We Have No Experience For Running Away

In 597 BC, in the battle of Bi (邲), the Jin (晋) State was defeated by the Chu (楚) State. In fact, the Jin State was able to defeat the Chu State. But Xun Linfu (荀林父), the commander of the middle army (中军) of Jin, didn’t want to collide with the Chu State. He led the army to support the Zheng (郑) State which was attacked by the Chu State. When Jin’s army arrived, Zheng State had made peace with the Chu State. So Xun Linfu wanted to return, but several other commanders wanted to fight. Wei Qi (魏锜), a young general, actually wanted to cause Jin’s army to be defeated, because one time a request of his wasn’t satisfied by the monarch of Jin. He asked Xun Linfu to go to the campsite of Chu’s army and negotiate peace. Xun Linfu agreed. This young man went to challenge Chu’s army to fight. Another general, Zhao Zhan (赵旃), led some troops to infiltrate Chu’s campsite, but they were detected. Xun Linfu was very worried about them, and sent several large-sized chariots (軘车) to withdraw them. These large-sized chariots caused very much dust to fly. Chu’s troops were under the delusion that these chariots were the vanguard of Jin’s army which started to attack them, so they decided to strike Jin’s army back. The mass of chariots from the Chu State sped to the campsite of Jin’s army. Xun Linfu heard the information and became flurried. He ordered the army to withdraw. He actually gave the order, “People who cross the River first will be rewarded.” So in order to cross the Yellow River first, the middle army scrambled with the lower army for boats and even by swords. Because of the fighting, many of the boats were littered with cut off bloody fingers and the river was reddened by blood.

In the course of running away, a chariot of Jin mired in the mud. The three soldiers on the chariot tried to pull their horses and push their chariot, but they failed. The soldiers were very anxious. At this moment, several soldiers of the Chu State arrived. When they saw these men of Jin acting in confusion, they laughed at these pitiful men at heart. The soldiers of Chu decided to give help. They helped the three soldiers of Jin’s army to get the chariot freed. When the chariot was out of the mire, Jin’s soldiers felt embarrassed, because they thought that not only did they not know how to win the battle, they didn’t even know how to run away. While they were going to leave, a soldier of Jin turned his head and said to the soldiers of Chu State, “We are not so experienced as your country which has run away several times.”

Yike Jiang avatar