Biography (SGYY): Sun Shao (Gongli)

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Sun Shao (Gongli)
孫韶 (公禮)
(Lifespan: Unknown)

Sanguo Yanyi Officer Biography
Authored by Steven Trinkl

Sun Shao (Gongli)

Adopted Father: Sun Ce; Adopted Mother: Da Qiao;
Uncles: Sun Quan, Sun Yi, Sun Kuang, Sun Lang, Zhou Yu;
Aunts: Sun Shang Xiang, Xiao Qiao, Lady Xie, Lady Xu, Lady Bu,
Lady Wang, Lady Wang, Lady Yuan, Lady Pan, Lady Xu (married to Sun Yi);
Brother-in-law: Lu Xun; Son: Sun Yi; Cousins: Sun Huan, Sun Deng, Sun Lu, Sun He,
Sun Ba, Sun Fen, Sun Xiu, Xun Liang, Sun Song, Sun Tai; Nephew: Lu Kang

Originally from the Yu clan, Yu Shao fell into great favor with Sun Ce, the ruler of Yang Province, as a young child. Despite being only twelve years younger than Bo Fu, he was summarily adopted by Sun Ce and given the Sun family name. Sun Ce died shortly thereafter, however, and Sun Shao was much too young to be his heir. He inherited many of his father’s traits, including his valor—as well as Sun Ce’s impatience.

Sun Shao proved his valor in many battles against Wei, including Ru Xu and Chi Bi. He was awarded the title “General Who Possesses Wide Prestige” and was put in command of Guangling. In AD 224, Sun Shao was placed under Xu Sheng’s command when Cao Pi sent a force down from Wei to subdue Wu. While Xu Sheng focused on building up forces, Sun Shao was more eager to confront the enemy. He argued to Xu Sheng, “…If you really desire to destroy the invading force and capture Cao Pi, you should send an army to meet him on the north side in the South of River Huai. I fear failure if you wait till the northern troops have come this far.”

Xu Sheng fiercely opposed this, however, maintaining that he would await the arrival of Cao Pi’s fleet. Sun Shao argued that, if he were to lead a force at Guangling, he could hold of Cao Pi with only three thousand troops. Xu Sheng refused, but again Sun Shao persisted. Angered, Xu Sheng ordered Sun Shao put to death. However, Sun Quan heard of this and personally came, ordering Sun Shao saved. Xu Sheng and Sun Shao confronted one another in Sun Quan’s presence, and even though he would not allow Sun Shao to be put to death, Sun Quan favored Xu Sheng’s position. Sun Shao was dismissed from his post.

However, Sun Shao was firm in his stance and organized three thousand troops on his own to cross the river. Xu Sheng heard of this, and admiring Sun Shao’s courage, sent Ding Feng to reinforce him.

Cao Pi reached Guangling and saw not a single encampment. He and Cao Zhen surveyed the land, stopping just short of Sun Shao and Ding Feng’s position. They set up camp for a few days until reports came that over night, a long wall stretching from Shi Dou to Nan Xu, constructed by the Wu army, had risen overnight. This was Xu Sheng’s ploy, as the wall was a fake, as were the mighty ships laying along it. Cao Pi did not see through this, however, and upon hearing that Zhao Yun of Shu had moved towards Chang An, ordered a hasty retreat. Suddenly, Sun Shao and Ding Feng emerged from their ambush spot and wreaked havoc on Cao Pi’s much more numerous troops. In the battle, Zhang Liao was critically injured and Cao Pi was so frightened that he never again attacked Wu. Xu Sheng, Ding Feng, and Sun Shao were all richly rewarded for their efforts, and all received promotions.

Later, in AD 234, Sun Shao was sent with Zhang Cheng to capture Huai Yang. He had over one hundred thousand troops under his command, and this battle was greatly successful.

Sun Shao eventually reached a rank equal to Xu Sheng and Zhuge Jin, becoming one of Wu’s most elite generals alongside his cousin, Sun Huan. How and when he died is not known, but his son, Sun Yi, would serve Wu bravely as well—ironically fighting alongside Ding Feng’s younger brother.

Copyright © 2004 Steven Trinkl
Based on Luo Guanzhong’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms