Comprehensive Officer Biography
Translated & Authored by
Place of Birth: Guomao, Hejian Commandery (Presently Renqiu in Hebei
Lifespan: AD 167 – 231 (64 Years)
Titles: General Who Destroys the Rebels, General of the Right, Lord of Fief
At the end of the reign of the Han Emperor Ling, Zhang He joined the volunteer army under Han Fu, in an attempt to suppress the Yellow Scarves rebellion. He was appointed as Commander and fought on several occasions.
Later on, Junyi offered his services to Yuan Shao as Commandant. Due to his outstanding performance in the battles against Gongsun Zan, he was promoted to the rank of Imperial Corps Commander.
During the battle at Guan Du, Zhang He was one of Yuan Shao’s top Commanders along with Gao Lan. He dueled with Zhang Liao, but neither side was victorious. After failing to raid Lord Cao’s camp, Zhang He and Gao Lan were forced to defect to Lord Cao’s side (1).
Under Lord Cao, Zhang He was appointed as Auxiliary General and titled Lord of a Capital Precinct. He followed Lord Cao in the pacification of the north, defended against Ma Chao’s invasion and helped take and defend Hanzhong. For his achievements, Junyi was appointed as General Who Destroys the Rebels and took the commission of permanent defense of the Hanzhong region.
Zhang He respected scholars and men of wisdom, and he would always do his best to learn and adapt to new situations. He showed his brilliance by seeing through Zhuge Liang’s plot to take Mount Dingjun, but because of Xiahou Yuan’s impatience, the battle was still lost.
Cao Pi promoted Zhang He to General of the Right and Lord of Fief. In the year AD 231, when Zhuge Liang was retreating from battle because oh lack of supplies, Zhang He pursued all the way to Mu Men. However, he was ambushed by a squadron of archers and died on the battlefield. He was posthumously titled Courageous Lord by Cao Pi.
(1) They were forced to remain in the enemy camp by Guo Tu, the advisor who planned the attack, since he was afraid that they might testify against him when returning to Yuan Shao’s camp. <return>
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Major Sources: Beifangshi - Han/Ming Professor E.Lin (1982 Beijing)