Ideal Political Governance
In antiquity, taking benevolence as the foundation and employing righteousness constituted the governance. However, when governance failed to attain the desired moral and political objectives, we have to resort to authority. Authority comes from warfare, not from the harmony among men. For this reason, if one must kill men to give peace to the people, then killing is permissible. If one must attack a state out of the love for their people, then attacking it is permissible. If one must stop war with war, although it is war, it is permissible. Thus if ruler show benevolence, he will be loved; if ruler show righteouness, he will be willingly submitted to; if ruler show wisdom, he will be relied upon; if ruler show courage, he will be embraced; if ruler show integrity, he will be trusted. Thus within the state, the government gain the love of the people, the means by which the state can be preserved. Outside the state, it acquires awesomeness, the means by which it can wage war.
The Way of warfare: Neither contravening the seasons nor working the people to exhaustion is the means by which to love our people. Neither attacking a state in national mourning nor taking advantage of natural disaster is the means by which to love their people. Not mobilizing the army in either winter or summer is the means by which to love both your own people and the enemy’s people. Thus even though a state may be vast, if it is belligerent, will inevitably perish. Even though calm may prevail in the realm, those who forget warfare will certainly be endangered. Thus although all under heaven is peaceful, all under heaven is happy, one must still use hunting trips as war exercises, one must still train the army during the spring and summer. This is to make sure that the preparation of war will not be forgotten.
Teaching Six Virtues
In antiquity, they did not pursue a fleeing enemy more than one hundred paces or follow a retreating enemy more than three days, thereby showing what are the forms of propriety. They did not exhaust the incapable and had sympathy for the wounded and sick, thereby showing what is benevolence. They awaited the completion of the enemy’s formation and then make the attack, thereby showing what is integrity. They contend for righteousness and not for profit, thereby showing what is righteousness. Moreover, they were able to pardon those who submitted, thereby showing what is courage. They knew the end and the beginning of war, thereby showing what is wisdom. These six virtues are taught to the population at proper times and serve as a code of conduct for the masses. This is the rule of managing the army.
The administrative measures of the former Kings: They accord with the Way of the Heaven; They establish at places where beneficial. They place the virtuous in the office, according to ranks. The feudal lords were pleased and embraced them. Foreign states also came to submit. Punishment and war was thus eliminated. That is how the Sage rules.
Next came the Worthy Kings: They ordered the rites, music and laws and measures and then created the five punishments, raising armored troops to chastise the unrighteous. They made inspiection tours of the feudal lands, investigated the customs of the four quarters, assembled the feudal lords, and investigated differences. If any of the feudal lords had disobeyed orders, disordered the constant, turned his back on Virtue, or contravened the seasons of Heaven – endangering meritorious rulers – they would publicise it among the feudal lords, making it evident that he had committed an offense. They then announce it to the whole nation. Then they offered sacrifice to the former Kings. Only thereafter would the Prime Minister charge the army before the feudal lords, saying, “A certain state has acted contrary to Tao. You will participate in the rectification campaign on such a year month and day. On that date, the army will reach the offending state and assemble with the Son of Heaven to apply the punishment of rectification.”
The Prime Minister and other high officials would issue the following orders to the army:
When you enter the offender’s territory, do not do violence to his gods; do not hunt his wild animals; do not destroy earthworks; do not set fire to buildings; do not cut down forests; do not take the six domesticated animals, grains or implements. When you see their elderly or very young, return them without harming them. Even if you encounter adults, unless they engage you in combat, do not treat them as enemies. If an enemy has been wounded, provide medical attention and return him.
When they had executed the guilty, the king, together with the feudal lords, corrected and rectified the government and customs of the state. They raised up the Worthy, established an enlightened ruler and corrected and restored their feudal position and obligations.
Governing Feudal Lords
The ways by which the kings and the hegemons governed the feudal lords were six:
1. With territory, they gave ’shape’ to the feudal lords.
- 2. With government directives, they restrict the feudal lords.
- 3. With forms of propriety, they drew the feudal lords closer to them.
- 4. With gifts, they please the feudal lords.
- 5. With strategists, they regulate the feudal lords.
- 6. With weapons and armor, they gain the submission of the feudal lords.
