The only way to fight this battle would be across a small front with the armies facing each other. In August 208 AD, the enemy army approached the front of Cao Cao’s troops.
After a three month standoff, Cao Cao took a small force and led a night raid to the town where the enemy stored its food supplies and burned them.
When the battle with Yuan Shao’s army finally took place, Cao Cao used deception to make the enemy believe he was attacking in the east when he was in the west fifty kilometers from where the enemy expected him.
That deception caused the enemy general to divide his army, and while he was marching east, Cao Cao moved quickly to attack the other half of Yuan Shao’s unprepared army ending in victory.
In 189 AD, the emperor died and there was a power struggle to see who would control the dynasty. Thousands were murdered, and Cao Cao became the power behind the powerless, last emperor.
Due to the years of struggle, many of the farms had been abandoned leading to famine. Cao Cao became prime minister and reestablished the farms around the capital to end the famine. To deal with danger, each farm was populated with farmers and soldiers to work the land.
The harvests from those farms ended the famine.
Soon after Cao Cao’s death, Wei defeated the other two kingdoms and reunified China establishing the Western Jin Dynasty (265 – 420 AD). In death, Cao Cao was honored and named Emperor Wei Wudi.
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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.
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