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Battle of Ruxu (213)

Battle of Ruxu
Traditional Chinese濡須之戰
Simplified Chinese濡须之战
Battle of Ruxukou
Traditional Chinese濡須口之戰
Simplified Chinese濡须口之战

The Battle of Ruxu, also known as the Battle of Ruxukou, was fought between the warlords Cao Cao and Sun Quan in 213 during the late Eastern Han dynasty of China. The battle consisted of multiple attacks led by Cao Cao, but all were eventually lifted after efforts by Sun Quan's forces.


Before 213, Cao Cao was undergoing war with Ma Chao and Sun Quan following his defeat during the Battle of Red Cliffs. One of the movements that Cao Cao wanted to make in his war against Sun Quan was to intimidate Sun Quan by stationing one of his officers, Xie Qi (謝奇), at Wancheng (皖城; present-day Qianshan County, Anhui) and spread his forces to Qichun County in order to agitate Sun Quan.[1]

In order to stop Cao Cao's harassment, Sun Quan sent his general Lü Meng to demand Xie Qi to surrender at once. However, Xie Qi refused, therefore Lü Meng then was forced to respond in means of an attack. Xie Qi went down easily and retreated.[2] Two of Xie Qi's subordinates, Sun Zicai and Song Hao, quickly surrendered to Lü Meng, fishing up morale. Cao Cao then began to mobilise troops to attack Ruxu (濡須) and captured Gongsun Yang, an officer under Sun Quan. Sun Quan, in response, ordered Lü Meng to follow his personal lead of his forces to stop Cao Cao's advance towards Ruxu.

The battle

Lü Meng came up with a defence plan against Cao Cao's attack consisting of warships readied at a quickly established dock,[3] to be used to backfire Cao Cao's advance after a flood that was supposed to occur not long into the battle.

Sun Guan, who died in battle at Ruxu in either 213 or 217, was perhaps fatally injured in his attack onto Sun Quan's line of defence by Xu Sheng. Sun Guan died not long after his rescue at Cao Cao's camp.[4]

Lü Meng's prediction quickly was proven correct,[5] Sun Quan then started to send out his warships onto Cao Cao's army, but a few of their ships were blown off course, but not much.[6] (This could have been the death of Dong Xi.) Having realised the experience of Sun's army, Cao Cao eventually decided to withdraw.

In a momentum burst, a few other generals of Sun Quan joined Lü Meng in a following assault onto Wancheng and Lujiang.


Zhang Liao, following this withdrawal, stationed his troops at Hefei,[7] where in 215 he played a major role in the Battle of Xiaoyao Ford.[8]

Order of battle


  1. ^ (魏使廬江謝奇為蘄春典農,屯皖田鄉,數為邊寇) Sanguozhi vol. 54.
  2. ^ (伺隙襲擊,奇遂縮退) Sanguozhi vol. 54.
  3. ^ (權特為案行至濡須塢,因會諸將,大為酣樂) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  4. ^ (盛獨將兵,上突斫敵,敵披退走,有所傷殺) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  5. ^ (後從權拒曹公於濡須,數近奇計,又勸權夾水口立塢,所以備御甚精) Sanguozhi vol. 54.
  6. ^ (時乘蒙沖,遇迅風,船落敵岸下) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  7. ^ (权守合肥十馀日,城不可拔,乃引退) Sanguozhi vol. 17.
  8. ^ (辽率诸军追击,几复获权. 太祖大壮辽,拜征东将军. 建安二十一年,太祖复征孙权,到合肥,循行辽战处,叹息者良久.) Sanguozhi vol. 17.
  9. ^ (後從攻皖,為升城督. 寧手持練,身緣城,為吏士先,卒破獲朱光.) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  10. ^ (後曹公出濡須,寧為前部督,受敕出斫敵前營) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  11. ^ (曹公出濡須,從權御之) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  12. ^ (魏嘗大出橫江,盛與諸將俱赴討) Sanguozhi vol. 55.