The Three Kingdoms Wiki
Zhang Bao
Character information
Force(s): Yellow Turbans
Significant Battle(s):
Historical information
Real name: Zhang Bao
Chinese name: 张宝
Born: 141
Died: 184

Zhang Bao was the brother of Zhang Liang and Zhang Jiao. He was killed by his own general Yan Zheng.


Zhang Bao hailed from Julu district and was the younger brother of Zhang Jiao, leader of the Yellow Scarf Rebellion, and the elder brother of Zhang Liang, who also served as a commander in the uprising. After Bao’s elder brother had thoroughly versed himself in the art of magic, he went on to teach Bao and his brother Liang too of its secrets, and in time, Zhang Bao acquired such arts as summoning the wind and invoking the rain, and was just as capable in doing such as his two brothers. As time progressed, the three Zhang brothers began to accumulate a following, which Zhang Bao and his two brothers versed in the mystic ways they had already mastered themselves, and named the following the Yellow Scarves.

As the strength of the Yellow Scarves began to increase, Zhang Jue proposed to Zhang Bao and Liang, “Popular support is the hardest thing to win. Today the people favour us. Why waste this chance to seize the realm for ourselves?”

All three brothers were united in their decision to move against China’s ruling dynasty, the Han, and so the Zhang brothers had yellow banners made ready in preparation of their first uprising. However, before it reached the set date for the rebellion, the Han court caught word of the uprising, and the three brothers were forced to march their armies prematurely. Zhang Bao was titled General of Earth by his elder brother and set off with his younger brother, Liang, to Yingchuan, while Zhang Jue headed for Guanzhong. Wherever their armies went, government troops scattered without offering battle, but when Zhang Bao reached Yingchuan, he was met by a massive imperial army commanded by Generals Huangfu Song and Zhu Jun. After briefly skirmishing with the force, Zhang Bao led his army in retreat to Changshe, where he and his brother established a string of encampments alongside a field.

On the same night that the camps had been made, Zhang Bao noticed a fire rising at one side of the field his army had encamped upon. The fire quickly spread throughout all the encampments, and the Yellow Scarves were beset by an ambush force led by Huangfu Song and Zhu Jun. Unable to offer any resistance to the Han army, Zhang Bao gathered what he could of his forces and fled the field with his brother, Liang. As he was fleeing, Bao ran into a new contingent of men, this one flying flags of red and commanded by a Han Cavalry General named Cao Cao. Surrounded on all sides, Zhang Bao led his men straight into Cao’s ranks and was able to cut a path through. Zhang Bao then reorganised his forces and mustered some ninety thousand men, while his brother, Liang, went on to Quyang to aid Zhang Jue in his fight again the imperial forces stationed there.

Some time later, Han commanders Zhu Jun and Liu Bei arrived at Yingchuan with an imperial army. Zhang Bao dispatched his lieutenant commander Gao Sheng to taunt the government forces, to which Liu Bei waved out his subordinate commander Zhang Fei. The two warriors charged at one another but, after a few clashes, Gao Sheng was speared through by Zhang Fei and killed. Seeing him topple from his horse, Zhang Bao unbound his hair and, sword in hand, began working a magic formula. As Liu Bei’s army began charging, Bao summoned a thunderstorm, along with what appeared to be to the government forces as an army of dark warriors in the sky. Zhang Bao then had the apparition charge the imperial army, to which they dropped their weapons and fled defeated from the field. Having achieved victory, Zhang Bao returned to camp and began preparing for the next encounter with the Han commanders.

The next day, Zhang Bao marched on the imperial army’s position, banners waving and drums rolling. Liu Bei rode out to face him, but before the two armies clashed, Bao conjured up the same storm he had the previous day. As the dark warriors emerged from the skies, Liu Bei turned his mount around and fled the field, to which Zhang Bao responded by urging his men forward and charging the imperial army’s position. As his forces passed a nearby hill, enemy commanders Guan Yu and Zhang Fei emerged from concealed positions and dropped a strange concoction of animal entrails and blood on Zhang Bao’s army. The effect of the concoction was instantaneous—Bao’s storm died away, and the dark soldiers dissolves into paper likenesses. His magic undone, Zhang Bao swung his men around and attempted fleeing the field, but he was attacked on all sides by Han commanders Zhu Jun, Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. As Zhang Bao was retreating, Liu Bei caught up to him and fired an arrow that cut through his left arm. Though wounded, Bao was able to reach the city of Yang and took shelter with the Yellow Scarves stationed there.

In Yang, Zhang Bao was continuously hard pressed by government forces, and his own men began to fear for their lives. Bao continued to hold up against the imperials, but one day, one of his own commanders named Yan Zheng approached Bao and killed him. Zheng then surrendered the city of Yang to the Han army, and the Yellow Scarf rebellion saw its failure later in the year.