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Wine and Military


As is of my humble opinion, wine can also be used to inspire soldiers in the course of mobilization. Whether in ancient times or now, wine has been closely connected with war. Before an expedition, soldiers drink wine to bolster morale; having returned triumphantly, soldiers drink wine to celebrate their victory. As Lu Lun writes in a poem, `banquets are thrown in the wilderness, to treat the soldiers who have routed the Qiang people; intoxicated, the soldiers clad in shimmering armors began to dance, with thundering drums rocking mountains.' This poem presents us with a scene of celebration after a victory: grand banquets, drunk dancing, and thundering drumbeats. Chinese history has seen numerous such scenes. Before Goujian, King of Yue state, led his troops on the expedition against Wu state, wine was poured in the water upstream and he and his soldiers ladled to drink downstream. As a result, the morale of the army was greatly boosted. And this has been a legend through ages. Before King Mugong of Qin state launched a crusade against Jin state, he decided to reward his generals and soldiers with food and drink to bolster morale. However, he had only one goblet of wine. So he poured it into the river and shared it with his men, who were immensely moved. In the Western Han Dynasty, Emperor Wudi rewarded General-in-Chief Huo Qubing with wine after the army led by the latter reclaimed the lost land west of the Yellow River. As the wine was too little for the soldiers, Huo ordered that the wine be poured into a well so that he and his men could share it. Though these historical figures deceased long ago, their stories have been passed on from generation to generation. The place in Northwest China called Jiuquan (literally Wine Fountain) is silently testifying the story that happened long long ago in Chinese history. As a line in the interlude of the famous film Shang Gan Ling goes, 'we treat our visiting friends with good wine, and intruding enemies with hunting guns.' This song had greatly lifted morale of the Chinese People's Volunteers. All these facts have proved that wine does play an important role in morale boosting.

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