The Art Of War, Famous Book 2
- 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
soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them a thousand li, the
expenditure at home and at the front, including entertainment of guests,
small items such as
glue and paint, and sums spent on chariots and armor, will reach the
total of a thousand ounces of silver per day. Such is the cost of
raising an army of
- When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is
coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be
damped. If you lay siege to a town,
you will exhaust your strength.
- Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources
of the State will not be equal to the strain.
- Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped,
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
consequences that must ensue.
- Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war,
cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.
- There is no instance of a country having benefited
from prolonged warfare.
- It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with
the evils of
war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.
- The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy,
neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice.
- Bring war material with you from home, but forage
on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.
- Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army to
by contributions from a distance. Contributing to maintain an army at a
distance causes the
people to be impoverished.
- On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes
prices to go
up; and high prices cause the people's substance to be drained away.
- When their substance is drained away, the peasantry
will be afflicted by heavy exactions.
- With this loss of substance and exhaustion of strength,
homes of the people will be stripped bare, and three-tenths of their
income will be dissipated; while
government expenses for broken chariots, worn-out horses, breast-plates
and helmets, bows and arrows, spears and shields, protective mantles,
draught-oxen and heavy wagons, will amount to four-tenths of its total
- Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on
One cartload of the enemy's provisions is equivalent to twenty of one's
own, and likewise a
single picul of his provender is equivalent to twenty from one's own
- Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused
anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must
have their rewards.
- Therefore in chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots
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.
- This is called, using the conquered foe to augment
one's own strength.
- In war, then, let your great object be victory, not
- Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is
of the people's fate, the man on whom it depends whether the nation
shall be in peace or in peril.
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