By sharing weals and woes with them, they will unite the feudal lords, bringing harmony between smaller and larger states.
The kings and hegemon will assemble the feudal lords in order to announce nine prohibitions:
- 1. Those who take advantage of the weak states or encroach them will have their borders reduced.
- 2. Those who murder the Worthy or harm the people will be deposed.
- 3. Those who are brutal within their state and bully those weaker states will be purged.
- 4. Those who caused the field to be unused and the people to scatter will be reduced.
- 5. Those who rely on the terrain advantage that he has and refuse to submit, will be invaded.
- 6. Those who harm or kill his kins will be punished.
- 7. Those who depose or slay their ruler, will be exterminated.
- 8. Those who oppose orders and resist the government will be squashed.
- 9. Those who are rebellious and lustful both within and without their border, acting like animals, will be extinguished.
Duty Of The Son Of Heaven
The duty of the Son of Heaven is to concentrate on modeling the Heaven and Earth and observing the measures of the Former Sages. The duty of officers and common men must be to respectfully serve their parents and to be upright with their rulers and superiors. Even though there is an enlightened ruler, if the officers are not first instructed, they cannot be used.
Educating The Populace
When the ancients instructed the people, they would establish the relationships and fixed distinctions of noble and common – causing them not to encroach on each other; the virtuous and righteous not to exceed each other; the talented and technically skilled can be used; and the courageous and strong will not clash with authority. Thus their strength will be united and their thoughts in harmony.
In antiquity, the rules governing the state cannot be used in military; and those appropriate in the military may not be appropriate in governing the state. Thus righteousness and virtue do not infringe each other.
Superior should value officers who were not boastful for such officers are great talents. For if he is not boastful, it shows that he is not contentious. When the ruler seek the opinions of these officers, for civilian affairs, he would get the true situations; for military affairs, the affairs will be attended to properly. Thus those talented and technically skilled will be used. For those that follow orders, they should be rewarded well; for those that defy orders, they should be severely punished. Then the strong and courageous will not clash with authority.
Only after effective instructions have been given to the people, can the state carefully select and employ them. Only after government affairs have been thoroughly ordered, can we say the offices have been sufficiently provided. When instructions are thoroughly examined and cut down so that it is easily understood, the people can practise the teaching well. When practice becomes habit, the people will embody the customs. This then is the pinnacle of transformation through education.
Pursuing The Enemy
In antiquity, they did not pursue a fleeing enemy too far nor follow a retreating army too closely. By not pursuing too far, they will not be ambushed; by not pursuing too closely, they will not be ambushed. They used the forms of propriety as the foundation of the army and benevolence as the foundation of their victory. After they are victorious, their teachings could then again be employed. Thus the gentleman would value these teachings.
Uniting The Masses
Shun made the official announcement of their mission within the state, because he wants everyone to embrace his orders. The rulers of Xia Dynasty administer their oaths in the army for they want their people to be mentally prepared. The rulers of Shang Dynasty swore their oaths outside the gate to encampment for they wanted the people to understand the intentions first before going into battle. King Wu of Zhou Dynasty made the oath just before the two armies clash, in order to stimulate the people’s will to fight.
Governance And Weapons
The rulers of Xia acted in accordance to their Virtue and never employed weapons, so their weapons are not varied. The ruler of Shang relied on righteousness, so they first used weapons. Ruler of Zhou relied on force, so they invented and fully utilized all kinds of weapons.
In Xia Dynasty, the rulers bestowed rewards in court in order to make eminent the good. In Shang Dynasty, they carried out executions in the marketplace to warn the evil. In Zhou Dynasty, the rulers granted rewards in court and carried out execution in the marketplace to promote virtues and terrify the non-gentleman. Thus although the method is slightly different, the rulers of all three dynasties aims to manifest virtue.
When the types of weapons are not used together, it will not be advantageous. Long weapons are for protection. Short weapons are for defending. If the weapons are too long, it will be difficult to wield against others; If they are too short, they cannot reach the enemy. If they are too light, they will be adroitly used and can easily lead to chaos. If they are too heavy, they will not be sharp and
will never attain its objectives.
