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zip). (5) Method and discipline. Money should be paid to "Project Gutenberg Association / Illinois Benedictine College". no royalty is due. 5.com). then. The art of war is of vital importance 2.29.04. (1910) [This is the basic text of Sun Tzu on the Art of War.93*END* SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR THE OLDEST MILITARY TREATISE IN THE WORLD Translated from the Chinese By LIONEL GILES. to be taken into account in one's deliberations. The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler. Royalties are payable to "Project Gutenberg Association / Illinois Benedictine College" within the 60 days following each date you prepare (or were legally required to prepare) your annual (or equivalent periodic) tax return. (2) Heaven.don't derive profits. The commentary itself. (4) The Commander. M. royalty free copyright licenses. scanning machines. and every other sort of contribution you can think of. Giles' complete work as titled above. when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field. 4.] I. WHAT IF YOU *WANT* TO SEND MONEY EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO? The Project gratefully accepts contributions in money. (3) Earth. Kramer. LAYING PLANS 1. a road either to safety or to ruin.A. of course includes this work embedded within it. These are: (1) The Moral Law. OCR software. time. It was extracted from Mr. public domain etexts. TEL: (212-254-5093) *END*THE SMALL PRINT! FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN ETEXTS*Ver. This "Small Print!" by Charles B. It is a matter of life and death. 3.txt (or suntzu10.2026@compuserve. so that they will follow him . The art of war. This is being released only as an adjunct to that work.6. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected. which. which contains a wealth of commentary upon this text. is governed by five constant factors. Attorney Internet (72600. has been released as suntzu10. Sun Tzu said: to the State.
12. danger and security. By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat. we must make the enemy believe we are far away. times and seasons. when seeking to determine the military conditions. The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it. Therefore. in your deliberations. Hence. 18. the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army. According as circumstances are favorable. undismayed by any danger. one should modify one's plans. avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules. 19.regardless of their lives. 17. These five heads should be familiar to every general: he who knows them will be victorious. we must seem inactive. when using our forces. when able to attack. cold and heat. 9. 11. when we are near. The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom. While heading the profit of my counsel. . courage and strictness. the chances of life and death. All warfare is based on deception. 15. 7. By method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions. the graduations of rank among the officers. let them be made the basis of a comparison. Earth comprises distances. he who knows them not will fail. 10. open ground and narrow passes. we must seem unable. Heaven signifies night and day. great and small. benevolence. 8. sincerely. in this wise:-13. and the control of military expenditure. will conquer: let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it. will suffer defeat:--let such a one be dismissed! 16. (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.
Feign disorder. and a hundred thousand mail-clad soldiers. Thus. the expenditure at home and at the front. If you lay siege to a town. Pretend to be weak. including entertainment of guests. with provisions enough to carry them a thousand li. Now. separate them. Again. and sums spent on chariots and armor. appear where you are not expected. seek to irritate him. II. 3. If he is secure at all points.000 men. however wise. as many heavy chariots. 20. that he may grow arrogant. If his forces are united. then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day. be prepared for him. when your weapons are dulled. 2. 5. Thus do many calculations lead to victory. other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. WAGING WAR 1. If your opponent is of choleric temper. Then no man. leading to victory. When you engage in actual fighting. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. if victory is long in coming. . you will exhaust your strength.when far away. give him no rest. 25. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Such is the cost of raising an army of 100. small items such as glue and paint. the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain. and crush him. will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue. where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots. If he is in superior strength. Sun Tzu said: In the operations of war. evade him. 23. 26. Attack him where he is unprepared. must not be divulged beforehand. your ardor damped. if the campaign is protracted. Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. If he is taking his ease. we must make him believe we are near. 22. 4. though we have heard of stupid haste in war. 21. your strength exhausted and your treasure spent. These military devices. 24. 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.
spears and shields. let your great object be victory. the proximity of an army causes prices to go up. In war. 17. our men must be roused to anger. and high prices cause the people's substance to be drained away. 12. 19. 11. 8. when ten or more chariots have been taken. . Now in order to kill the enemy. One cartload of the enemy's provisions is equivalent to twenty of one's own. and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours. neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice. 9. On the other hand. not lengthy campaigns. that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy. 6. will amount to four-tenths of its total revenue. those should be rewarded who took the first. Therefore in chariot fighting. When their substance is drained away. 18. Bring war material with you from home. 7. worn-out horses. and likewise a single picul of his provender is equivalent to twenty from one's own store. 10. then. and three-tenths of their income will be dissipated. 15. the homes of the people will be stripped bare. With this loss of substance and exhaustion of strength. 16. they must have their rewards. Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes the people to be impoverished. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs. This is called. Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army to be maintained by contributions from a distance. There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. while government expenses for broken chariots. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on. breast-plates and helmets. Our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy. Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy. The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept. 13. protective mantles. the peasantry will be afflicted by heavy exactions.14. The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy. using the conquered foe to augment one's own strength. bows and arrows.cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays. but forage on the enemy. draught-oxen and heavy wagons.
