The Battle of Zhuolu was the second battle in Chinese
history as recorded in the Records of the Grand Historian. It was fought
between the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di) and Emperor Chi You. The battle was
fought in Zhuolu, near the present-day border of Hebei. From the artefacts
found of the battle and the time when the scriptures about the battle were
written archaeologists say that the Battle occurred around 2500 years ago.
In prehistoric China, the tribes of Yellow Emperor built
their main cities on the plains of Guanzhong and merged with Yan Emperor's
tribes following the Battle of Banquan. In this battle the Yellow emperor defeated
Yan emperor and then they they united under the joint banner of the Yellow
emperor and Yan Emperor. The Huaxia tribes, spread along the Yellow River
towards the East China Sea. The Jiuli tribes, led by Chi You, had developed
near the present-day borders of Shandong, Hebei, and Henan, and expanded towards
the west. The Huaxia and Jiuli tribes were in conflict over the fertile land in
the Yellow River valley, and thus they fought in the plains of Zhuolu.
Chi-You's tribes were fierce in war and skilled at making weapons; allying
themselves with the Kua Fu tribe and the Sanmiao tribe, they first attacked the
Yan Emperor's tribe, driving them into the lands of the Yellow Emperor. The
Yellow Emperor was angered by this, and went to war with Chi-You.
It is said that Chi-You led around 15,000 to 26,000 men
against the Yellow Emperors 8,000 to 15,000. The day of the Battle a thick fog
lay reducing the visibility to almost nil. The Yellow Emperor used the fog to
his advantage and when Chi- You`s army came close (they knew they were close by
the sound) he moved his forces to the flanks and rear of the army and at the
same time chanting fierce war cry’s sending terror into Chi-You`s forces. Then
The Yellow emperors army attacked sending mass chaos and confusion which led to
a massacre of Chi You`s troops.
Chi-You fled leaving his troops to be slaughtered but was
eventually tracked down and killed in Hebei.
Battle of Bi
The Battle of Bi was
fought during the spring and Autumn Period in 597 BC, between the major states
of Chu and Jin. Occurring three and a half decades after the Battle of Chengpu,
where Jin decisively defeated Chu, the battle was a major victory for Chu and a
major morale boost for his troops.
The states of Jin
and Chu were both among the most powerful of their time and there was always a
huge rivalry between the two states. With the defeat of the Chu army a few
years before it looked like they were the supreme state in terms of military
power. But little did they know their victory was about to be turned upside
King Zhuang of the
state Chu targeted the state of Zheng, which was an ally of Jin, and
successfully forced Zheng to switch allegiance to Chu. Meanwhile, Xun Linfu,
the new commander of the Jin armies, led his forces to relieve Zheng, only to
learn of the surrender of Zheng en route, while camped along the northern bank
of the Yellow River. This created a rift among the Jin commanders, about
whether to meet the Chu forces in battle.
Xun Linfu, after
hearing of Zheng's switch of allegiance, was in favour of retreating; however,
his adjutant Xian Hu, maintaining that it would be cowardly to avoid battle,
led his own troops across the Yellow River without instructions. This forced
the rest of the army to follow suit.
Meanwhile, on the
Chu side, King Zhuang was intimidated by the presence of the Jin army; even his
commander Sunshu Ao was initially in favour of retreat. Wu Can, a Chu
commander, advised against this, citing the inexperience of Xun Linfu as the
supreme commander. King Zhuang thus resolved to face down the Jin army, even
though negotiations for a truce continued between the two armies.
The battle began
only when two generals from the Jin army, rode to try and make the Chu army
surrender. At the sight of this Xun Linfu sent a force to escort the two
generals back to Jin lines, but the rolling dust from this relief force was
mistaken as a general advance by the Jin army. Fearing that the king could be
cut off by the army, Sunshu Ao immediately ordered a general advance from the
Chu army; this unexpected attack overwhelmed Jin forces, which then collapsed
and were routed.
King Zhuang, upon
winning the battle, led his generals to water their horses from the Yellow
River; a request to pursue and destroy the remnant forces was rebuffed on the
grounds that, with the humiliation of Chengpu avenged, there was no need for
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