Chariots, Flags, and Insignia
War Chariots: Those from Xia Dynasty are called ‘Hook Chariots’, and their advantage is smooth-riding. Those from Shang Dynasty are called ‘Yin Chariots’ and their advantage is speed. Those from the Zhou Dynasty are called ‘Yuan Rong’ and their advantage is the structural strength.
Flags: The Xia Dynasty used a black one, representing the leader of man. The Shang’s was white representing the righteousness of Heaven. The Zhou’s was yellow, representing the Way of the Earth.
Insignia: The Xia used the sun and the moon, to signify brightness. The Shang used tiger to signify awesomeness. The Zhou used dragon, esteeming culture.
If managing the troops with too much awesomeness and authority, the morale of the troops will be affected. But if managing the troops without much awesomeness and authority, it will be difficult to maneuver the troops to victory.
When the superiors are not able to use the people well, and suitable people are not assign to official positions, the artisans are not able to profit from their work, oxen and horses are not able to fulfill their functions while the officers insult the people. Such situation is termed as “excessive awesomeness” and the people will cower. When superiors do not respect Virtue but employ the deceptive and evil; when they do not honor those that follow the Way but employ those that are tyrannical; when they do not value those who obey commands but instead esteem those that contravene them; when they do not value good actions but esteem violent behavior. Such situations are termed as “diminished awesomeness”.
If the conditions of diminished awesomeness prevail, the people will not be victorious.
Order In Formation
A campaign army takes measures as its prime concern so that the people’s strength will be adequate. Then even when the blades clash, the infantry will not run and chariots will not gallop. When pursuing a fleeing army, the troops will not break formation, thereby avoiding chaos. The
solidarity of a campaign army derives from military discipline that maintains order in formation, does not exhaust the strength of men or horses and – whether moving slowly or rapidly – does not exceed the measures of the commands.
Military And Civilian Realms
In antiquity, the form and spirit governing civilian affairs would not be found in the military realm; those appropriate to the military realm would not be found in the civilian sphere. If the form and spirit appropriate to the military realm enter the civilian sphere, the Virtue of the people will decline. When the form and spirit appropriate to civilian sphere enter the military realm, then the martial spirit of the troop will weaken.
In the civilian sphere words are cultivated and speech languid. In court, one is respectful and courteous and cultivates himself to serve others. Not summoned, he does not step fourth; unquestioned, he does not speak. When you want to speak, the forms of propriety are plenty; when you have finished speaking, the forms of propriety are few.
In the military realm, one speaks directly and stands firm. When deployed in formation, one focuses on duty and acts decisively. Those wearing battle armor do not bow; those in war chariots need not observe the forms of propriety; those manning fortifications, do not scurry. In times of danger, one does not pay attention to seniority. Thus civilian forms of behavior and military standards are like inside and outside, like left and right.
Rewards And Punishment
In antiquity, the Worthy Kings made manifest the Virtue of the people and fully sought out the goodness of people. Thus they did not neglect the virtuous nor demean the people in any respect. Rewards were not granted, punishment were never even tried.
Shun neither granted rewards not imposed punishments, but the people could still be employed. This was the height of Virtue.
The Xia granted rewards but did not impose punishment. This was the height of instruction.
The Shang imposed punishment but did not grant rewards. This was the height of awesomeness.
The Zhou used both rewards and punishment, and Virtue declined.
Rewards should not be delayed beyond the appropriate time for you want the people to quickly profit from doing good. When you punish someone, punish him immediately for you want the people to quickly see the harm of doing what is not good.
Do not reward great victories, for then neither the upper nor lower ranks will boast of their achievement. If the upper ranks cannot boast, they will not seem arrogant, while if the lower ranks cannot boast, no distinctions can be established among the men. When neither of them boasts this is the pinnacle of deference.
In cases of great defeat, do not punish anyone, for then the upper and lower ranks will assume the disgrace falls on them. If the upper ranks reproach themselves, they will certainly regret their errors, while if the lower ranks feel the same, they will certainly try to avoid repeating the offense. When all ranks divide the responsibility for the detestable among themselves, this is the pinnacle of yielding.
