Battle of Hsia-p’ei, 204 BC

The battle of Hsia-p'ei (204 BC) was a defeat suffered by the armies of Chu that forced Xiang Yu to abandon his campaign against Liu Bang around Xingyang, giving the Han leader time to recover from his narrow escape from that city.

In the summer of 204 Liu Bang had been besieged in Xingyang, close to the Yellow River, and was forced to escape with only a few horsemen at his side. He soon gathered a fresh army, and moved to Yuan, to the south of Xingyang. Xiang Yu moved south in the hope of fighting another battle, but Liu Bang build strong field fortifications and refused to fight.

Map showing the Eighteen Kingdoms, 206-202 BC
Map showing the
Eighteen Kingdoms,
206-202 BC

While Liu Bang and Xiang Yu were facing each outer at Yuan, another of Xiang Yu’s armies was suffering defeat. One of Liu Bang’s allies, Peng Yue, crossed the Si River. He was opposed by two of Xiang’s generals – Xiang Sheng and the Lord of Xie. The two armies clashed at Hsia-p'ei (Wade-Giles), close to the river. Peng Yue was victorious, while the Lord of Xie was killing in the fighting.

When this news reached him Xiang Yu left Yuan, leaving a commander called the old gentleman Zhong (Chung) in charge at Chenggao. Liu Bang moved north, defeated Zhong, and camped at Chenggao. Xiang Yu had already defeated Peng Yue when this news reached him, so he was free to return west, inflicting a defeat on Liu Bang in a second clash at Chenggao.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (26 January 2012), Battle of Hsia-p’ei, 204 BC , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_hsia_pei.html

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