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Sun Tzu's " The Art of War"

War and its meanings

William Chavanne Jr.

on 3 May 2011

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Transcript of Sun Tzu's " The Art of War"

The Art of War Rule 1

War is a matter of vital importance to the state; the province of life or death; the road to survival or ruin. It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied.
Rule 2

Waging War
Generally, operations of war require one thousand fast four- horse chariots, one thousand four horse wagons covered in leather, and one hundred thousand mailed troops.
Rule 3

Offensive Strategy

Generally in war the best policy is to take a state intact; to ruin it is inferior to this
Rule 4


Anciently the skillful warriors first made themselves invincible and awaited the enemy’s moment of vulnerability.
Rule 5


Generally, management of many is the same as management of few. It is a matter of organization.

Rule 6

Weaknesses and strengths

Generally, he who occupies the field of battle first and awaits his enemy is at ease; he who comes later to the scene and rushes into the fight is weary.
Rule 7


normally, when he army is employed, the general first receives his commands from the sovereign. He assembles the troops and mobilizes he people. He blends the army into a harmonious entity and encamps it.

Rule 8

The Nine variables

In general, the system of employing troops is that the commander receives his mandate from the sovereign to mobilize the people and assemble the army.
Rule 9


Generally when talking up a position and confronting the enemy, having crossed the mountains, stay close to valleys. Encamp on high ground facing the sunny side.

Rule 10


Ground may be classified according to its nature as accessible, entrapping, indecisive, constricted, precipitous, and distant.

hundred thousand households will be disrupted Rule 11

The Nine Varieties of Ground

In respect to he employment of troops, ground may be classified as dispersive, frontier, key, communicating, focal, serious, difficult, encircled, and death.
Rule 12

Attack by fire

There are five methods of attacking with fire. The first is to burn personnel; the second, to burn stores; the third, to burn equipment; the fourth, to burn arsenals; and the fifth, to use incendiary missiles.
Rule 13

Employment of secret agents

Now when an army of one hundred thousand is raised and dispatched on distant campaign the expenses borne by the people together with the disbursements of the treasury will continuous commotion both at home and abroad, people will be exhausted by the requirements of transport, and the affairs of seven One of the most complicated military men of all time, General George Smith Patton, Jr. was born November 11, 1885 in San Gabriel, California. He was known for carrying pistols with ivory handles and his intemperate manner, and is regarded as one of the most successful United States field commanders of any war. He continually strove to train his troops to the highest standard of excellence.

Patton decided during childhood that his goal in life was to become a hero. His ancestors had fought in the Revolutionary War, the Mexican War and the Civil War, and he grew up listening to stories of their brave and successful endeavors. He attended the Virginia Military Institute for one year and went on to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point on June 11, 1909. He was then commis.

Patton married Beatrice Ayer, whom he dated while at West Point, on May 26, 1910. In 1912 he represented the United States at the Stockholm Olympics in the first Modern Pentathlon. Originally open only to military officers, it was considered a rigorous test of the skills a soldier should possess. Twenty-six year old Patton did remarkably well in the multi-event sport, consisting of pistol shooting from 25 meters, sword fencing, a 300 meter free style swim, 800 meters horse back riding and a 4-kilometer cross country run. He placed fifth overall, despite a disappointing development in the shooting portion. While most chose .22 revolvers, Patton felt the event's military roots garnered a more appropriate weapon, the .38. During the competition Patton was docked for missing the target, though he contended the lost bullet had simply passed through a large opening created by previous rounds from the .38, which left considerably larger .

After the Olympics, Patton kept busy taking lessons at the French Cavalry School and studying French sword drills. In the summer of 1913, Patton received orders to report to the commandant of the Mounted Service School in Fort Riley, Kansas, where he became the school's first Master of the Sword. He designed and taught a course in swordsmanship while he was a student at the school.

Patton's first real exposure to battle occurred when he served as a member of legendary General John J. Pershing's staff during the expedition to Mexico. In 1915, Patton was sent to Fort Bliss along the Mexican border where he led routine cavalry patrols. A year later, he accompanied Pershing as an aide on his expedition against Francisco "Pancho" Villa into Mexico. Patton gained recognition from the press for his

Impressed by Patton's determination, Pershing promoted him to Captain and asked him to command his Headquarters Troop upon their return from Mexico. With the onset of World War I in 1914, tanks were not being widely used. In 1917, however, Patton became the first member of the newly established United States Tank Corps, where he served until the Corps were abolished in 1920. He took full command of the Corps, directing ideas, procedures and even the design of their uniforms. Along with the British tankers, he and his men achieved victory at Cambrai, France, during the world's first major tank battle in 1917.

