SUN TZU

ON THE

ART OF WAR

Lionel Giles Translation
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SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR

FORWARD
This e-book presents a complete translation of Sun Tzu on the Art of War as penned by Dr. Lionel Giles from Great Britain. In 1910, Dr. Lionel Giles, a staff member of the Department of Oriental Printed Books and Manuscripts at the British Museum in London, introduced the English-speaking world to an effective translation of Sun Tzu Bing Fa, literally translated as Sun Tzu on War Methods. Lionel Giles published his translation through Luzac and Co. in London and Shanghai under the more commercial title, Sun Tzu on the Art of War. Although written in 1910, this translation of Sun Tzu's work continues to be the standard from which other English translations of the Art of War are measured. Dr. Lionel Giles had both a solid background in military affairs and was fluent in Chinese where he served as a representative of the British government. He was uniquely qualified to translate the Art of War in a way that would explain what Sun Tzu meant with each of his passages. The following, without commentary, is the Dr. Giles translation: as it appeared in the copy of original Luzac and Co. book pictured here.

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LAYING PLANS

1

I. LAYING PLANS

1. Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State. 2. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected. 3. The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field. 4. These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline. 5,6. The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger. 7. Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons. 8. Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death. 9. The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness. 10. By method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure. 11. These five heads should be familiar to every general: he who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail. 12. Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise:— www.artofwarsuntzu.com

All warfare is based on deception. 24. If your opponent is of choleric temper. appear where you are not expected. The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it. 17. we must seem unable. 18. we must seem inactive. separate them. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. www. By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat. If his forces are united.SUN TZU ON T2 ART OF WAR HE 13. (1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law? (2) Which of the two generals has most ability? (3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth? (4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced? (5) Which army is stronger? (6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained? (7) In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment? 14. While heading the profit of my counsel. we must make the enemy believe we are far away. According as circumstances are favorable. 20. 26. one should modify one’s plans.com .artofwarsuntzu. give him no rest. must not be divulged beforehand. These military devices. If he is secure at all points. Attack him where he is unprepared. that he may grow arrogant. Hence. we must make him believe we are near. 22. and crush him. and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose. evade him. will conquer: let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it. Pretend to be weak. If he is taking his ease. avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules. will suffer defeat:—let such a one be dismissed! 16. when using our forces. seek to irritate him. 23. when far away. 15. be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength. Feign disorder. 25. Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. leading to victory. 19. when able to attack. 21. Thus do many calculations lead to victory. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. when we are near.

but forage on the enemy. other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. if victory is long in coming. 2. Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army to be maintained by contributions from a distance. WAGING WAR 1. 3. 10. then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. Sun Tzu said: In the operations of war. the expenditure at home and at the front. will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day. and sums spent on chariots and armor.000 men. your ardor damped. Again. www.WAGING WAR 3 II. There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy. cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.artofwarsuntzu. where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots. Such is the cost of raising an army of 100. 7. your strength exhausted and your treasure spent. however wise. Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes the people to be impoverished. When you engage in actual fighting. as many heavy chariots. If you lay siege to a town. Thus. Then no man. when your weapons are dulled. small items such as glue and paint. 8. 9. including entertainment of guests. the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain. you will exhaust your strength.com . 6. neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice. though we have heard of stupid haste in war. 5. Bring war material with you from home. 4. will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs. Now. with provisions enough to carry them a thousand li. and a hundred thousand mail-clad soldiers. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on. if the campaign is protracted.

The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept. One cartload of the enemy’s provisions is equivalent to twenty of one’s own. 12. that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy. draught-oxen and heavy wagons. let your great object be victory. while government expenses for broken chariots. Therefore in chariot fighting. and three-tenths of their income will be dissipated. breast-plates and helmets. 15. Now in order to kill the enemy. our men must be roused to anger. 13.com . and likewise a single picul of his provender is equivalent to twenty from one’s own store.artofwarsuntzu. With this loss of substance and exhaustion of strength. 19. 18. spears and shields. they must have their rewards. when ten or more chariots have been taken. the man on whom it depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril. those should be rewarded who took the first. In war. and high prices cause the people’s substance to be drained away. the peasantry will be afflicted by heavy exactions. When their substance is drained away. Our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy.4 SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR 11. Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy. On the other hand. the proximity of an army causes prices to go up. and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours. not lengthy campaigns. 16. worn-out horses.14. This is called. will amount to four-tenths of its total revenue. www. then. protective mantles. 20. Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is the arbiter of the people’s fate. bows and arrows. 17. the homes of the people will be stripped bare. using the conquered foe to augment one’s own strength.

he captures their cities without laying siege to them. www.ATTACK BY STRATAGEM 5 III. 6. to capture a regiment. will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants. while the town still remains untaken. he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field. his triumph will be complete. With his forces intact he will dispute the mastery of the Empire. Thus the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy’s plans. and the piling up of mounds over against the walls will take three months more. ATTACK BY STRATAGEM 1. to attack him. 5. The general. the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact. if five to one. Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting. to surround him. 4. not to besiege walled cities if it can possibly be avoided. movable shelters. a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them. with the result that one-third of his men are slain.com . So. if twice as numerous. and various implements of war. Such are the disastrous effects of a siege. The rule is. without losing a man. Sun Tzu said: In the practical art of war. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence. 2. to shatter and destroy it is not so good. and thus. 7. It is the rule in war. 8. too. unable to control his irritation. will take up three whole months. The preparation of mantlets.artofwarsuntzu. and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities. the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy’s forces. it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it. supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting. if our forces are ten to the enemy’s one. 3. This is the method of attacking by stratagem. to divide our army into two. the next in order is to attack the enemy’s army in the field.