to divide our army into two. This is the method of attacking by stratagem. and various implements of war. and the piling up of mounds over against the walls will take three months more. will take up three whole months. 8. 10. Sun Tzu said: In the practical art of war. will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants. 4. we can flee from him. to capture a regiment. if our forces are ten to the enemy's one. to shatter and destroy it is not so good. the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact. if slightly inferior in numbers. without losing a man. it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it.20. So. to attack him. and thus. though an obstinate fight may be made . we can offer battle. unable to control his irritation. Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy's troops without any fighting. he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field. supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting. if twice as numerous. if five to one. 3. the man on whom it depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril. if quite unequal in every way. The rule is. 5. Hence. with the result that one-third of his men are slain. to surround him. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence. The preparation of mantlets. a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them. the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy's forces. 7. With his forces intact he will dispute the mastery of the Empire. If equally matched. III. too. ATTACK BY STRATAGEM 1. The general. and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities. not to besiege walled cities if it can possibly be avoided. movable shelters. Such are the disastrous effects of a siege. he captures their cities without laying siege to them. we can avoid the enemy. the next in order is to attack the enemy's army in the field. his triumph will be complete. Thus the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy's plans. It is the rule in war. 2. 9. while the town still remains untaken. Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is the arbiter of the people's fate. 6.
This is simply bringing anarchy into the army. being ignorant of the conditions which obtain in an army. (4) He will win who. for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself. waits to take the enemy unprepared. 18. (5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign. There are three ways in which a ruler can bring misfortune upon his army:-13. you will succumb in every battle. IV. 11. the State will be strong. Sun Tzu said: The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat. (2) By attempting to govern an army in the same way as he administers a kingdom. (3) By employing the officers of his army without discrimination. 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. if the bulwark is complete at all points. if the bulwark is defective. 17. being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey. in the end it must be captured by the larger force. Now the general is the bulwark of the State. (2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself. This is called hobbling the army. the State will be weak. through ignorance of the military principle of adaptation to circumstances. 12. and flinging victory away. 15. . 16. (3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. TACTICAL DISPOSITIONS 1. you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. prepared himself.by a small force. trouble is sure to come from the other feudal princes. This shakes the confidence of the soldiers. But when the army is restless and distrustful. This causes restlessness in the soldier's minds. 14. (1) By commanding the army to advance or to retreat. If you know yourself but not the enemy.
17. Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible. 5. thus it is in his power to control success. 16. to see the sun and moon is no sign of sharp sight. and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy. to hear the noise of thunder is no sign of a quick ear. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat. whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory. What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins. Hence his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage. Hence the saying: One may know how to conquer without being able to do it. 3. 4. Neither is it the acme of excellence if you fight and conquer and the whole Empire says. 7. a superabundance of strength. 8. To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence. 12. but excels in winning with ease. 13. 15. but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy. on the other. he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands. 11. attacking. we have. 6. . a victory that is complete. and strictly adheres to method and discipline. To lift an autumn hair is no sign of great strength. He wins his battles by making no mistakes. ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory. The general who is skilled in defense hides in the most secret recesses of the earth. In respect of military method. "Well done!" 10. Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength. 14. 9. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won.2. but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself. Security against defeat implies defensive tactics. Thus on the one hand we have ability to protect ourselves. for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated. The consummate leader cultivates the moral law.
Estimation of quantity to Measurement. V. 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. There are not more than five musical notes. sweet. they pass away to return once more. bitter). 3. 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. red. 6. secondly. and black). like the sun and moon. The onrush of a conquering force is like the bursting of pent-up waters into a chasm a thousand fathoms deep. ENERGY 1. unending as the flow of rivers and streams. Calculation. yellow. fifthly. 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. A victorious army opposed to a routed one. Indirect tactics. the direct method may be used for joining battle. Estimation of quantity.firstly. In battle. Balancing of chances. are inexhaustible as Heaven and Earth. 2. Measurement. Balancing of chances to Calculation. 8. is as a pound's weight placed in the scale against a single grain. thirdly. yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen. 19. There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour. and Victory to Balancing of chances. they end but to begin anew. fourthly. Measurement owes its existence to Earth. Victory. 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. acrid. Calculation to Estimation of quantity. like the four seasons. 10. efficiently applied. there are not more than two methods . 9. salt. There are not more than five primary colors (blue. but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory. 5. yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted. 20. 18. yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. white. 7. In all fighting. 4.
It is like moving in a circle--you never come to an end. The direct and the indirect lead on to each other in turn. Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle. then with a body of picked men he lies in wait for him. 21. there may be seeming disorder and yet no real disorder at all. simulated weakness postulates strength. he keeps him on the march.of attack--the direct and the indirect. Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow. but if round-shaped. 20. By holding out baits. 13. according to which the enemy will act. When he utilizes combined energy. Therefore the good fighter will be terrible in his onset. to come to a standstill. that the enemy may snatch at it. The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim. to go rolling down. 14. yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers. 16. decision. The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy. 15. 22. masking strength with weakness is to be effected by tactical dispositions. Thus the energy developed by good fighting men is as the momentum of a round stone rolled down a mountain . Hence his ability to pick out the right men and utilize combined energy. and prompt in his decision. Hiding order beneath the cloak of disorder is simply a question of subdivision. Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline. if four-cornered. simulated fear postulates courage. 23. The onset of troops is like the rush of a torrent which will even roll stones along in its course. concealing courage under a show of timidity presupposes a fund of latent energy. 17. his fighting men become as it were like unto rolling logs or stones. and to move when on a slope. and does not require too much from individuals. 19. amid confusion and chaos. yet it will be proof against defeat. He sacrifices something. Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances. your array may be without head or tail. Who can exhaust the possibilities of their combination? 12. 18. 11. to the releasing of a trigger. For it is the nature of a log or stone to remain motionless on level ground.