Alexander was born in 356 B.C. to King Philip II of Macedon and Queen Olympias, the daughter of Neoptolemus, King of the Molossians. Alexander's sister was born the following year, and the two children grew up at the royal court in Pella. Since his paternal grandmother, Eurydice, was an Illyrian, Alexander was barely Macedonian in blood but clearly so in temperament. Of average height, he had deep-set dark eyes which shone out beneath a heavy brow, and a mass of dark, curly hair. As a youth, Alexander rarely saw his father, who was embroiled in long military campaigns and numerous love affairs. Olympias, a fierce and overly possessive mother, consequently dominated her son's early years and filled him with a deep resentment of his father and a strong dislike for women and wine, in which his father heavily indulged.

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the hero as an ancestor. In Alexander's youthful mind, Achilles became the epitome of the aristocratic warrior, and Alexander modeled himself after this hero of Homer's Iliad.

Alexander as King
In the summer of 336 at the ancient Macedonian capital of Aegai, Alexander's sister married her uncle Alexander, the Molossian king. In the festival procession Philip was assassinated by a young Macedonian noble, Pausanias. The reason for the act was never discovered.

Destruction of Thebes
In Asia, Darius III, King of Persia, had become aware of Parmenion's presence in Asia and of Alexander's future plans. Darius attempted to bribe the Greek states to revolt, but only Sparta accepted the gold. However, when a rumor spread that Alexander was dead, Demosthenes prodded the Athenian assembly to unilaterally consider the Corinthian League defunct and Athens independent. Thebes at once rejoiced and slew its Macedonian garrison. Alexander, very much alive, raced southward and besieged Thebes. In the name of the League, Alexander waged war against the rebellious members but still attempted to negotiate peace. When Thebes rejected Alexander's demands, he leveled the city, killed the soldiers, and sold the women and children into slavery, sparing only the temples and the house of the poet Pindar. Alexander destroyed the city to warn others of the price of rebellion. Athens revoked its declaration of withdrawal from the League, honored Alexander, and offered to surrender Demosthenes.

In the early spring of 334 the army crossed the Hellespont (modern Dardanelles) to Abydos, and Alexander visited ancient Troy. There he sacrificed and prayed, dedicated his armor to Athena, and took an antique sacred shield for his campaign. Not far away at the Granicus River, Alexander met Darius's army in May, employed for the first time his oblique battle formation, and defeated the Persians. To commemorate the victory, Alexander sent 300 sets of Persian armor to the Parthenon in Athens with the dedicatory inscription: "Alexander the son of Philip, and the Greeks, all but the Spartans [dedicated these] from the barbarians who inhabit Asia." Alexander thus maintained the official propaganda that he was not only a king but the Panhellenic leader.

Alexander's Death
In the spring of 323 Alexander moved to Babylon and made plans to explore the Caspian Sea and Arabia and then to conquer northern Africa. On June 2 he fell ill with malaria, and 11 days later, at the age of 32, he was dead. A few months later his wife Rhoxana bore him a son, who was assassinated in 309. Napoléon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio, Corsica, to a noble family of modest means, the second of eight children of Carlo and Letizia Buonaparte. He studied at a military school at Brienne in France, then at the École Militaire in Paris, and became a second lieutenant in an artillery regiment (1785). Following the outbreak of the French Revolution, he returned to Corsica and served in the Corsican National Guard. Sharp disagreements with Pasquale Paoli, the elder Corsican leader, forced him to flee to France with his family in 1793. The revolution opened the higher military ranks to talent, allowing Napoléon to advance rapidly. France also needed new officers to fight the revolutionary wars after numerous noble officers had fled the country. In 1793, Napoléon participated in the siege of the port of Toulon, which had revolted against the Republic with the help of the British fleet. Napoléon’s artillery expelled the enemy fleet, and he was promoted to general. In 1795, his guns dispersed a royalist insurrection against the government in Paris; subsequently, he rose to major-general and was appointed commander of the interior. In March 1796, Napoléon married Josephine de Beauharnais.

