Battle of Shiting

Battle of Shiting

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Shiting
partof=the wars of the Three Kingdoms

place=Shiting, China
result=Wu victory
combatant1=Eastern Wu
combatant2=Cao Wei
commander1=Lu Xun
commander2=Cao Xiu
The Battle of Shiting (石亭之戰) was a battle between the kingdoms of Cao Wei and Eastern Wu in 228 during the Three Kingdoms period of China. Wu emerged victorious against Wei's forces. The commander for Wu was Lu Xun, and for Wei Cao Xiu. There was a minister of Wu, named Zhou Fang, who pretended to defect to Wei. Zhou Fang was the key to Wu's ambush plan.

The battle

Sun Quan ordered Zhou Fang to lay a trap for Cao Xiu, the commander-in-chief of Wei, by pretending to defect. Cao Xiu was deceived into leading his troops straight into Wan. Then, Sun Quan appointed Lu Xun as Grand Chief Commander, commanding him to lead an attack against Cao Xiu. On the way to the camping area, Cao Xiu was ambushed as planned. Cao Xiu was unable to gain the upper hand in battle, and thus retreated to make camp at Shiting. However, the camp was disturbed in the middle of night, and the soldiers ran away in disarray. Many sets of armor and carts of supplies were abandoned. Cao Xiu sent in a memorial acknowledging his fault. Many of his men were killed. When he looked around for Zhou Fang, Zhou was nowhere to be found. He then knew he had been duped. When Cao Xiu realized that he was tricked, he was too ashamed to turn back; so, thinking that he had more troops and supplies, he chose to engage Lu Xun’s army. Lu Xun personally led the central force and ordered Zhu Huan and Quan Cong to take the left and right flanks. The three armies advanced simultaneously, and decisively took on Cao Xiu’s ambushing troops. Following that, the Wu troops pursued hard on the fleeing Cao army until they reached Jiashi, where they annihilated some ten thousand men and won over ten thousand spoils of war; in addition, All of the Cao army’s equipment and weaponry were looted. Lu Xun regrouped his men; and when he passed by Wuchang, Sun Quan instructed his attendants to shield Lu Xun with his own canopy when entering and leaving the palace doors. [ Sanguozhi biography of Lu Xun] ]

Sun Quan bestowed upon Lu Xun as reward were imperial items, precious items of the finest grade. The honor Lu Xun received was matched by no one in that era.

Cao Xiu barely escaped the battlefield with his life. Indeed, he died a few months later of an ulcer on his back, even after having been pardoned by the emperor of Wei, Cao Rui. [ Sanguozhi biography of Cao Xiu] ]

According to legend, Cao Xiu did not believe Zhou Fang at first. Zhou Fang cut off his famous locks of hair to prove his 'loyalty'. In any case, Zhou Fang knew the territory, so he started to lead Cao Xiu into a clearing, where Cao could set up camp. However, before they left, Cao Xiu was advised not to trust Zhou Fang by one of his advisers, Jia Kui. Cao Xiu did not heed his words; however, and not only went on with Zhou Fang's ploy, but removed Jia Kui from the campaign and decided to march with 3,500 troops.

Jia Kui, who had come along with Cao, helped Cao retreat from the ambush. For this, Jia was highly praised by the emperor himself, and given many promotions. He lived the last years of his life in happiness.Lo Kuan-chung; tr. C.H. Brewitt-Taylor (2002). "Romance of the Three Kingdoms". Tuttle Publishing.]

Modern references

The Battle of Shiting appears in "Dynasty Warriors 3" (called the Battle of You Ting), "4", and "Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends". Players can follow history and carry out the defection plan to easily win the battle.


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