字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 The Han Dynasty of China had endured for over 4 centuries, yet as time progressed, its monarchs became more apathetic, while its officials ever more self-serving and corrupt. Thus, by the end of the 2nd century, the Han was only a shell of its former self. Though all still claimed nominal allegiance to the emperor, true power now lay in the regional warlords. This video is brought to you by Total War: THREE KINGDOMS, a brand new strategy game that combines a gripping turn-based campaign of empire-building, statecraft and conquest with stunning real-time battles. Choose from a cast of legendary warlords and conquer the realm. Unite China under your rule, forge the next great dynasty, and build a legacy that will last through the ages. Recruit heroic characters to aide your cause and dominate your enemies on military, technological, political, and economic fronts. Will you build powerful friendships, form brotherly alliances, and earn the respect of your many foes? Or would you rather commit acts of treachery, inflict heart-wrenching betrayals, and become a master of grand political intrigue? Your legend is yet to be written, but one thing is certain: glorious conquest awaits. Buy the game on Steam by clicking the link in the description. The ongoing rebellions had resulted in the empowerment of general Dong Zhuo in 184. He was charged with restoring order to the realm and by 189 his task was complete. Yet with the army at his back, Dong Zhuo did not stand down, and marched on the two capitals of the empire. Initially, Dong burned the eastern capital Luoyang to the ground, and then situated himself within the walled western capital, Chang’an, thus seizing power for himself. Deposing the sitting emperor and placing a child in his stead, Dong Zhuo initiated a reign of terror as cruel as it was short-lived. After little more than two years, his second-in-command Lü Bu finally turned on him and assassinated him in 192. Dong Zhuo’s tyranny had forged an unlikely alliance of regional warlords to oppose him, but they were united only in their hatred of the mad general. Thus, with his execution, so too did the coalition fragment. In the northeast of China were Yuan Shao and Cao Cao, two of the region’s most powerful warlords. Both of these men held sufficient forces to be able to offer “protection” to the underage Emperor Xian of Han – thereby ensuring their own ability to rule in the boy-king’s name. While Yuan Shao debated the wisdom of such an action, Cao Cao moved first, spiriting the young emperor away from his place of refuge in the ruins of Luoyang, to his own fortress at Xu in Yan Province. Safely ensconced within Xu and using edicts stamped with the emperor’s own seal, Cao Cao spent much of 196 to 200 bringing the other northern warlords to heel. This process was greatly aided in 197 when southern China quickly splintered into multiple warring states. Yuan Shao had meanwhile realized that his slowness to act had likely cost him the empire. Both clearly understood that there wasn’t enough room in the north for two ambitious warlords with dreams of empire. It was in the year 200 that the building friction between the two former comrades erupted into full-scale conflict. The location of the primary battle, Guandu, was significant because it was situated near the Yan Ford of the Yellow River and on the road to Cao Cao’s capital Xu. This made it a key staging point for both militaries to control in order to further their objectives. As early as August of 199, Cao Cao realized the critical importance of holding Fort Dushi on the southern bank of the main crossing of the Yellow River. Thus, he stationed a garrison there to expand and improve its defenses in preparation for the inevitable conflict with Yuan Shao. There was a clear difference in the strength of each side. Cao Cao fielded a respectable force of some 40,000, but was dwarfed by Yuan Shao’s coalition of more than 110,000, including 10,000 heavy cavalry. The moment for Yuan Shao to strike came in the first month of 200, with an unexpected turn of events. The governor of Xu Province in the south, Liu Bei, rebelled against his lord Cao Cao’s control, and pledged himself to Yuan Shao’s half-brother. As Cao Cao hurried to redeploy his armies and deal with this betrayal, he gambled that Yuan Shao was not yet ready to attack. Therefore he personally led the expedition against Liu Bei, leaving his lieutenant Yue Jin in command of Dushi. This left the northern border of Yan exposed – an opportunity Yuan Shao could scarcely afford to ignore. With Cao Cao absent, Yuan felt he could easily seize control of Yan Province, along with the emperor himself. He immediately mobilized his massive army to the crossing at Yan Ford. Here, hoping to establish a beachhead on the southern bank, he dispatched a vanguard of 4,000 infantry and cavalry to seize the river crossing. It was here that Cao Cao’s early preparations in reinforcing Fort Dushi were rewarded. In spite of Cao Cao’s absence, the entrenched forces of Guandu repeatedly rebuffed Yuan Shao’s initial attempts. Though they were vastly outnumbered, with only 2000 defenders in all, the narrow confines of the ford negated Yuan Shao’s numerical advantage. The commander of Fort Dushi, though, knew that their luck would not hold if Yuan launched his full strength against them. Reinforcements arrived under the command of Yu Jin with a detachment of 2,000 men, which were dispatched up the river to raid and disrupt Yuan Shao’s encampments, thus preventing them from unifying in a concerted push. Liu Bei’s rebellion against Cao Cao disintegrated almost immediately, with the traitorous warlord fleeing first south, and ultimately into the protection and employ of Yuan Shao. Despite his surprise attack failing to achieve the desired quick victory, and Cao Cao once again personally leading the defense of Yan, Yuan ignored advice to end his campaign. Instead he and his army to crossed the Yellow River downstream of Yan Ford and laid siege