Battle of Tao Shui

Date 256
Location Tao River, Hanzhong
Result Indecisive;
Shu retreat
Wei surprise attack successful
Wei Shu
Sima Zhao
Deng Ai
Jiang Wei
Xiahou Ba
E Zhesai
The Battle of Tao Shui was the third Shu invasion and the only successful one by Jiang Wei. However, Deng Ai ambushed the Shu forces in the fog and drove them into a panicked retreat.


Following the death of Sima Shi, Sima Zhao took control of Wei. However, emperor Cao Mao ordered him to remain in Xuchang to strip him of his authority over the military. Surprisingly he obeyed this order, for he was not yet ready to fulfill the duties and obligations of a ruler. Now that Wei had seized authority, Shu would surely move as well. Having learned of Sima Shi's death, Jiang Wei embarked on another invasions. Hearing of this, Deng Ai and Zhong Hui yearned for Sima Zhao to take the reins, for only with the help of the Sima clan Wei had been able to repel a Shu army. Knowing this, Cao Mao released Sima Zhao to Luoyang. Released from confinement, Sima Zhao immediately set out with his troops to meet Jiang Wei's forces at Taoshui.

The enemy vanguard approached the Wei main camp at incredible speed. So Sima Zhao ordered his units to march through the center and take out their main force. Sima crossed the river and fell for an enemy ambush by Deng Liang, but it was defeated. Sima now knew that the Shu were too strong to fight head-on. He used the fog to his advantage to ambush Xing Cai, Xiahou Ba, and Chen Zhi. These enemy units were all defeated, and Sima Zhao and his forces headed on the attack once more towards the enemy main camp. The Qiang tribe, under E Zhesai and Ke Wu, tried to stop the enemy attack on their base camp. However, both were killed. Jiang Wei, Dong Jue, and Hu Ji defended the camp while Huang Yueying and her arbalest attacks fended off Zhong Hui and Wang Yuanji. Both Wei units retreated, but Jiang Wei was in no mood to pursue them. He retreated while Dong Jue and Hu Ji were defeated attacking the enemy advance units.