Harmony And Peace
In antiquity, those on border duty were not required to serve labor duty for three years thereafter. This is because the ruler sees the people’s labor. Upper and lower ranks look out for each other in this fashion, which was the pinnacle of harmony.
When they had attained their aim of pacifying the realm, they sang triumphal songs to show their happiness. They stored away the implements of war, erected the Spirit Terrace, and celebrate the end of labors of the people and to show that time for rest had come.
Before The Start Of War
In general, to wage war: First determine the rank and position; prominently announce what are accomplishments and offenses; retain traveller with talents; publicise instructions and edicts; make inquiries among the populace; seek out artisans; apply methodology to planning; fully exploit things, change the people’s hatreds; dispel doubts; nourish strength; search out and employ the skillful; take action in accord with people’s hearts.
Before The Start Of War 2
In general, to wage war, the following needs to be done: Solidify the morale; analyze the advantages and gains; impose order on chaos; regulate advancing and stopping; accept upright remonstrance; nourish a sense of shame; simplify the laws to follow and limit the usage of punishment; minor offense should be constrained, otherwise major offense will be committed.
5 Considerations And Weapons
Accord with Heaven; make material resources abundant; bring joy to the people; take advantage of the terrain; value the use weapons. These are the “Five Considerations” Accord with Heaven means to make use of the weather and seasonal changes or the opportunities that comes up; To accumulate material resources rely on seizing them from the enemy; to bring joy to the people, wage wars that are in accord with what the people want; To take advantage of terrain, defend strategic points. Valuing the use of weapons means using bows and arrows for withstanding attack, maces and spears for defense and halberds and spear-tipped halberds for support.
Now each of these five weapons has its appropriate use: The long protect the short, the short rescue the long. When they are used in turn, the battle can be sustained. When they are employed all at once, the army will be strong. When you see the enemy using new weapons, you should try to replicate it so that you can be a match for him.
Unity And Strength
The commanding general should be good at motivating his troops, solidify their morale. He also needs to monitor the changes in the enemy’s camp and take necessary precautions. The minds of the troops and the general must be together as one. Horses and oxen are well-fed; chariots and
weapons are maintained well, these are strengths for the army. Training should be done during peaceful times, and only then during war, would there be order in the army. The whole army is like a human, where the commanding general is the body, the general are the arms and limbs, and the troops are liken the toes and fingers.
Wits And Courage
In general, warfare is a battle of wits and combat is a matter of courage. The deployment of formations is a matter of skill. Employ what your men want and effect what they are capable of; abolish what they do not want and are incapable of. Do the opposite to the enemy.
Heaven, Resources, and Excellence
In general, for warfare, one must have Heaven, material resources and excellence.
Seizing the opportunity; when divining by the tortoise shell presages victory, start preparing for war in a secretive manner. This is termed as “having Heaven”.
When the masses are rich and plentiful and so is the state, that is termed as “having resources.
When the men are practiced in the relative advantages of the formations, and they give their best in preparation for battle, this is termed as “having excellence”.
When the people are encouraged and give their best in fulfilling their responsibilities, the are termed as “happy people”.
Increasing the strength of the army and making the formations solid; making the numbers adequate and constantly training the troops; relying on the many talents to manage all military affairs; perceiving the nature of things and responding to the sudden events. This is termed as ‘preparation for the foreseeable’.
Fast chariots and fleet infantrymen, bows and arrows, and a strong defense are what is meant by ‘increasing the army’. Secrecy and silence and increasing one’s strength are what is meant by ‘making the formations
solid’. On this basis, being able to advance or withdraw are what is meant by ‘multiplying strength’. At times of little activity, the upper ranks instruct and constantly drill the lower ranks. This is what is meant by ‘training in formations’. When there are appropriate offices, it is termed as ‘all matters are well managed’. When in accord with this things are perceived and managed, it is referred to as ’simplifying administration’.
Determine the size of your troops according to the terrain, and deploy your formation according to the enemy’s situation. When to attack, wage battle, defend, advance, retreat and stop, the front and rear are ordered and the chariots and infantry move in concord, these are matter that need to be considered during war. Disobedience, do not trust each other, not in harmony, are lax, doubtful, weary, cower, low fighting spirit, arrogant towards upper ranks, grievance cannot be addressed, tired, unrestrained, disunity, slow; all these are disasters to the war. When they suffer from extreme arrogance, abject terror, moaning and grumbling, constant fear and show frequent regrets over action taken; they are what caused the demise of the army. Being able to be large or small or firm or weak, to change formations, and to use large numbers or small groups, with respect to the enemy’s situation. All these are termed as the ‘control of war’.
