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PROFILES OF THE WISE STRATEGISTS - ZHOU YU
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ZHOU YU
Full Name : Zhou Gongjin []
Life Span : 35 years [175 - 210 AD]
Served : Sun Ce, Sun Quan
Home  : Shu county, Lujiang district [Shucheng in Anhui prov.]
Rank/Title  : Great Commander-in-Chief / Governor of Nanjun
Description  : Supreme Commander and Admiral of Wu

     Zhou Yu was a close friend to Sun Ce from his childhood and later they swore brotherhood. He first served under Sun Ce in the war against Liu Yong. Sun Ce valued his support and remarked, "Now I have you in my army, everything should run smoothly for us." Zhou Yu verified his statement by going on conquer castle after castle in his name. He also recommended the two Zhangs of Guangling, Zhang Zhao and Zhang Hong to assist Sun Ce.
     After Sun Ce's death, Zhou Yu rallied support for the heir, Sun Quan, with the help of Zhang Zhao. He recommended Lu Su to Sun Quan to be his adviser. After Cao Cao had overcome Yuan Shao, he demanded Sun Quan to send his son at court as a hostage, but Zhou Yu convinced Sun Quan not to do so. In the campaign against Huang Zu, he was appointed as Commander-in-Chief and Huang Zu was beaten shortly.      When Cao Cao began an incursion southward, he jumped into action with Lu Su to defend Wu in the Battle at Red Wall together with Liu Bei. He convinced Sun Quan to fight regardless the odd in numbers and was appointed as Commander-in-Chief. In the first battle, Zhou Yu was victorious and Cao Cao lost many men. Then Cao Cao sent out Jiang Gan to persuade Zhou Yu to surrender, but nothing he said could make him budge. Jiang Gan returned with a letter saying that Cai Mao and Zhang Yun, who feigned defection over to Zhou Yu, were traitors. They promised to deliver Cao Cao's head to Zhou Yu. Cao Cao had the two generals executed immediately, yet actually the whole story was part of Zhou Yu's plan to eliminate the best generals in the enemy camp. In retaliation Cao Cao planted Cai Zhong and Cai He in the Wu camp as deserters. However, Zhou Yu saw through it and manipulated them by staging a fake desertion in which Huang Gai played the runaway. Furthermore, a Wu spy named Pang Tong convinced Cao Cao to chain-link his ships together to counter rough waters. Then an allied ship by Huang Gai fake surrender and set Cao Cao's ships on fires, while Zhou Yu began his incendiary attack. In his escape, Cao Cao retorted, "Zhou Yu is the one who defeated me, so I am not ashamed to retreat."
     With ambitions to conquer Shu territory, Zhou Yu advanced his army into Jingzhou. He explained his plan for expanding Wu territory : "Cao Cao is weak from his loss at Red Wall, so he presents no danger to us right now. I want to conquer Shu with the help of Sun Yu. Once we annex Hanzhong, I will give him charge of that region. He will allied with Ma Chao, and I will return to fortify my stronghold, just in case Cao Cao should descend on the south again. According to this plan we can secure the north." Apparently Zhou Yu imagined that two rivals regions would emerge, north and south, whereas Zhuge Liang envisioned the Three Kingdoms Design. When he met Cao Ren, he was wounded by a poisonous arrow in an ambush planned by Cao Cao. Then he faked his death and beat Cao Ren back, but Zhuge Liang had captured the cities. Seeing this he was angry and his rage caused his wound to reopen.
     Ultimately, Zhou Yu was overcome by Liu Bei's powerful influence. He tried to see through Liu Bei's heroism and took every precaution against him but he could not overcome Zhuge Liang. Sun Quan gave his permission to attack Liu Bei, but he died in the early stages of his campaign. "Zhou Yu was a brilliant advisor." Sun Quan lamented. "Death unexpectedly robbed as of his talents and youth. Without Zhou Yu, I have no control over the events that fate brings my way."

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