you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. the State will be weak. 12. through ignorance of the principle of adaptation to circumstances. being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey. prepared himself. (1) By commanding the army to advance or to retreat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself. (2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. waits to take the enemy unprepared. being ignorant of the conditions which obtain in an army. if the bulwark is complete at all points. This causes restlessness in the soldier’s minds. (4) He will win who. (5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign. (3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. in the end it must be captured by the larger force. trouble is sure to come from the other feudal princes. (2) By attempting to govern an army in the same way as he administers a kingdom. 10. 11. the State will be strong. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself. if slightly inferior in numbers. we can offer battle.artofwarsuntzu. we can flee from him. If you know yourself but not the enemy. (3) By employing the officers of his army without discrimination. 18. This shakes the confidence of the soldiers.com . we can avoid the enemy. If equally matched. 15. But when the army is restless and distrustful. you will succumb in every battle. for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. This is simply bringing anarchy into the army. www. military 16. f quite unequal in every way.SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR 6 9. 17. though an obstinate fight may be made by a small force. Hence. and flinging victory away. Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. 14. This is called hobbling the army. There are three ways in which a ruler can bring misfortune upon his army:— 13. if the bulwark is defective. Now the general is the bulwark of the State.

5. 4. he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven. “Well done!” 10.TACTICAL DISPOSITIONS 7 IV. What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat. 6.com . ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive. a superabundance of strength. Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength. on the other. Neither is it the acme of excellence if you fight and conquer and the whole Empire says. attacking. 9. to see the sun and moon is no sign of sharp sight. 11. a victory that is complete. To lift an autumn hair is no sign of great strength. Thus on the one hand we have ability to protect ourselves. The general who is skilled in defense hides in the most secret recesses of the earth. To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence. but excels in winning with ease. 3. but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy. and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.artofwarsuntzu. 8. Sun Tzu said: The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat. 2. TACTICAL DISPOSITIONS 1. Hence the saying: One may know how to conquer without being able to do it. 7. to hear the noise of thunder is no sign of a quick ear. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands. www. but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself. Security against defeat implies defensive tactics.

17.artofwarsuntzu. In respect of military method. Measurement owes its existence to Earth. 16. 18. Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible.8 SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR 12. 14. and strictly adheres to method and discipline. A victorious army opposed to a routed one. fifthly. Balancing of chances to Calculation. The consummate leader cultivates the moral law. He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Balancing of chances. 15.com . fourthly. for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated. The onrush of a conquering force is like the bursting of pent-up waters into a chasm a thousand fathoms deep. is as a pound’s weight placed in the scale against a single grain. Hence his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage. thirdly. 13. 19. Estimation of quantity to Measurement. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory. Calculation. and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy. secondly. we have. 20. Calculation to Estimation of quantity. and Victory to Balancing of chances. Victory. whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory. thus it is in his power to control success. Estimation of quantity. www. Measurement. firstly.

white. like the four seasons. are inexhaustible as Heaven and Earth. There are not more than five musical notes. salt. ENERGY 1. There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour. In all fighting. yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers. 2. yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.com . 8. There are not more than five primary colors (blue. efficiently applied. Sun Tzu said: The control of a large force is the same principle as the control of a few men: it is merely a question of dividing up their numbers. like the sun and moon. 6. 9. unending as the flow of rivers and streams. 5. 7. the direct method may be used for joining battle. www. there are not more than two methods of attack—the direct and the indirect. and black). red. they pass away to return once more. 4. yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen. yellow. That the impact of your army may be like a grindstone dashed against an egg—this is effected by the science of weak points and strong.artofwarsuntzu. Fighting with a large army under your command is nowise different from fighting with a small one: it is merely a question of instituting signs and signals. they end but to begin anew. 10.ENERGY 9 V. sweet. Indirect tactics. To ensure that your whole host may withstand the brunt of the enemy’s attack and remain unshaken— this is effected by maneuvers direct and indirect. bitter). yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. In battle. acrid. but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory. 3.

according to which the enemy will act. and to move when on a slope. Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle. 19. The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim. Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances. Who can exhaust the possibilities of their combination? 12. 21. that the enemy may snatch at it. and prompt in his decision. 23.com . 22. The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy. then with a body of picked men he lies in wait for him. 16. For it is the nature of a log or stone to remain motionless on level ground. 20. Hiding order beneath the cloak of disorder is simply a question of subdivision. 13. 15. amid confusion and chaos. The direct and the indirect lead on to each other in turn. to the releasing of a trigger. your array may be without head or tail. simulated fear postulates courage. Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline. So much on the subject of energy. By holding out baits. to come to a standstill. 14. www. Hence his ability to pick out the right men and utilize combined energy. and does not require too much from individuals. he keeps him on the march. simulated weakness postulates strength. The onset of troops is like the rush of a torrent which will even roll stones along in its course. 18. but if round-shaped. to go rolling down. Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow. He sacrifices something. Thus the energy developed by good fighting men is as the momentum of a round stone rolled down a mountain thousands of feet in height. 17. decision. It is like moving in a circle—you never come to an end. When he utilizes combined energy. masking strength with weakness is to be effected by tactical dispositions. if four-cornered. concealing courage under a show of timidity presupposes a fund of latent energy. Therefore the good fighter will be terrible in his onset. yet it will be proof against defeat. there may be seeming disorder and yet no real disorder at all.artofwarsuntzu.10 SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR 11. his fighting men become as it were like unto rolling logs or stones.

6. by inflicting damage. he can force him to move. 9. and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack. WEAK POINTS AND STRONG 1. Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend. 2. if you make for the enemy’s weak points.com . will be fresh for the fight. 4. through you inaudible. or. if well supplied with food. 10. he can harass him. 3. if it marches through country where the enemy is not. whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted. he can make it impossible for the enemy to draw near. he can starve him out. O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible. You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended. march swiftly to places where you are not expected.WEAK POINTS AND STRONG 11 VI. An army may march great distances without distress. and hence we can hold the enemy’s fate in our hands. but does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him. You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked. you may retire and be safe from pursuit if your movements are more rapid than those of the enemy. You may advance and be absolutely irresistible. If the enemy is taking his ease. www. 8. By holding out advantages to him. 5.artofwarsuntzu. 7. he can cause the enemy to approach of his own accord. Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy. Sun Tzu said: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy. if quietly encamped. Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend.

