to taking care of both military and political affairs. Jiang Wan’s serious illness is an important reason to complete this transformation. The following year, Cao Shuang, a general of the Wei Dynasty, and xiahouxuan, a general of the western expedition, attacked Hanzhong. Wang Ping, a general of the North University of Shuhan Town, led his troops to resist the enemy, Fei Yi led his troops to rescue, and the Wei army withdrew. Cao Shuang’s purpose in this expedition was to “establish his reputation in the world”. However, he did not have any actual combat experience, and did not listen to Sima Yi’s advice. As a result, “Guanzhong, Di and Qiang were unable to provide for the transfer of supplies, many cattle, horses, mules and donkeys died, and the people and barbarians cried on the road. After hundreds of miles into the valley, thieves could not enter because of the mountain. Cao Shuang” led the army back “. This was the first military victory of Shu Han over Cao Wei after Zhugeliang’s death, but the main hero of this victory was Wang Ping who resisted the enemy on the front line. Fei Yi did not show his military ability.

In the ninth year of Yanxi reign (246 AD), Jiang Wan died of illness. However, Fei Yi actually failed to take over the military and political power of the Shuhan Dynasty after Zhugeliang and Jiang Wan. After the death of Jiang Wan, the later leader liuchan “took care of the state affairs by himself”. Fei Yi became the first of the ministers in his position as a senior general and a bookkeeper. It was not until the 15th year of Yanxi, that is, six years after Jiang Wan’s death, that Fei Yi began to govern the government. The following year, he was assassinated. Although he was also in charge of military and political power, compared with Zhugeliang and Jiang Wan, Fei Yi actually assisted the imperial government and went out to handle military and political affairs in Hanzhong. This is actually the result of the restriction of the Dongzhou group by the dominant Jingzhou group within the Shuhan regime. Although Fei Yi was a Jingzhou member of the Dongzhou group and a successor designated by Zhugeliang, the Jingzhou group would never let other groups preside over the court alone. Zhugeliang chose Fei Yi as his successor after Jiang Wan just to coordinate the relationship between the two groups. In the case that no one in Jingzhou group could stand up and take charge of the power, in order to achieve the balance of power between the two groups, the Emperor himself became the best choice.

During the reign of Jiang Wan and Fei Yi, politically, they “inherited the established rules of Zhuge, followed the rules but did not reform, so that the border was secure and the state and the family were one”, successfully coordinated the relationship within the regime, especially between the Jingzhou and Dongzhou groups, and maintained the stability of the Shuhan Dynasty; Militarily, although neither of them had outstanding military talent, they judged the situation, changed Zhugeliang’s strategic policy, turned the attack to defense, and did not launch a large-scale war against Cao Wei. At the same time, they successfully blocked Cao Shuang’s military attack, preserved the national strength of Shu Han, and created objective conditions for the recovery and development of the domestic economy. It can be said that during the reign of Jiang Wan and Fei Yi, although the Shuhan regime did not have brilliant military achievements, it obtained a rare opportunity for development. The Shuhan regime continued in the southwest corner for more than 40 years, and the two contributed a lot. Jiang Wei’s control of military power and the demise of the Shuhan regime

Jiang Wei, a native of Tianshui County in the Wei Dynasty, is a county doctor and participates in the military affairs of the county. In the sixth year of Jianxing (AD 228), Zhugeliang made his first northern expedition, and Jiang Wei surrendered to Shu. Zhugeliang looked at Jiang Wei with great admiration. The biography of Jiang Wei in the annals of the Three Kingdoms records the following:

Liang Piwei was named Cang caoxing, and he was granted the title of Dangyang Pavilion Marquis at the age of 27. Liang Yu, the head of the residence, Zhang Yi, and Jiang Wan, who joined the army, wrote: “Jiang boyao was loyal to current affairs, thought carefully, and tested all his possessions. Yongnan and Jichang were not as good as others. He was also a staff sergeant of Liangzhou.” He also said, “you must first teach 5000 or 6000 Chinese Tiger infantry. Jiang Boyou is very sensitive to military affairs. He has courage and righteousness, and has a deep understanding of military intentions. This person has a strong sense of the Han Dynasty, but he is also a man. After teaching military affairs, he should be sent to the palace and present himself to the Lord.”

