Saturday, July 28, 2012

Historical Context: Battle of Jiangxia

Pierre Ngo as Sun Quan {1}


In episode 8 of Three Kingdoms RPG, there is mention about the death of Wong Jo, a general serving under Liu Biu (the governor of Jing Province). We don’t see any battle scenes, but this is actually reference to the Battle of Jiangxia (江夏之).

The Battle of Jiangxia was between Sun Quan’s forces and Wong Jo. Sun Quan desperately wanted to get avenge his father’s death at the hands of Wong Jo. He had previously launched an attack in the same vicinity, known as the Battle of Xiahou (夏口之), but it ended inconclusively.

The battle did not start off well for Wong Jo. He had sent one of his generals to scout the area, but coincidentally, one of Sun Quan’s generals was also surveying the area at the same time. Despite fighting with only a few dozen men , Sun Quan’s general killed Wong Jo’s general and captured his men.

Learning of this, Wong Jo quickly ordered two large ships to block the river. There was a standoff between Wong Jo and Sun Quan’s ships. But Sun Quan’s ships were suffering heavy damages because Wong Jo had men positioned atop the cliffs to launch rocks and arrows from above.

Seeing this, Sun Quan’s strategist, Zhou Yu, had a hundred brave soldiers put on heavy armour and charge through the barrage of rocks. They successfully destroyed the connection between Wong Jo’s two ships. Subsequently, another one of Wong Jo’s general was killed. Wong Jo's numerically superior army had lost to Sun Quan’s smaller force.

Wong Jo, who had been stationed in the city during the battle, was killed in his flee out of the city. Sun Quan finally succeeded in seeking revenge for his father and presented Wong Jo’s head at his father’s grave.

The Aftermath

Lau Kei was the eldest son of Liu Biu. Fearing that he was being plotted against by his brother Lau Chung and step-mother Lady Choi, he sought help from Zhuge Liang. However, Zhuge Liang didn’t seem to want to help him. So Lau Kei lured him to the attic and removed the ladder.  Safely away from prying ears, Zhuge Liang advises Lau Kei to take over Wong Jo’s position in Jiangxia. This becomes one of the 36 Stratagems, 上屋抽梯 (literally ascend to the roof, remove the ladder).

With the able general Wong Jo out of the picture and the pending death of Liu Biu, Jing Province will eventually fall to Cao Cao.

Jack Wu (second from left) plays Lau Kei. {2}


















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