bao cai wrote:however that doesn't mean zhuge liang was a fool not a talented one and the reasons you're speaking about aren't that much that you think
Sorry, where did I say Zhuge Liang was a fool or untalented? The man was a brilliant inventor and administrator, a skilled if cautoius commander. Doesn't mean everything he said was right. Nearly every adviser, particularly inexperienced ones like Liang was, give stupid advice at some point or another. Then trick for a ruler is knowing when the advice is good and when it is bad.
That last sentence is confusing? Do you mean the reasons for Liu Bei attacking Wu aren't strong? If not, please ignore rest of post.
Ok let's compare the two options, then you can see why Liu Bei might have rejected the pro-attack Wei camp:
Justification: The 219 invasion was on parts of Jing that Wu had no claim on. Wu had just turned around and backstabbed them, killing senior generals and making a land-grab. Kinda hard not to be able to spin justification out of that, though wait too long and that goes.
Reasons for attacking at that point rather then Wei:
-Shu needs Jing. Shu as the smallest kingdom is more going to be hurt then the bigger two rivals. Yet even leaving out the resources that extra land gives, Shu still needs Jing. Without it, they have only one route of attack, with the difficulties of supplies through Hanzhong. Jing allows a viceroy to launch an independent or joint attack, right into the heart of Wei. There are reasons some argue Shu was long term doomed by the events of 219 and the failure at Yiling.
-Wu has lost Lu Meng and it's anti-Shu army is under the relatively inexperienced hands of Lu Xun, who would prove to struggle to impose order on his officers.
-Wu may be doing diplomacy but they aren't offering anything.
-Shu is now mocked as too weak to defend itself, only Liu Ye in Wei's court seemed to believe Liu Bei could strike back. That kind of perceived position is not where any kingdom or country wants to be. A kingdom too weak to defend itself will have no diplomatic clout and may find itself seen as a target by Wu and Wei. An attack on Wei is just what Wu want and might well give Shu a new name: Wu's puppet. That being the polite version of a name for a kingdom that has been crippled and yet helps the guy who crippled it.
-Wei and Wu's relationship is breaking down. This means Liu Bei can afford to be defeated and, as long as the defeat isn't too devastating (which unfortunately, Yi Ling was too devastating), he can get something out of this. With luck, Pi would invade Wu at the same time and Liu Bei can exploit that. If Pi invades later then Liu Bei can make another attack, then either seizing lands while Wu is hard pressed or forcing Wu into a proper diplomatic deal.
-Wu will have forces committed to Ruxu due to the potential threat of Wei.
-Your officers have some knowledge of the area and Wu has yet to fully establish control, there will be some revolts to try and exploit.
-Taking Jing, by force or diplomacy, would boost Shu. It makes Shu seem strong, it would give them lands and a second route and this seems easier to do then taking Liang or Chang An.
Reasons not to invade Wu:
-Cao Pi becoming Emperor, invading him as both symbolic and opportunistic reasons.
-To keep Wu onside for longer.
Justification: Cao Pi overthrowing the Han. Easy one for Shu to justify
Reason to attack Wei:
-Cao Pi has become Emperor and overthrew the Han. Shu has declared itself the continuation of said Han. There is something to be said for the symbol of attacking the usurper. Striking Wu first does destroy that symbol.
-Uncertainty in Wei. The loss of Cao Cao and a new ruler is bound to unsettle a few people. Throw in the end of the Han and there may be uncertainty to exploit. Cao Pi was aware of it, partly why he delayed an attack on Wu as he shored up his position. If Liu Bei invades, it may spark off revolts or defections that hampers Wei's defense and gives Liu Bei something to exploit.
-Getting Chang An would grand Shu a huge political boost, getting Liang would hopefully provide cavalry to help match Wei.
-Wu would be grateful.
Problems with attack Wei:
-Problem with the Liang/Chang An thing: Zhuge Liang and Jiang Wei never got close to managing this and it would require a brilliant camapign+luck whereas Jing could be easier to get hold of.
-Will need an impressive victory to make up for the Wu puppet thing. Can they get it? Can they even get a victory?
-Wei does seem to have had defenses in place for a Shu attack.
-The supply lines at Hanzhong will make things difficult for an extended camapign. Liu Bei's record is that of a man who fights extended camapigns and long sieges rather then a quick blitz to victory.
Now you may disagree with some points and have stuff that makes you think attacking Wei would be the right choice, would be delighted to hear them. I do think Liu Bei had to fight Wu at that time as I don't believe he could have gained enough fro invading Wei to make up for the consequences of Wu's invasion of 219. Even though you disagree, I hope you can accept that so how can this man be virtue when he doesn't listen to a genius like zhuge liang
was unfair, that Liu Bei had a calculated decision to make and had plenty of reason to reject Zhuge Liang's advice.