|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Chinese Wikipedia. (November 2010)|
Tian Dan (simplified Chinese: 田单; traditional Chinese: 田單; pinyin: Tián Dān), from Linzi, was a general during ancient China's Warring States period and member of the royal house of Qi (Shandong) who was known for a spectacular military tactic called "Fire Cattle Columns". After the kingdom was nearly destroyed under King Min of Qi in 284 BC, he helped regain its territory and restored the king's son. He later fought the Beidi nomads, either in the far north or some pocket of these people living in or between the Chinese states.
Yan and Qi Conflicts
In 314 BC, Zizhi, the Chancellor of Yan Kingdom, rebelled against his king and brought the country into months of inner fighting. King Xuan of Qi desired to take advantage of Yan's weakened defenses and launch a military attack on Ji (near modern Beijing), the capital of Yan. However, the attack was unsuccessful.
In 286 BC, King Min of Qi attacked the state of Song and destroyed it, annexing its land into Qi territory. Although successful, the attack incited hostility against Qi from the remaining six kingdoms. The following year, General Meng Wu of Qin led an attack on Qi that captured nine cities. By 284 BC, King Min was resented by most Qi citizens and had drawn the ire of the powerful Qin kingdom, which led a semi-coalition army to attack Qi. The Qi army suffered heavy losses and lost many portions of its territory.
- "Characters of the Warring States Period: Tian Dan (战国时人物：田单)" (in Chinese). MilitaryChina.com. 2005. Retrieved November 6, 2010.
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