Biography (COB): Guo Huai (Boji)

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Guo Huai (Boji)Guo Huai (Boji)
郭淮 (伯濟)

Comprehensive Officer Biography
Translated & Authored by

Place of Birth: Yangqu City, Taiyuan Prefecture (Presently Tai Yuan City in Shanxi Province)
Lifespan: AD 187 – 255 (68 Years)
Titles: Historiographer, Senior Advisor Who Controls the West, Lord of Shating, General of the Forward Army, Faithful Lord
Family: None

As an adult, Guo Huai was recommended for his filial piety and personal integrity. He took up the posts of Assistant in the Office of Pingyuan County, Court Counselor, Historiographer in the Prime Minister’s Office, and Commander under Xiahou Yuan, successively.

When Xiahou Yuan died in the battle for Mount Dingjun, Boji collected the scattered remnants of the defeated army. Henceforth, Zhang He was appointed as the new Commander General, and the army was stabilized.

When Cao Pi ascended the throne as Emperor of Wei, Guo Huai was appointed as Senior Advisor Who Controls the West, and titled Lord of the Second Rank. Later on, he was appointed as Prefect of Youzhou, Imperial Protector of Yong Zhou, and titled Lord of Shating.

When Zhuge Liang attacked the Kingdom of Wei, Guo Huai was appointed as Deputy Commander of the Wei forces under Cao Zhen, and accurately predicted the movements of the Shu army, and scored many important victories (1). Cao Zhen’s inadequate leadership however resulted in many losses, so Sima Yi was sent from Wancheng to take over command. Together with Cao Zhen, Guo Huai drove back Zhao Yun and recovered the territories of Nanan, Tian Shui and Anding, which were previously lost during the attack by Shu.

In the first year of [Zheng Yuan] (AD 254), Guo Huai drove back Jiang Wei’s invasion and was made General of the Left and General of the Forward Army. The next year Boji was appointed Senior General, but he died later that year at the age of sixty-eight. He was posthumously titled Faithful Lord.

(1) Cao Zhen’s initial plan of a surprise attack backfired, but Guo Huai remained calm and said: “Our defeat is one of the ordinary events of war. Let us not be cast down.” <return>

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A Kongming’s Archives Exclusive Production
Major Sources: Zhongguo Lishizhu Professor T.Chen (1965 Peking)