In general, to wage war, employ spies against the distant; observe the near; seize opportunities; take advantage of the enemy’s material resources where possible. The army should esteem good faith and abhor the doubtful. Arouse the soldiers with fervor of righteousness. Undertake affairs at the appropriate time. Employ people with kindness. When you see the enemy, remain quiet; when you see turbulence, do not be hasty to respond; when you see danger and hardship, do not abandon the masses.
Waging War 2
Within the state, be generous and foster good faith. Within the army, be magnanimous but strict. When facing the enemy, be decisive and nimble. Within the state, there should be harmony across all ranks. Within the army, rules must be clear and strictly adhere to. When facing the enemy, investigate the situation well. Within the state display the right virtues. Within the army, display uprightness. In battle display good faith.
For military formations, when advancing, the most important thing is for the ranks to be dispersed; when engaged in a battle, it should be dense and for the weapons, it should be mixed. Troops should be well-trained, and remain calm at all times, only then can the formation be well-ordered. When orders are clear and accurate, the upper and lower ranks observe righteousness, only then will the troops be motivated. When many well conceived plans prove successful, the people will submit. If people submit at all times, then affairs will be finished at the correct order. When the banners are bright and contrasting, then the troops can see it clearly. When plans have been finalised, the determination should also be made. For enemies that are indecisive, to advance or retreat, or without plans, attack them. Do not change your cause for war or the banner signals.
Making The Enemy Submit
Whenever affairs are well executed, they will endure; when they accord with ancient ways, they can be affected. When the oath is clear, morale will be high and you can extinguish the enemy. The way to eliminate enemy is either to use righteousness or power. One can use righteousness to gain the good faith of the enemy, uniting the realm. This then allow one to use the people of enemy’s state as well. One can also use power to make the enemy submit. Rouse his arrogance and attack his weaknesses. Use troops to attack from outside and use spies to attack from within.
7 Military Affairs and 4 Controls
First is management of talents; second is strict adherent to rules; third is clear orders and cause; fourth is management of skill set; fifth is skill in using fire; sixth is skill in marine battle; seventh is skill in using weapons. They are referred to as the Seven Military Affairs;
Glory, profit, shame and death are referred to as the Four Controls, that will make people observe the rules.
Being tolerant or being strict are merely just ways to prevent transgressions and change intentions.
Benevolence and Talents
Only benevolence can attract people; however if one is benevolent but not trustworthy, then on he will vanquish himself. Treat men as men, be upright with upright, employ the appropriate language, and use fire only when it should be used.
Setting Out For War
The principles of war is this, after you have rallied the troops, governmental measures must be set up. Treat your troops with benign countenance and lead them with sincere words. Use their fear to warn them, use their desire to control them. When in enemy territory, control the strategic location and place the right people in positions.
Setting Protocols And Policies
Protocols and policies of tasks and systems that are to be executed should come from the masses. They should be tested and evaluated to the furthest extent. If they cannot be done, then the general should lead by example on how the tasks and system should be executed. If they can be done, then make sure the troops knows them. By executing them several times, in time people will remember them and they become true protocols and policies. And soon these protocols and policies would be known as the law.
The way to manage chaos or imposing order consists of benevolence, credibility, straightforwardness, unity, righteousness, change wrought by authority and centralized authority.
The principles of establishing the law system are acceptance by people, the laws must be clear, the laws must be strictly adhere to, must be executed at the earliest possible moment, establish rankings, use colors to distinguish the rankings and all officers are to dressed according to protocols.
Centralized Authority And Law
When the power of authority falls solely with oneself, it is termed as ‘centralized’. When those below the ruler fear the law, then it is termed as ‘law’. In the army, troops should not listen to commands from dubious sources. When in battle, should not hanker small advantages, its plans should achieve result successfully and should be executed in subtle fashion.
