The first section is the northern expedition of the Huns

. The Han Dynasty is an unprecedented peak in the ancient history of China and a glorious page in the history of Chinese civilization. The Han Dynasty has a strong national strength and a long-standing reputation. The vigorous development of politics, economy, military, diplomacy, science and technology and culture has had a far-reaching impact on Chinese history. The “Han” has also become the eternal name of the Chinese nation. As the representative of the long history of the nomadic civilization between the northern and Southern Han Dynasties, it also laid the foundation for the interaction between the two ancient Chinese civilizations.


horse stepping on the Huns

at the beginning of the establishment of the Western Han Dynasty, the people experienced tyranny and the perennial war ravaged by the war between Chu and Han Dynasties. Their lives were in distress, their society was broken and their economy was depressed. In order to reflect on the fall of Qin Dynasty and consolidate the foundation of rule, the early rulers adopted the political program of “rest with the people and rule by inaction”, and adopted the policies of restoring the economy, abolishing corvee tyranny and reducing taxes and rents, so as to comply with the people’s weariness of war and longing for a stable life at that time. In Lu Jia’s “Xinyu”, there is such a discussion: “a gentleman’s governance is also a matter of no matter, quiet as silent, if there are no officials in the government, if there are no people in the pavilion, there is no litigation in the alley, the old and young are not worried about the court, there is no discussion in the near, there is no listening in the far, there are no officials who travel at night in the mail post, there is no sign of night fame in the rural village, dogs do not bark at night, birds do not sing at night…” The policy of recuperation and recuperation has achieved good results, so that the first prosperous era in ancient Chinese history – the rule of Wen Jing appeared in the period of Emperor Wen and Emperor Jing. Recuperation, as a “basic national policy”, has been systematically and continuously implemented in the early years of the Han Dynasty, and the frontier policy is no exception. In addition to the fact that emperor Gaozu of the Han Dynasty once drove the imperial expedition and unfortunately encountered the “encirclement of Baideng”, the subsequent monarchs generally adopted the strategy of peace, kinship and mutual market to maintain a friendly and inviolable relationship with the Xiongnu. Many Han daughters married far away in the desert are such heroes who have made great contributions to avoiding war and maintaining temporary peace between the Han and Hungary. At the same time, for the harassment of the Huns on the border, they were strictly prepared to resist, but did not take the initiative to attack.

on the other hand, the Xiongnu forces in the Qin and Han Dynasties were also very powerful. The Xiongnu people had erratic tactics, gathering and dispersing, and were very good at surprise attacks and raids. They were all good at riding, shooting and plagiarizing. Not long after Dayton united all the Xiongnu departments, the Xiongnu destroyed Donghu in the East and defeated Dayue in the West, The South annexed Loufan and the Henan king of Aries, and recaptured the “Henan land” obtained by the general Meng Tian of the Qin Dynasty, which posed a great threat to the Han Dynasty. After the Xiongnu annexed Donghu, its strength increased greatly. Under the leadership of its military gifted leader madun Chanyu, the Xiongnu began the military action of dominating the whole grassland. Taking advantage of Liu Xiang’s fierce Chu Han war in the Central Plains, Bolden’s strength in the vast grasslands of the North expanded and expanded, and established the first unified empire in the history of nomadic civilization in Northwest China – the Hun Empire, with more than 300000 troops.

from the above comparison, it can be seen that the power and living habits of the Han Dynasty and the Huns determined that the Huns had the upper hand in the initial competition between the two.

however, when Liu Che, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, the ruling policy of the Western Han Dynasty gradually changed from inaction to promising. On the one hand, since the rule of Wen Jingzhi, the society has been recovering and prospering, but also brought more and more complex problems. The blind “Inaction” can no longer adapt to the changes of the situation; On the other hand, under the long-term policy of inaction and recuperation, the agricultural civilization was able to give play to its advantages of being good at developing agricultural production and accumulating national strength, and the national economic strength of the Western Han Dynasty continued to accumulate, which also provided the possibility for Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty to make a difference. In addition, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty himself was a monarch with great political talent and ambition. He intended to establish prominent achievements in politics, economy, military and other aspects, expand territory and spread national prestige far away.