Zhugeliang attached great importance to Jiang Wei mainly because of his offensive and defensive strategies in Longyou. Jiang Wei is familiar with the terrain of Longyou. He has Qiang ethnic origin, has natural ties with Longyou ethnic minorities, and his own military talent. He naturally became Zhugeliang’s best candidate for the implementation of Longyou offensive and defensive strategy. In this regard, Shi Guangming has been discussed in detail in a special article and will not be repeated here. Zhugeliang chose Jiang Wei as an important candidate for his offensive and defensive strategy in Longyou. At the same time, he regarded him as his own military successor, appointed him as the general of the central supervision army for the western expedition, and followed him in the northern expedition. Due to Zhugeliang’s sole command of military and political power and his cautious use of troops, Jiang Wei never had the opportunity to lead the troops alone. In August of the 12th year of Jianxing (AD 234), Zhugeliang died of illness in wuzhangyuan. Jiang Wei was responsible for the retreat of the whole army. Sima Yi led the army to catch up with him. “Jiang Wei ordered (Yang) to raise the flag and beat the drums. If he was going to attack King Xuan (SIMA Yi), King Xuan would retreat and dare not force him.” this was the first demonstration of his outstanding military talent.

After returning to Chengdu, Jiang Wei “served as the right overseer and Assistant General of Han Dynasty, unified all the armies, and became the Marquis of Pingxiang”. In the first year of Yanxi (AD 238), Jiang Wei “lived in Hanzhong with the great general Jiang Wan” and actually commanded the military. Soon, Jiang Wan was promoted to the position of big Sima. Jiang Wei also took part in military and political decisions with the title of Sima, and “led the army westward” to lead the northern expedition. In the sixth year of Yanxi reign, Jiang Wei “moved to the west of the town to lead the governor of Liangzhou” and actually became the military leader of the Shuhan regime. After Jiang Wan’s death, Jiang Wei “moved to guard the general and recorded the book with the senior general.”.

In the 12th year of Yanxi reign (249 AD), Sima Yi killed Cao Shuang. Two years later, Wang Ling, the supreme lieutenant of the Wei Dynasty, set up a campaign against Sima Yi in Huainan. The Cao Wei regime fell into chaos. Jiang Wei, who was “sensitive to military affairs”, realized this. “He wanted to lure Qiang and Hu to become wings by practicing western customs and taking responsibility for his martial arts skills. He said that he could break away from the West in Gansu.” however, Fei Yi opposed the large-scale use of troops on the grounds of years of war and the great loss of the national strength of Shu and Han, “he could not serve more than 10000 people.”. He Zhuo, a native of the Qing Dynasty, sighed and said, “if you want to break the long river, you should kill Cao shuangchu. The people’s will is twoorthree, not to mention foreign affairs. Wen Wei was stationed in Hanchuan to move to Guanzhong for rescue. Bo Yue lured Qiang Hu with thousands of people. He cut Xi Bi. He cut down the system and lost the opportunity. Yuan Xun (zhugeke) lifted it lightly in the East, while Wen Wei sat in the West. It was like a day’s holiday to help the emperor in the afternoon. In order to become a traitor, you can breathe too much.”

