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  • Chapter VIII. VARIATION IN TACTICS

  • 1. Sun Tzu said: In war, the general

  • receives his commands from the sovereign,

  • collects his army and concentrates his

  • forces

  • 2. When in difficult country, do not

  • encamp.

  • In country where high 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.

  • 3. There are roads which must not be

  • followed, armies which must be not

  • attacked, towns which must not be besieged,

  • positions which must not be contested,

  • commands of the sovereign which must not be

  • obeyed.

  • 4. The general who thoroughly understands

  • the advantages that accompany variation of

  • tactics knows how to handle his troops.

  • 5. The general who does not understand

  • these, may be well acquainted with the

  • configuration of the country, yet he will

  • not be able to turn his knowledge to

  • practical account.

  • 6. 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.

  • 7. Hence in the wise leader's plans,

  • considerations of advantage and of

  • disadvantage will be blended together.

  • 8. If our expectation of advantage be

  • tempered in this way, we may succeed in

  • accomplishing the essential part of our

  • schemes.

  • 9. If, on the other hand, in the midst of

  • difficulties we are always ready to seize

  • an advantage, we may extricate ourselves

  • from misfortune.

  • 10. Reduce the hostile chiefs by inflicting

  • damage on them; and make trouble for them,

  • and keep them constantly engaged; hold out

  • specious allurements, and make them rush to

  • any given point.

  • 11. The art of war teaches us to rely not

  • on the likelihood of the 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 unassailable.

  • 12. There are five dangerous faults which

  • may affect a general: (1) Recklessness,

  • which leads to destruction; (2) cowardice,

  • which leads to capture; (3) a hasty temper,

  • which can be provoked by insults; (4) a

  • delicacy of honor which is sensitive to

  • shame; (5) over-solicitude for his men,

  • which exposes him to worry and trouble.

  • 13. These are the five besetting sins of a

  • general, ruinous to the conduct of war.

  • 14. 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.

Chapter VIII. VARIATION IN TACTICS

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B2 war variation general tzu advantage sovereign

Chapter 08 - The Art of War by Sun Tzu - Variation in Tactics

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    richardwang posted on 2014/03/21
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