12.artofwarsuntzu. 23. 19. We can form a single united body. All we need do is to throw something odd and unaccountable in his way. should he strengthen his right. Carefully compare the opposing army with your own. he will everywhere be weak. or the rear to support the van. For should the enemy strengthen his van. Hence there will be a whole pitted against separate parts of a whole. the enemy can be forced to an engagement even though he be sheltered behind a high rampart and a deep ditch. then the left wing will be impotent to succor the right. which means that we shall be many to the enemy’s few. we can keep our forces concentrated. from compelling our adversary to make these preparations against us. 16. Though according to my estimate the soldiers of Yueh exceed our own in number. The spot where we intend to fight must not be made known. we can prevent the enemy from engaging us even though the lines of our encampment be merely traced out on the ground. www. numerical strength. he will weaken his van. that shall advantage them nothing in the matter of victory. By discovering the enemy’s dispositions and remaining invisible ourselves. and learn the principle of his activity or inactivity. How much more so if the furthest portions of the army are anything under a hundred LI apart. If he sends reinforcements everywhere. But if neither time nor place be known. And if we are able thus to attack an inferior force with a superior one. 22. Rouse him. for then the enemy will have to prepare against a possible attack at several different points. If we wish to fight. he will weaken his rear. If we do not wish to fight. so as 24. he will weaken his right. while the enemy’s must be divided. the van unable to relieve the rear. All we need do is attack some other place that he will be obliged to relieve. should he strengthen his rear. and even the nearest are separated by several LI! 21. our opponents will be in dire straits. 20. we may prevent him from fighting. the right equally impotent to succor the left. Numerical weakness comes from having to prepare against possible attacks. 14. 13. and his forces being thus distributed in many directions. we may concentrate from the greatest distances in order to fight.com . Knowing the place and the time of the coming battle. while the enemy must split up into fractions.SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR 12 11. Scheme so as to discover his plans and the likelihood of their success. Force him to reveal himself. Though the enemy be stronger in numbers. the numbers we shall have to face at any given point will be proportionately few. to find out his vulnerable spots. he will weaken his left. should he strengthen his left. so that you may know where strength is superabundant and where it is deficient. 15. I say then that victory can be achieved. 17. 18.

fire.13 25. 28. but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved. but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances. the moon has its periods of waning and waxing. may be called a heaven-born captain. The five elements (water. He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning. and you will be safe from the prying of the subtlest spies.com . 31. the four seasons make way for each other in turn. conceal your dispositions. just as water retains no constant shape. 29. the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing. WEAK POINTS AND STRONG www. 32. There are short days and long. 34. earth) are not always equally predominant. Military tactics are like unto water. 30. wood. So in war. In making tactical dispositions. How victory may be produced for them out of the enemy’s own tactics—that is what the multitude cannot comprehend. so in warfare there are no constant conditions. 33. the highest pitch you can attain is to conceal them. Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows. 26. from the machinations of the wisest brains. Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory. for water in its natural course runs away from high places and hastens downwards. metal. the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak.artofwarsuntzu. All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer. Therefore. 27.

most dangerous. the general receives his commands from the sovereign. MANEUVERING 1. After that. 7. 4. comes tactical maneuvering. 6.com . and on this plan only one-tenth of your army will reach its destination. and misfortune into gain. and though starting after him. 10. shows knowledge of the artifice of deviation. and only half your force will reach the goal. the leaders of all your three divisions will fall into the hands of the enemy. he must blend and harmonize the different elements thereof before pitching his camp. and make forced marches without halting day or night. Maneuvering with an army is advantageous. www. than which there is nothing more difficult. If you march fifty LI in order to outmaneuver the enemy. two-thirds of your army will arrive. after enticing the enemy out of the way. with an undisciplined multitude. to contrive to reach the goal before him. Thus. On the other hand.artofwarsuntzu. The stronger men will be in front. 9. 5.14 SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR VII. to take a long and circuitous route. you will lose the leader of your first division. 8. The difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in turning the devious into the direct. 3. doing a hundred LI in order to wrest an advantage. covering double the usual distance at a stretch. the jaded ones will fall behind. If you set a fully equipped army in march in order to snatch an advantage. if you order your men to roll up their buff-coats. If you march thirty LI with the same object. 2. Having collected an army and concentrated his forces. Sun Tzu said: In war. to detach a flying column for the purpose involves the sacrifice of its baggage and stores. Thus. the chances are that you will be too late.

and when you move. 25. 19. In night-fighting. The Book of Army Management says: On the field of battle. 21. He will conquer who has learnt the artifice of deviation. 20. Now a soldier’s spirit is keenest in the morning.com . must be decided by circumstances. banners and flags. Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night. 22. avoids an army when its spirit is keen. its pitfalls and precipices. When you plunder a countryside. as a means of influencing the ears and eyes of your army. A clever general. is it impossible either for the brave to advance alone.artofwarsuntzu. Such is the art of maneuvering. without provisions it is lost. This is the art of handling large masses of men. Whether to concentrate or to divide your troops. when you capture new territory. then. or for the cowardly to retreat alone. The host thus forming a single united body. We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors. your compactness that of the forest. 23. We shall be unable to turn natural advantage to account unless we make use of local guides. and in fighting by day. A whole army may be robbed of its spirit. by noonday it has begun to flag. 24. 26. let the spoil be divided amongst your men. Nor can ordinary objects be seen clearly enough: hence the institution of banners and flags. cut it up into allotments for the benefit of the soldiery. In war. practice dissimulation. therefore. 29. without bases of supply it is lost. and in the evening. Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.15 11. a commander-in-chief may be robbed of his presence of mind. 27. his mind is bent only on returning to camp. 12. the spoken word does not carry far enough: hence the institution of gongs and drums. but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return. its marshes and swamps. 15. This is the art of studying moods. fall like a thunderbolt. We may take it then that an army without its baggage-train is lost. and you will succeed. make much use of signal-fires and drums. are means whereby the ears and eyes of the host may be focused on one particular point. We are not fit to lead an army on the march unless we are familiar with the face of the country— its mountains and forests. MANEUVERING www. 18. of flags and banners. Gongs and drums. 16. In raiding and plundering be like fire. 17. is immovability like a mountain. 28. Let your rapidity be that of the wind. 14. 13.