In the 16th year of Yanxi reign, Fei Yi was assassinated and killed. The military power of Shu was completely in Jiang Wei’s hands. Jiang Wei completely adopted Zhugeliang’s policy of taking the offensive as the defensive, disregarding the national strength of Shu, “playing with the masses to engage in aggression”, and frequently launched wars against Cao Wei. Jiang Wei used troops against the Wei Dynasty for three consecutive years. Although he had a small victory, he had to withdraw his troops because of the difficulties in grain transportation. Since then, Jiang Wei’s use of troops against the Wei Dynasty has been frustrated repeatedly. In the fifth year of Jingyao (A.D. 262), Jiang Wei “fought for years and made no achievements, but the eunuch Huang Hao and other eunuchs took power inside. The right general Yan Yu and Hao were competing with each other, and Hao Yin wanted to abolish Wei Shuyu. Wei was also suspicious of it. Therefore, he was afraid of danger and would not return to Chengdu”.

In the sixth year of Jingyao’s reign, the Wei Dynasty made a large-scale invasion of Shu, and Jiang Wei divided his troops in Hanzhong and other places to resist the enemy. A serious strategic mistake made by Jiang Wei before this time showed its bad consequences. Records in the annals of the Three Kingdoms – Biography of Jiang Wei:

In the early days, the former leader stayed in Hanzhong, Yan Town, Wei Dynasty. All the soldiers were surrounded to defend the foreign enemies. If the enemy attacked, they would not be able to enter. And the battle of rising power. Wang Ping defended Cao Shuang and inherited this system. Wei suggested that although it is consistent with the meaning of “valuing the gate” in the book of changes to defend the surrounding areas by mistake, it is suitable to resist the enemy without making great profits. If you do not hear of the enemy coming, all the encirclement will gather their troops in the valley, retreat to the two cities of Han and le, so that the enemy can not enter the peace, and guard the customs heavily to defend it. When something happens, order you Jun to join in to serve him. The enemy is unable to overcome key problems. There is no scattered grain in the wild. The grain in the county is a thousand miles away. Naturally, he is tired. On the day of retreat, the cities will go out together and fight with the wandering army. This is the art of defeating the enemy. So Hu Ji, the governor of Hanzhong, was ordered to live in Hanshou. Wang Han, the overseer, guarded Lecheng, and Jiang Bin, the guard of Hancheng. He also set up a perimeter in Xi’an, Jianwei, Wuwei, Shimen, Wucheng, Jianchang, and Linyuan.

Wei Yan’s tactics of “encircling all areas with solid troops” were based on the fact that the enemy was repelled from outside the country by heavy troops. The enemy retreated in case of difficulties. Based on the weak position of Shu Han in the Three Kingdoms and the geographical situation in Hanzhong, this is the most suitable defense method for Shu Han. The key defense adopted by Jiang Wei, supplemented by the method of fortifying the walls and clearing the wilderness, has no problem in terms of tactics. Cao Cao adopted this kind of tactics at the beginning. Only when the generals Zhang Liao, Li Dian and others were stationed in Hefei, he won a great victory of “800 soldiers and 100000 thieves. Since ancient times, the use of troops has never been possible”. However, from the actual situation, Cao Cao was busy with the war in Hanzhong, and Xiangyang, Wancheng and other important Jingzhou towns, as the South Gate of Xuchang, must be guarded by heavy troops. Cao Cao could not give consideration to the three lines. At the same time, the Huainan front was far away from the ruling center of Cao Cao’s group. Even if Sun Quan broke through this line, he could not directly threaten Cao Cao’s rule. Even so, Cao Cao sent three generals, Zhang Liao, Li Dian and Le Jin, to stick to Hefei, and personally deployed specific battle plans to ensure that everything was safe. On the other hand, Hanzhong is the gateway of Shuhan. If Hanzhong loses, the Cao Wei army can march in and threaten Chengdu. Under such circumstances, Jiang Wei, as the military commander, should concentrate his troops to defend Hanzhong, and should not divide his troops to encircle it. Jiang Wei ordered Huji, the governor of Hanzhong, to retreat to Didao in the north of Zitong County, so that Jiang Bin, the guard and Wang Han, the overseer, were in charge of the defense of Hanzhong. In addition, he also surrounded Xi’an, Jianwei, Wuwei, Shimen, Wucheng, Jianchang and Linyuan. His original intention was to guard Dazhong. The two major Yizhou portals of Hanzhong and Dazhong were interdependent and were horns of each other. However, he did not expect that Jiangshu, the gatekeeper, would go out of the city and the Wei army “drove forward”, When Hanzhong was lost, Jiang Wei had to give up in Dazhong and go back to guard the sword Pavilion.