Soon, Napoléon invaded northern Italy, where he defeated the Austrians in numerous battles, including Lodi, Arcole, and Rivoli (1796-1797), and forced them beyond the Alps. He then negotiated the Treaty of Campo Formio with Austria, which left most of northern Italy under France and ended the War of the First Coalition. Only Britain remained at war, and so Napoléon sailed to Egypt to strike at British trade. He defeated the Mamelukes and occupied Egypt (1798) but was left stranded after the British admiral Nelson destroyed his fleet at Abukir. Meanwhile, scholars who accompanied him explored Egypt and in effect launched the field of Egyptology. Napoléon returned to France, and with the help of Abbé Sieyès and Lucien Bonaparte, he overthrew the corrupt and unpopular Directory in the coup of Brumaire (November 9-10, 1799) and became First Consul.

Napoléon betrayed the original ideals of the French Revolution by establishing a dictatorship. He eliminated free speech and outlawed any form of opposition. He created the first modern police state, forming a powerful police force under Joseph Fouché to secure law and order and suppress criticism of his government. Fouché set up a network of spies to suppress dissent. An attempt on Napoléon’s life in December 1800, the “machine infernal,” gave him an excuse to crush the remaining Jacobins. Pro-Bourbon royalist revolts were also suppressed and their leaders executed. Napoléon purged the legislative branch of liberal critics and emptied it of any power. He established strict censorship, closing down numerous newspapers.

In 1804, Napoléon crowned himself emperor at the Notre Dame Cathedral, with Pope Pius VII present, thus terminating the Republic. He created an imperial court and nobility, appointed his relatives as top military officers and civil servants as nobles, and endowed them with fiefs and privileges, although most of his nobility was based on merit. Napoléon wished to imitate great Greek and Roman leaders such as Alexander, Caesar, and Augustus. Imperial Rome fascinated him and was his point of reference. He assumed the title of consul, adopted the eagle as one of his symbols, built the Arc de Triomphe to celebrate his victories, and gave his son the title of King of Rome. Jacques-Louis David, the main exponent of neoclassical art and Napoléon’s court painter, glorified him in some unforgettable paintings, most notably Napoléon Crossing the Great Saint Bernard and Sacre de Joséphine, which recorded the coronation ceremony.

Napoléon’s aggressive foreign policy caused the resumption of hostilities with Britain in 1803. At Boulogne, he prepared an army to invade his archenemy but never carried out that attack. In 1805, Russia and Austria joined Britain, forming the Third Coalition. However, Napoléon defeated the Austrians at Ulm and an Austrian-Russian army at Austerlitz, his greatest victory, later that year. In the Treaty of Pressburg, Austria ceded substantial territories to France and her German allies. In early 1806, the French occupied southern Italy and expelled the Bourbons from Naples; they then routed Prussia at Jena and Auerstädt. In Berlin Napoléon declared the Continental Blockade, intended to seal off Britain from trade with Europe and force its surrender. In 1807, he inflicted a severe defeat on the Russian army at the Battle of Friedland. In the subsequent Treaty of Tilsit, Tsar Alexander I recognized Napoléon’s domination in western and central Europe and the newly created Duchy of Warsaw, and agreed to join the blockade. Napoléon’s only defeat during these years came at sea, when the British navy under Nelson destroyed the French navy at Trafalgar (October 1805), eliminating any hopes Napoléon had of invading Britain.

Waterloo marked the end of the Napoleonic Era. The British exiled Napoléon to the remote island of St. Helena in the south Atlantic. At St. Helena, Napoléon dictated his memoirs to Emmanuel de Las Cases and talked with other persons who recorded their conversations, thereby helping to create the myth of an emperor who governed for the benefit of the French and other European nationalities. Napoléon died in May 1821. While his colonial plans failed, Napoléon repeatedly defeated his enemies in Europe and established a large empire there. He achieved these goals by means of a formidable Grande Armée based on an improved conscription system initiated by the revolutionary regime and introduced throughout his empire. The Grande Armée was, in effect, a European army, consisting of Poles, Italians, Germans, and people of other nationalities aside from French. The emperor stressed effective organization, training, discipline, morale, and good use of weapons, most notably artillery, and he promoted officers on the basis of merit. Napoléon introduced no innovations in weapons and tactics, inheriting these from the Old Regime and the revolution, respectively. Napoléon’s principal military innovation was making the corps the standard unit, replacing the division, which became subordinate to the corps. A corps numbered 20,000-30,000 troops, comprising infantry, cavalry, artillery, engineers, and support units. It was usually commanded by a marshal and able to wage a battle on its own.