Do not interfere with an army that is returning home. 31.SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR 16 30. 35. Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy. to refrain from attacking an army drawn up in calm and confident array:—this is the art of studying circumstances. When you surround an army. Do not pursue an enemy who simulates flight. Do not press a desperate foe too hard. to await the appearance of disorder and hubbub amongst the enemy:—this is the art of retaining self-possession. to wait at ease while the enemy is toiling and struggling. leave an outlet free. nor to oppose him when he comes downhill. 36. To be near the goal while the enemy is still far from it. 37. It is a military axiom not to advance uphill against the enemy. to be well-fed while the enemy is famished:—this is the art of husbanding one’s strength. www.artofwarsuntzu. Disciplined and calm. 34. do not attack soldiers whose temper is keen. 32. 33. To refrain from intercepting an enemy whose banners are in perfect order. Such is the art of warfare.com .

positions which must not be contested. considerations of advantage and of disadvantage will be blended together. in the midst of difficulties we are always ready to seize an advantage. collects his army and concentrates his forces 2. VARIATION IN TACTICS 1. In country where high roads intersect. So. do not encamp. even though he be acquainted with the Five Advantages. towns which must be besieged. In hemmed-in situations.com . 7. 6. you must resort to stratagem. you must fight. may be well acquainted with the configuration of the country. the general receives his commands from the sovereign. The general who does not understand these. When in difficult country. armies which must be not attacked. on the other hand. Hence in the wise leader’s plans. will fail to make the best use of his men. 3. 8. 5. www. Do not linger in dangerously isolated positions. 4. There are roads which must not be followed. In desperate position. commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed.artofwarsuntzu. If our expectation of advantage be tempered in this way. we may succeed in accomplishing the essential part of our schemes.VARIATION IN TACTICS 17 VIII. 9. join hands with your allies. we may extricate ourselves from misfortune. yet he will not be able to turn his knowledge to practical account. If. the student of war who is unversed in the art of war of varying his plans. The general who thoroughly understands the advantages that accompany variation of tactics knows how to handle his troops. Sun Tzu said: In war.

14. (4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame. There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general: (1) Recklessness. but on our own readiness to receive him. and make trouble for them. www. These are the five besetting sins of a general. and keep them constantly engaged. When an army is overthrown and its leader slain. which leads to destruction. Reduce the hostile chiefs by inflicting damage on them. (2) cowardice. (5) over-solicitude for his men. hold out specious allurements. 12. 13. 11. (3) a hasty temper. which leads to capture.artofwarsuntzu. the cause will surely be found among these five dangerous faults.SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR 18 10.com . but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable. The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming. and make them rush to any given point. Let them be a subject of meditation. ruinous to the conduct of war. which exposes him to worry and trouble. not on the chance of his not attacking. which can be provoked by insults.

6. 8. So much for campaigning in flat country. your sole concern should be to get over them quickly. Do not climb heights in order to fight. take up an easily accessible position with rising ground to your right and on your rear. In crossing salt-marshes. All armies prefer high ground to low and sunny places to dark. you should have water and grass near you. and observing signs of the enemy. 10. These are the four useful branches of military knowledge which enabled the Yellow Emperor to vanquish four several sovereigns. So much for operations in salt-marches.THE ARMY ON THE MARCH 19 IX. So much for river warfare. 3. Camp in high places. Pass quickly over mountains. and get your back to a clump of trees.artofwarsuntzu. and facing the sun.com . 7. level country. When an invading force crosses a river in its onward march. you should not go to meet the invader near a river which he has to cross. you should get far away from it. THE ARMY ON THE MARCH 1. 5. so that the danger may be in front. Sun Tzu said: We come now to the question of encamping the army. 11. and then deliver your attack. If you are anxious to fight. and keep in the neighborhood of valleys. www. 9. After crossing a river. 4. It will be best to let half the army get across. and safety lie behind. without any delay. In dry. do not advance to meet it in midstream. 2. Do not move up-stream to meet the enemy. If forced to fight in a salt-marsh. Moor your craft higher up than the enemy. So much for mountain warfare. facing the sun.

with the slope on your right rear. Violent language and driving forward as if to the attack are signs that he will retreat. occupy the sunny side. it means that the critical moment has come. The rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an ambuscade. they must be carefully routed out and searched. when the dust is low. 24. Thus you will at once act for the benefit of your soldiers and utilize the natural advantages of the ground. When it branches out in different directions. confined places. it betokens the approach of infantry. When there is much running about and the soldiers fall into rank. 26. When there is dust rising in a high column. 20. he is relying on the natural strength of his position. it shows that parties have been sent to collect firewood. When you come to a hill or a bank. in consequence of heavy rains up-country. www. 23. should be left with all possible speed and not approached. you must wait until it subsides. When the enemy is close at hand and remains quiet. When he keeps aloof and tries to provoke a battle. If his place of encampment is easy of access. A few clouds of dust moving to and fro signify that the army is encamping. quagmires and crevasses. and this will spell victory.SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR 20 12. 17. The appearance of a number of screens in the midst of thick grass means that the enemy wants to make us suspicious. 13. he is anxious for the other side to advance. tangled thickets. When. it is a sign that the enemy is forming for battle.artofwarsuntzu. When the light chariots come out first and take up a position on the wings. 22. Humble words and increased preparations are signs that the enemy is about to advance.com . for these are places where men in ambush or insidious spies are likely to be lurking. 16. we should get the enemy to approach them. deep natural hollows. hollow basins filled with reeds. the army will be free from disease of every kind. 18. Country in which there are precipitous cliffs with torrents running between. If you are careful of your men. If in the neighborhood of your camp there should be any hilly country. Movement amongst the trees of a forest shows that the enemy is advancing. ponds surrounded by aquatic grass. while we face them. but spread over a wide area. Peace proposals unaccompanied by a sworn covenant indicate a plot. 14. and camp on hard ground. 21. he is tendering a bait. 19. 15. While we keep away from such places. 25. or woods with thick undergrowth. Startled beasts indicate that a sudden attack is coming. it is the sign of chariots advancing. a river which you wish to ford is swollen and flecked with foam. 27. we should let the enemy have them on his rear.

