Why Zhugeliang killed Wei Yan: worried that Liu Chan could not control him after his death

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Time passes like the Yangtze River,

The waves washed away several heroes.

Poor general weiwenchang,

But he was infamous for turning his back.

There is always a shortcut to the south,

Neither success nor failure.

If Huainan eclosion,

Do not fall into dispute with the king of Wu.

The fifty third chapter of the romance of the Three Kingdoms wrote that Liu Bei captured Changsha and subdued Huang Zhong and Wei Yanhou. Zhugeliang said to Liu Bei, “Wei Yan has a bone in his head and will turn against him after a long time.” Although this theory is a fiction of novelist Luo Guanzhong, it is also close to realism. Zhugeliang had doubts about Wei Yan and refused to put him in an important position. He took the opportunity to get rid of him. As a result, Yang Yi took the opportunity to kill Wei Yan for the crime of so-called “rebellion”. Wei Yan was an important pillar of the Shu Han Dynasty. It is really unfair and regrettable that he suffered such bad luck. History is just, so we should use historical facts to correct Wei Yan’s name.

Only those who dare to take orders in the face of danger

Wei Yan was a good minister who was loyal to the Shu Han Dynasty and was highly relied on and valued by Liu Bei. Wei Yan was born in the army. In his early years, he led his subordinates to Sichuan with Liu Bei. He wanted to make some contributions to the restoration of the Han Dynasty. Therefore, he made many military achievements and continued to rise. In the 20th year of Jian’an of Emperor Xian of Han Dynasty (AD 215), Liu Bei captured Hanzhong, granted Hanzhong king and moved to Chengdu. A general was needed to guard Hanzhong. All the generals thought that Zhang Fei was the only one. Zhang Fei also wanted to guard Hanzhong; However, Liu Bei made an exception and promoted Wei Yan as the general of Zhenyuan in Hanzhong, leading the Hanzhong prefect. The whole army was shocked. For Shuhan, Hanzhong and Jingzhou are the two wings of Yizhou, and Hanzhong is an important gateway, so its strategic position is very important. Liu Bei chose Wei Yan to defend Hanzhong, which shows the importance of Wei Yan in Liu Bei’s mind.

Once, Liu Bei asked Wei Yan at a meeting of Ministers: how can you take on the important task of appointing Qing? He replied with indignation: if Cao Cao brings the power of the world, let me refuse it for the king; If Cao Cao has a hundred thousand generals coming, let me swallow them for the king! Indeed, he “took orders in the face of adversity to fight against the outside world and protect the national border”, and lived up to his trust. During the six years of guarding Hanzhong, even the first-class generals Zhang Jia and Cao Zhen of the Wei Dynasty dared not look at Hanzhong. In 221 ad, Liu Bei proclaimed himself Emperor and worshipped Weiyan as a general in Zhenbei. In the first year of Jianxing in the Shu Han Dynasty (223 A.D.), Yan was the front of the capital, leading the prime minister Sima and the governor of Liangzhou. In the eighth year of Jianxing (A.D. 230), Wei Yanxi entered the Qiang, fought with Fei Yao and Guo Huai, the famous generals of the state of Wei, and won a complete victory in Yangxi. Later, the Lord moved him to the former military division and enlisted the western general. During the holiday, he was granted the Marquis of Nanzheng.

Weiyanxian’s “midnight noon trick”

Wei Yan was a resourceful and brave military genius, but he was questioned and suppressed by Zhugeliang. It can be said that Wei Yan’s military strategy was inferior to that of Guan, Zhang, Ma, Huang and Zhao. Every time Wei Yan set out to fight, he asked himself to lead 10000 troops and attack separately from Zhugeliang. Zhugeliang never allowed him. What is more regrettable is that in the sixth year of Jianxing (AD 228), the first northern expedition, Wei Yanxian’s “midnight noon trick”, Zhugeliang abandoned it and missed the opportunity. At that time, Liu Bei had died. The state of Wei despised Shu Han and mainly dealt with the eastern Wu. The defense in Guanzhong was weak. Xiahou, a mediocre, guarded Guanzhong. After a comprehensive analysis of the situation between the enemy and ourselves and the favorable opportunities at that time, Wei Yan put forward: “today’s 5000 elite troops will go straight out of the commendation, follow the Qinling Mountains to the East, and at noon to the north. It will only take ten days to reach Chang’an. When he hears that Yan Yan is approaching, he will abandon the city and escape. It will be about 20 days before he meets in the East, and the public will be able to reach it from the valley. In this way, the west of Xianyang can be settled.” However, Zhugeliang thought this plan was very dangerous, so he might as well take Longxi first from the frank way. When he left the Qi Mountain, “all commentators said that it was appropriate to take Wei Yan and Wu Yi as pioneers”, but Zhugeliang “disobeyed the crowd and pulled Su out”, resulting in the defeat of Jieting and the loss of the only great opportunity for Shuhan. The first Northern Expedition failed, but the “sleeping lion” was awakened. Emperor Wei Ming immediately transferred the incompetent Xiahou to guard Guanlong. Later, Sima Yi, Zhugeliang’s powerful enemy, arrived in Sichuan under the command of Cao Zhen. From then on, the possibility of Shuhan attacking Guanlong became less and less.

