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    Chapter 7: Manuevering

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    VII. MANEUVERING

    1. Sun Tzu said: In war, the general receives his commands
    from the sovereign.
    2. Having collected an army and concentrated his forces, he
    must blend and harmonize the different elements thereof before
    pitching his camp.

    ["Chang Yu says: "the establishment of harmony and
    confidence between the higher and lower ranks before venturing
    into the field;" and he quotes a saying of Wu Tzu (chap. 1 ad
    init.): "Without harmony in the State, no military expedition
    can be undertaken; without harmony in the army, no battle array
    can be formed." In an historical romance Sun Tzu is represented
    as saying to Wu Yuan: "As a general rule, those who are waging
    war should get rid of all the domestic troubles before proceeding
    to attack the external foe."]

    3. After that, comes tactical maneuvering, than which there
    is nothing more difficult.

    [I have departed slightly from the traditional
    interpretation of Ts'ao Kung, who says: "From the time of
    receiving the sovereign's instructions until our encampment over
    against the enemy, the tactics to be pursued are most difficult."
    It seems to me that the tactics or maneuvers can hardly be said
    to begin until the army has sallied forth and encamped, and
    Ch'ien Hao's note gives color to this view: "For levying,
    concentrating, harmonizing and entrenching an army, there are
    plenty of old rules which will serve. The real difficulty comes
    when we engage in tactical operations." Tu Yu also observes that
    "the great difficulty is to be beforehand with the enemy in
    seizing favorable position."]

    The difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in turning the
    devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain.

    [This sentence contains one of those highly condensed and
    somewhat enigmatical expressions of which Sun Tzu is so fond.
    This is how it is explained by Ts'ao Kung: "Make it appear that
    you are a long way off, then cover the distance rapidly and
    arrive on the scene before your opponent." Tu Mu says:
    "Hoodwink the enemy, so that he may be remiss and leisurely while
    you are dashing along with utmost speed." Ho Shih gives a
    slightly different turn: "Although you may have difficult ground
    to traverse and natural obstacles to encounter this is a drawback
    which can be turned into actual advantage by celerity of
    movement." Signal examples of this saying are afforded by the
    two famous passages across the Alps--that of Hannibal, which laid
    Italy at his mercy, and that of Napoleon two thousand years
    later, which resulted in the great victory of Marengo.]

    4. Thus, to take a long and circuitous route, after
    enticing the enemy out of the way, and though starting after him,
    to contrive to reach the goal before him, shows knowledge of the
    artifice of DEVIATION.

    [Tu Mu cites the famous march of Chao She in 270 B.C. to
    relieve the town of O-yu, which was closely invested by a Ch'in
    army. The King of Chao first consulted Lien P'o on the
    advisability of attempting a relief, but the latter thought the
    distance too great, and the intervening country too rugged and
    difficult. His Majesty then turned to Chao She, who fully
    admitted the hazardous nature of the march, but finally said:
    "We shall be like two rats fighting in a whole--and the pluckier
    one will win!" So he left the capital with his army, but had
    only gone a distance of 30 LI when he stopped and began
    throwing up entrenchments. For 28 days he continued
    strengthening his fortifications, and took care that spies should
    carry the intelligence to the enemy. The Ch'in general was
    overjoyed, and attributed his adversary's tardiness to the fact
    that the beleaguered city was in the Han State, and thus not
    actually part of Chao territory. But the spies had no sooner
    departed than Chao She began a forced march lasting for two days
    and one night, and arrive on the scene of action with such
    astonishing rapidity that he was able to occupy a commanding
    position on the "North hill" before the enemy had got wind of his
    movements. A crushing defeat followed for the Ch'in forces, who
    were obliged to raise the siege of O-yu in all haste and retreat
    across the border.]

    5. Maneuvering with an army is advantageous; with an
    undisciplined multitude, most dangerous.

    [I adopt the reading of the T'UNG TIEN, Cheng Yu-hsien and
    the T'U SHU, since they appear to apply the exact nuance required
    in order to make sense. The commentators using the standard text
    take this line to mean that maneuvers may be profitable, or they
    may be dangerous: it all depends on the ability of the general.]

    6. If you set a fully equipped army in march in order to
    snatch an advantage, the chances are that you will be too late.
    On the other hand, to detach a flying column for the purpose
    involves the sacrifice of its baggage and stores.

    [Some of the Chinese text is unintelligible to the Chinese
    commentators, who paraphrase the sentence. I submit my own
    rendering without much enthusiasm, being convinced that there is
    some deep-seated corruption in the text. On the whole, it is
    clear that Sun Tzu does not approve of a lengthy march being
    undertaken without supplies. Cf. infra, ss. 11.]

