Cao Cao's ForcesEdit
Cao Cao was originally a warlord of You Province, but made several conquests in his early years. He took part in Han coalitions such as the anti-Yellow Turbans and the Alliance against Dong Zhuo, while also expanding his territory. Perhaps his greatest enemies were Liu Bei and Yuan Shao. Cao Cao conquered Zhang Xiu in 197, Yuan Shu in 197, Lu Bu in 198, Yuan Shao in 200, Yuan Tan in 205, Yuan Shang in 207, and Liu Biao in 208. As he captured their territories, Liu Bei and Sun Quan made an alliance against him. Emperor Xian granted him 250,000 to 800,000 troops to command against the two men in order to bring their "rebellion" to an end. However, he suffered his greatest defeat at the Battle of Chi Bi when Huang Gai and Zhou Yu used a fire attack to destroy his forces. Cao Cao lost Jing in 209 when Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, and Zhao Yun defeated Jin Xuan, Han Xuan, Liu Du, and Zhao Fan. Cao Cao slowly lost land, but he was able to conquer Ma Chao in 211 and Zhang Lu in 215. But the combined attacks of Quan and Bei continued on until 219, when Wei and Wu allied in order to deprive Shu of the Jing Province, hotly contested between the three. Guan Yu was killed at Fan Castle, leading to Shu's invasion of Wu. But in the meantime, Cao Pi usurped the throne and established Cao Wei.
Cao Pi invaded Wu twice in 222 and 224, but both attempts were defeated. In 226, Cao Rui succeeded Cao Pi. He had to cope with the invasions of Zhuge Liang, but he left that to Sima Yi, who was becoming a rising star. Sima Yi took control of Wei militarily in 237 while he crushed Gongsun Yuan, and became much stronger than Cao Shuang. Soon, Sima Yi had Cao Shuang killed. After this, Jiang Wei began invading Wei and Wang Ling, Guanqiu Jian, Wen Qin, and Zhuge Dan rebelled over the 250s. Sima Shi and Sima Zhao defeated both threats, and in 260 Sima Zhao focused on invading Shu. He did, and Liu Shan surrendered. Afterwards, Sima Zhao proclaimed the Jin Dynasty and Wei was destroyed.