you may retire and be safe from pursuit if your movements are more rapid than those of the enemy. You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended. Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend. All we need do is to throw something odd and unaccountable in his way. VI. 10. Sun Tzu said: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy. 11. and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack. O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible. Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy. if it marches through country where the enemy is not. You may advance and be absolutely irresistible. or.thousands of feet in height. and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands. 9. he can starve him out. march swiftly to places where you are not expected. 7. By holding out advantages to him. of energy. he can force him to move. 6. he can make it impossible for the enemy to draw near. . if quietly encamped. If we wish to fight. if you make for the enemy's weak points. he can harass him. the enemy can be forced to an engagement even though he be sheltered behind a high rampart and a deep ditch. by inflicting damage. 2. through you inaudible. he can cause the enemy to approach of his own accord. 5. will be fresh for the fight. if well supplied with food. Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend. whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted. 4. If the enemy is taking his ease. 12. An army may march great distances without distress. If we do not wish to fight. 3. we can prevent the enemy from engaging us even though the lines of our encampment be merely traced out on the ground.You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked. WEAK POINTS AND STRONG So much on the subject 1. 8. All we need do is attack some other place that he will be obliged to relieve. but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.
he will weaken his left. he will weaken his right. 20. 17. then the left wing will be impotent to succor the right. the right equally impotent to succor the left. Force him to reveal himself. We can form a single united body. he will everywhere be weak. 16. 23. 24. Though the enemy be stronger in numbers. which means that we shall be many to the enemy's few. we can keep our forces concentrated. he will weaken his van. Carefully compare the opposing army with your own. Though according to my estimate the soldiers of Yueh exceed our own in number. should he strengthen his rear. 22. And if we are able thus to attack an inferior force with a superior one. . from compelling our adversary to make these preparations against us. we may concentrate from the greatest distances in order to fight. and his forces being thus distributed in many directions. we may prevent him from fighting. our opponents will be in dire straits. How much more so if the furthest portions of the army are anything under a hundred LI apart. the numbers we shall have to face at any given point will be proportionately few. he will weaken his rear. I say then that victory can be achieved. while the enemy's must be divided. If he sends reinforcements everywhere. But if neither time nor place be known. Scheme so as to discover his plans and the likelihood of their success. so as to find out his vulnerable spots. and learn the principle of his activity or inactivity. and even the nearest are separated by several LI! 21. By discovering the enemy's dispositions and remaining invisible ourselves. numerical strength. that shall advantage them nothing in the matter of victory. Rouse him.13. Knowing the place and the time of the coming battle. Hence there will be a whole pitted against separate parts of a whole. the van unable to relieve the rear. The spot where we intend to fight must not be made known. For should the enemy strengthen his van. for then the enemy will have to prepare against a possible attack at several different points. should he strengthen his right. Numerical weakness comes from having to prepare against possible attacks. 14. 15. while the enemy must split up into fractions. 19. 18. should he strengthen his left. or the rear to support the van.
34. . and you will be safe from the prying of the subtlest spies. metal. than which there is nothing more difficult. moon has its periods of waning and waxing. There are short days and long. Having collected an army and concentrated his forces. but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved. 2. 32. The difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in turning the devious into the direct. All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer. 28. 26. So in war. How victory may be produced for them out of the enemy's own tactics--that is what the multitude cannot comprehend. Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows. may be called a heaven-born captain. earth) not always equally predominant. 27. conceal your dispositions. from the machinations of the wisest brains. the general receives his commands from the sovereign. 33. 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. 31. Military tactics are like unto water. In making tactical dispositions. the four seasons make for each other in turn. Sun Tzu said: In war. fire. the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak. He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning.so that you may know where strength is superabundant and where it is deficient. just as water retains no constant shape. the highest pitch you can attain is to conceal them. 29. and misfortune into gain. The are way the five elements (water. so in warfare there are no constant conditions. 25. Therefore. he must blend and harmonize the different elements thereof before pitching his camp. 30. After that. wood. but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances. the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing. MANEUVERING 1. 3. VII. comes tactical maneuvering.
to detach a flying column for the purpose involves the sacrifice of its baggage and stores. On the other hand. the jaded ones will fall behind. 5.4. your compactness that of the forest. Whether to concentrate or to divide your troops. We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors. We may take it then that an army without its baggage-train is lost. 11. 17. and you will succeed. 10. practice dissimulation. with an undisciplined multitude. two-thirds of your army will arrive. to contrive to reach the goal before him. doing a hundred LI in order to wrest an advantage. must be decided by circumstances. the leaders of all your three divisions will fall into the hands of the enemy. and only half your force will reach the goal. most dangerous. and though starting him. 6. Let your rapidity be that of the wind. covering double the usual distance at a stretch. Thus. 13. 7. The stronger men will be in front. without provisions it is lost. you will lose the leader of your first division. knowledge of the artifice of DEVIATION. In raiding and plundering be like fire. and on this plan only one-tenth of your army will reach its destination. is immovability like a mountain. its pitfalls and precipices. 8. If you march thirty LI with the same object. 9. its marshes and swamps. Thus. if you order your men to roll up their buff-coats. and make forced marches without halting day or night. Maneuvering with an army is advantageous. 12. 18. We shall be unable to turn natural advantage to account unless we make use of local guides. If you march fifty LI in order to outmaneuver the enemy. 16. without bases of supply it is lost. In war. after after shows to take a long and circuitous route. 15. enticing the enemy out of the way. 14. . the chances are that you will be too late. If you set a fully equipped army in march in order to snatch an advantage. 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.