too many punishments betray a condition of dire distress. To begin by bluster. If the officers are angry.THE ARMY ON THE MARCH 28. 35. If our troops are no more in number than the enemy. If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you. 40. When the soldiers stand leaning on their spears. This is a certain road to victory.com . When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths. it means that the men are weary. If. it only means that no direct attack can be made. Too frequent rewards signify that the enemy is at the end of his resources. If there is disturbance in the camp. 37. 38. 43. the general’s authority is weak. then will be practically useless. they will not prove submissive. the army is suffering from thirst. 29. He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them. 39. When some are seen advancing and some retreating. If those who are sent to draw water begin by drinking themselves. it is a lure. the situation is one that demands great vigilance and circumspection. and obtain reinforcements. that is amply sufficient. If the enemy’s troops march up angrily and remain facing ours for a long time without either joining battle or taking themselves off again. What we can do is simply to concentrate all our available strength. If the enemy sees an advantage to be gained and makes no effort to secure it. it is unoccupied. Therefore soldiers must be treated in the first instance with humanity. but afterwards to take fright at the enemy’s numbers. they will still be unless. 41. keep a close watch on the enemy. the soldiers are exhausted. 42. www. When an army feeds its horses with grain and kills its cattle for food. punishments are not enforced. but kept under control by means of iron discipline. Clamor by night betokens nervousness. If birds gather on any spot.artofwarsuntzu. it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce. unless submissive. 34. 31. and. If the banners and flags are shifted about. sedition is afoot. 21 30. and when the men do not hang their cooking-pots over the camp-fires. when the soldiers have become attached to you. you may know that they are determined to fight to the death. 33. they are faint from want of food. 32. showing that they will not return to their tents. 36. shows a supreme lack of intelligence. The sight of men whispering together in small knots or speaking in subdued tones points to disaffection amongst the rank and file.

If in training soldiers commands are habitually enforced. its discipline will be bad. the army will be well-disciplined.com . if not. 45. the gain will be mutual.artofwarsuntzu.SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR 22 44. www. If a general shows confidence in his men but always insists on his orders being obeyed.

you should occupy the raised and sunny spots. if you can occupy them first. 2. 4. then. Ground which can be freely traversed by both sides is called accessible. if you are beforehand with your adversary. With regard to narrow passes. In a position of this sort. it is called temporizing ground. disaster will ensue. 9.artofwarsuntzu. TERRAIN 1. then. (2) entangling ground. Ground which can be abandoned but is hard to re-occupy is called entangling. From a position of this sort. but rather to retreat. Sun Tzu said: We may distinguish six kinds of terrain. 10. when part of his army has come out. and there wait for him to come up. www. do not go after him if the pass is fully garrisoned. Should the army forestall you in occupying a pass. (3) temporizing ground. to wit: (1) Accessible ground. (5) precipitous heights. return being impossible. even though the enemy should offer us an attractive bait. But if the enemy is prepared for your coming. and carefully guard your line of supplies.TERRAIN 23 X. (6) positions at a great distance from the enemy. 6. and you fail to defeat him. but only if it is weakly garrisoned. we may deliver our attack with advantage. thus enticing the enemy in his turn. (4) narrow passes. With regard to precipitous heights. Then you will be able to fight with advantage. be before the enemy in occupying the raised and sunny spots.com . if the enemy is unprepared. you may sally forth and defeat him. When the position is such that neither side will gain by making the first move. 7. it will be advisable not to stir forth. let them be strongly garrisoned and await the advent of the enemy. With regard to ground of this nature. 5. 3. 8.

unable to estimate the enemy’s strength. the result is utter disorganization. When the general is weak and without authority. If fighting is sure to result in victory. Other conditions being equal. and neglects to place picked soldiers in the front rank. it is not easy to provoke a battle. the result must be rout. not arising from natural causes. 18. but retreat and try to entice him away. but from faults for which the general is responsible. and in fighting puts his knowledge into practice. whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign.com . 16. the result is collapse. allows an inferior force to engage a larger one.artofwarsuntzu. and fighting will be to your disadvantage. When the higher officers are angry and insubordinate. www. He who knows these things. When a general. if one force is hurled against another ten times its size. 15. When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too weak. The natural formation of the country is the soldier’s best ally.24 SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR 11. then you must not fight even at the ruler’s bidding. 17. (2) insubordination. 13. but a power of estimating the adversary. He who knows them not. constitutes the test of a great general. 24. will win his battles. 23. 12. of controlling the forces of victory. the result will be the flight of the former. 22. when his orders are not clear and distinct. the result is insubordination. before the commander-in-chief can tell whether or no he is in a position to fight. When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers too weak. the result is ruin. These are: (1) Flight. These are six ways of courting defeat. (6) rout. and of shrewdly calculating difficulties. If you are situated at a great distance from the enemy. and the ranks are formed in a slovenly haphazard manner. or hurls a weak detachment against a powerful one. dangers and distances. which must be carefully noted by the general who has attained a responsible post. is the jewel of the kingdom. The general who has attained a responsible post must be careful to study them. nor practices them. even though the ruler forbid it. when there are no fixes duties assigned to officers and men. The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace. (5) disorganization. then you must fight. will surely be defeated. 14. if fighting will not result in victory. 19. and the strength of the two armies is equal. and on meeting the enemy give battle on their own account from a feeling of resentment. 20. These six are the principles connected with Earth. If the enemy has occupied them before you. do not follow him. 21. Now an army is exposed to six several calamities. (4) ruin. (3) collapse.

