Who would you consider as the best pioneering general of the Tang dynasty?
Let's rate them from 0-100 in terms of
( a ) as a warrior or combatant
( b ) as a commander, a leader of soldiers
( c ) as a tactician
( d ) as a strategist
01. Li ShiMin (李世民), who became the second emperor.
02. Li Jing (李靖), later conferred as Duke of Wei (卫国公).
03. WeiCi JingDe (尉迟敬德), aka WeiCi Gong (尉迟恭). Personally rescued Li ShiMin and an important participant in the coup of Xuan Wu Gate (玄武门). Conferred as Duke of E (鄂国公).
04. Qin ShuBao (秦叔宝), aka Qin Qiong 秦琼. Conferred as Duke of Yi (翼国公), and posthumously as Duke of Hu (胡国公)
05. Cheng YaoJin (程咬金), aka Cheng ZhiJie (程知节), okay this guy was a bit of a joke in the folklore, but he was a good warrior. Conferred as Duke of Lu (卢国公). Had a black mark in his record for executing POWs.
06. Xue RenGui (薛仁贵), aka Xue Li (薛礼). He only joined the military after the Li ShiMin became emperor and invaded Korea, but was instrumental in pacifying the ethnic minorities.
07. Li YuanBa (李元霸), third son of Li Yuan (李渊) the founding emperor of Tang. Died young. Was supposed to be a tough warrior.
08. Luo Yi (罗艺). Originally a general of Sui dynasty, staged his own revolt when Sui fell and occupied Bei Ping (北平). He was courted by various factions but chose to side with the Tang faction. He served the Crown Prince Li JianCheng (李建成). Staged a revolt when his patron was ousted by Li ShiMin and got killed instead.
09. Cai Shao (柴绍). Son-in-law of Li Yuan, fought under Li ShiMin. Conferred as Duke of Huo (霍国公).
10. Xu MaoGong (徐茂公), aka Xu ShiJi (徐世绩) and Li ShiJi (李世绩) or Li Ji (李绩). Conferred as Duke of Ying (英国公).
11. Su DingFang (苏定方). He served under Dou JianDe (窦建德) and Liu Hei Ta (刘黑闼), rivals to Tang before reunification. He retired after his masters were defeated, and brought out of retirement when Li ShiMin ascended as emperor. Conferred as Duke of Xing (邢国公).
Sorry if I missed out some others. My personal knowledge is rather limited.
My choice would be between Li ShiMin and Li Jing, tough choice.
Edited by snowybeagle, 23 December 2004 - 11:36 PM.