Cao Cao's Forces
|Advanced + :||Godly Speed|
|Real name:||Xiàhóu Dūn|
|Chinese name:||夏侯惇 - 夏侯惇|
|Chinese name:||元讓 - 元让|
Xiahou Dun is one of Cao Cao and Xiahou Yuan's cousins. He lost his eye when he chased Gao Shun at the Battle of Xia Pi. Cao Xing shot his eye with an arrow. Xiahou Dun then removed the eye, declared that it was a gift from his ancestors, and ate it. He killed the archer soon after.
While serving Xiahou Dun you will gain
Distribution + 10
Attack + 7
Xiahou Dun was born in the county of Qiao (譙; present-day Bozhou, Anhui). At the age of 14, he killed a man who insulted his teacher. His fiery personality had been well-known ever since. In 190, Xiahou Dun joined Cao Cao as the latter was raising an army to join the coalition against Dong Zhuo.
Xiahou Dun had been a close aide to Cao Cao during the initial battles against Dong Zhuo as well as the Battle of Yan Province , and was made a deputy commander. When Cao Cao was leading a campaign against Tao Qian, the governor of Xu Province whom Cao accused of killing his father, Xiahou Dun was left with the responsibility of defending Yan Province.
Incident at Yan Province
While Xiahou Dun was guarding the city, Zhang Miao and Chen Gong rebelled. They colluded with Lü Bu, who was leading a wandering army, and quickly occupied most of Yan Province. Xiahou Dun immediately drew on a light cavalry force and headed for Juancheng (涓城), where Cao Cao's family resided.
On the way, Xiahou Dun ran into Lü Bu's army. Lü Bu evaded the encounter and went for the city of Puyang (濮陽), which was the storage base of Xiahou Dun's supplies. With its commander out in the field, Puyang soon fell. Lü Bu then sent envoys to Xiahou Dun, pretending to surrender. Lü Bu's followers then took Xiahou Dun hostage within his own tent, and demanded a heavy ransom.
Xiahou Dun's subject Han Hao was calm and collected throughout the crisis. He quickly took over command of the troops and refused negotiations with the captors, and ordered soldiers to attack. Not expecting such hardline response, the traitors surrendered and were executed.
When Cao Cao learned of the rebellion, he hastily returned and laid siege on Lü Bu in Puyang. After more than hundred days of stalemate, a famine breakout forced Lü to give up his position and seek refuge under Liu Bei in Xiapi .
Lü Bu soon turned on his host, however, and took control of Xiapi, sending Liu Bei to nearby town of Xiaopei (小沛). In 198, Lü Bu even deployed his general Gao Shun to attack Xiaopei. Under the request from Liu Bei, Cao Cao sent Xiahou Dun to engage Gao Shun. Xiahou Dun, however, lost the battle, during which his left eye was struck by an arrow. After personally leading an army to defeat Lü Bu, Cao Cao compensated Xiahou Dun by promoting him to General of Martial Establishment (建武將軍).
Xiahou Dun then spearheaded an agricultural program in the proximity of Chenliu . He instructed workers to dam up the Taishou River (太壽水; a distributary of the Huai River) so as to create a large pond. He then encouraged the people to grow paddy rice in the inundated land. The program greatly aided the people during the years of severe famine.
Battles of Bowang and Hefei
In 202, Xiahou Dun was sent as the vanguard to invade Jing Province. In the Battle of Bowang, Xiahou Dun chased Liu Bei, who feigned retreat by suddenly setting his own camp on fire. Despite warnings by Li Dian, Xiahou Dun led the main army into Liu Bei's ambush, and was defeated.
Later, he was stationed in Juchao with 26 juns (Jun was a military unit. Every 12,500 soldiers were counted as one jun. However, in this case, the number of troops under Xiahou Dun's command might not amount to 325,000, because there were flexibility on forming a jun), along with Zhang Liao at Hefei, to resist Sun Quan. However, Xiahou Dun did not seem to achieve anything during his tenure as the chief commander in the southern front, except for staying in the same place with a huge army.
After Cao Cao's death in 220, his successor Cao Pi forced Emperor Xian of Han to abdicate and subsequently assumed the throne as the first emperor of the state of Cao Wei. Cao Pi then appointed Xiahou Dun as General-in-Chief (大將軍). Xiahou Dun, however, died of illness just months later.
Xiahou Dun was a violent man in nature, as early as a youth, he already had a man murdered just because he insulted his martial arts master (at the same time, he was indeed very respectful to his teachers and masters).
Xiahou Dun was likely not very welcomed by his fellow soldiers and comrades during his early years too. Once, he was held captive by newly surrendered soldiers, despite being Cao Cao's right-hand man, his direct subordinate, Han Hao refused to any kind of negotiation, and ordered an attack. Xiahou Dun was only lucky that his hijackers surrendered to Han Hao at the last minute before the attack.
But he was surely the most trusted general of Cao Cao, as he was said to often ride in the same carriage as his master, a privilege not even extended to Cao's personal bodyguards Dian Wei and Xu Chu. Yu Huan's Weilüe mentioned that when Cao Cao became King of Wei, he gave titles to his generals but gave Xiahou Dun a title from the Han Dynasty, rather than the land of Wei. Xiahou Dun questioned Cao Cao about it, and Cao stated that great generals should belong to great lands, and that the land of Wei was not grand enough for a general of Xiahou's caliber. While touched, Xiahou Dun refused the Han title and requested a Wei title instead, demonstrating his loyalty to his master over his loyalty to the Han emperor.
While his physical prowess was unquestioned, his military successes were few and far between. It was under his leadership that Cao Cao's forces fell to an ambush at the Battle of Bowang, costing thousands of men their lives when he pursued Liu Bei's forces into a nearby gulley.
However, when he was made a governor, Xiahou Dun quickly found his calling. Besides damming up the Taishou River and encouraging people to plant paddy in the resulting inundated land, he was also said to have personally joined in the planting. He gained a reputation for generosity because of his habit of distributing wealth among his people and keeping very little for himself. Because of this, he was well-loved by his people.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a historical novel by Luo Guanzhong, was a romanticization of the events that occurred before and during the Three Kingdoms era. In the novel, Xiahou Dun was said to be a cousin of Cao Cao, while his loss of an eye was also made much more dramatic than it probably was.
In 198, Xiahou Dun was sent to engage Gao Shun and Cao Xing, two generals under Lü Bu, outside Xiaopei (小沛). As his force came upon the enemies, Xiahou Dun rode forward with spear set to offer a challenge. Gao Shun took him on and the two dueled for 40 or 50 bouts before Gao, feeling outmatched, retreated. Xiahou Dun pursued him deep into the enemy lines. While Xiahou Dun was giving chase, Cao Xing secretly took aim and fired an arrow at him. The arrow hit the target right in the left eye. With a cry, Xiahou pulled out the arrow along with his eyeball. "Essence of my father, blood of my mother, I cannot throw this away," he exclaimed and swallowed the eye.
His spear firmly held up, Xiahou Dun then came straight for Cao Xing. With no time to react, Cao Xing was impaled right in the face and died beneath his nemesis' horse.
When Guan Yu surrendered to Cao Cao after Liu Bei was defeated at Xu Province, Xiahou Dun was one of those skeptical of Guan. After Guan Yu slew six commanders of the five passes after leaving Cao Cao in search of Liu Bei, Xiahou Dun chased Guan and was about to fight the latter when Zhang Liao arrived with orders from Cao Cao to let Guan leave.
Xiahou's death in the novel was attributed to the shock he received from an encounter with the ghost of Guan Yu rather than illness.