Upper And Lower Ranks
When upright methods do not prove to be effective, then centralized control of affairs must be undertaken, if people do not submit to Virtue, then laws will have to be imposed. If they do not trust each other then orders have to come from one source. If they are dilatory, motivate them. If they have doubts, try to change them. If people do not trust the ruler, then whatever is promulgated must not be revised. This has been the administrative rule from antiquity.
Troop Formation Requirements
In general, for the principles of warfare: Positions should be strictly defined; administrative measures should be strictly adhere to; movement should be nimble; the soldiers’ disposition should be calm; and the minds of the officers and people should be unified.
Sitting And Squatting Formations
In general, for the principles of warfare: Rank and appoint men to office base on their morals and ability. Establish companies and squads. Orders the rows and files. Set the correct spacing between the horizontal and vertical. Investigate whether what is order is carried out.
Soldiers in standing formations should crouch down and advance; those who are in squatting formation should advance using their knees. If they are frightened, make the formation dense; if they are in danger have them assume a sitting formation. If the enemy is seen at a distance, after observations, they will not fear them; if the enemy are close, stay focus. Inside the formations, should use left, right, row and column to define the positions. When not advancing, troops should take the sitting formation. When giving out orders, how troops should be positioned and the weapons to carry in each formation’s position should be taken into consideration. If the horses are aroused and the troops are afraid, tighten the formation and use either the sitting or squatting formations. The general should advance using his knees and calm the troops down. Have them get up, shout and advance using drums; signal a halt with the bells. When the troops are resting, ordered or having meals, have them sit down, and when there is a need to move, use knees to advance. Seize and summarily execute any deserters to stop the others from looking about to desert. Shout in order to lead them. If they are too terrified of the enemy, do not threaten them with execution and severe punishment but display a magnanimous countenance. Speak to them about the way to survive and achieve accomplishment; supervise them in their duties to complete the tasks.
Within the Army: All punishment has to be imposed within half a day; Confinement does not go beyond the rest period; Do not cut the army’s food supply as a form of punishment; when the enemy is in doubts, such is an opportunity to subdue him.
Endurance And Victory
In general, during battles, one can endure if he has sufficient numerical strength but achieve victory if morale is high; one can endure with solid defense but achieve victory when being endangered; one can endure if the troops genuinely wants to fight but achieve victory when the fighting spirit is high; with the armor one is secure; with weapons, one attains victory.
In general, the chariots will be secured in a close-knit formation; infantry will be solid in a squatting formation; armor is strong through toughness; weapons must be light and easy to wield to achieve victory.
Set For Victory And Fear
When men have their mind set for victory, the next stage is to find out the situation of the enemy and see if there is a chance to attack. When men are filled with fear, the next stage is to find out what their fear is. Once feelings have been made clear, their consequences and cause should be treated the same. How the general handles both situations depends on his execution of authority.
In general, in warfare: Using small troops against enemy’s troops is dangerous. Using large troops against enemy’s large troops does not guarantee victory. Using small troops against enemy large troops is asking for failure. Using large troops against small troops can achieve swift victory. Thus war is also a comparison of strength and numbers.
Encamped, On The Move, In Battle
When in encampment, be careful about the weapons and armors. When on the move, be cautious about the rows and files. When in battle, be careful about when to advance or stop.
In general, in warfare: If you respect the troops, the troops will be satisfied. If you lead in person, they will follow. When orders are not clear and messy, the troops will disregard the orders given and act on their own. If orders are issued in proper measure, they will be seriously regarded. When the drumbeat is rapid, troops will move swiftly. When drumbeat is more measured, troops will advance in measured steps. When their uniforms are light, they will feel agile. If their uniforms are heavy, they will feel stalwart.
From Small To Big
When the horses and chariots are sturdy, the armor and weapons are strong, then even a small force can perform like a big force.
Bad Characteristics Of Generals
If the general has the same knowledge and wisdom as his troops, they will not be able to achieve results. If the general always insist on his own decisions, a lot of his troops will sacrifice. If the general is scared of death and not courageous, his troops will have many doubts. If the general fight without strategising, he will not be victorious.