but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return. 30. or for the cowardly to retreat alone. Now a soldier's spirit is keenest in the morning. and in the evening. fall like a thunderbolt. The host thus forming a single united body. . This is the art of studying moods. To be near the goal while the enemy is still far from it. Disciplined and calm. 28. therefore. 25. 26. This is the art of handling large masses of men. avoids an army when its spirit is keen. 20. to refrain from attacking an army drawn up in calm and confident array:--this is the art of studying circumstances. and in fighting by day. 21. of flags and banners. 29. 22. Gongs and drums. to wait at ease while the enemy is toiling and struggling. Such is the art of maneuvering. and when you move.19. 31. by noonday it has begun to flag. 27. cut it up into allotments for the benefit of the soldiery. Nor can ordinary objects be seen clearly enough: hence the institution of banners and flags. The Book of Army Management says: On the field of battle. In night-fighting. to be well-fed while the enemy is famished:--this is the art of husbanding one's strength. Ponder and deliberate before you make a move. a commander-in-chief may be robbed of his presence of mind. A clever general. Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night. 24. when you capture new territory. To refrain from intercepting an enemy whose banners are in perfect order. 23. as a means of influencing the ears and eyes of your army. let the spoil be divided amongst your men. He will conquer who has learnt the artifice of deviation. A whole army may be robbed of its spirit. his mind is bent only on returning to camp. is it impossible either for the brave to advance alone. banners and flags. then. to await the appearance of disorder and hubbub amongst the enemy:--this is the art of retaining self-possession. make much use of signal-fires and drums. When you plunder a countryside. are means whereby the ears and eyes of the host may be focused on one particular point. the spoken word does not carry far enough: hence the institution of gongs and drums. 32.
you must resort to stratagem. do not encamp. yet he will not be able to turn his knowledge to practical account. armies which must be not attacked. When in difficult country. Hence in the wise leader's plans.33. VARIATION IN TACTICS 1. positions which must not be contested. The general who does not understand these. Do not pursue an enemy who simulates flight. considerations of advantage and of disadvantage will be blended together. The general who thoroughly understands the advantages that accompany variation of tactics knows how to handle his troops. So. 7. 34. Sun Tzu said: In war. Such is the art of warfare. will fail to make the best use of his men. on the other hand. collects his army and concentrates his forces 2. Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy. nor to oppose him when he comes downhill. may be well acquainted with the configuration of the country. 6. 3. leave an outlet free. Do not interfere with an army that is returning home. the general receives his commands from the sovereign. . 35. even though he be acquainted with the Five Advantages. 9. 4. 37. join hands with your allies. Do not press a desperate foe too hard. 5. towns which must not be besieged. In desperate position. you must fight. If our expectation of advantage be tempered in this way. Do not linger in dangerously isolated positions. in the midst of difficulties we are always ready to seize an advantage. When you surround an army. In country where high roads intersect. do not attack soldiers whose temper is keen. It is a military axiom not to advance uphill against the enemy. There are roads which must not be followed. we may extricate ourselves from misfortune. In hemmed-in situations. commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed. 8. If. we may succeed in accomplishing the essential part of our schemes. the student of war who is unversed in the art of war of varying his plans. VIII. 36.
the cause will surely be found among these five dangerous faults. (3) a hasty temper. you should not go to meet the invader near a river which he has to cross. 12. THE ARMY ON THE MARCH 1. which can be provoked by insults. Sun Tzu said: We come now to the question of encamping the army. Camp in high places. and observing signs of the enemy. When an army is overthrown and its leader slain. but on our own readiness him. and make trouble for them. 3. and keep in the neighborhood of valleys. hold out specious allurements. you should get far away from it. 7. ruinous to the conduct of war. not on the chance of his not attacking. These are the five besetting sins of a general. There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general: (1) Recklessness. Let them be a subject of meditation. 4. and keep them constantly engaged. It will be best to let half the army get across. Do not climb heights in order to fight. which leads to capture. 5. 14. So much for river warfare. If forced to fight in a salt-marsh.10. your sole concern should be to get over them quickly. (4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame. and then deliver your attack. The art of likelihood to receive but rather war teaches us to rely not on the of the enemy's not coming. So much for mountain warfare. 8. and facing the sun. facing the sun. do not advance to meet it in mid-stream. Reduce the hostile chiefs by inflicting damage on them. IX. In crossing salt-marshes. you should . which leads to destruction. on the fact that we have made our position unassailable. If you are anxious to fight. After crossing a river. 11. Pass quickly over mountains. Moor your craft higher up than the enemy. 6. which exposes him to worry and trouble. 2. and make them rush to any given point. without any delay. Do not move up-stream to meet the enemy. (2) cowardice. 13. When an invading force crosses a river in its onward march. (5) over-solicitude for his men.