To say that the danger of Wei Yan’s “midnight noon intrigue” is many times worse than that of Deng AI, the great general of the state of Wei. Wei Yanjiu guarded Hanzhong for a long time. Perhaps he had already made reconnaissance of the Ziwu Valley route and military information. However, Deng AI was forced to go to a dead end. “He traveled more than 700 miles from Yinping road to an uninhabited place, chiseled mountain passages and built bridges and pavilions. The mountains were high and the valleys were deep, and it was very difficult. AI wrapped himself in felt and pushed down. All the officers and men climbed the wooden edge cliff, and the fish ran through it”, seizing Jiangyou, conquering mianzhou and attacking Chengdu. It was Deng AI’s dangerous move that killed Shu Han. During the northern expedition, Zhugeliang always adopted the stable fighting method of “conquering everything without danger” and blindly pursued the so-called gradual and orderly military practice, which made Wei generals know his strategy like the palm of his hand. In the 12th year of Jianxing (AD 234), Zhugeliang made his last northern expedition. He went out of the inclined Valley and stationed troops in the southern plain of the Weihe River. Sima Yi said to the generals: “if Liang is good at martial arts, he can worry about the east by the mountain. If he goes to the western plain for five Zhangs, the generals will have nothing to do.” Liang Guotun five Zhang Yuan, Yi is to make Guo Huai retreat. Numerous facts have proved that Zhugeliang was “not good at being resourceful”. If he had used Wei Yan’s “Zi Wu Qi Ji” in those days, it would have been possible for him to overcome the danger, and the history of the Three Kingdoms might have to be rewritten – but history cannot be assumed.

Kongming kills with a knife

Zhugeliang conspired against Wei Yan, and Yang Yi took the opportunity to frame Wei Yan, which finally led to the largest injustice and tragedy in the history of Shu Han.

Yang Yi and Wei Yan each hold their own abilities and have been at odds. Zhugeliang often reconciled in order to achieve balance. Finally, he also wanted to use the contradiction between Yang and Wei to get rid of Wei Yan. It is doomed that Wei Yan will become the victim of “Yang Mou” who cannot fight “conspiracy”. Maybe it’s character that decides fate! Let’s look at the essence through the phenomenon: when Zhugeliang was critically ill, he held a secret military conference to arrange his withdrawal plan after his death. Only Chang Shi Yang Yi, Sima Feiyi and Jiang Wei, the guards, attended such an important meeting, excluding Wei Yan, who had a high rank and title. Zhugeliang decided that Wei Yandian would stop and pursue the enemy, Jiang Wei would be the deputy general, and Yang Yi would be the retreat commander; If Wei Yan disobeyed, the army still acted as planned. This provides an opportunity for Yang Yi to plot against Wei Yan. After Zhugeliang’s death, Yang Yimi did not lose heart. He sent Fei Yi to speculate on Wei Yan’s intentions, seized Wei Yan’s fatal weakness of being arrogant, and led the snake out of the cave by means of fraud and fierce generals, which provoked Wei Yan into a rage. Before Yang Yi withdrew, he led his troops to the south. Yang Yi then sent Ma Dai to pursue him for treason and kill the three Yans. Didn’t Zhugeliang borrow Yang Yi’s hand to take Wei Yan’s head? Weiyan still wanted to report to the imperial court and accuse Yang Yi of rebellion. He hoped that public opinion would support his position as acting prime minister. He had no rebellious heart at all. If you rebel, why not go north to Wei? It was Yang Yi. Later, because he didn’t get the position of prime minister (Zhugeliang had already realized that Yang Yi was narrow-minded and couldn’t be prime minister), he regretted that he didn’t lead his troops to Wei and wrote a letter to slander the imperial court. He was eventually exiled and finally committed suicide.

After Liu Bei’s death, Zhugeliang was revered as the father of Liu Chan for more than ten years. Using the power in his hands, he took a series of covert and obscure means to restrain and suppress Wei Yan’s many suggestions and actions until he took the opportunity. The main reason was his suspicion. He was afraid that later leader Liu Chan would not control Wei Yan and cause trouble in the future, At the same time, he also cleared away obstacles for his designated successors Jiang Wan and Fei Yi, who “inherited the rules of Zhugeliang and did not reform because of the rules”.

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