Battle of Red Cliffs
During the Battle of Red Cliffs, warlord of the Eastern Han dynasty, Cao Cao, engaged the Sun Quan and Liu Bei in what should have been a quick victory. Armed with upwards of 240,000 soldiers (or 800,000 by his account), Cao Cao’s army could have crushed his opponents, who struck back with a force around 50,000 strong. Cao Cao’s biggest mistake, however, was turning his experienced infantry unit into an untried naval force, essentially rendering them useless in battle. Unfamiliar with sea travel and susceptible to disease within the tropics, the Han dynasty’s military was far too exhausted and inexperienced to fight back against Sun Quan and Liu Bei.