1.Sun Tzu said: In war, the general receives his commands from the sovereign. sovereign.
2. Having collected an army and concentrated his forces, he must blend blend and harmonise the different elements thereof before pitching his camp.
3. After that, comes tactical manœuvring, than which there is nothing more difficult. The difficulty of tactical manœuvring consists in turning the devious devious into the direct, and misfortune misfortune into gain.
4.Thus, to take a long and circuitous circuitous route, after enticing enticing the enemy out of the way, and though starting after him, to contrive to reach the goal before him, shows know ledge of know ledge of the artifice artifice of deviation.
5. In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to se cure victory.
6.If you set a fully equipped equipped army in march in order to snatch an advantage, the chances are that you will be too late. On the other hand On the other hand to detach a flying column for the purpose involves involves the sacrifice sacrifice of its baggage and stores.
7.Thus, if you order your men to roll up roll up their buff coats, and make forced marches without halting halting day or night, covering double the usual usual distance at a stretch, stretch, 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 jaded ones will fall behind fall behind and on this plan only one tenth of your army will reach its destination.
9.If you march fifty Li in order to outmanœuvre the enemy, you will lose the leader of your first division, and only half your force will reach the goal.
10. If you march thirty Li with the same object, two thirds of your army will arrive.
11.We may take it then that an army without its baggage train is lost; without provisions provisions it is lost; without bases of supply it is lost.
12.We cannot enter into enter into alliances until we are acquainted acquainted with the designs of our neighbours.
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 pitfalls and precipices, its marshes and swamps.
14.We shall be unable unable to turn natural advantage to account unless we make use of local guides.
15.In war, practise dissimulation, dissimulation, and you will succeed. Move only if there is a real advantage to be gained.
16.Whether to concentrate or to divide your troops, must be decided by circumstances. circumstances.
17.Let your rapidity rapidity be that of the wind, your compactness compactness that of the forest.
18 In raiding and plundering plundering be like fire, in immovability like a mountain.
19.Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
20. When you plunder plunder a countryside, let let the spoil be divided amongst your men; when you capture new territory, territory, cut it up cut it up into allotments for the benefit of the soldiery.
21.Ponder and deliberate deliberate before you make a move.
22. He will conquer conquer who has learnt the artifice artifice of deviation. Such is the art of manœuvring.
23.The Book of Army Management says: On the field of battle, 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 means whereby the ears and eyes of the host may be focused on focused on one particular particular point.
25. The host thus forming a single united united body, it is impossible either for the brave to advance alone, or for the cowardly to retreat retreat alone. This is the art of handling 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 means of influencing the ears and eyes of your army.
27. A whole whole army may be robbed of its spirit; a commander in chief may be robbed of his presence of mind.
28.Now a soldier's spirit is keenest in the morning; by noonday it has begun to flag; and in the evening, his mind is bent only on returning to returning to camp.
29.A clever general, therefore, avoids an army when its spirit is keen, keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish sluggish and inclined to inclined to return. This is the art of studying moods.
30.Disciplined and calm, to await await the appearance appearance of disorder disorder and hubbub hubbub amongst the enemy: — this is the art of retaining retaining self possession. possession.
31. To be near the goal while the enemy is still far from it, to wait at ease while the enemy is toiling toiling and struggling, to be well fed while the enemy is famished: — this is the art of husbanding one's strength.
32.To refrain refrain from intercepting an enemy whose banners are in perfect order, to refrain refrain from attacking an army drawn up drawn up in calm and confident array: — this is the art of studying circumstances. circumstances.
33.It is a military axiom axiom not to advance uphill uphill against the enemy, nor to oppose him when he comes downhill.
34.Do not pursue pursue an enemy who simulates simulates flight; do not at tack soldiers whose temper is keen. keen.
35Do not swallow bait bait offered by the enemy. Do not interfere with interfere with an army that is returning home.
When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate desperate foe foe too hard.
36.Such is the art of warfare.