    7. Thus, if you order your men to roll up their buff-coats,
    and make forced marches without halting day or night, covering
    double the usual distance at a stretch,

    [The ordinary day's march, according to Tu Mu, was 30 LI;
    but on one occasion, when pursuing Liu Pei, Ts'ao Ts'ao is said
    to have covered the incredible distance of 300 _li_ within
    twenty-four hours.]

    doing a hundred LI in order to wrest an advantage, the leaders of
    all your three divisions will fall into the hands of the enemy.
    8. The stronger men will be in front, the jaded ones will
    fall behind, and on this plan only one-tenth of your army will
    reach its destination.

    [The moral is, as Ts'ao Kung and others point out: Don't
    march a hundred LI to gain a tactical advantage, either with or
    without impedimenta. Maneuvers of this description should be
    confined to short distances. Stonewall Jackson said: "The
    hardships of forced marches are often more painful than the
    dangers of battle." He did not often call upon his troops for
    extraordinary exertions. It was only when he intended a
    surprise, or when a rapid retreat was imperative, that he
    sacrificed everything for speed. [1] ]

    9. If you march fifty LI in order to outmaneuver the enemy,
    you will lose the leader of your first division, and only half
    your force will reach the goal.

    [Literally, "the leader of the first division will be
    TORN AWAY."]

    10. If you march thirty LI with the same object, two-thirds
    of your army will arrive.

    [In the T'UNG TIEN is added: "From this we may know the
    difficulty of maneuvering."]

    11. We may take it then that an army without its baggage-
    train is lost; without provisions it is lost; without bases of
    supply it is lost.

    [I think Sun Tzu meant "stores accumulated in depots." But
    Tu Yu says "fodder and the like," Chang Yu says "Goods in
    general," and Wang Hsi says "fuel, salt, foodstuffs, etc."]

    12. We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted
    with the designs of our neighbors.
    13. We are not fit to lead an army on the march unless we
    are familiar with the face of the country--its mountains and
    forests, its pitfalls and precipices, its marshes and swamps.
    14. We shall be unable to turn natural advantage to account
    unless we make use of local guides.

    [ss. 12-14 are repeated in chap. XI. ss. 52.]

    15. In war, practice dissimulation, and you will succeed.

    [In the tactics of Turenne, deception of the enemy,
    especially as to the numerical strength of his troops, took a
    very prominent position. [2] ]

    16. Whether to concentrate or to divide your troops, must
    be decided by circumstances.
    17. Let your rapidity be that of the wind,

    [The simile is doubly appropriate, because the wind is not
    only swift but, as Mei Yao-ch'en points out, "invisible and
    leaves no tracks."]

    your compactness that of the forest.

    [Meng Shih comes nearer to the mark in his note: "When
    slowly marching, order and ranks must be preserved"--so as to
    guard against surprise attacks. But natural forest do not grow
    in rows, whereas they do generally possess the quality of density
    or compactness.]

    18. In raiding and plundering be like fire,

    [Cf. SHIH CHING, IV. 3. iv. 6: "Fierce as a blazing fire
    which no man can check."]

    is immovability like a mountain.

    [That is, when holding a position from which the enemy is
    trying to dislodge you, or perhaps, as Tu Yu says, when he is
    trying to entice you into a trap.]

    19. Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and
    when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.

    [Tu Yu quotes a saying of T'ai Kung which has passed into a
    proverb: "You cannot shut your ears to the thunder or your eyes
    to the lighting--so rapid are they." Likewise, an attack should
    be made so quickly that it cannot be parried.]

    20. When you plunder a countryside, let the spoil be
    divided amongst your men;

    [Sun Tzu wishes to lessen the abuses of indiscriminate
    plundering by insisting that all booty shall be thrown into a
    common stock, which may afterwards be fairly divided amongst
    all.]

    when you capture new territory, cut it up into allotments for the
    benefit of the soldiery.

    [Ch'en Hao says "quarter your soldiers on the land, and let
    them sow and plant it." It is by acting on this principle, and
    harvesting the lands they invaded, that the Chinese have
    succeeded in carrying out some of their most memorable and
    triumphant expeditions, such as that of Pan Ch'ao who penetrated
    to the Caspian, and in more recent years, those of Fu-k'ang-an
    and Tso Tsung-t'ang.]

    21. Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.

    [Chang Yu quotes Wei Liao Tzu as saying that we must not
    break camp until we have gained the resisting power of the enemy
    and the cleverness of the opposing general. Cf. the "seven
    comparisons" in I. ss. 13.]

    22. He will conquer who has learnt the artifice of
    deviation.

    [See supra, SS. 3, 4.]

