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Old 2011-06-03, 05:56   Link #36
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: U.S.
No, Cao Cao's force was already spread thin, and as decisive as Guan Du was, Cao Cao didn't came out of that battle that much better either. Despise losing Yan Liang and Wen Chou during early parts of campaign, Yuan Shao's army was still advancing fairly easily, and was almost able to cut Cao cao's territories in half all the way to Ru Nan. Similar to Chi Bi where the outcome only robs Cao Cao's ability to mount another immediate attack. The Battle of Guan Du only robs Yuan Shao's ability to mobilize another large invasion force for the time being, but did not impact on his defensive ability.

All Cao Cao can do during the aftermath was to take back the area Yuan Shao took during the beginning of Yuan's Guan Du campaign. The territory virtually revered back to it was before Yuan's invasion. The fact that Cao Cao did not start to mount an attack until Yuan Shao passed away (202 AD) and it took him another two years (204 AD) to take City of Ye, Yuan Shao's capital located just north to the yellow river, shows that Yuan army was still giving him problem and the main reason he was able to steamroll Yuan Shao's son later was because they're fighting amongst themselves.

Also, contrary to popular believe. Right after Guan Du, Cao Cao really didn't have any threats. Ma Teng is the royalist, and in history, at that time he already submits to Cao Cao and is under control of imperial court. In fact, Ma Teng was leading his clan and army assisting Cao Cao under court order when Cao Cao mounts attack after Yuan Shao's death. In addition, Ma Teng and his sons, with exption of Ma Chao, remained in the Han capital working as court officials until Ma Chao's rebellion which caused Cao Cao to arrest and sentenced entire Ma Teng and his clan to death for treason, not the other way around.

On the other hand, Liu Biao and Sun Quan were no threat to Cao Cao. Liu Biao and Sun Clan had been bitter enemies ever since Sun Jian defect to Yuan Shu and Yuan Shu used him against Lui Biao. And other than Sun Clan, Lui Biao's stands always being a bystander. Right after Guan Du, with Sun clan are still dealing with the pass of Sun Ce transfer of leadership, Liu Biao took advantage mounting multiple assaults against them, as result, neither were immediate threat to Cao Cao.

So, if Cao Cao had a ability for do follow up attack after Guan Du, he would have because he really did not have any other threat at time. However, he couldn't because he himself wasn't able to gather any offensive force as well. And actually, it was Yuan Shao who mounted another attack a year after Guan Du in the lessor known Battle of Cang Ting and in that battle, Yuan Shao still enjoyed the numbers advantage with around 70,000 troops while Cao Cao can only muster around 50,000 which included forces from Ma Teng and the Rebels who defect from Yuan Shao after the loss in Guan Du.

Last edited by Undertaker; 2011-06-03 at 06:20.
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