Zhao Yun was a brave
warrior praised by Liu Bei as being one of most "courageous men"
in the fields of battle. Zhao Yun saved Gongsun Zan in a struggle with
Wen Chou and entered his service. There he met Liu Bei, and they developed
a strong friendship. When Gongsun Zan met a fatal blow by Yuan Shao's
army, he met up with Liu Bei again and pledged his loyalty to him.
Twice Zhao Yun rescued Liu Bei's son Liu Shan. The first time was at Changban Bridge. Amidst the clashing armies,
he snatched up little Liu Shan from his dead mother's breast and fought
his way through to Liu Bei. More than fifty of Cao Cao's men lay dead
in his path. A poem was written in remembrance of this courageous feat
Blood stained his battle clothes and glazed his armor red,
At Changban this warrior fended off many a spearhead;
In days of old none other than he risked all for their lord,
The loyalty of Zhao Yun was mightier than the sword.
The second event occured when Liu Bei
was leading an incursion on Shu. His second wife, Lady Sun, a woman
from the Wu Kingdom, attempted to steal the boy away with her as she
fled home. Zhao Yun caught her en route and returned Liu Shan to his
Even with a scant cavalry at Hanzhong,
Zhao Yun managed to surround Cao Cao's much larger army. After returning
from the battlefield, Zhang Zhu fell under a second attack by Cao Cao.
Zhao Yun rushed to his aid and the enemy cleared out at the sight of
his banner. Cao Cao ordered an assault on the castle Zhao Yun defended.
The gates were left wide open and Cao Cao's men filed into the compounds.
Suddenly, Zhao Yun jumped out and tore the enemy to pieces. Liu Bei
praised his strategy, and thereafter, Zhao Yun was known as the "Tiger
Prowess." Cao Cao once admired him and called him the hero of Dangyang.
Zhao Yun gave simple advice when Liu Bei
sought a way to avenge Guan Yu's death. Zhao Yun reminded him, "The
rebel at fault was actually Cao Cao, and now his son Cao Pi carries
the blame. Sun Quan is not responsible. Reflect on the politics of the
problem, and worry about the geography later." Thus Liu Bei attacked
Wu instead of Wei.
After Liu Bei's death, Zhao Yun helped Zhuge Liang expand the Shu Kingdom,
yet they were beaten back out of northern regions. Zhao Yun withdrew
through the mountains taking up the rear guard. His presence alone frightened
off their pursuers and helped minimize their losses. His selfless command
impressed Zhuge Liang, and he offered Zhao Yun a supply of provisions
in reward. But, he refused them saying, "We accomplished nothing in
our efforts, so why the reward?" Keep these provisions in store until
winter when they will be most in demand." Zhao Yun was truly a virtuous