Battle of Yi Ling

Date 222
Location Yiling, Jing Province
Result Wu victorious
Shu Wu
Liu Bei
Zhuge Liang
Ma Liang
Sha Moke
Lu Xun
Gan Ning
Zhou Tai
The Battle of Yi Ling was an engagement between Shu and Wu. Zhu Ran of Wu used a fire attack to drive off the enemy forces.


In response to Wu's oppression against Shu and the death of his brother Guan Yu, Liu Bei mobilized an invasion force despite the objections of his senior commanders. He wished to get revenge for Wu's betrayal at Fan Castle in AD 219. That same year, his other brother Zhang Fei was killed by traitors, who fled to Wu as well. Liu Bei, enraged, began the campaign with his generals Zhao Yun, Guan Suo, Huang Zhong, Ma Liang, and Yan Yan in the van. Sun Quan, the Emperor of Eastern Wu, gathered the entire Wu army to fight against the Shu. Though his army was numerically inferior against the hundreds of thousands of Liu Bei's Forces, Sun Quan had a well-devised strategy. He heeded the plans of two of his stategists, Ling Tong and Lu Xun. Ling Tong recommended at striking the fatigued Shu army immediately, while Lu Xun advised remaining vigilant and waiting for the Shu to advance to defeat them, as well as using a fire attack against their main camp to decimate their main force. Sun Quan favored Lu Xun's stratagem. So when Liu Bei's army reached the Yangtze River, Wu commander Zhu Ran prepared to launch his fire attack, executed by several of his cavalry troops. The Wu army was ordered to remain on the defensive until the Shu army came out, and then attack them. The front lines under Wei Yan of Shu and Gan Ning of Wu engaged at first, while Zhu Ran prepared. The Shu army advanced deep into the Wu ranks, and their general Guan Suo carried two hostages, Mi Fang and Fu Shi Ren, back to the main camp for execution; they were the two Shu generals who had betrayed his father at Fan Castle. Also, Gan Ning's skull was cracked open by an arrow flung by Sha Moke, a tribal leader who was hired to aid the Shu. But Zhu Ran took out the Shu army watchtowers in order to execute his attack, and razed the Shu main camp. Zhao Yun searched all over for his lord, whom he found fighting in the thick of the battle. He restrained him, and encouraged him to retreat from the losing battle. The Wu army then lured Guan Suo into the innermost recesses of their main camp, Lu Xun claiming to have slain his father, before routing him and pushing the Shu army to the other bank of the Yangtze. Huang Zhong was hit in the neck with an arrow fired by Ma Zhong, and died of wounds. Zhuge Liang, the strategist for Liu Bei, and fellow adviser Ma Liang helped clear a path for Liu Bei's retreat. Ma Liang was killed, but the Shu army was extricated with over half of its army's bodies littered across the battlefield. The Shu invasion failed, and Liu Bei withdrew to Bai Di Castle, which was besieged next.

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