Battle of Tian Shan

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Battle of Tian Shan
Part of the Han–Xiongnu War
Date99 B.C.
The Tian Shan mountain range in Xinjiang
Result Xiongnu victory
Han Dynasty Xiongnu

The Battle of Tian Shan (simplified Chinese: 天山之战; traditional Chinese: 天山之戰; pinyin: Tiānshān zhī zhàn) was a battle fought in Tian Shan (in modern-day Xinjiang) in 99 BC during the Han–Xiongnu War. The battle ended with the defeat of the Han Dynasty, whose forces were led by Li Guangli.


Both Xiongnu and Han forces suffered considerable losses in the Battle of Mobei, after which the fighting ceased temporarily. After a period of recovery, Xiongnu began to invade the borders of the Han Dynasty again. Finally, Emperor Liu Che ordered Li Guangli to lead an attack on Xiongnu.

The battle[edit]

In 99 BC, Li Guangli led 30 thousand cavalrymen in an attack on the Xiongnu forces in Tian Shan. The attack was successful, with enemy losses totaling over 10 thousand. However, as the Han army withdrew, it became surrounded by enemy forces, and many soldiers died of starvation. Eventually, Li escaped with the help of Zhao Chongguo, but almost 60 percent of the soldiers had lost their lives by this time. Li Ling, leading 5 thousand cavalrymen, was also attacked by Xiongnu. He eventually surrendered.[1][2]


  1. ^ "汉匈天山之战". Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  2. ^ "汉匈天山之战_统一帝国的兴衰:秦汉历史故事(之四)". Retrieved 2011-10-07.