    Such is the art of maneuvering.

    [With these words, the chapter would naturally come to an
    end. But there now follows a long appendix in the shape of an
    extract from an earlier book on War, now lost, but apparently
    extant at the time when Sun Tzu wrote. The style of this
    fragment is not noticeable different from that of Sun Tzu
    himself, but no commentator raises a doubt as to its
    genuineness.]

    23. The Book of Army Management says:

    [It is perhaps significant that none of the earlier
    commentators give us any information about this work. Mei Yao-
    Ch'en calls it "an ancient military classic," and Wang Hsi, "an
    old book on war." Considering the enormous amount of fighting
    that had gone on for centuries before Sun Tzu's time between the
    various kingdoms and principalities of China, it is not in itself
    improbable that a collection of military maxims should have been
    made and written down at some earlier period.]

    On the field of battle,

    [Implied, though not actually in the Chinese.]

    the spoken word does not carry far enough: hence the institution
    of gongs and drums. Nor can ordinary objects be seen clearly
    enough: hence the institution of banners and flags.
    24. Gongs and drums, banners and flags, are means whereby
    the ears and eyes of the host may be focused on one particular
    point.

    [Chang Yu says: "If sight and hearing converge
    simultaneously on the same object, the evolutions of as many as a
    million soldiers will be like those of a single man."!]

    25. The host thus forming a single united body, is it
    impossible either for the brave to advance alone, or for the
    cowardly to retreat alone.

    [Chuang Yu quotes a saying: "Equally guilty are those who
    advance against orders and those who retreat against orders." Tu
    Mu tells a story in this connection of Wu Ch'i, when he was
    fighting against the Ch'in State. Before the battle had begun,
    one of his soldiers, a man of matchless daring, sallied forth by
    himself, captured two heads from the enemy, and returned to camp.
    Wu Ch'i had the man instantly executed, whereupon an officer
    ventured to remonstrate, saying: "This man was a good soldier,
    and ought not to have been beheaded." Wu Ch'i replied: "I fully
    believe he was a good soldier, but I had him beheaded because he
    acted without orders."]

    This is the art of handling large masses of men.
    26. In night-fighting, then, make much use of signal-fires
    and drums, and in fighting by day, of flags and banners, as a
    means of influencing the ears and eyes of your army.

    [Ch'en Hao alludes to Li Kuang-pi's night ride to Ho-yang at
    the head of 500 mounted men; they made such an imposing display
    with torches, that though the rebel leader Shih Ssu-ming had a
    large army, he did not dare to dispute their passage.]

    27. A whole army may be robbed of its spirit;

    ["In war," says Chang Yu, "if a spirit of anger can be made
    to pervade all ranks of an army at one and the same time, its
    onset will be irresistible. Now the spirit of the enemy's
    soldiers will be keenest when they have newly arrived on the
    scene, and it is therefore our cue not to fight at once, but to
    wait until their ardor and enthusiasm have worn off, and then
    strike. It is in this way that they may be robbed of their keen
    spirit." Li Ch'uan and others tell an anecdote (to be found in
    the TSO CHUAN, year 10, ss. 1) of Ts'ao Kuei, a protege of Duke
    Chuang of Lu. The latter State was attacked by Ch'i, and the
    duke was about to join battle at Ch'ang-cho, after the first roll
    of the enemy's drums, when Ts'ao said: "Not just yet." Only
    after their drums had beaten for the third time, did he give the
    word for attack. Then they fought, and the men of Ch'i were
    utterly defeated. Questioned afterwards by the Duke as to the
    meaning of his delay, Ts'ao Kuei replied: "In battle, a
    courageous spirit is everything. Now the first roll of the drum
    tends to create this spirit, but with the second it is already on
    the wane, and after the third it is gone altogether. I attacked
    when their spirit was gone and ours was at its height. Hence our
    victory." Wu Tzu (chap. 4) puts "spirit" first among the "four
    important influences" in war, and continues: "The value of a
    whole army--a mighty host of a million men--is dependent on one
    man alone: such is the influence of spirit!"]

    a commander-in-chief may be robbed of his presence of mind.

    [Chang Yu says: "Presence of mind is the general's most
    important asset. It is the quality which enables him to
    discipline disorder and to inspire courage into the panic-
    stricken." The great general Li Ching (A.D. 571-649) has a
    saying: "Attacking does not merely consist in assaulting walled
    cities or striking at an army in battle array; it must include
    the art of assailing the enemy's mental equilibrium."]

