The Battle of Red Cliffs (also called the Battle of Chibi) took place in the winter of 208/209 CE and it was one of the largest naval battles in history.
On one side there was the ambitious northern warlord, Cao Cao, with his enormous army.
On the other side, there were the southern warlord’s Sun Quan and Liu Bei, who joined forces but were still numerically inferior when compared to the forces of their enemy.
Despite an apparently lower number of soldiers, Sun Quan and Liu Bei managed to frustrate Cao Cao’s efforts and win this decisive battle.
In the aftermath, they gained control of the area that later belonged to the states of Shu Han and Eastern Wu.
Cao Cao, who was born in 155 CE, was a warlord in northern China. He wanted to rule all of China. But there were other warlords in southern China who did not want to be ruled by Cao Cao.
So Cao Cao went south with his army to conquer the south. The southern warlords united their armies to fight against Cao Cao. They defeated him and drove him back north.
In 208 A.D., Liu Bei and Sun Quan defeated Cao Cao in the Battle of Red Cliffs.
This is one of the most important battles in Chinese history because it marks the end of the Han Dynasty and it was the beginning of the Three Kingdoms period.
The battle is said to have taken place on the southern bank of The Yangtze River
The great Chinese general, Cao Cao, had the most powerful army in China at the time.
He wanted to take over all of China.
So he started a campaign to conquer the south.
He led his army to the south and conquered many cities. He defeated many armies. Then he met a really strong army led by Liu Bei, who was also trying to take over all of China.
Cao Cao was not able to defeat Liu Bei, so he had to give up his plan to conquer all of China.
Cao Cao was the most influential figure in the crumbling Han empire – more important than emperor Xian himself – and the most powerful Chinese warlord.
He had already taken total control of northern China, and in the autumn of 208, he wanted to invade the territory south of the Yangtze River and become the ruler of the whole Eastern Han land.
The other three warlords were in charge of the southern territories.
Cao Cao had a huge advantage. Not only that his army was larger and better equipped. His enemies were in the middle of a political crisis. Liu Biao was ill, his sons struggled for succession, and then Liu Biao died. Meanwhile, Cao Cao captured a whole fleet and gained control over the naval base at Jiangling.
Liu Bei fled the Jing Province, followed by numerous refugees. Cao Cao asked Sun Quan to surrender. However, Sun Quan decided to resist and enter the war against Cao Cao.
Sun Quan sent his best generals and 30,000 men to help Liu Bei. Cao Cao, on the comparison, bragged about his 800,000 men. This number was probably not correct; Sun Quan’s chief commander, Zhou Yu, estimated that Cao Cao’s army was numbering about 230,000 men – which was still a large number.
In addition to 30,000 men that Sun Quan sent, Liu Bei gathered another 20,000. All of them were skilled and ready for marine battle.
What was the name of the northern warlord who initiated the Battle of Red Cliffs?
It was Cao Cao.
When and where did the battle take place?
In winter 208/9 CE on the south bank of Yangtze River
Which side had a larger navy?
Cao Cao’s navy was larger.
Which navy was better prepared?
The navy of the southern allies was better prepared