Tactical Dispositions

1. The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.

2. To secure ourselves against defeat lies our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

3. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but can not make certain of defeating the enemy.

4. Hence the saying: One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.

5. Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive.

6. Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a superabundance of strenght.

7. The general who is skilled in defence hides in the most secret recesses of the earth; he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven. Thus on the one hand we have ability to protect ourselves; on the other, a victory that is complete.

8. To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence.

9. Neither is it the acme of excellence if you fight and conquer and the whole empire says: "well done!"

10. To lift an autumn hair is no sign of great strength; to see sun and moon is no sign of sharp sight; to hear noise of thunder is no sign of a quick ear.

11. What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.

12. Victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage.

13. He wins his battles by making no mistakes.
Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.


Thus we may know that there are 5 essentials for victory: 1. He will win who knows to fight and when not to fight. 2. He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. 3. He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. 4. He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. 5. He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign. Victory lies in the knowledge of these five points. "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle" General is the bulwark, he plays the most important roles of the states; if he is complete at all points, the state will be strong; if he is defective, the state will be weak. Just note that there are three ways in which a rules can bring misfortune upon your army: One By commanding the army to advance or to retreat, being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey. This called hobbling the army. Two By attempting to govern an army in the same way as he administers a kingdom, being ignorant of the conditions which obtain in an army. This causes restlessness in a soldiers' minds. Three By employing the officers his army without discrimination, through ignorance of the military principle of adaption to circumstances. This shakes the confidence of the soldiers. To avoid flinging victory away, general must known 5 essentials for victory.



Waging War

1. Sun Tzu said : In the operations of war, where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots, as many heavy chariots, and a hundred thousand mail-clad soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them a thousand li (avarage 0.6 Km), the expenditure at home and at the front, including entertainment of guest, small items such as glue and paint, and sums spent on chariots and armour, will reach the total of thousand ounces of silver per day. Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000 men.
2. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, the men's weapons will grow dull and their ardour will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.
3. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.
4. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardour damped, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man,however wise, will be able to avert the consequnces that must ensue.
5.Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has been seen associated with long delays.
6. There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.
7. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.
8. The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy, neither are his supply wagons loaded more than twice.
9. Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.
10. Poverty of the state exchequer causes an army to be maintained by contributions from a distance. Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes people to be improverished.
11. On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes prices to go up, and high prices cause the people's subtance to be drained away.
12. When their substance drained away, they peasantry will be afflicted by heavy exactions.
13,14. With this loss of subtance and exhaustion of strength, the homes of the people will be stripped bare, and three-tenths of their incomes will be dissipated; while goverment expenses for broken chariots, worn-out horses, breast plates and helmets, draughtoxen and heavy waggons, will amount to four-tenths of its total revenue.
15. Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy. 1 carload of the enemy's provisions is equivalent to 20 of one's own.
16. Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.
17. Therefore in chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots have been taken, those should be rewarded who took the first. Our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy, and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours. The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept.
18. This is called, using the conquered foe to augment one's own strength.
19. In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.
20. Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is the arbiter of the people's fate, the man on whom it depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.