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Li Mu(李牧) was a prominent military General of Zhao during the Warring States period of China. He, together with Bai Qi, Wang Jian, and Lian Po were known as the Four Greatest Generals in Warring States era.

Career

He assumed command of Zhao's overall security situation after the death of Zhao She and the exile of Lian Po, both renown former generals of Zhao. In his time, Zhao had to deal with the threat from the rapidly expanding Qin to the west and the Xiongnu to the north. In Li Mu's early years, he was concerned with the incessant Xiongnu raids on the Zhao northern border, and led several successful campaigns against them. Later, as the threat from Qin increased with the ascension of Qin Shi Huang, he turned his focus more to the western parts of Zhao.

The State of Zhao was merely a shadow of its former self. After suffering utter defeat from Qin during the Battle of Changping, which Zhao lost virtually its entire army, most of Zhao core territories had fallen to Qin. Furthermore, Zhao was diplomatically isolated as the Kingdoms of Wei, Yan and Han was too weak to offer any kind of support, while Qi and Chu were more willing to see the kingdom extinguished than face the powerful Qin.

However, Li Mu could still hold out against the much stronger Qin forces. So while Qin could romp around in Wei and Han, they had a much harder time pillaging in Zhao.

Getting rid of Li Mu became a necessity for Qin to conquer Zhao and unify China. Qin sent spies to the Zhao court, bribing key courtiers in order to persuade the King of Zhao that Li Mu was planning to revolt. The plan succeeded - Li Mu was arrested and soon executed on the king's orders.

With Li Mu's death, the fall of Zhao became inevitable. In about 10 years King Dai would fall and the State of Zhao would fade into history.


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