An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Guo Huai 郭淮

Jun 17, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald

Guo Huai 郭淮 (d. 255), courtesy name Boji 伯濟, was a military commander of the Wei dynasty 曹魏 (220-265) during the Three Kingdoms period 三國 (220-280).

He hailed from Yangqu 陽曲 in the commandery of Taiyuan 太原 (today in Shanxi) and was in the late decades of the Eastern Han period 東漢 (25-220 CE) recommended as a filial and incorrupt persons (xiaolian 孝廉). Under Cao Pi 曹丕 (the later Emperor Wen 魏文帝, r. 220-226) he was appointed chief of the police section in the Imperial Secretariat (menxia zeicao 門下賊曹). Later on he was made consultant in the military section of the Counsellor-in-chief (chengxiang bingcao 丞相兵曹).

He took part in the conquest of the region of Hanzhong 漢中, where he remained as a mounted commander (sima 司馬) under general Xiahou Yuan 夏侯淵, and when the latter died, under Zhang He 張郃. He was then given the title of a Marquis within the Passes (guanneihou 關內侯) and was transferred to the post of Commander-aide Guarding the West (zhenxi changshi 鎮西長史) and took over command in campaigns against the Qiang 羌 tribes. Emperor Wen appointed him regional inspector (cishi 刺史) of the province of Yongzhou 雍州 (approx. modern Shaanxi) and made him Township Marquis of Sheyang 射陽亭侯.

In 228 Guo Huai joined Zhang He's campaign against the army of Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮 from the state of Shu whom they defeated in the battle of Jieting 街亭. Shortly later he defeated the Qiang chieftain Tang Ti 唐蹏 in Paohan 枹罕 and was given the title of General Establishing Authority (jianwei jiangjun 建威將軍), then of General Wielding Authority (yangwei jiangjun 揚威將軍). In 234 he was a high commander under Sima Yi 司馬懿 in another campaign repelling an invasion of Zhuge Liang. As an independent commander, Guo Huai defeated Jiang Wei 姜維, also from the empire of Shu, in 240 in the battle of Qiangzhong 強中, and was rewarded with the title of General to the Left (zuo jiangjun 左將軍), then General of the Front (qian jiangjun 前將軍).

In 245 he commanded the assault division of Xiahou Xuan 夏侯玄 during a campaign against Shu. Three years later Guo belonged to the staff of Xiahou Ba 夏侯霸, who defeated Jiang Wei in Weichi 為翅. This victory earned him a promotion to Township Marquis of Duxiang 都鄉侯. In 249 he was given the title of General Conquering the West (zhengxi jiangjun 征西將軍), which made him the highest commander in the provinces of Yongzhou and Liangzhou 涼州 (approx. Gansu). Guo caused several defeats to armies of Shu. In 250 he was granted the prestigious title of General of Chariots and Cavarly (cheji jiangjun 車騎將軍) and credited the epithet "unequaled in honour" (yitong sansi 儀同三司), and was given the title of Marquis of Yangqu 陽曲侯. His posthumous title was Marquis Zhen 陽曲貞侯.

Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽, ed. (1992). Sanguozhi cidian 三國志辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 453.