with the slope on your right rear. we should let the enemy have them on his rear. we should get the enemy to approach them. 17. All armies prefer high ground to low and sunny places to dark. 15. confined places. tangled thickets. 13. 19. a river which you wish to ford is swollen and flecked with foam. 18. Movement amongst the trees of a forest shows that the enemy is advancing. So much for campaigning in flat country. ponds surrounded by aquatic grass. The appearance of a number of screens in the midst of thick grass means that the enemy wants to make us suspicious. Thus you will at once act for the benefit of your soldiers and utilize the natural advantages of the ground. While we keep away from such places. take up an easily accessible position with rising ground to your right and on your rear. Country in which there are precipitous cliffs with torrents running between. These are the four useful branches of military knowledge which enabled the Yellow Emperor to vanquish four several sovereigns. 12. 10. 14. should be left with all possible speed and not approached. So much for operations in salt-marches. 20. for these are places where men in ambush or insidious spies are likely to be lurking. quagmires and crevasses. 11. 21. hollow basins filled with reeds. 9.have water and grass near you. so that the danger may be in front. occupy the sunny side. and get your back to a clump of trees. he is anxious for the other side to advance. . he is tendering a bait. 16. the army will be free from disease of every kind. If his place of encampment is easy of access. level country. deep natural hollows. In dry. he is relying on the natural strength of his position. or woods with thick undergrowth. while we face them. When the enemy is close at hand and remains quiet. in consequence of heavy rains up-country. If in the neighborhood of your camp there should be any hilly country. they must be carefully routed out and searched. If you are careful of your men. and camp on hard ground. When he keeps aloof and tries to provoke a battle. When you come to a hill or a bank. and this will spell victory. When. you must wait until it subsides. and safety lie behind.
it is a lure. 31. 27. but spread over a wide area. and when the men do not hang their cooking-pots over the camp-fires. 33. 26. 29. If birds gather on any spot. When the soldiers stand leaning on their spears. . it means that the men are weary. 28. showing that they will not return to their tents. they are faint from want of food. When some are seen advancing and some retreating. The rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an ambuscade. If those who are sent to draw water begin by drinking themselves. Humble words and increased preparations are signs that the enemy is about to advance. Violent language and driving forward as if to the attack are signs that he will retreat. when the dust is low. Peace proposals unaccompanied by a sworn covenant indicate a plot. 25. When there is much running about and the soldiers fall into rank. 34. it shows that parties have been sent to collect firewood. you may know that they are determined to fight to the death. 32. it means that the critical moment has come. When it branches out in different directions. If the officers are angry. it is a sign that the enemy is forming for battle. 23.22. the soldiers are exhausted. it betokens the approach of infantry. The sight of men whispering together in small knots or speaking in subdued tones points to disaffection amongst the rank and file. If the banners and flags are shifted about. When an army feeds its horses with grain and kills its cattle for food. When the light chariots come out first and take up a position on the wings. Startled beasts indicate that a sudden attack is coming. the general's authority is weak. the army is suffering from thirst. it is unoccupied. sedition is afoot. 24. it is the sign of chariots advancing. 35. When there is dust rising in a high column. If there is disturbance in the camp. A few clouds of dust moving to and fro signify that the army is encamping. If the enemy sees an advantage to be gained and makes no effort to secure it. 30. Clamor by night betokens nervousness.
but kept under control by means of iron discipline. punishments are not enforced. the situation that demands great vigilance and circumspection. To begin by bluster. be before the enemy in occupying the raised and sunny spots. 41. too many punishments betray a condition of dire distress. This is a certain road to victory. Then you . 45. What we can do our available strength. With regard to ground of this nature. to wit: (1) Accessible ground. keep and obtain reinforcements. (2) entangling ground. 44. (5) precipitous heights. 39. only means that no direct attack is simply to concentrate all a close watch on the enemy. shows a supreme lack of intelligence. number than the enemy. If. they will not prove submissive. When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths. and.36. Therefore soldiers must be treated in the first instance with humanity. If in training soldiers commands are habitually enforced. Sun Tzu said: We may distinguish six kinds of terrain. 2. 3. the gain will be mutual. (6) positions at a great distance from the enemy. but afterwards to take fright at the enemy's numbers. the army will be well-disciplined. it can be made. and carefully guard your line of supplies. when the soldiers have become attached to you. (3) temporizing ground. 43. if not. unless submissive. 42. then will be practically useless. Too frequent rewards signify that the enemy is at the end of his resources. 40. If a general shows confidence in his men but always insists on his orders being obeyed. (4) narrow passes. its discipline will be bad. If our troops are no more in that is amply sufficient. TERRAIN 1. If the facing battle is one enemy's troops march up angrily and remain ours for a long time without either joining or taking themselves off again. He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them. X. If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you. 38. they will still be useless. it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce. Ground which can be freely traversed by both sides is called accessible. 37.
even though the enemy should offer us an attractive bait. 7. do not go after him if the pass is fully garrisoned. (6) rout. and fighting will be to your disadvantage. and the strength of the two armies is equal. 15. do not follow him. Should the army forestall you in occupying a pass. In a position of this sort. 10. But if the enemy is prepared for your coming. Ground which can be abandoned but is hard to re-occupy is called entangling. Other conditions being equal.will be able to fight with advantage. then. When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too weak. (4) ruin. When the position is such that neither side will gain by making the first move. 16. when part of his army has come out. but rather to retreat. but only if it is weakly garrisoned. 6. the result will be the flight of the former. if you are beforehand with your adversary. 12. With regard to narrow passes. 13. Now not for (1) (5) an army is exposed to six several calamities. return being impossible. but retreat and try to entice him away. if the enemy is unprepared. the result is insubordination. and you fail to defeat him. disorganization. 4. If the enemy has occupied them before you. (3) collapse. thus enticing the enemy in his turn. it is called temporizing ground. if one force is hurled against another ten times its size. but from faults which the general is responsible. we may deliver our attack with advantage. it will be advisable not to stir forth. you should occupy the raised and sunny spots. it is not easy to provoke a battle. disaster will ensue. These six are the principles connected with Earth. (2) insubordination. if you can occupy them first. The general who has attained a responsible post must be careful to study them. let them be strongly garrisoned and await the advent of the enemy. 8. When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers . 11. 9. arising from natural causes. 14. then. These are: Flight. you may sally forth and defeat him. 5. and there wait for him to come up. From a position of this sort. With regard to precipitous heights. If you are situated at a great distance from the enemy.