Jiang Wei used Weiyan’s tactics of “encircling the whole area with real troops” to “not gain great profits”. Instead, he changed to focus on defense, supplemented by the tactics of strengthening the walls and clearing the fields. Unexpectedly, he outsmarted himself and lost the whole Hanzhong. However, at this time, there was no way out. Jiang Wei retreated to the sword pavilion to defend the enemy with heavy troops. Zhong Hui “could not defeat the enemy. The grain was transported far from the county, and the discussion would be returned”. However, at this time, another unexpected situation occurred to Jiang Wei. Deng AI sneaked into Yinping. Jiangyou’s General Ma Miao surrendered to the enemy. Zhuge Zhan did not resist Mianzhu. Instead, he fought with Deng AI and died on the battlefield. The later leader Liu Chan fell to Deng AI. Jiang Wei’s efforts came to naught. Later, although he pretended to surrender to persuade Zhong Hui to rebel, he was finally defeated and died. He only gained the reputation of “all Shu officials were handsome in the world, and no one was right”.

Just imagine, if Jiang Wei did not change Wei Yan’s tactics of “encircling with real troops” and refused Wei’s troops outside the gate of Hanzhong, although he could not change the general trend of the inevitable decline of Shuhan due to the small size of the country and the weak people, he would never have to surrender in the case of heavy troops, leading to the rapid destruction of Shuhan. Although the surrender of Jiang Shu and Ma Miao could not be predicted, as commanders of the Shuhan army, they changed the defense system implemented for many years in order to “make great profits”, but failed to make the most careful consideration. Jiang Wei really bears the unshirkable responsibility. The successors appointed by Zhugeliang, Jiang Wan, Fei Yi, and Jiang Wei, the military successor, have worked hard for nearly 30 years. The Shuhan regime still could not get rid of the fate of being the first to perish. Although they were all heroes for a time, there was still a significant gap between them and Sima brothers and Lu Kang of the Cao Wei and Eastern Wu dynasties. Jiang Wan and Fei Yi could only “follow the rules of Zhuge without reform”. Jiang Wei “had a rough knowledge of civil and military affairs and aspired to fame”, but ignored the power of Shu, made nine northern expeditions, made fatal mistakes in strategy and tactics at the critical moment, and accelerated the destruction of Shu.

Why did Zhugeliang’s hand-trained successors lead to such a situation? The reason lies in Zhugeliang’s centralization of power. Zhugeliang was in charge of the military and political power in Shuhan. He “specialized in everything” and eventually became ill from overwork and died in the army. His image of “dedication and death” has become a model praised by later generations. However, too much power has led to their subordinates can not get the opportunity to exercise. When Zhugeliang was alive, Jiang Wan and Fei Yi played more of the roles of logistics and staff, and Jiang Wei, the military successor, had never led troops to fight independently. His excessive enthusiasm for power made Zhugeliang “be respectful in everything”, and “be respectful in everything” reflected that Zhugeliang was light as heavy. “ZHUGE was only cautious all his life”, which was not only reflected in the use of troops, but also in the handling of military and political affairs. Not only did Zhuge Liang personally intervene in all political, military and diplomatic affairs in Shuhan, but even “if he was fined more than 20, he would be personally involved” was the best explanation. Under such circumstances, their successors could not be fully trained, and their abilities must be flawed. It is not surprising that the Shuhan regime they were in charge of perished first among the Three Kingdoms.

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