the achievements of opening up the territory in the Han Dynasty


(1) the battle of Mayi

when Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty ascended the throne, the Huns sent envoys to ask for peace and marriage. Emperor Wu convened all officials for consultation and ordered Wang Hui to give advice, saying that the Huns always broke the contract after peace and marriage and harassed the border, It’s better to have a battle to solve the problem. At that time, Emperor Wu agreed to trade with the relatives because most ministers agreed to continue the marriage. However, in the second year of Yuanguang (133 BC), he used Nie Yi’s plan to lure the Xiongnu when the marriage was first decided. In June, in the Western Han Dynasty, Nie Yi sneaked into the Xiongnu and pretended to surrender. He believed Shan Yu, who claimed that he could kill the general of Ma Yi and offered the city to Shan Yu. On the other hand, Han Anguo, a doctor of the imperial historian and general of the Imperial Guard of the Han Dynasty, set up an ambush with 300000 elite troops in the valley near Mayi and the west of Daijun (governing Daixian, now the King City in the northeast of Yuxian County, Hebei Province). He was ready to lure Shan Yu to attack southward. Later, the plan leaked, and the ambush was found by Shan Yu, which was unsuccessful. Although this battle was not successful, it opened the prelude of the Western Han Dynasty to abandon the policy of peace and affinity and fight back against the Huns.

(2) the battle of Henan

in the second year of Yuanshuo, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty sent an important general of chariots and horses, led 30000 troops to attack the Xiongnu, beheaded and captured thousands of Xiongnu troops. The Xiongnu immediately retaliated, entered the country the following year, killed the governor of western Liaoning of the Han Dynasty, abducted more than 2000 people in Yuyang area, and defeated the Han Anguo headquarters of the Han army. Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty ordered General Li Xi to lead the army to attack and send troops from Daijun to meet the Huns; He also ordered the cavalry general Wei Qing to attack Gaoxing from the clouds. Wei Qing destroyed thousands of Hun troops, captured hundreds of thousands of livestock, and defeated the Hun Aries and King Loufan. The Han Dynasty then established Shuofang County in the south of the Yellow River, ordered Su Jianfa 100000 people to build Shuofang city (now the north of Hangjin Banner in Inner Mongolia), repaired the great wall and barrier built by Qin Mengtian, and immigrated 100000 from the mainland to enrich the border defense.

(3) battle in Hexi

after the war in Henan, the Huns Shan Yu and Youxian King fled to the north of the desert, and there were only XiuTu in HexiThe king, the muddy evil king and other departments have a solitary force. Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty decided to seize the favorable opportunity again and take advantage of the victory to launch the battle of Hexi. The battle of Hexi can be divided into spring and summer. In the second year of Yuanshou (121 BC), Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty thought that he was a general of Hussars and led thousands of elite troops. He set out from Longxi, crossed the fox nushui (now Shiyang River in Gansu), crossed five countries, fought for six days, and advanced more than a thousand miles to the northwest. On the way, the military shield of the Han Dynasty comforted the subdued, broke through the resisters, and captured the son of Shan Yu. In the end, he defeated King Xiu Tu and King hunxie, killed king Zhelan and King Luhu, captured Prince hunxie, Prime Minister and Duwei, and captured more than 8900 people. In one fell swoop, he defeated the HunNu army in Hexi, but the Han Army also lost as much as 710.

in the summer of the same year, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty ordered Huo Qubing and 4 Qi Hou Gongsun Ao to lead tens of thousands of fine horses to attack the Huns in Hexi in two ways from Beidi (junzhimaling, now the northwest of Qingyang, Gansu Province). Huo Qubing led his troops across the Yellow River, passed the southern edge of the desert, attended the meeting to juyanze (now the north of Ejina Banner in Inner Mongolia), crossed Xiaoyue’s family in the West (now the southwest of Yangguan site, Nanhu Town, Dunhuang City, Gansu Province), turned to the Southeast, attacked Qilian Mountain, defeated chieftain Tu Wang, captured 6500 people and beheaded more than 30000 people. However, the Han Army also suffered 310 casualties. On the other hand, Gongsun Ao department failed to participate in the battle because it lost its direction.

Huo Qubing’s tomb

at the same time, in order to support Huo Qubing’s battle, the doctor ordered and guards led more than 10000 cavalry troops to attack Zuo Xianwang from youbeiping (county zhipinggang, now northwest of Lingyuan, Liaoning). Li Guang led 4000 cavalry to the north for hundreds of miles. Because Zhang Qian’s department failed to set out on time, he was surrounded by 40000 cavalry of King Zuo Xian. All the sergeants were in panic. Li Guang ordered his son Li Gan to lead dozens of cavalry to attack the Hun cavalry team to boost morale, and lined up the cavalry in a circular array to resist the enemy. When the Huns attacked, the Han army sent bows and crossbows together. Throughout the fierce battle, the arrows of the Han army were exhausted. Li Guang shot several Hun generals with a strong crossbow, easing the Hun’s attack. By the next day, more than half of the Han Army had been killed and injured, and the Huns had suffered huge casualties. At this time, Zhang Qian finally led ten thousand horses to arrive and completed the task of containing Zuo Xian Wang’s department.

after the war in Hexi, the Western Han Dynasty divided the Xiongnu into five counties outside the Great Wall: Longxi, Beidi, Shangjun, Shuofang and Yunzhong, which were called five vassal countries. They immigrated to the real border and built the city fortress, cutting off the connection between the Xiongnu and the Western Qiang. In this way, the Han Dynasty opened the way to the western regions and lifted the threat of the Xiongnu to the western frontier. Since then, there were few Xiongnu raids in Longxi, Beidi and Hexi areas.