Born the fourth of six children to Austrian customs officer Alois Hitler--who had been married twice before--and the former Klara Polzl, Adolf Hitler grew up in a small Austrian town in the late 19th century. He was a slow learner and did poorly in school. He was frequently beaten by his authoritarian father. Things got worse when Adolf's older brother, Alois Jr., ran away from home. His mild-mannered mother occasionally tried to shield him, but was ineffectual. Adolf's attempt to run away at 11 was unsuccessful. At the age of 14 he was freed when his hated father died - an event that he did not mourn.

Hitler dropped out of high school at age 16 and went to Vienna, where he strove to become an artist, but was refused twice by the Vienna Art Academy. By this time Hitler had become an ardent German nationalist--although he was not German but Austria--and when World War I broke out, he crossed into Germany and and joined a Bavarian regiment in the German army. He was assigned as a message runner but also saw combat. Temporarily blinded after a gas attack in Flanders in 1918, he received the Iron Cross 2nd Class and was promoted from private to corporal. In 1918, when the war ended, Hitler stayed in the army and was posted to the Intelligence division. He was assigned to spy on several radical political parties that were considered a threat to the German government. One such organization was the German Workers Party. Hitler was drawn by party founder Dietrich Eckart, a morphine addict who propagated doctrines of mysticism and anti-Semitism. Hitler soon joined the party with the help of his military intelligence ties. He became party spokesman in 1919, renamed it the National Socalist German Workers Party (NSDAP/NAZI) and declared himself its Fuhrer (leader) one year later. In 1920 Hitler's intelligence handler, Munich-based colonel named Karl Haushofer, introduced the swastika insignia. In 1921 Haushofer founded the paramilitary Storm Troopers ("Sturmabteiling", or SA), composed of German veterans of WWI and undercover military intelligence officers. They helped Hitler to organize a coup attempt--the infamous "beer hall putsch"--against the Bavarian government in Munich in 1923, but it failed. The "rebels" marched on Munich's city hall, which was cordoned off by police. Hitler's men fired at the police and missed; the police fired back and didn't, resulting in several of Hitler's fellow Nazis being shot dead. Hitler himself was arrested, convicted of treason and sent to prison. During his prison time he was coached by his advisers and dictated his book "Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle") to his deputy Rudolf Hess. He only served several months in prison before being released. By 1925 the Nazi party was in much better straits both organizationally and financially, as it had secured the backing of a large group of wealthy conservative German industrialists, who funneled huge amounts of money into the organization. Hitler was provided with a personal bodyguard unit named the "Schutzstaffel", better known as the SS. The Nazis began to gain considerable support in Germany through their network of army and WWI veterans, and Hitler ran for President in 1931. Defeated by the incumbent 'Paul Von Hindenburg', Hitler next attempted to become Chancellor of Germany. Through under-the-table deals with powerful conservative businessmen and right-wing politicians, Hitler was appointed Chancellor in January 1933. One month later, a mysterious fire--which the Nazis claimed had been started by "terrorists" but was later discovered to have been set by the Nazis themselves--destroyed the Reichstag (the building housing the German parliament). Then Hitler's machine began to issue a series of emergency decrees that gave the office of Chancellor more and more power.

In March of 1933 Hitler persuaded the German parliament to pass the Enabling Act, which made the Chancellor dictator of Germany and gave him more power than the President. Two months later Hitler began "cleaning house"; he abolished trade unions and ordered mass arrests of members of rival political groups. By the end of 1933 the Nazi Party was the only one allowed in Germany. In June of 1934 Hitler turned on his own and ordered the purge of the now radical SA--that he now saw as a potential threat to his power--which was led by one of his oldest friends, a thug and street brawler named Ernst Röhm. Rohm's ties to Hitler counted for nothing, as Hitler ordered him assassinated. Soon President Hindenburg died, and Hitler merged the office of President with the office of Chancellor. In 1935 the anti-Jewish Nuremburg laws were passed on Hitler's authorization. A year later, with Germany now under his total control, he sent troops into the Rhineland, which was a violation of the World War I Treaty of Versailles. In 1938 he forced the union of Austria with Germany and also took the Sudetenland, a region of Czechoslovakia near the German border with a large ethnic German population, on the pretext of "protecting" the German population from the Czechs. In the summer of 1939 Hitler sent his military to occupy Czechoslovakia, and narrowly averted a war with Britain, France and other European powers. At that time Hitler and Joseph Stalin made a non-aggression treaty which was later unilaterally broken by Hitler. In September of 1939 Hitler ordered the invasion of Poland. England and France at once declared war on Germany. In 1940 Germany occupied Denmark, Norway and the Low Countries, and launched a major offensive against France. Paris fell and France surrendered, after which Hitler considered invading Great Britain. However, after the German Air Force was defeated in its bombing campaign over England during what became known as the Battle of Britain, the invasion was canceled. In 1941 German troops assisted Italy, which under dictator Benito Mussolini was a German ally, in its takeover of Yugoslavia and Greece. Meanwhile, in Germany and the occupied countries, Hitler had ordered a program of mass extermination of Jews.