allows an inferior force to engage a larger one. then you must fight.too weak. before the commander-in-chief can tell whether or not he is in a position to fight. The natural formation of the country is the soldier's best ally. the result is utter disorganization. you are indulgent. when his orders are not clear and distinct. dangers and distances. Regard your soldiers as your children. even though the ruler forbid it. 24. If we know that our own men are in a condition . or hurls a weak detachment against a powerful one. When the general is weak and without authority. the result is collapse. 20. He who knows them not. will surely be defeated. These are six ways of courting defeat. then you must not fight even at the ruler's bidding. and neglects to place picked soldiers in the front rank. constitutes the test of a great general. when there are no fixes duties assigned to officers and men. however. 19. If. whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign. the result must be rout. and of shrewdly calculating difficulties. When the higher officers are angry and insubordinate. of controlling the forces of victory. If fighting is sure to result in victory. 25. look upon them as your own beloved sons. 27. of quelling disorder: then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children. which must be carefully noted by the general who has attained a responsible post. and on meeting the enemy give battle on their own account from a feeling of resentment. and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. 17. 23. if fighting will not result in victory. 26. and incapable. is the jewel of the kingdom. and they will stand by you even unto death. the result is ruin. 18. unable to estimate the enemy's strength. and in fighting puts his knowledge into practice. He who knows these things. and the ranks are formed in a slovenly haphazard manner. kind-hearted. 21. 22. nor practices them. but unable to enforce your commands. When a general. moreover. they are useless for any practical purpose. The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace. will win his battles. but a power of estimating the adversary. but unable to make your authority felt.
Mountain forests. Ground which is reached through narrow gorges. 28. (5) ground of intersecting highways. once he has broken camp. When he has penetrated into hostile territory. (8) hemmed-in ground. desperate ground. 8. marshes and fens--all country that is hard to traverse: this is difficult ground. once in motion. but are unaware that our own men are not in a condition to attack. is never bewildered. is a ground of intersecting highways. leaving a number of fortified cities in its rear. Sun (1) (4) (6) (9) Tzu said: The art of war recognizes nine varieties of ground: Dispersive ground. you may make your victory complete. (2) facile ground. it is dispersive ground. if you know Heaven and know Earth. Ground which forms the key to three contiguous states. When a chieftain is fighting in his own territory. THE NINE SITUATIONS 1. 29. it is facile ground. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself. When an army has penetrated into the heart of a hostile country. If we know that the enemy is open to attack. 3. serious ground. your victory will not stand in doubt. 30. 31. rugged steeps. 7. it is serious ground. but are unaware that the nature of the ground makes fighting impracticable. but are unaware that the enemy is not open to attack. we have still gone only halfway towards victory. (7) difficult ground. open ground. 4. . XI.to attack. but to no great distance. we have gone only halfway towards victory. he is never at a loss. is contentious ground. Ground the possession of which imports great advantage to either side. 5. and also know that our men are in a condition to attack. Hence the experienced soldier. 2. (3) contentious ground. so that he who occupies it first has most of the Empire at his command. Ground on which each side has liberty of movement is open ground. we have gone only halfway towards victory. 9. 6. and from which we can only retire by tortuous paths. If we know that the enemy is open to attack.
If they will face death. they managed to keep them in disorder. attack not. fight. they stopped still. If asked how to cope with a great host of the enemy in orderly array and on the point of marching to the attack. The following are the principles to be observed by an invading force: The further you penetrate into a country. they made a forward move. 20. Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy's unreadiness. make your way by unexpected routes. Keep your army continually on the move. On the ground of intersecting highways. Those who were called skillful leaders of old knew how to drive a wedge between the enemy's front and rear. In difficult ground. 23. On hemmed-in ground. 21. halt not. 22. join hands with your allies. Make forays in fertile country in order to supply your army with food. and they will prefer death to flight. to hinder the good troops from rescuing the bad. On contentious ground. On dispersive ground. Carefully study the well-being of your men. do not try to block the enemy's way. and thus the defenders will not prevail against you. is desperate ground. Ground on which we can only be saved from destruction by fighting without delay. 14." 19. gather in plunder. 13. When the enemy's men were united. 16. On open ground. the greater will be the solidarity of your troops. when otherwise.so that a small number of the enemy would suffice to crush a large body of our men: this is hemmed in ground. then he will be amenable to your will. 10. 18. 11. keep steadily on the march. On serious ground. and attack unguarded spots. resort to stratagem. Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength. and devise unfathomable plans. When it was to their advantage. On facile ground. there is nothing they may . 12. the officers from rallying their men. and do not overtax them. to prevent co-operation between his large and small divisions. Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape. I should say: "Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear. 15. On desperate ground. fight not. 17. therefore.
