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The Art of War
Transcript of The Art of War
Writtren By: Sun Tzu
Who is Sun Tzu?
Sun Tzu is an ancient Chinese General. He wrote the
Art of War
which is considered to be the best book on military strategies.
How Did Sun Tzu become a General?
There are 5 factors you must account for when planning for warfare.
There are 3 things you must keep in mind when waging a war.
Sun Tzu said: "If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders ARE clear, and the soldiers never the less disobey, then it is the fault of their officers"
Sun Tzu was hired to be a general by the King of the Wu state. Before Sun Tzu was hired he had to pass a test. The king gave him 180 servants and told Sun Tzu to turn them into soldiers. He divided them 2 companies and made 2 servants the company leaders. He then ordered the army to turn right. The servants started to laugh. Sun Tzu ordered the execution of the 2 leaders. Then the replacements made sure that the soldiers followed orders.
Moral Law means that the soldiers and the civilians have complete support and trust in there rulers and generals. Also the soldiers will be fearless even in the face of death.
Heaven means knowing weather, seasons, and the time of day.
By Collin Lenahan
Sun Tzu is believed to have lived from 544 - 496 BC.
Method & Discipline
Earth means knowing the geography. How to to use high ground and low ground. The chances of survival for you and your men.
Method means organization in the military and promoting of ranks. Discipline means having a secure and quick supply routes and strong communications. Also punishing those who do not follow orders.
The commander should be an example of wisdom, courage, responsibility, and strictness.
A prolonged war does not benefit a country in anyway. It will only cost the country lots of money and lives.
To keep the cost of war down when you capture a town or village it is good to forage for supplies. Supplies that were owned by the enemy is worth 20x the amount to your own supplies due to the cost of transportation.
Items like art, food, and clothes should be rewarded to those who fought the hardest. This gives the rest of the soldiers a desire to fight and be rewarded for it.
Attack by Stratagem
: a plan or scheme used to outwit an opponent or to achieve an end
A general attacking by stratagem can defeat an enemy without having to fight. He does this by surrounding an army and cutting off there supplies.He only fights if it is absolutely necessary. This shows your power to any remaining enemy forces.
When attacking by stratagem there are 5 essentials to victory.
1- He will win who knows when 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
All warfare is based on deception.
A general does not defeat his enemy. A general defeats themselves by showing there weakness. Deception is the only way to not show your weakness. When you are weak you must look strong, when you are large in numbers you must look small in numbers, you must ALWAYS DECEIVE YOUR ENEMY.
Once you have deceived your enemy and discovered his weakness there is only one way to secure victory. To secure victory you must first make plans that will lead to victory. A good general will only put himself into a situation where he is 100% sure he will win. A general that does not lay plans and only uses brute strength will be defeated.
Weak Points and Strong Points
Imposing your will upon the enemy will lead to success
To impose your will on an enemy you must attack where you the enemy is not expecting you. You must also ruin any plans that the enemy has.
Startle your enemy so that he displays his weak points. Once you find the weak points attack them to divide the enemy's forces in little groups. This will cause disorder in the enemy's ranks and makes them even weaker.
If your location remains unknown to the enemy they will be forced to spread out and defend themselves from all points. By forcing him to spread out it creates weak points in his defenses. In the enemy reinforces his front he has made himself weaker in the rear. If he reinforces his right then he weakens his left. He reinforces everywhere he is also weaker everywhere.
Sun Tzu stated the generals need to be like water. Water flows swiftly according to the ground. Like water attack the weak points of your enemy as quickly as possible while they are still there.
Marching long distances in a short time to get an advantage will exhaust your soldiers and lead to defeat.
There are two factors that are key when maneuvering your troops in battle or when marching.
Strong communication is necessary for a general to control his army. Using drums, flags, smoke signals, and banners were the most effective during that time.
You can impose your will on an enemy by moving your army to another place which also forces him to move his army. When you move the main army to can leave a sub-division behind to attack once the enemy has moved.
When moving your army you must be like nature.
move like a thunder bolt
compact like a forest
plunder and attack like fire
immovable like a mountain
plans and goals be as dark as night
relentless like a strong wind
Attacking by Fire
When attacking with fire only use troop to assault when there is an advantage to be gained.
There are 5 Ways to attack with fire.
burn soldiers in their camp
burn supply lines
launch fire onto the enemy
When attacking with fire there are 5 situations that will occur.
if the fire starts from inside a camp immediately attack the perimeter to kill or capture anyone fleeing
if a fire starts from outside and the enemy stays calm wait for them to panic then attack
once the fire is burned out and your enemy is not destroyed then launch a full attack
only attack with fire when the weather is hot, dry, windy, and when the enemy is unprepared
when you attack with fire do not be down wind
Knowledge of the enemy's disposition can only be obtained from other men.
There are 5 kinds of spies. If all the spies are used properly the enemy will never be able to unravel the network.
local spies- normal people in the enemy's country
inward spies- officials in the enemy's government
converted spies- capturing the enemy spies and using them for your own purpose
doomed spies- decoy spies to distract the enemy's government and protect the real spies
surviving spies- spies that bring back intelligence
Spies are the most important part of military. Without them the military will not be able to move at a quick pace and accomplish it's goals.