Zhao Hong 趙弘 was a leader of Yellow Turbans in Wan city. Initially he did not lead any force, but when his commander Zhang Mancheng 張曼成 was killed his remnant troops elected Zhao Hong to succeed him.


Zhao Hong was from Nanyang commandery in Jing province.[1] It’s assumable he joined the religious leader Zhang Jue 張角 and his two brothers between the early 170’s and 184 AD.

In preparation for his rebellion Zhang Jue spread his followers, some hundreds of thousands of men, over thirty-six Divisions (Fāng 方) and he appointed a leader to each Division.[3] Each Division leader then appointed a gang leader to a sub-division of his force.[3] Probably about this time Zhao Hong was put in Zhang Mancheng’s force in Nanyang commandery.

Struggle for WanEdit

On 3 April 184 the Yellow Turban Rebellion began. Twenty days later, on 23 April, Zhang Mancheng attacked Wan city, chief city of Nanyang commandery, and killed its Grand Administrator Chu Gong 褚貢.[4] He then besieged the city and occupied it. In the sixth lunar month of that year he was killed by the succeeding Grand Administrator Qin Jie 秦頡.[5]

When Zhang Mancheng was killed his remnant forces elected Zhao Hong as their new leader and the numbers under his command grew. In the summer he seized Wan.[1]

The General of the Household on the Right Zhu Jun 朱儁 and other commanders under the Inspector of Jing Province, Xu Qiu 徐璆, collected forces together and besieged the rebels. They attacked Wan for two months; from the sixth until the eighth, but scored no success.[2]

Some officials wanted Zhu Jun to be recalled, but thanks to a memorial from the Minister of Works Zhang Wen 張溫, he was allowed to stay. He then attacked the rebels once more, this time with success as Zhao Hong lost his head in battle.[1][2]

After Zhao Hong's death, his remnant forces elected Han Zhong 韓忠 as their new leader.[6]


Fact vs. FictionEdit

  • Historically Zhao Hong was killed by Zhu Jun’s troops, it is not known if Sun Jian 孫堅 was the one who delivered the killing blow.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms, biography of Zhao Hong, page 1098
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 de Crespigny, Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling, Zhongping 1
  3. 3.0 3.1 Michaud, The Yellow Turbans, page 76
  4. de Crespigny, Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling, footnotes to Zhongping 1
  5. de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary, biography of Zhang Mancheng, page 1068
  6. de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms, biography of Han Zhong, page 305