Battle of Shiting

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Battle of Shiting
Part of the wars of the Three Kingdoms period
At Shiting, Lu Xun defeats Cao Xiu.jpg
A Qing Dynasty illustration of Cao Xiu's defeat.
Date 228 CE
Location Shiting (present-day Qianshan County, Anhui), Yang Province, China
Result Eastern Wu victory
Eastern Wu Cao Wei
Commanders and leaders
Lu Xun
Zhou Fang
Quan Cong
Zhu Huan
Cao Xiu
Zhou Fang (defected)
Jia Kui
30,000 100,000
Casualties and losses
Minimal Heavy
Battle of Shiting
Traditional Chinese 石亭之戰
Simplified Chinese 石亭之战

The Battle of Shiting was fought between the contending states of Cao Wei and Eastern Wu in 228 during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. The battle concluded with victory of Wu over Wei.


Sun Quan ordered Zhou Fang to lay a trap for Cao Xiu, the commander-in-chief of Wei, by pretending to defect. Cao Xiu was deceived into leading his troops straight into Wan. Then, Sun Quan appointed Lu Xun as Grand Chief Commander, commanding him to lead an attack against Cao Xiu. On the way to the camping area, Cao Xiu was ambushed as planned. Cao Xiu was unable to gain the upper hand in battle, and thus retreated to make camp at Shiting. However, the camp was disturbed in the middle of night, and the soldiers ran away in disarray. Many sets of armor and carts of supplies were abandoned. Cao Xiu sent in a memorial acknowledging his fault. Many of his men were killed. When he looked around for Zhou Fang, Zhou was nowhere to be found. He then knew he had been duped. When Cao Xiu realized that he was tricked, he was too ashamed to turn back; so, thinking that he had more troops and supplies, he chose to engage Lu Xun's army. Lu Xun personally led the central force and ordered Zhu Huan (朱桓) and Quan Cong to take the left and right flanks. The three armies advanced simultaneously, and decisively took on Cao Xiu's ambushing troops. Following that, the Wu troops pursued hard on the fleeing Cao army until they reached Jiashi, where they annihilated some 10,000 men and won over 10,000 spoils of war; in addition, All of the Wei army's equipment and weaponry were looted. Lu Xun regrouped his men; and when he passed by Wuchang, Sun Quan instructed his attendants to shield Lu Xun with his own canopy when entering and leaving the palace doors.[1][2]

Sun Quan bestowed upon Lu Xun as reward were imperial items, precious items of the finest grade. The honor Lu Xun received was matched by no one in that era.[1]

Cao Xiu barely escaped the battlefield with his life. Indeed, he died a few months later of an ulcer on his back, even after having been pardoned by the Emperor of Wei, Cao Rui.[2]

According to legend, Cao Xiu did not believe Zhou Fang at first. Zhou Fang cut off his famous locks of hair to prove his "loyalty". In any case, Zhou Fang knew the territory, so he started to lead Cao Xiu into a clearing, where Cao could set up camp. However, before they left, Cao Xiu was advised not to trust Zhou Fang by one of his advisers, Jia Kui. Cao Xiu did not heed his words; however, and not only went on with Zhou Fang's ploy, but removed Jia Kui from the campaign and decided to march with 70,000 troops.[2]

Jia Kui, who had come along with Cao Xiu, helped Cao retreat from the ambush. For this, Jia Kui was highly praised by the emperor Cao Rui himself, and given many promotions. He lived the last years of his life in happiness.[3]


  1. ^ a b Sanguozhi vol. 58.
  2. ^ a b c Sanguozhi vol. 9.
  3. ^ Luo Guanzhong; tr. C.H. Brewitt-Taylor (2002). Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Tuttle Publishing.