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Zhuge Liang

Zhuge Liang, the minister of the State of Shu during the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), was an outstanding politician and military expert who was known for his use of tactics and strategies, as is best exemplified in the following two stories.

Once, Zhuge Liang, equipped with a very small army, was stationed in Xicheng to guard the city. At the critical moment when Sima Yi, senior general of Cao Cao (a powerful warlord), was about to launch an attack against Xicheng, Zhuge courageously decided on the Empty City Scheme by which he sent the few remaining old soldiers out to sweep the streets with the city gate wide open while Zhuge himself sat on the city wall, playing music.

Bewildered by the situation upon arrival, Sima Yi kept the army from advancing any further. By the time Sima Yi learned the truth, Zhao Yun, senior general of the State of Shu, and his troops had already come to Zhuge's rescue. Sima Yi therefore had to withdraw his troops.

Another time, in the Battle of Red Cliff, in which the Wu and Shu states were allies, Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu decided upon a plan of fire attack against the strong army of Cao Cao. Zhuge secured, in Nanping Mountain, the east wind needed to implement the plan. Subsequently, the two states were able to burn Cao Cao's warships, hence winning the victory.

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