(4) battle of Mobei

in order to completely eliminate the main force of the Xiongnu, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, with lofty aspirations, ordered Wei Qing and Huo Qubing to lead 50000 cavalry to launch the battle of Mobei in the spring of the fourth year of Yuanshou, followed the army with 40000 “private horses” (horses transporting personal luggage), and hundreds of thousands of infantry transported baggage. Wei Qing led his troops out of Dingxiang, went north for more than a thousand to Mobei and defeated Shan Yu’s army. Huo Qubing led his troops out of Daijun for 2000 Li, met King Zuoxian in Mobei, broke it, and chased them to langjuxu mountain (Kent mountain in today’s Mongolia, from the northwest of keshketeng banner to Abaga banner in today’s Inner Mongolia), winning and returning home. The battle of Mobei wiped out more than 90000 Huns, and the Han Army also lost tens of thousands of soldiers and more than 100000 horses. “After that, the Xiongnu fled far away, and there was no royal court in the south of the curtain (desert)” (Hanshu ` Xiongnu biography “). The Western Han Dynasty was also unable to fight back against the Xiongnu, so the two sides temporarily suspended the war.

(5) the battle of Yanran mountain

and three years (90 BC) in March, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty ordered General Li Guangli to lead 70000 troops out of Wuyuan, the imperial historian Shangqiu Cheng led 20000 troops out of Xihe, and Houma Tong led 40000 troops out of Jiuquan to attack Xiongnu. Hearing that the Han army was coming, the Huns moved their luggage north and led their main force to the south to wait for the Han army. After Li Guangli went out of the fortress, he defeated the Xiongnu zuodu Wei law, pursued the victory, and the Xiongnu retreated. Li Guangli defeated Zuo Xianwang with 20000 horses and killed Zuo general. When the Han army retreated, Shan Yu knew that Li Guangli was tired and attacked the Han Army and Yanran mountain (now Hangai mountain in Mongolia) with 50000 horses. The Han army was defeated and Li Guangli surrendered to the Huns.


after Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty was defeated by the Huns in the battle of Yanran mountain, the national strength decreased sharply and the people were tired, so he stopped the expedition to the Huns. Successive years of wars caused heavy casualties to the Huns. After moving to the bitter and cold area of Mobei, the Huns’ economy declined, coupled with internal strife, and their power gradually declined, resulting in the division of the northern and southern Huns. Finally, during the reign of emperor yuan of the Han Dynasty, the Southern Huns attached to the Han Dynasty under the leadership of Hu Hanxie Chanyu, and the northern Huns were also destroyed by the Western Han Dynasty in the third year of Jianzhao (36 BC). The hundred year long war between Han and Hungary came to an end.

influence evaluation

the Han Dynasty expedition to the Huns was a large-scale and long-term domestic national war. Successive years of war have caused great losses to the lives and property of the people of all ethnic groups in the north. However, this war is of positive significance to stop the Hun slave owners from plundering the property of the people of all ethnic groups in the north and protect the life and safety of the people of all ethnic groups in the north.




in the process of defeating the Huns, with the implementation of a series of border security measures such as immigration, fortification, palace and field reclamation, Han culture was also introduced into the northern Huns and other nationalities, including the transplantation of agricultural and handicraft production technology, living customs and language. When all ethnic groups and tribes in the western regions returned to China, Han soldiers stationed in the local fields and introduced advanced raw products, production experience, technology and culture to the western regions at the same time, which played an important role in the development of production in the western regions. At the same time, it also opened the transportation between the East and the west, opened up and closed the economic and cultural ties between the people of all ethnic groups. In the later Han Dynasty, people connected to the western regions, opened up the transportation to the Persian Gulf, and caused the beginning of the exchange between Rome and China, which played a positive role in promoting the development of eastern and Western civilizations. In addition, in this war, the warring parties used cavalry on a large scale for the first time to carry out extensive mobile operations in vast desert areas. The Han army created a series of cavalry tactics, which had a far-reaching impact on the Han Army’s combat thought and the use of combat power.