Battle of Lixia, late 204 BC

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The battle of Lixia (October 204 BC) was a controversial victory won by a Han army commanded by Han Xin over an army of the Kingdom of Qi that came after Qi had decided to ally with Han.

Han Xin had been dispatched to conquer Qi after Liu Bang had escaped from the siege of Chenggao. Li Yi Ji, another of Liu Bang’s advisors then suggested that he should be sent to Qi in an attempt to convince the king of Qi to ally himself with Liu Bang.

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

Li Yi Ji’s efforts were successful. He pointed out that while Liu Bang rewarded successful subordinates, his opponent Xiang Yu was more distrustful and tended to punish. The King of Qi’s change of allegiance may also have been prompted by the large Han army approaching his borders.

Having decided to side with Han, the King of Qi sent messages Hua Wu Shang and Tian Xie, the commanders of the army that he had posted at Lixia (modern Jinan), informing them that they no longer needed to be so vigilant. This turned out to be bad advice. Han Xin either didn’t learn about the new alliance in time, or deliberately decided to ignore it, and instead attacked the Qi army at Lixia. The unprepared army was defeated, and Han Xin advanced towards the Qi capital at Linzi.

Unsurprisingly the King of Qi believed he had been betrayed. Li Yi Ji was boiled alive, and Qi then asked for help from Chu. Xiang Yu sent an army, but their combined forces were defeated by Han Xin at the battle of the Wei River (203 BC).

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (25 January 2012), Battle of Lixia, late 204 BC , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_lixia.html

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