to Fort Boma. Rather than directly aiding the besieged fort, Cao Cao led his armies in a feint upriver toward Yan Ford. This fooled Yuan Shao into believing Cao’s intent was to cross the river and attack his main camp. To defend against this, Yuan was forced to divert reinforcements bound for the Siege of Boma and instead counter Cao Cao’s purported river crossing. Cao Cao, however, had double-backed to strike at the enemy forces outside Boma and lift their siege of the fortress. Cao Cao’s army utterly routed the besiegers at Boma, and in the course of the battle Yuan Shao’s general in charge of the siege was killed. Nevertheless, Cao Cao, having decided that the fortress was no longer defensible, ordered his forces to withdraw southwest, and take up their prepared positions at Guandu. Again trying to seize the initiative, Yuan Shao ordered a force of 6,000 cavalry to attack the retreating enemy and take them by surprise. Having been Yuan Shao’s battlefield ally for many years, however, Cao Cao had anticipated such a maneuver. He thus ordered many of his soldiers to dismount and drop their weapons and valuables along the way. As expected, the attacking cavalry were lured by the scattered roadside goods, and they halted their pursuit to collect the bounty. At that point, Cao Cao’s own force of 600 elite cavalry ambushed them, killing hundreds, including their force commander, and routing the rest. Guandu and its fortress not only lay on the southern bank of the Bian River south of the Yellow River, but was also ringed by a series of massive earthwork fortifications. These functioned as trenches, holding defenders within each concentric ring. Despite these formidable barriers, Yuan Shao decided not to set up siege lines and starve the defenders out, but to commit his army to storming Guandu. His soldiers constructed massive siege platforms taller than the earthwork barriers, from which archers would fire arrows down into the enemy. But Cao Cao now revealed his own counter-siege weapon: his mangonels, also known as traction trebuchets, capable of shattering the wooden platforms with ease. Yuan Shao’s attempt to storm Guandu’s defenses was a failure.. As Cao Cao countered Yuan Shao’s every move, the Battle of Guandu devolved into a stalemate. This was not, however, to Cao Cao’s advantage, as his province was rapidly running low on food and supplies. Without swift relief, starvation would force his defeat. Word reached Cao Cao that his means of salvation may have been found. He received a report that a mere 20 km away, Yuan Shao’s army had been stockpiling its own stores of grain at the nearby village of Gushi. Yet rather than attempting to seize the grain for his own soldiers, Cao Cao dispatched a small force of light cavalry to surround the village and incinerate it, grain and all. This certainly did not help his own situation, but Cao Cao had wagered that it would cost Yuan Shao’s army even more, especially given that his own supply lines had been extended deep within Cao’s territory. Shortly thereafter, in the 10th month, Yuan’s own emergency reserves of supplies were indeed called to the front and stored at Wuchao, near Gushi. Yet it was lightly defended, and when one of Yuan’s subordinates attempted to alert the warlord to that oversight, he was brushed aside – resulting in the miffed officer’s defection to Cao Cao, where he informed him of this new supply cache. Though suspicious of this conveniently timed information, Cao Cao’s army was nonetheless at a critical point and could not afford to ignore the opportunity. Cao Cao personally led a nighttime raid with 5,000 infantry and cavalry to capture, or failing that, destroy the Wuchao depot. Using the darkness and the expectation of an incoming relief force to their advantage, Cao Cao and his men quickly overran the defenders and, when recovery proved impractical, again set fire to the supplies. When word reached Yuan Shao that his granary had again been destroyed, rather than attempting to save his supplies, he committed almost his entire army to storming the defenses at Guandu and achieving an immediate breakthrough. The battle raged on through the night at tremendous human cost, but as before, no significant gains were made against the fortress. When dawn broke the next morning, Yuan Shao’s soldiers, already thoroughly demoralized by the loss of the last of their food, were horrified to discover that Cao Cao had ordered the lips and noses of the enemy dead removed, mixed with pig entrails, and scattered on the outskirts of their comrades’ camps. As hopelessness swept the camps, two more commanders defected to Cao Cao, causing even more despair and confusion. It was at this moment that Cao Cao’s counterassault came. Launching his full strength at the exhausted and unsuspecting enemy camps, 20,000 Yan soldiers ploughed into Yuan Shao’s disorganized ranks, broke their lines and caused the panicked soldiers to rout. By the end of the day, by Cao Cao’s own (perhaps overblown) estimation to Emperor Xian, more than 70,000 of Yuan’s 110,000-strong army lay dead, and the rest had been captured. The majority of these captives would subsequently be buried alive by Cao Cao’s order. Though Yuan Shao himself had managed to slip away in the retreat with a force of 800 cavalry, his power across the north was broken. He would die two years later, and his sons would quickly tear the remnants of his realm apart, making them easy targets for the armies of Cao Cao. In little more than 5 years’ time, Cao Cao had gone from just one of many regional northern warlords, to absolute ruler of the entire north. Our series on the conflicts of the Three Kingdoms will continue, so make sure you are subscribed to our channel and pressed the bell button. We would like to express our gratitude to our Patreon supporters and channel members, who make the creation of our videos possible. Now, you can also support us by buying our merchandise via the link in the description. This is the Kings and Generals channel, and we will catch you on the next one.