Ancient Ocean Wars: 6 Incredible Naval Battles
Ancient Ocean Wars: 6 Incredible Naval Battles

Ancient Ocean Wars: 6 Incredible Naval Battles

Stephanie Schoppert - June 14, 2017

Ancient Ocean Wars: 6 Incredible Naval Battles
Battle of Red Cliffs. thehistoryofchina.wordpress.com/

Battle of Red Cliffs 208 CE

The Battle of Red Cliffs occurred in 208 CE during the Han dynasty. The warlord Cao Cao controlled the northern regions of China and had his sights set on the southern part. To this, he needed to get control of the Yangtze River in order to have access to the rest of the southern region. The Yangtze River region was controlled by Liu Biao of the Jing Province, who controlled the area west of the mouth of the Han river, and Sun Quan controlled the region east of the mouth of the Han river. Liu Bei was another enemy of Cao Cao living in refuge with Liu Biao with his own forces.

Cao Cao was initially successful, forcing Liu Biao to retreat and getting the naval base that he wanted. Liu Biao died from disease soon after and his son surrendered to Cao Cao. Cao Cao then sent a letter to Sun Quan boasting the size of his forces and urging the warlord to surrender. Liu Bei on the other hand wanted to strike an alliance with Sun Quan and defeat Cao Cao. Liu Bei had a force of 20,000 to add to the 30,000 of Sun Quan. Cao Cao claimed to have 80,000.

Sun Quan decided to fight and the allied force headed to the Red Cliffs to meet Cao Cao’s forces. When they arrived, the enemy forces were low on morale and suffering from disease due to the long marches. The Sun-Liu forces quickly pushed Cao Cao to retreat. It was after this that a divisional commander for the Sun-Liu forces saw that Cao Cao had chained all of his ships together.

The divisional commander came up with a risky plan. He prepared a squadron of capital ships and filled them with flammable materials, kindling, fatty oil and dry reeds. He then told Cao Cao he was planning on surrendering and sent the ships toward Cao Cao. Once the men reached the midway point they set the ships on fire and escaped on small boats. The burning ships were carried by the winds to Cao Cao’s fleet and set the ships ablaze. An armed force then capitalized on the situation and Cao Cao’s forces were completely defeated.

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