and you will be attacked by its head. Hence it is not enough to put one's trust in the tethering of horses. the soldiers will be constantly on the qui vive. they can be trusted. without waiting to be marshaled. If our soldiers are not overburdened with money. by the hand. 31. But let them once be brought to bay. I should answer. 29. they will stand firm. they will come to each other's assistance just as the left hand helps the right. until death itself comes. willy-nilly. 33. Then. 28. Asked if an army can be made to imitate the shuai-jan. Strike at its head. If they are in hostile country. and you will be attacked by its tail. and they will display the courage of a Chu or a Kuei. they will show a stubborn front. and you will be attacked by head and tail both. How to make the best of both strong and weak--that is a question involving the proper use of ground. If there is no place of refuge. yet if they are crossing a river in the same boat and are caught by a storm. For the men of Wu and the men of Yueh are enemies.not achieve. The skillful tactician may be likened to the shuai-jan. they will do your will. without restrictions. no calamity need be feared. The principle on which to manage an army is to set up one standard of courage which all must reach. . your soldiers may weep. they will be faithful. strike at its middle. it is not because they have a distaste for riches. 27. without giving orders. it is not because they are disinclined to longevity. they will fight hard. those sitting up bedewing their garments. Prohibit the taking of omens. On the day they are ordered out to battle. and do away with superstitious doubts. 25. 24. Thus the skillful general conducts his army just as though he were leading a single man. If there is no help for it. strike at its tail. 30. without waiting to be asked. Now the shuai-jan is a snake that is found in the ChUng mountains. 26. Thus. Officers and men alike will put forth their uttermost strength. Soldiers when in desperate straits lose the sense of fear. and those lying down letting the tears run down their cheeks. and the burying of chariot wheels in the ground 32. if their lives are not unduly long. Yes. 34.
36. By altering his arrangements and changing his plans. it is hemmed-in ground. 41. like a shepherd driving a flock of sheep. On contentious ground. upright and just. On facile ground. 37. When you penetrate but a little way. When you leave your own country behind. He must be able to mystify his officers and men by false reports and appearances. I would see that there is close connection between all parts of my army. that penetrating deeply brings cohesion. He carries his men deep into hostile territory before he shows his hand. and thus maintain order. On ground of intersecting highways. He burns his boats and breaks his cooking-pots. At the critical moment. and nothing knows whither he is going. 42.35. On open ground. 48. the general principle is. 46. and narrow passes in front. 38. 43. When you penetrate deeply into a country. it is facile ground. To muster his host and bring it into danger:--this may be termed the business of the general. I would inspire my men with unity of purpose. the ground is one of intersecting highways. and take your army across neighborhood territory. it is desperate ground. penetrating but a short way means dispersion. Therefore. and the fundamental laws of human nature: these are things that must most certainly be studied. 45. and thus keep them in total ignorance. the expediency of aggressive or defensive tactics. It is the business of a general to be quiet and thus ensure secrecy. on dispersive ground. it is serious ground. 39. When there is no place of refuge at all. I would keep a vigilant eye on my defenses. 44. he keeps the enemy without definite knowledge. 47. 40. By shifting his camp and taking circuitous routes. he drives his men this way and that. I would hurry up my rear. When invading hostile territory. When you have the enemy's strongholds on your rear. he prevents the enemy from anticipating his purpose. The different measures suited to the nine varieties of ground. the leader of an army acts like one who has climbed up a height and then kicks away the ladder behind him. you find yourself on critical ground. . I would consolidate my alliances. When there are means of communication on all four sides.
and it will come off in safety. When a warlike prince attacks a powerful state. By persistently hanging on the enemy's flank. nor does he foster the power of other states. 61. When the outlook is bright. Thus he is able to capture their cities and overthrow their kingdoms. On serious ground. 58. Hence he does not strive to ally himself with all and sundry.49. I would proclaim to my soldiers the hopelessness of saving their lives. Place your army in deadly peril. 51. to fight hard when he cannot help himself. He carries out his own secret designs. and it will survive. 54. On hemmed-in ground. his generalship shows itself in preventing the concentration of the enemy's forces. issue orders without regard to previous arrangements. and their allies are prevented from joining against him. its pitfalls and precipices. never let them know your design. 55. Confront your soldiers with the deed itself. 53. Bestow rewards without regard to rule. its marshes and swamps. On desperate ground. I would keep pushing on along the road. 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. 60. 57. plunge it into desperate straits. Success in warfare is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to the enemy's purpose. To be ignored of any one of the following four or five principles does not befit a warlike prince. I would block any way of retreat. 56. We cannot enter into alliance with neighboring princes until we are acquainted with their designs. For it is the soldier's disposition to offer an obstinate resistance when surrounded. 59. but tell them nothing when the situation is gloomy. I would try to ensure a continuous stream of supplies. we shall . We shall be unable to turn natural advantages to account unless we make use of local guides. 52. 50. and you will be able to handle a whole army as though you had to do with but a single man. keeping his antagonists in awe. He overawes his opponents. On difficult ground. For it is precisely when a force has fallen into harm's way that is capable of striking a blow for victory. and to obey promptly when he has fallen into danger.
