Lu Meng

Born in 178 in Runan, Lu Meng had an illustrious history closely bound with Sun Quan. According to Lu Meng’s biography, early in Sun Quan’s ruling over the army he inherited from Sun Ce, he began to survey the junior officers. He wanted to combine any troops that had too few soldiers or not enough supplies in order to pool the army’s resources in a more practical manner.

As a dangerously clever young man, Lu Meng secretly bought equipment on credit and ordered his men to wear fine, new red uniforms. When Sun Quan surveyed Lu Meng’s troops, the new ruler saw a group of fit men who were drawn in line in a fine fashion as they practiced their exercises. The appearance of the uniforms impressed him, but seeing them train in a focused fashion also added to his positive impression of Lu Meng’s skill.

Lu Meng proved his mettle by participating in the fight against Huang Zu, a warlord who was responsible for the death of Sun Jian, the patriarch of the Sun family. It was his defeat of Huang Zu’s vanguard that emboldened Wu’s army and frightening Huang Zu, so that the enemy tried to flee and they were able to capture him. Impressed by Lu Meng’s contributions, Sun Quan made him a general.

Lu Meng would go on to participate in the battle of Wulin, the battle of Nanjun against Cao Ren, and many more. He collaborated with other notable officers such as Zhou Yu, Gan Ning, and Ling Tong to achieve an enormous victory at the battle of Yiling, taking the province for Wu. He was also instrumental in the defense of invasions from Cao Cao and Liu Bei. At the battle of Hefei, the Wu forces were ambushed by Zhang Liao, one of Cao Cao’s most powerful generals, and it was thanks to Lu Meng and Ling Tong’s desperate defense that Sun Quan managed to escape with his life, earning Lu Meng another promotion.

Arguably, his most important achievement is the defeat of the mighty Shu general Guan Yu, a sworn brother of Liu Bei. Through a series of secret maneuverings and schemed correspondence, Lu Meng tricked Guan Yu into attacking Fan, then a Wei territory, leaving his post at Nanjun vulnerable. Lu Meng took the city captive and held the families of the officers hostage, strictly ensuring that nobody was to harm or steal from them. When Guan Yu and his forces returned and heard of the matter, they surrendered and Guan Yu himself fled. He was captured by two officers sent by Sun Quan, and executed. This enormous victory against what seemed like an unbeatable opponent earned Lu Meng the title of Grand Administrator of Nanjun and Marquis of Chanling.

Unfortunately, Lu Meng took ill shortly after. Though he was cared for personally by Sun Quan, who ordered for him all sorts of treatments and prayers, Lu Meng died in 219 at the age of 42.