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Battle of Xiakou

The Battle of Xiakou was fought between Sun Quan and Huang Zu along the Chang Jiang in 208 during the during the prelude to the Three Kingdoms period in China. Sun Quan emerged victorious against Huang Zu's forces.

Background

Sun Quan attacked Huang Zu, along the Chang Jiang in Jing Province, because Huang Zu killed Sun Quan's father. NOTE: Sun Ce and Sun Quan didn't initially defeat Huang Zu (Examples: battle of Shaxian in 199 and the battle of Jiangxia in 207), after several attempts Quan defeated Huang Zu at Xiakou.

Battle

During a previous battle, Gan Ning shot an arrow and killed Ling Cao, to protect Huang Zu, but Zu didn't respect Gan Ning. Because of this, Gan Ning joined Sun Quan. After joining Quan, Gan Ning proposed a final march to destroy Zu. Quan launched the final offensive, against Zu's headquarters. Zhou Yu was in command of the vanguard, but it was a very considerable combined force which took part in the attack, and it represented a major commitment to gain a presence in the central Yangzi basin. The key to the battle were the docks, and Quan took the docks, causing Huang Zu's morale to plummet. Zu's defense had a thousand men with crossbows to give covering fire. The arrows poured down like rain, and the army could not get forward. Dong Xi and Ling Tong were together in the van. They boarded a great barge, charged between the covered boats, and Dong Xi himself cut the ropes with his sword. The enemy craft were swept down-stream, and the main body of Quan's forces were able to attack. The city was taken by storm, and Quan captured and executed Huang Zu.

In fiction

In the chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo, Guanzhong, Gan Ning leaped upon one boat and killed Deng Long. Chen Jiu left the fleet and set out for the shore. Lü Meng dropped into a small boat and went among the larger ships setting them on fire. When Chen Jiu had nearly reached the bank, Lü Meng reckless of death went after him, got ahead, and struck him full in the breast so that he fell. Su Fei came with reinforcements, but was too late. Su Fei fled, but was taken prisoner. Zu abandoned Jingxia and attempted to retreat to Jingzhou. Gan Ning fitted an arrow to his bow and shot at Zu. Zu was hit and fell from his steed. Then Gan Ning cut off his head. After this, he joined Cheng Pu, and the two returned to camp.

Modern references

The Battle of Xiakou is reenacted in video games such as Dynasty Warriors 4 and Dynasty Warriors 5. In the latter games, the battle is given more significance when Ling Tong became a playable character.

Sources

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