On June 22, 1941, German forces invaded the Soviet Union. In addition to ore than 4,000,000 German troops, there were additional forces from German allies Romania, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Spain and Finland, among others. Hitler used multinational forces in order to save Germans for the future colonization of the Russian lands. Following the detailed Nazi plan, code-named "Barbarossa," Hitler was utilizing resources of entire Europe under Nazi control to feed the invasion of Russia. Three groups of Nazi armies invaded Russia: Army Group North besieged Leningrad for 900 days, Army Group Center reached Moscow and Army Group South occupied Ukraine, reached Caucasus and Stalingrad. After a series of initial successes, however, the German Armies were stopped at Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad. Leningrad was besieged by the Nazis for 900 days until the city of 4,000,000 virtually starved itself to death. Only in January of 1944 was Marshal Georgi Zhukov able to finally defeat the German forces and liberate the city, finally lifting the siege after a cost of some 2,000,000 lives. In 1943 several major battles occurred at Kursk (which became the largest tank battle in history), Kharkov and Stalingrad, all of which the Germans lost. The battle for Stalingrad was one of the largest in the history of mankind. At Stalingrad alone the Germans lost 360,000 troops, in addition to the losses suffered by Italian, Hungarian, Romanian, Czech, Croatian and other forces, but the Russians lost over one million men. By 1944--the same year the Western allies invaded occupied Europe--Germany was retreating on both fronts and its forces in Africa had been completely defeated, resulting in the deaths and/or surrender of several hundred thousand troops. Total human losses during the six years of war sdfd estimated at 60,000,000. of which 27,000,000 were Russians, Ukrainians, Jews and other people in Soviet territory. Germany lost over 11,000,000 soldiers and civilians. Poland and Yugoslavia lost over 3,000,000 people each. Italy and France lost over 1,000,000 each. Most nations of Central and Eastern Europe suffered severe--and in some cases total--economic destruction.

Hitler's ability to act as a figurehead of the Nazi machine was long gone by late 1944. Many of his closest advisers advisers and handlers had already fled to other countries, been imprisoned and/or executed by the SS for offenses both real--several assassination attempts on Hitler--and imagined, or had otherwise absented themselves from Hitler's inner circle. For many years Hitler was kept on drugs by his medical personnel. In 1944 a group of German army officers and civilians pulled off an almost successful assassination attempt on Hitler, but he survived. Hitler, by the beginning of 1945, was a frail, shaken man who had almost totally lost touch with reality. The Russians reached Berlin in April of that year and began a punishing assault on the city. As their forces approached the bunker where Hitler and the last vestiges of his government were holed up, Hitler killed himself. Just a day earlier he had married his longtime mistress Eva Braun. Hitler's corpse was taken to Moscow and later shown to Allied Army Commanders and diplomats. Joseph Stalin showed Hitler's personal items to Winston Churchill and Harry S. Truman at the Potsdam Conference after the victory. Hitler's personal gun was donated to the museum of the West Point Military Academy in New York. Some of his personal items are now part of the permanent collection at the National History Museum in Moscow, Russia.

•Born: 500 B.C.
•Birthplace: Ch'i State, China
•Died: ?
•Best Known As: The author of The Art of War
The earliest known work on military strategy and war, The Art of War consists of 13 short chapters attributed to a man named Sun Tzu, also known as Sun Tzi or Sun Wu. Little is known about the man, but he is widely believed to have been an accomplished general when he wrote the text. It emphasizes surprise and deception, with lines like "When capable, feign incapacity; when active, inactivity." The Art of War became known in Europe in the 18th century, and something of a manual for U.S. military strategists in the 20th century, when it was popularized by Henry Kissinger, among others.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/sun-tzu#ixzz1LBurFNdX
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