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Pan Zhang 潘璋 a fierce military leader with little moral fibre. During 219 A.D., Pan Zhang pursued, captured and executed the Shu-Han general Guan Yu and his son.

BiographyEdit

Pan Zhang started his service to Sun Quan as the Chief of Yangxian (陽羨) county. He was not of virtuous character, he was a degenerate alcoholic; constantly in debt, he would often borrow money and promise to pay it back should he ever become wealthy. But Sun Quan took a liking to him and so made Pan Zhang a general, giving him command of 100 odd soldiers. Pan Zhang quickly dealt with a group of mountain bandits and was made a Senior Major for his achievements.

Pan Zhang was then in charge of security in the great markets of Wu, there, he put a stop to criminal activity and earned great renown in doing so. And Pan Zhang was then shifted to Chief of Xi'an (西安) county in Yuzhang (豫章). At this time, Liu Biao controlled Jing province, and his people often raided the borders. But since Pan Zhang began to oversee matters, the raiding stopped. The neighbouring county Jianchang (建昌) was suffering from frequent bandit activity, so Pan Zhang was transferred to office there; additionally, he was appointed as (武猛) Colonel. After 10 days, the bandits were pacified and the scattered remnants were collected by Pan Zhang. Obtaining an additional 800 men, Pan Zhang thereupon returned to Jianye (建業).

In 215 A.D., attacked Hefei (合肥) but was defeated and withdrew. The commander of Hefei, Zhang Liao, launched a second surprise attack on the Wu forces at Xiaoyao Crossing. The generals were unprepared for the ferocity of Zhang Liao's attack; Chen Wu died fighting[1], and Song Qian and Xu Sheng had been routed. Pan Zhang quickly rode into battle and beheaded two panicked soldiers under Qian and Sheng's command, with that the rest of the forces returned to battle lest they be cut down too. Sun Quan was proud of his actions and promoted him to Lieutenant-General and stationed him at Banzhou (半州).

In 219 A.D., Sun Quan launched his attack against Guan Yu. As part of Lü Meng's plan[2], Pan Zhang and Zhu Ran were tasked with cutting off Guan Yu's retreat to Yi province and keeping him isolated in Jing province. Pan Zhang arrived at Linju (臨沮) and camped at Jiashi (夾石). Pan Zhang's Major Ma Zhong captured Guan Yu and his son, Guan Ping, along with Shu-Han Chief Controller Zhao Lei and several others. Pan Zhang then executed Guan Yu and his son.[3][n 1]

Having annexed the west of Jing province, Sun Quan split two counties from Yidu (宜都) and Zigui (秭歸) to create Guling (固陵) and appointed Pan Zhang as the Grand Administrator of the new commandery. Pan Zhang was promoted to General Who Inspires Awe and enfeoffed as Marquis of Liyang (溧陽). When Gan Ning died, his soldiers were added to Pan Zhang's command.

In 221 A.D., Liu Bei came to Yiling (夷陵) in retaliation for the death of Guan Yu. Pan Zhang, alongside Lu Xun and others, resisted Liu Bei's attack; furthermore, a subordinate of Pan Zhang's beheaded Shu-Han Protector of the Army Feng Xi, and a great mass of Liu Bei's soldiers were wounded or killed in the attack. Pan Zhang was promoted to General Who Pacifies the North and appointed as Grand Administrator of Xiangyang (襄陽).

In 222 A.D., Cao Pi invaded Wu. The Wei forces came with 30,000 troops and quickly besieged the city of Jiangling (江陵); they had also secured Baili island (100 li island, 百里洲) in the middle of the Yangzi river and had taken advantage of the low water levels to construct pontoons bridging the north and south banks. Pan Zhang, Zhuge Jin and Yang Can were dispatched to relieve the city, yet Zhuge Jin and Yang Can could not think of any way to lift the siege.

Pan Zhang said: "The momentum of the Wei forces is high and the river is currently shallow. We cannot battle now." Thereupon, Pan Zhang took his forces and went 25 km upstream of the Wei forces. Pan Zhang's men cut down millions of sheaves of reed and rush, and tied them into rafts. Pan Zhang planned to wait for the river level to rise, ignite the rafts and send them down the river to destroy the Wei pontoon bridge and thereby isolate the Wei forces on the island and southern bank. However, the Wei forces were warned by Dong Zhao that their position was too precarious and told to withdraw, so Pan Zhang never got the opportunity to act.[4] Pan Zhang returned to Lukou (陸口) and was later promoted to General of the Right.

In 226 A.D., hearing the Wei Emperor Cao Pi had died, Sun Quan himself commanded the army and attacked Shiyang (石陽) in Jiangxia commandery; but Sun Quan could not find any advantage. As the army was returning, Pan Zhang, at the time commanding the rearguard, was cut-off from the main forces by the pursuit force. During the night, the pursuit force attacked Zhang and his forces were in confusion. Fortunately, Zhu Ran returned with the fleet and helped Pan Zhang escape.[5]

In 234 A.D., Pan Zhang died. Pan Zhang was crude and violent, he also acted haughtily, he would act as though he had 10,000 men under his command when in reality it was fewer than 1,000. He expected his subordinates to rigidly adhere to his commands, yet he had a fairly indifferent approach to the law himself; if one of Zhang's subordinates was wealthy, he would kill them and steal their belongings. Unfortunately, when Sun Quan was informed, he simply ignored Pan Zhang's crimes because of his military record.

FamilyEdit

Sons

  • Pan Ping (潘平)

NotesEdit

  1. There is commentary from the Shu Ji in Guan Yu's SGZ that says Sun Quan ordered Pan Zhang's execution after his capture, but it is discredited by Pei Songzhi. As it was Pan Zhang's Major who captured Guan Yu, and Sun Quan would not yet have gotten word his capture, Pan Zhang likely took the initiative and ordered Guan Yu's death.

Fact vs. FictionEdit

Historically…

  • …Was not killed by Guan Xing at Yiling. He lived for over a decade after the battle.

ReferencesEdit

  1. SGZ: Biography of Chen Wu.
  2. SGZ: Biography of Lü Meng.
  3. SGZ: Biography of Sun Quan.
  4. SGZ: Biography of Dong Zhao.
  5. SGZ: Biography of Zhu Ran.

SourcesEdit