Wei–Jie war

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Wei-Jie war
Date 350 - 351
Location Northern China
Result Decisive Wei Victory; many Jie and other Wu Hu killed.
Ran Wei Jie and other Wu Hu
Commanders and leaders
Ran Min Shi Zhi
100,000+ 100,000+
Casualties and losses
light Hundreds of thousands of Jie and other Wu Hu killed

The Wei–Jie war was a conflict in North China in 350. Following the fall of the ethnic-Jie Later Zhao regime in 350 by the Chinese state of Ran Wei, tensions were high. The Jie people, who had formed the Later Zhao Dynasty, did not accept Ran Min's rule and rose against him, and they were joined by many other Wu Hu nations. The resulting war was a decisive victory for Ran Min, who then proceeded to issue his famous "extermination order", which resulted in the extermination of virtually all of the Jie and most of the Wu Hu.


By 350, struggles within the Jie Later Zhao regime had resulted in the benefit of Ran Min, who then took over the regime and massacred the entire Shi family, who ruled Later Zhao, with the exception of one cousin of Shi Jian, the last emperor of Later Zhao, who led an uprising against him, beginning the Wei–Jie war.

Course of the war[edit]

Outbreak of the war[edit]

Shi Jian's cousin, Shi Zhi, had been a Later Zhao general at Xiangguo. When he heard that Ran Min had massacred the Shi family and declared himself emperor, Shi Zhi rebelled against Ran Min. He was quickly joined by several other Later Zhao border armies, mostly composed of Jie soldiers and who despised Ran Min's rule.[1]

Extermination of the Wu Hu[edit]

When he heard of the Jie revolt against him, Ran Min issued his famous "extermination order", in which he called on the Chinese to kill all the Wu Hu who had conquered them half a century earlier. The effect was immense; some 200,000 Jie were killed in Yecheng (the Wei capital) in a few days, and brutal fighting broke out between Chinese and Wu Hu throughout North China.[1]

Battle of Xiangguo[edit]

Meanwhile, Ran Min's army met the main rebel forces under Shi Zhi and defeated them at the Battle of Yecheng. In spring 351, Ran Min besieged Shi Zhi's capital Xiangguo. Shi Zhi sought aid from Former Yan's prince Murong Jun and was able to deal Ran a major defeat. At this time, the Xiongnu soldiers in Yecheng rebelled, captured his son Ran Yin, and surrendered to Shi Zhi, who executed Ran Yin. Ran Min was thought to be dead, but when he appeared in Yecheng, the city was calmed. Shi Zhi had his general Liu Xian (劉顯) besiege Yecheng, but Ran Min defeated Liu in battle and awed him so much that Liu agreed that once he returned to Xiangguo, he would kill Shi Zhi and surrender. He did so and sent Shi Zhi's head to Ran Min, and Ran Min had Shi Zhi's head be burned on a busy street in Yecheng. Later Zhao was at its final end. The city of Xiangguo was burned, and its population moved to Yecheng.[1]

End of the war[edit]

Following the victory at Xiangguo, Ran Min's forces proceeded northwards and defeated two Later Zhao border armies. Wherever he captured territory from the rebels, Ran Min's forces massacred any Wu Hu living there, burying them in large pits. Some 100,000 were reputedly killed in this way. Thousands of Wu Hu fled China or were killed. The Jie were particularly hard hit; they were virtually completely wiped out[citation needed].


  1. ^ a b c Li and Zheng, pg 402


  • Li, Bo; Zheng Yin (Chinese) (2001) 5000 years of Chinese history, Inner Mongolian People's publishing corp, ISBN 7-204-04420-7,
  • Book of Jin.