moreover. look upon them as your own beloved sons. TERRAIN www. we have gone only halfway towards victory. If we know that the enemy is open to attack. you are indulgent. If we know that our own men are in a condition to attack. 28. 27. they are useless for any practical purpose. we have gone only halfway towards victory. If. once in motion. 26. we have still gone only halfway towards victory. 29. however. but unable to enforce your commands. Regard your soldiers as your children.25 25. and they will stand by you even unto death. 30. and also know that our men are in a condition to attack. Hence the experienced soldier. you may make your victory complete. 31. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself. but are unaware that our own men are not in a condition to attack. and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. of quelling disorder: then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children. but unable to make your authority felt.artofwarsuntzu. If we know that the enemy is open to attack. if you know Heaven and know Earth. once he has broken camp. your victory will not stand in doubt. he is never at a loss.com . is never bewildered. but are unaware that the enemy is not open to attack. but are unaware that the nature of the ground makes fighting impracticable. and incapable. kind-hearted.

halt not. (8) hemmed-in ground. it is serious ground. marshes and fens—all country that is hard to traverse: this is difficult ground. Sun Tzu said: The art of war recognizes nine varieties of ground: (1) Dispersive ground. (4) open ground. (5) ground of intersecting highways. rugged steeps.artofwarsuntzu. 8. (7) difficult ground. is desperate ground. 4. Mountain forests. (9) desperate ground. On contentious ground. THE NINE SITUATIONS 1. it is dispersive ground. On dispersive ground. When he has penetrated into hostile territory. is a ground of intersecting highways. 10. attack not. (3) contentious ground. Ground on which we can only be saved from destruction by fighting without delay. 2. 5. so that he who occupies it first has most of the Empire at his command.26 SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR XI. (2) facile ground. (6) serious ground. 7. www. 6. Ground which forms the key to three contiguous states. When an army has penetrated into the heart of a hostile country. When a chieftain is fighting in his own territory. 9.com . therefore. fight not. and from which we can only retire by tortuous paths. is contentious ground. Ground which is reached through narrow gorges. Ground the possession of which imports great advantage to either side. so that a small number of the enemy would suffice to crush a large body of our men: this is hemmed in ground. but to no great distance. On facile ground. it is facile ground. leaving a number of fortified cities in its rear. 11. Ground on which each side has liberty of movement is open ground. 3.

fight. the greater will be the solidarity of your troops. On hemmed-in ground. keep steadily on the march. Carefully study the well-being of your men. If asked how to cope with a great host of the enemy in orderly array and on the point of marching to the attack. gather in plunder. Make forays in fertile country in order to supply your army with food. On open ground. there is nothing they may not achieve. it is not because they are disinclined to longevity.THE NINE SITUATIONS 27 12. Officers and men alike will put forth their uttermost strength. do not try to block the enemy’s way.artofwarsuntzu. they stopped still. If our soldiers are not overburdened with money. 23. Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength. 13. without waiting to be marshaled. and do not overtax them. Those who were called skillful leaders of old knew how to drive a wedge between the enemy’s front and rear. make your way by unexpected routes. no calamity need be feared. 15. 27. If they will face death. the officers from rallying their men. Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy’s unreadiness. 14.” 19. 20. they made a forward move. without giving orders. they will fight hard. On the ground of intersecting highways. www. 22. Soldiers when in desperate straits lose the sense of fear. then he will be amenable to your will. 18. and thus the defenders will not prevail against you. to prevent co-operation between his large and small divisions. they managed to keep them in disorder. without waiting to be asked. On desperate ground. and attack unguarded spots. to hinder the good troops from rescuing the bad. they will stand firm. Thus. and do away with superstitious doubts. Keep your army continually on the move. Prohibit the taking of omens. if their lives are not unduly long. 21. they will show a stubborn front. without restrictions. On serious ground. when otherwise. In difficult ground. When it was to their advantage. When the enemy’s men were united. they will do your will. 26. If there is no help for it. 16. join hands with your allies. until death itself comes. If there is no place of refuge. and devise unfathomable plans. they can be trusted. the soldiers will be constantly on the qui vive. The following are the principles to be observed by an invading force: The further you penetrate into a country.com . it is not because they have a distaste for riches. 17. they will be faithful. I should say: “Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear. Then. and they will prefer death to flight. Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape. If they are in hostile country. resort to stratagem. 25. 24.

they will come to each other’s assistance just as the left hand helps the right. 31. Now the shuai-jan is a snake that is found in the ChUng mountains. that penetrating deeply brings cohesion. How to make the best of both strong and weak—that is a question involving the proper use of ground.SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR 28 28. For the men of Wu and the men of Yueh are enemies. Strike at its head. By altering his arrangements and changing his plans. Yes. he keeps the enemy without definite knowledge. he drives his men this way and that. and the fundamental laws of human nature: these are things that must most certainly be studied. 33. like a shepherd driving a flock of sheep. the expediency of aggressive or defensive tactics. The different measures suited to the nine varieties of ground. The skillful tactician may be likened to the shuai-jan. 37. your soldiers may weep. yet if they are crossing a river in the same boat and are caught by a storm. At the critical moment. and you will be attacked by its head. He carries his men deep into hostile territory before he shows his hand.com . 42. penetrating but a short way means dispersion.artofwarsuntzu. and thus maintain order. www. I should answer. 35. 41. those sitting up bedewing their garments. It is the business of a general to be quiet and thus ensure secrecy. and the burying of chariot wheels in the ground 32. and you will be attacked by head and tail both. The principle on which to manage an army is to set up one standard of courage which all must reach. he prevents the enemy from anticipating his purpose. Hence it is not enough to put one’s trust in the tethering of horses. 34. 38. 30. strike at its middle. strike at its tail. But let them once be brought to bay. He burns his boats and breaks his cooking-pots. the general principle is. the leader of an army acts like one who has climbed up a height and then kicks away the ladder behind him. 29. When invading hostile territory. 39. and they will display the courage of a Chu or a Kuei. and you will be attacked by its tail. 36. and those lying down letting the tears run down their cheeks. by the hand. He must be able to mystify his officers and men by false reports and appearances. By shifting his camp and taking circuitous routes. On the day they are ordered out to battle. and nothing knows whither he is going. willynilly. upright and just. Thus the skillful general conducts his army just as though he were leading a single man. To muster his host and bring it into danger:—this may be termed the business of the general. and thus keep them in total ignorance. 40. Asked if an army can be made to imitate the shuai-jan.