exhibit the coyness of a maiden. so that you may control the situation. respond at once with an attack from without. the Wall. (2) If there is an outbreak of fire. 65. This is called ability to accomplish a thing by sheer cunning. In order to carry out an attack. block the frontier passes. afterwards emulate the rapidity of a running hare. Forestall your opponent by seizing what he holds dear. Walk in the path defined by rule. (3) When the force of the flames has reached its height. (1) When fire breaks out inside to enemy's camp. the second is to burn stores. 66. but the enemy's soldiers remain quiet. until the enemy gives you an opening. then. In attacking with fire. 8. the fourth is to burn arsenals and magazines. 2. destroy the official tallies. you must rush in.succeed in the long run in killing the commander-in-chief. There is a proper season for making attacks with fire. and accommodate yourself to the enemy until you can fight a decisive battle. 63. and special days for starting a conflagration. 67. 7. At first. On the day that you take up your command. The material for raising fire should always be kept in readiness. for these four are all days of rising wind. XII. The proper season is when the weather is very dry. and subtly contrive to time his arrival on the ground. 3. one should be prepared to meet five possible developments: 6. and stop the passage of all emissaries. 64. Sun Tzu said: There are five ways of attacking with fire. Be stern in the council-chamber. The first is to burn soldiers in their camp. and it will be too late for the enemy to oppose you. we must have means available. 62. 68. . the third is to burn baggage trains. If the enemy leaves a door open. the fifth is to hurl dropping fire amongst the enemy. the special days are those when the moon is in the constellations of the Sieve. THE ATTACK BY FIRE 1. 5. 4. bide your time and do not attack. the Wing or the Cross-bar.
no general should fight a battle simply out of pique. (5) When you start a fire. By means of water. Hence the saying: The enlightened ruler lays his plans well ahead. for the result is waste of time and general stagnation. and the good general full of caution. fight not unless the position is critical. 10. Hence the enlightened ruler is heedful. This is the way to keep a country at peace and an army intact. the good general cultivates his resources. Anger may in time change to gladness. an enemy may be intercepted. But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being. 13. but not robbed of all his belongings. but a night breeze soon falls. make a forward move. Move not unless you see an advantage. 11. those who use water as an aid to the attack gain an accession of strength. if not. vexation may be succeeded by content. 17. if that is practicable. XIII. 15. Unhappy is the fate of one who tries to win his battles and succeed in his attacks without cultivating the spirit of enterprise. stay where you are. Hence those who use fire as an aid to the attack show intelligence. nor can the dead ever be brought back to life. do not wait for it to break out within. In every army. No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen. 9. but deliver your attack at a favorable moment. and a watch kept for the proper days. A wind that rises in the daytime lasts long. 20. 21. 18. (4) If it is possible to make an assault with fire from without. the five developments connected with fire must be known. Do not attack from the leeward. 19. be to windward of it. if not. 22. use not your troops unless there is something to be gained. If it is to your advantage. 12. stay where you are.follow it up with an attack. 16. the movements of the stars calculated. THE USE OF SPIES . 14.
no master of victory. Hence it is that which none in the whole army are . (2) inward spies. This being so. 4. nor by any deductive calculation. (5) surviving spies. 12. Having inward spies. 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. is the height of inhumanity. 3. 2. Having local spies means employing the services of the inhabitants of a district. 14. 9. getting hold of the enemy's spies and using them for our own purposes. This is called "divine manipulation of the threads. Having doomed spies. doing certain things openly for purposes of deception. 8. making use of officials of the enemy. The daily expenditure will amount to a thousand ounces of silver. none can discover the secret system. 13. Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits. 7. 6. Hostile armies may face each other for years. Having converted spies. finally. As many as seven hundred thousand families will be impeded in their labor. 5. 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. (3) converted spies. is foreknowledge. what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer." It is the sovereign's most precious faculty. When these five kinds of spy are all at work. of whom there are five classes: (1) Local spies. There will be commotion at home and abroad. and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men. Surviving spies. 11. One who acts thus is no leader of men.1. no present help to his sovereign. Hence the use of spies. Knowledge of the enemy's dispositions can only be obtained from other men. are those who bring back news from the enemy's camp. it cannot be obtained inductively from experience. Thus. and allowing our spies to know of them and report them to the enemy. (4) doomed spies. 10. and men will drop down exhausted on the highways. striving for the victory which is decided in a single day.
and door-keepers and sentries of the general in command. 20. 23. In no other business should greater secrecy be preserved. one cannot make certain of the truth of their reports. he must be put to death together with the man to whom the secret was told. or to assassinate an individual. The enemy's spies who have come to spy on us must be sought out. Our spies must be commissioned to ascertain these. the rise of the Chou dynasty was due to Lu Ya who had served under the Yin. Likewise. Thus they will become converted spies and available for our service. that we can cause the doomed spy to carry false tidings to the enemy. The end and aim of spying in all its five varieties is knowledge of the enemy. 15. to storm a city. it is by his information that the surviving spy can be used on appointed occasions. Of old. Without subtle ingenuity of mind. It is through the information brought by the converted spy that we are able to acquire and employ local and inward spies.more intimate relations to be maintained than with spies. They cannot be properly managed without benevolence and straightforwardness. 18. and this knowledge can only be derived. 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. If a secret piece of news is divulged by a spy before the time is ripe. 26. tempted with bribes. 24. because on them depends an army's ability to move. 16. led away and comfortably housed. again. 19. 21. the rise of the Yin dynasty was due to I Chih who had served under the Hsia. the aides-de-camp. Lastly. Hence it is essential that the converted spy be treated with the utmost liberality. None should be more liberally rewarded. 27. 22. Spies cannot be usefully employed without a certain intuitive sagacity. from the converted spy. It is owing to his information. in the first instance. Whether the object be to crush an army. 17. it is always necessary to begin by finding out the names of the attendants. Be subtle! be subtle! and use your spies for every kind of business. Spies are a most important element in water. 25. .
text-only] .[END .Sun Tzu on the Art of War.
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