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If Zhou Yu had no ‘East wind’, would Cao Cao be bitterly defeated in the Battle of Red Cliff?

This battle laid the first foundation for the formation of the “cauldron” of the three great heroes at that time. Many people still believe that the tactic of using the flames of the Ton – Luu coalition to burn the Cao Cao navy depends on the deciding factor of “East wind” – that the Ton – Luu army took advantage of the favorable wind direction to defeat the Cao army.

But is it really true that if the “Eastern wind” did not appear, this coalition would be powerless against the Cao Cao army many times?

Zhou Yu’s famous fire strategy was too famous

Tactically, with a much smaller army than Cao Cao, Sun Quan – Liu Bei’s coalition could not fight fair with the enemy. Ton Quyen decided to go to war with Cao Cao who appointed Chu Du as the Admiral to dominate the whole army, Trinh Pho was the Vice Admiral.

Wu army with about 30,000 troops stationed in Pankou along with Liu Bei’s army, the remaining fifty thousand troops went to Chich Bich to welcome the enemy. In November 208, both sides were present in Xich Bich, Cao Cao’s army was mainly soldiers from the North who were not proficient in naval warfare and even a lot of people were seasick.

Cao Cao connected the ships with iron chains to form large battle areas to overcome this situation and this was a vital weakness if the enemy used fire to attack.

Zhou Yu devised a plan to use a fire cannon to hit Cao Cao’s water camp. Initially, it was for General Hoang Cai to use a scheme to pretend to surrender to Cao Cao, then when Hoang Cai’s battalion boat approached the Cao army camp, he used fire to attack, opening the Wu army’s raid.

Everything went as planned, the Cao army used iron chains to connect the boats firmly so when caught, the fire quickly spread to the water camp. After that, Ton Luu’s troops landed ashore, destroying the Cao Cao army in chaos.

The fire and the East wind helped Zhou Yu to burn his opponents outnumbered.

At that time, one of the reasons causing the fire to spread quickly and hard to extinguish was because in the area where the battle occurred, the dry season and the day when Ton – Luu soldiers attacked the fire were during the southeast wind (usually known as the “East wind”), the Cao army was up against the wind, so it was destroyed by the “enemy of fire”.

Later historical novels and histories also talked about the importance, even deifying the role of the “East wind” as in “China’s Three Kingdoms”.

The famous Tang poet Do Muc once went through Xich Bich and brought the East wind into the poem with the verse “Dong Phong Any Chu Chu Lang Tien – Dong Tuoc Xuan Tham Nhi Kieu Kieu”. That was, without the Eastern wind to help, Zhou Lang (referring to Zhou Yu) would not have been able to make a victory.

However, in reality, the East wind is only a part of helping the Ton – Luu coalition. Besides, there are other factors that make many historians believe that even without the “Eastern wind”, the Cao army would fail.

The almost irreparable difficulties of Cao Cao

The Cao army has lost many lives, which is a number that cannot be determined even though it is only an estimate because of different sources of records.

In “Three Kingdoms” section “Wei Shu – Guo Jia Story” It was recorded that the Cao army lost more than half. It was also confirmed that many Cao army soldiers were suffering from difficult diseases to cure. So Cao Cao even had to burn some warships to avoid being spread (the ancients considered cremating the bodies of people with infectious diseases and the places they were exposed to as many methods of isolation).

Specifically, it was clearly stated as follows: “Thai To (ie Cao Cao, while still in Kinh Chau, standing at a high position, looking down on the naval camp, saw the disease spread, the boat was burned and complained that” the military people outside the barracks mourning, unexpectedly to this extent “.

Also in “Records of the Three Kingdoms” the “Zhou Yu story” and “Jiang Biao story” wrote that “Cao Cao’s soldiers were sick in many battles, many boats were burned down or some single ships carrying sick soldiers were automatically withdrawn, and Zhou’s troops Du caught “.

As such, the Cao army itself set itself on fire before fighting.

If Zhou Yu had no East wind would Cao Cao be bitterly defeated in the Battle of Red Cliff | Manga/Film

Cao Cao’s Northern soldiers were good at fighting on horses but were poor on water. Artwork: Internet.

Zhou Yu himself has analyzed 5 weaknesses that Cao Cao will be difficult to overcome when deciding to fight in the South.

First, Cao Cao’s soldiers from the North were only good at riding horses fighting on the plains, not accustomed to naval warfare.

In fact, Cao Cao knew this, but he hoped that the surrendered troops in Kinh Chau (near Chich Bich) would compensate for the weakness, Cao Cao himself overcome with technical factors when connecting the The battleship steadily together.

Monday, taking a force of generals, soldiers and writers along a long way from the North to the South, they were not suited to the locals, moved far away, a major epidemic caused their spirits to decline. serious

Tuesday, the time of operation was close to winter, not much food, the trees began to be sparse, causing the battalions that were the main force of the Cao army not to eat. Not only people but horses also have diseases.

Wednesday, Cao Cao possessed almost the entire North, but there was also Ma Chao and Han Toai in danger, always ready to attack the Cao army. When Cao Cao went away, he was still very worried about this enemy behind him.

Thursday, Cao Cao’s army had many new members from Jingzhou, surrendered by the son of the highly respected former owner of Jingzhou, Liu Bei. Luu Bieu died, but his army was still not completely directed toward Cao Cao, fighting spirit was not consistent.

If Zhou Yu had no East wind would Cao Cao be bitterly defeated in the Battle of Red Cliff | Manga/Film

The Cao army participated in the Red Cliff battle, although there were still many internal problems that could not be solved (Image: Baidu)

According to historical records, the Cao Cao army has about 24,000 troops, including 16,000 from Thanh Chau (in the North) and 8,000 are new soldiers in Kinh Chau just surrendered.

It can be seen that the Cao army showed signs of losing even before the war, the “Eastern wind” factor only made this defeat come faster and more terrifying. In the absence of this factor, the old and old Cao army would hardly be able to move forward to maintain a long-term attack due to disease and internal problems.

Even the historian La Tu Wai (1884-1957), who has been the dean of the culture and history department at Quang Hoa University (Shanghai) since 1926, has the view that Cao Cao will easily fail. Specifically, he commented in the book “Three Kingdoms of History” edited by the owner himself: “The Battle of Chich Bich, militarily speaking, Cao Cao will fail, without even needing to consider more.”

Still in the book “Uncle of the Three Kingdoms” (a treatise on the Three Kingdoms situations through Go game play methods), written in 2009 by author Zhao Dũng published by the Chinese Social Publishing House, analyzes that:

Sun Quan, when facing the risk of Cao Cao’s numerous troops invading and conquering, there were three options: One was to surrender to Cao Cao, the other was to fight Cao Cao by himself, and three to ally himself with Liu. Resistant to Cao Cao. And Ton Quyen will not be difficult to choose the willingness to be close to Liu Bei and welcome the enemy together.


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