58. On serious ground. and it will come off in safety. On ground of intersecting highways. I would keep a vigilant eye on my defenses. never let them know your design. I would block any way of retreat. its pitfalls and precipices.29 43. 51. Hence he does not strive to ally himself with all and sundry. When there is no place of refuge at all. When a warlike prince attacks a powerful state. Place your army in deadly peril. He carries out his own secret designs. I would consolidate my alliances. On open ground. his generalship shows itself in preventing the concentration of the enemy’s forces. on dispersive ground. When you penetrate deeply into a country. For it is the soldier’s disposition to offer an obstinate resistance when surrounded. 56. issue orders without regard to previous arrangements. 48. On difficult ground. I would proclaim to my soldiers the hopelessness of saving their lives. and take your army across neighborhood territory. 45. 44. you find yourself on critical ground. On hemmed-in ground. When the outlook is bright. but tell them nothing when the situation is gloomy.artofwarsuntzu. nor does he foster the power of other states. To be ignored of any one of the following four or five principles does not befit a warlike prince. On desperate ground. 49. keeping his antagonists in awe. and their allies are prevented from joining against him. He overawes his opponents. Thus he is able to capture their cities and overthrow their kingdoms. 52. We cannot enter into alliance with neighboring princes until we are acquainted with their designs. We are not fit to lead an army on the march unless we are familiar with the face of the country—its mountains and forests. bring it before their eyes. it is serious ground. I would keep pushing on along the road. 50. When you have the enemy’s strongholds on your rear. I would hurry up my rear. 57. When you penetrate but a little way. 54. and narrow passes in front. Bestow rewards without regard to rule. When there are means of communication on all four sides. it is hemmedin ground. On contentious ground. the ground is one of intersecting highways. and it will survive. Therefore. 46. When you leave your own country behind. I would see that there is close connection between all parts of my army. 53. to fight hard when he cannot help himself. and you will be able to handle a whole army as though you had to do with but a single man. its marshes and swamps. it is facile ground. Confront your soldiers with the deed itself. On facile ground. 47.com THE NINE SITUATIONS . www. and to obey promptly when he has fallen into danger. 55. I would inspire my men with unity of purpose. We shall be unable to turn natural advantages to account unless we make use of local guides. I would try to ensure a continuous stream of supplies. plunge it into desperate straits. it is desperate ground.

Forestall your opponent by seizing what he holds dear. 64. www. then. 67. afterwards emulate the rapidity of a running hare. For it is precisely when a force has fallen into harm’s way that is capable of striking a blow for victory. 61. 68. and subtly contrive to time his arrival on the ground. and accommodate yourself to the enemy until you can fight a decisive battle. 60. destroy the official tallies. 65. This is called ability to accomplish a thing by sheer cunning. we shall succeed in the long run in killing the commander-in-chief. block the frontier passes. and it will be too late for the enemy to oppose you. If the enemy leaves a door open. Success in warfare is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to the enemy’s purpose. you must rush in. 66. At first. so that you may control the situation. 62.30 SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR 59. Walk in the path defined by rule. exhibit the coyness of a maiden. 63. On the day that you take up your command. and stop the passage of all emissaries. until the enemy gives you an opening. Be stern in the council-chamber. By persistently hanging on the enemy’s flank.com .artofwarsuntzu.

artofwarsuntzu. the second is to burn stores. Do not attack from the leeward. In order to carry out an attack. 3. one should be prepared to meet five possible developments: 6. the Wall. for these four are all days of rising wind. if not. and special days for starting a conflagration. 4. bide your time and do not attack. 9. 5. stay where you are. the fourth is to burn arsenals and magazines. The first is to burn soldiers in their camp. the fifth is to hurl dropping fire amongst the enemy.com . but a night breeze soon falls. 11. but deliver your attack at a favorable moment. The material for raising fire should always be kept in readiness. the Wing or the Cross-bar. In attacking with fire. the third is to burn baggage trains. 2. respond at once with an attack from without. 10. (4) If it is possible to make an assault with fire from without. There is a proper season for making attacks with fire. A wind that rises in the daytime lasts long. but the enemy’s soldiers remain quiet. be to windward of it. we must have means available.THE ATTACK BY FIRE 31 XII. (2) If there is an outbreak of fire. (3) When the force of the flames has reached its height. (1) When fire breaks out inside to enemy’s camp. Sun Tzu said: There are five ways of attacking with fire. THE ATTACK BY FIRE 1. www. do not wait for it to break out within. The proper season is when the weather is very dry. (5) When you start a fire. the special days are those when the moon is in the constellations of the Sieve. 8. follow it up with an attack. if that is practicable. 7.

