The Art Of War, Famous Book 8
- Sun Tzu said: In war, the general receives his commands
from the sovereign, collects his army and concentrates his forces
- When in difficult country, do not encamp. In country
roads intersect, join hands with your allies. Do not linger in
dangerously isolated positions. In
hemmed-in situations, you must resort to stratagem. In desperate
position, you must fight.
- There are roads which must not be followed, armies
be not attacked, towns which must be besieged, positions which must not
commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed.
- The general who thoroughly understands the advantages
that accompany variation of tactics knows how to handle his troops.
- The general who does not understand these, may be
acquainted with the configuration of the country, yet he will not be
able to turn his knowledge to
- So, the student of war who is unversed in the art
of war of
varying his plans, even though he be acquainted with the Five
Advantages, will fail to make the
best use of his men.
- Hence in the wise leader's plans, considerations
of advantage and of disadvantage will be blended together.
- If our expectation of advantage be tempered in this
way, we may succeed in accomplishing the essential part of our schemes.
- If, on the other hand, in the midst of difficulties
always ready to seize an advantage, we may extricate ourselves from
- Reduce the hostile chiefs by inflicting damage on
make trouble for them, and keep them constantly engaged; hold out
specious allurements, and
make them rush to any given point.
- The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood
enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the
chance of his not
attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position
- There are five dangerous faults which may affect
- Recklessness, which leads to destruction;
- cowardice, which leads to capture;
- a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults;
- a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame;
- over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to
worry and trouble.
- These are the five besetting sins of a general, ruinous
to the conduct of war.
- When an army is overthrown and its leader slain,
the cause will
surely be found among these five dangerous faults. Let them be a
subject of meditation.
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