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We all know the scene at the end of chapter 14. Where in a desperate move the Avatar plans to set the enemy fleet alight. It works at the cost of about half of the fleet. Yet many people I've seen nitpick this is a total illogical strategy. I have a counter argument. In 208 AD there was a battle in China known as the Battle of Red Cliffs also known as Chibi. Keep your hats on this is going to be a history lesson. Note some bits are taken from my memory and some from Wikipedia to make my explanation better The rouge ruler Liu Bei who for a good number of years had been roaming China trying to find a foothold to fight the lord of the North Cao Cao. Forged an alliance with the ruler of the south lands Sun Quan having succeeded his eldest brother Sun Ce [who was known as The Little Conqueror for his quick defeat of the lords of the Wu lands] after his very untimely young death at the age of 26. Cao Cao who had chased Liu Bei into the south along with a mass group of peasants and some loyal followers. planned on defeating both lords at once and if he had, it would have been a total victory for Cao Cao's Force which would be later renamed Wei. Zhuge Liang, a gifted minister of Liu Bei's. Was sent to talk about the possible alliance By the time Zhuge Liang arrived in the south lands of Sun Quan, Cao Cao had already sent Sun Quan a letter boasting of commanding 800,000 men and hinting that he wanted Sun to surrender, the faction led by Sun Quan's Chief Clerk, Zhang Zhao, advocated surrender, citing Cao Cao's overwhelming numerical advantage. However, on separate occasions, Lu Su, Zhuge Liang, and Sun Quan's chief commander, Zhou Yu, all presented arguments to persuade Sun Quan to agree to the alliance against the northerners. Including their naval advantage, because Cao Cao until this point had rarely had to fight on the sea, and the men of the south often boasted of their naval prowess, Sun Ce before his untimely death had even recruited quite a few pirates into his force. Sun Quan eventually agreed to the alliance. Famously cutting his desk in half with his fathers sword, and claiming "Anyone who still dares argue for surrender will be treated the same as this desk" It's also depicted in some media to have been Zhang Zhao's letter of surrender along with the desk He then assigned Zhou Yu, Cheng Pu, and Lu Su with 30,000 men to aid Liu Bei against Cao Cao, Although Cao Cao had boasted command of 800,000 men, Zhou Yu estimated Cao Cao's actual troop strength to be closer to 220,000. Furthermore, this total included 70,000 troops via impressment from the armies of the recently deceased Liu Biao lord of the Jing territory and relative to Liu Bei, so the loyalty and morale of a large number of Cao Cao's force was very unclear. The combined Sun-Liu force sailed upstream from either Xiakou or Fankou to Red Cliffs as I will show on this map below, where they encountered Cao Cao's vanguard force. Plagued by disease and low morale due to the series of forced marches they had undertaken on the prolonged southern campaign, Cao Cao's men could not gain an advantage in the small skirmish which ensued, so Cao Cao retreated to Wulin (north of the Yangtze River) and the allies pulled back to the south Cao Cao in desperation to keep more of his men from getting sick, decided to moor his boats together. Because of his northern based troops they were not used to the sea at all. One of Sun Quan's officers Huang Gai, who had been serving since the days of his father Sun Jian [Who for a little backstory was the famed Tiger of Jiang Dong, Pirate Hunter and descendant of the Art of War's creator Sun Tzu] noticed just how easily it would be to set the entire fleet ablaze. He decided to fake a surrender, and defection. He took a squad of ships along with him. and his small fleet sailed towards Cao Cao's base. The wind was blowing strongly from the southeast. When Huang Gai's fleet reached the middle of the river, the ships all raised their sails, and Huang Gai lifted a torch and instructed his men to shout "We surrender!" Cao Cao's troops came out of the camp to look and they said Huang Gai was coming to join them. he ordered his men to set the ships on fire and they boarded the smaller boats behind. As the wind was very strong, the flaming ships sailed towards Cao Cao's warships at fast speed and caused them to catch fire as well. Cao Cao's ships were all burnt down the flames also spread quickly to his camps on land. Zhou Yu then ordered an attack on Cao Cao's base and scored a major victory. Cao Cao retreated north with his surviving troops after his defeat. Liu Bei along with his small force did attempt to give chase but were unable to succeed in catching Cao Cao. Later the Three Kingdoms Era would officially start. Liu Bei in the Shu-lands, Sun Quan in Wu and Cao Cao with Wei. As you can see.. The avatar's fleet burning tactic isn't quite so farfetch'd now is it? Granted it was much easier to pull off then the Sun-Liu forces but all and all. I don't see why people complain about this scene. There are plenty of other things to nitpick about the games plot.