Hence the saying: The enlightened ruler lays his plans well ahead. Unhappy is the fate of one who tries to win his battles and succeed in his attacks without cultivating the spirit of enterprise. make a forward move. those who use water as an aid to the attack gain an accession of strength. nor can the dead ever be brought back to life. 14. and a watch kept for the proper days.SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR 32 12. 15. for the result is waste of time and general stagnation. 21. 16. Anger may in time change to gladness. 13. Hence those who use fire as an aid to the attack show intelligence. 22.artofwarsuntzu. 18. Move not unless you see an advantage. use not your troops unless there is something to be gained. if not. an enemy may be intercepted. to www. But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being. In every army. 19. No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen. the movements of the stars calculated.com . vexation may be succeeded by content. 20. the good general cultivates his resources. This is the way keep a country at peace and an army intact. no general should fight a battle simply out of pique. and the good general full of caution. By means of water. stay where you are. fight not unless the position is critical. 17. the five developments connected with fire must be known. Hence the enlightened ruler is heedful. If it is to your advantage. but not robbed of all his belongings.

Having local spies means employing the services of the inhabitants of a district. www. THE USE OF SPIES 1. (3) converted spies.artofwarsuntzu. to remain in ignorance of the enemy’s condition simply because one grudges the outlay of a hundred ounces of silver in honors and emoluments. (2) inward spies. and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men. The daily expenditure will amount to a thousand ounces of silver. 9. (4) doomed spies. making use of officials of the enemy. and men will drop down exhausted on the highways. it cannot be obtained inductively from experience. Thus. One who acts thus is no leader of men. nor by any deductive calculation. This is called “divine manipulation of the threads. Sun Tzu said: Raising a host of a hundred thousand men and marching them great distances entails heavy loss on the people and a drain on the resources of the State. There will be commotion at home and abroad. When these five kinds of spy are all at work. is foreknowledge.THE USE OF SPIES 33 XIII. striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. of whom there are five classes: (1) Local spies. no master of victory. Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits. is the height of inhumanity. none can discover the secret system. 3. 7. 6. Having inward spies. Hence the use of spies. 10. (5) surviving spies.com . no present help to his sovereign. As many as seven hundred thousand families will be impeded in their labor. 5. Hostile armies may face each other for years. 4. This being so. what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer. 8. 2. Knowledge of the enemy’s dispositions can only be obtained from other men.” It is the sovereign’s most precious faculty.

and doorkeepers and sentries of the general in command. the rise of the Yin dynasty was due to I Chih who had served under the Hsia. led away and comfortably housed. The end and aim of spying in all its five varieties is knowledge of the enemy. Our spies must be commissioned to ascertain these. and allowing our spies to know of them and report them to the enemy. It is owing to his information.SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR 11. one cannot make certain of the truth of their reports. getting hold of the enemy’s spies and using them for our own purposes. it is by his information that the surviving spy can be used on appointed occasions. Hence it is only the enlightened ruler and the wise general who will use the highest intelligence of the army for purposes of spying and thereby they achieve great results. The enemy’s spies who have come to spy on us must be sought out. Whether the object be to crush an army. doing certain things openly for purposes of deception. to storm a city. Surviving spies. 18. because on them depends an army’s ability to move.artofwarsuntzu. 14. 15. Having doomed spies. Hence it is essential that the converted spy be treated with the utmost liberality. the rise of the Chou dynasty was due to Lu Ya who had served under the Yin. 17. 21. tempted with bribes. www. Likewise. Be subtle! be subtle! and use your spies for every kind of business. 22. that we can cause the doomed spy to carry false tidings to the enemy. 12. he must be put to death together with the man to whom the secret was told. 16. Spies cannot be usefully employed without a certain intuitive sagacity. 25. Spies are a most important element in water. from the converted spy. Hence it is that which none in the whole army are more intimate relations to be maintained than with spies. Thus they will become converted spies and available for our service. In no other business should greater secrecy be preserved. finally. in the first instance. 26. or to assassinate an individual. Lastly. If a secret piece of news is divulged by a spy before the time is ripe. 24. 23. It is through the information brought by the converted spy that we are able to acquire and employ local and inward spies. 19. None should be more liberally rewarded. They cannot be properly managed without benevolence and straightforwardness. 27. 13. are those who bring back news from the enemy’s camp. the aides-de-camp. and this knowledge can only be derived. Of old. 20. it is always necessary to begin by finding out the names of the attendants. Having converted spies. again. Without subtle ingenuity of mind.com .

Heartland Reviews As a retired military intelligence professional and conflict theorist. making them easy to understand. Bob Spear Publisher and Chief Reviewer for Heartland Reviews. leveraging advantages as the key to victory. Understanding Sun Tzu on the Art of War is in use by the National Defense University and the U. updated translation of Sun Tzu's Art of War plus an extensive interpretation of Sun Tzu's Art of War designed to make Sun Tzu's ideas useful. Apparently the Department of Defense agrees with me on this. learning to keep one's intentions a secret from one's opponents.com . www. Cantrell’s book as a text for the National War College in Washington DC. This is a must read for all military officers and business leaders. I must say this is the best interpretation of Sun Tzu’s classic work I have read. The author focuses on the meanings behind this ancient Chinese war philosopher’s writings. and a great deal more. It rated a perfect five hearts. Understanding Sun Tzu on the Art of War is thoughtful and thought-provoking reading of the highest order. Cantrell's Understanding Sun Tzu On The Art Of War contains both the complete translated text of Sun Tzu's enduring classic on battle strategy. and a modern-day interpretation packed with advice on leadership.artofwarsuntzu. since they have selected Mr. KS Midwest Book Reviews (Reviewer's Choice Selection) Robert L.35 UNDERSTANDING SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR Understanding Sun Tzu on the Art of War is both an interpretation and a source of Sun Tzu’s Art of War that clarifies Sun Tzu’s philosophies on war without compromising the subtlety of thought needed to master them. Naval War College as a text for senior military officers. It contains a complete.S. An excellent resource for anyone seeking self-improvement through internalizing Sun Tzu's wisdom. Leavenworth. He puts them into a modern context.

com .SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR www.artofwarsuntzu.

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