    28. Now a solider's spirit is keenest in the morning;

    [Always provided, I suppose, that he has had breakfast. At
    the battle of the Trebia, the Romans were foolishly allowed to
    fight fasting, whereas Hannibal's men had breakfasted at
    their leisure. See Livy, XXI, liv. 8, lv. 1 and 8.]

    by noonday it has begun to flag; and in the evening, his mind is
    bent only on returning to camp.
    29. A clever general, therefore, avoids an army when its
    spirit is keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined
    to return. This is the art of studying moods.
    30. Disciplined and calm, to await the appearance of
    disorder and hubbub amongst the enemy:--this is the art of
    retaining self-possession.
    31. To be near the goal while the enemy is still far from
    it, to wait at ease while the enemy is toiling and struggling, to
    be well-fed while the enemy is famished:--this is the art of
    husbanding one's strength.
    32. To refrain from intercepting an enemy whose banners are
    in perfect order, to refrain from attacking an army drawn up in
    calm and confident array:--this is the art of studying
    circumstances.
    33. It is a military axiom not to advance uphill against
    the enemy, nor to oppose him when he comes downhill.
    34. Do not pursue an enemy who simulates flight; do not
    attack soldiers whose temper is keen.
    35. Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy.

    [Li Ch'uan and Tu Mu, with extraordinary inability to see a
    metaphor, take these words quite literally of food and drink that
    have been poisoned by the enemy. Ch'en Hao and Chang Yu
    carefully point out that the saying has a wider application.]

    Do not interfere with an army that is returning home.

    [The commentators explain this rather singular piece of
    advice by saying that a man whose heart is set on returning home
    will fight to the death against any attempt to bar his way, and
    is therefore too dangerous an opponent to be tackled. Chang Yu
    quotes the words of Han Hsin: "Invincible is the soldier who
    hath his desire and returneth homewards." A marvelous tale is
    told of Ts'ao Ts'ao's courage and resource in ch. 1 of the SAN
    KUO CHI: In 198 A.D., he was besieging Chang Hsiu in Jang, when
    Liu Piao sent reinforcements with a view to cutting off Ts'ao's
    retreat. The latter was obligbed to draw off his troops, only to
    find himself hemmed in between two enemies, who were guarding
    each outlet of a narrow pass in which he had engaged himself. In
    this desperate plight Ts'ao waited until nightfall, when he bored
    a tunnel into the mountain side and laid an ambush in it. As
    soon as the whole army had passed by, the hidden troops fell on
    his rear, while Ts'ao himself turned and met his pursuers in
    front, so that they were thrown into confusion and annihilated.
    Ts'ao Ts'ao said afterwards: "The brigands tried to check my
    army in its retreat and brought me to battle in a desperate
    position: hence I knew how to overcome them."]

    36. When you surround an army, leave an outlet free.

    [This does not mean that the enemy is to be allowed to
    escape. The object, as Tu Mu puts it, is "to make him believe
    that there is a road to safety, and thus prevent his fighting
    with the courage of despair." Tu Mu adds pleasantly: "After
    that, you may crush him."]

    Do not press a desperate foe too hard.

    [Ch'en Hao quotes the saying: "Birds and beasts when
    brought to bay will use their claws and teeth." Chang Yu says:
    "If your adversary has burned his boats and destroyed his
    cooking-pots, and is ready to stake all on the issue of a battle,
    he must not be pushed to extremities." Ho Shih illustrates the
    meaning by a story taken from the life of Yen-ch'ing. That
    general, together with his colleague Tu Chung-wei was surrounded
    by a vastly superior army of Khitans in the year 945 A.D. The
    country was bare and desert-like, and the little Chinese force
    was soon in dire straits for want of water. The wells they bored
    ran dry, and the men were reduced to squeezing lumps of mud and
    sucking out the moisture. Their ranks thinned rapidly, until at
    last Fu Yen-ch'ing exclaimed: "We are desperate men. Far better
    to die for our country than to go with fettered hands into
    captivity!" A strong gale happened to be blowing from the
    northeast and darkening the air with dense clouds of sandy dust.
    To Chung-wei was for waiting until this had abated before
    deciding on a final attack; but luckily another officer, Li Shou-
    cheng by name, was quicker to see an opportunity, and said:
    "They are many and we are few, but in the midst of this sandstorm
    our numbers will not be discernible; victory will go to the
    strenuous fighter, and the wind will be our best ally."
    Accordingly, Fu Yen-ch'ing made a sudden and wholly unexpected
    onslaught with his cavalry, routed the barbarians and succeeded
    in breaking through to safety.]

    37. Such is the art of warfare.

    [1] See Col. Henderson, op. cit. vol. I. p. 426.

    [2] For a number of maxims on this head, see "Marshal Turenne"
    (Longmans, 1907), p. 29.
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