赤壁之战 The Battle of the Red Cliff
曹操统一了北方之后，剩下能与他对抗的，就只有在长江一带的孙权和在湖北一带的刘备了。 公元208年，曹操带了20万大军(对外号称80万)南下。刘备退守湖北武昌，此时他只有军士2万多人。在军师诸葛亮的建议下，他决定与孙权共同抗曹。诸葛亮向孙权指出，曹操虽然人多，但其中有七八万是刚投降的荆州士兵，这些人主要是水军，是作战的主力，但他们不一定真心服从曹操。而北方的曹操士兵，不善于水战，长途而来生病的也很多。这些分析使孙权看清了形势，同意派大将周瑜带领3万军士与刘备一起战斗。 曹军驻扎在赤壁(今湖北赤壁市，又一说在今湖北嘉鱼县东北)，曹操下令用铁索把战船锁在一起，以便北方士兵在船上行走。诸葛亮和周瑜都决定用“火攻”的方法进攻曹操。一天夜里，刮起了东南风。周瑜派部下黄盖假装投降曹操，带？十艘战船，船上装？灌了油的柴草，向曹军驶去。接近曹军时，他们同时点火，火船顺风向曹操的战舰驶去，曹军战舰因为锁在一起，一时无法解开，不一会便成了一片火海。火又烧到了岸上，曹军死伤很多。 赤壁之战后，全国形势发生了变化。曹操退回北方。曹操死后，公元220年，他的儿子曹丕废掉汉献帝自立，国号为“魏”，都城为洛阳。刘备乘机占据了荆州大部分地方，又向西发展，在公元221年，也自立为帝，国号为“蜀”，建都成都。孙权则巩固了长江中下游的势力，公元222年称王，国号“吴”，都城为建业(今南京)。三国鼎立的局面，直至公元280年西晋灭吴才结束。
The Battle of the Red Cliff
After Cao Cao united north China, he had only two rivals-Sun Quan in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze and Liu Bei in what is now the area of Hubei Province.
In 208 AD, Cao Cao led an army of 200,000 men south against Liu Bei and Sun Quan, who had only about 100,000 men between them. Cao Cao embarked his men on ships, and the fleet sailed up the Yangtze River, and anchored at a place called the Red Cliff (in today's Chibi City, Hubei Province, although it has been alternately located in the northeast of today's Jiayu County in Hubei). The ships were chained together. One night, when the wind was favorable, Zhuge Liang dispatched a general with 10 ships to sail toward the enemy, pretending to be surrendering. The ships were loaded with firewood soaked in oil. When they were near enough to Cao Cao's fleet, they were set on fire and left to drift into the enemy ships, which were totally destroyed.
This was a disaster for Cao Cao, who retreated back to the north. In 220, after Cao Cao's death, his son Cao Pi dethroned Emperor Xiandi of the Han Dynasty and proclaimed himself emperor, renaming his territory Wei, with Luoyang as its capital. Following his victory in the Battle of the Red Cliff, Liu Bei occupied most of Jingzhou, and then spread his power to the west. In 221, he also proclaimed himself emperor, and named his state Shu, with the capital in Chengdu. Sun Quan consolidated his power in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze, and proclaimed himself emperor in 222. He named his state Wu, and made Jianye (today's Nanjing) his capital. The struggle between the three kingdoms lasted until 280, when the Western Jin Dynasty wiped out Wu.