Some Causes Of Death
In general, men will die for love and gratitude, out of anger, out of fear of awesomeness or authority, for righteousness or greed. Thus in warfare, laws can regulate men, making them regard death lightly. Moral and righteous cause can make men willing to die for righteousness.
Timing, Terrain, And Popular Support
In warfare, whether ones win or lose depends on whether he has the correct timing, in the right terrain and gain popular support.
In warfare, the whole army should not be on alert for more than three days, a single company should not be on vigilant for more than half a day, the guard duty of a single soldier should not exceed one rest period.
Unity And Victory
Regarding victory, when the whole army unites as one, can victory be achieved.
Drums And Drumbeats
In warfare, for drums, there are drums that direct the deployment of flags and pennants; drums for advancing the chariots, drums for war horses, drums for directing infantry, drums for taking over, drums for organizing or forming formations, drums for standing and sitting. All seven should be prepared.
Strength In Formation And Numbers
In warfare, when the formation is already solid, do not make it more solid. When you have numerical advantage, do not commit all of them to attack. Committing all of them to attack will endanger yourself.
In warfare, it is not the forming of a battle formations that is difficult, it is the point in which that the men can be ordered into a formation fast
that is difficult. It is not the point in which that the men can be ordered into a formation fast that is difficult, it is the ability of the men to exercise flexibility in using formation that is difficult. All in all, it is not the knowledge of formation that is difficult, it is the appropriate implementation of the formations that is difficult.
Character And Culture
All men have their own nature and nature can differs from region to region. Through teaching these nature can become culture. Culture differs from region to region. Through moral teaching, these culture can come together.
Basic Principles To Achieve Victory
In warfare, whether the troops are numerous or few, even though they have attained victory, they should act as if they have not achieve it. A general that does not require the weapons to be sharp, armor to be strong, chariots to be sturdy, horses to be strong or troops to be expanded have not acknowledge the basic principles to achieve victory
Crediting Victory And Assuming Blame
In warfare, if you are victorious, share the achievement and praise with the troops. If you are about to reengage in battle, make your rewards exceptionally generous and the punishment heavier. If you failed to achieve victory, accept the blame yourself. If you fight again, assume a leading position and do not repeat the tactics used last time. Whether you win or not, do not deviate from this principle for it is the “True Principle”.
Enemies To Attack And Avoid
In warfare, attack the weak and quiet, avoid the strong and quiet. Attack the tired, avoid the well trained and alert. Attack those that are very afraid, avoid those that are alert. Since antiquity these have been the rules governing the army.
Employing Large Or Small Forces
In warfare, when you employ a small number, their defence should be solid. When you employ a large mass they must be well-ordered. With a small force it is advantageous to win using unorthodox methods; with a large mass, it is advantageous to use orthodox tactics. When employing a large mass, they must be able to advance and stop; when employing a small number, they must be able to advance and withdraw. If your large mass encounter a small enemy force, surround them at a distance but leave one side open.
Conversely, if you divide your forces and attack in turn, a small force can withstand a large mass. If their masses are beset by uncertainty, you should take advantage of it. If you are attacking an enemy that is occupying a strategic position, abandon your flags as if in flight, and when the enemy attacks turn around to mount a counterattack. If the enemy is vast, then concentrate your force and let them surround you. If the enemy is fewer and fearful, avoid them at the moment and attack when opportunity arises.
Movement Of Troops
In warfare, keep the wind to your back, the mountains behind, heights on the right and defiles on the left. Pass through wetlands, cross over damaged roads. Select camping grounds that is configured like a turtle’s back.
In warfare, after deployment, observe the enemy actions. Watch the enemy and then initiate movement. If they are waiting for our attack, then act accordingly. Do not drum the advance, but await the moment when their masses arise. If they attack, concentrate your forces and attack his weakness.
Testing The Enemy
In warfare, employ large and small numbers to observe their tactical variations; advance and retreat to probe the solidity of their defenses. Endanger them to observe their fears. Be tranquil to observe if they become lax. Move to observe if they have doubts. Mount a surprise attack to see their discipline. Mount a strike when they are in doubts. Attack when they are unprepared so they are not able to fight with full strength. Attack his well ordered formation to break down his deployment. Use their failure to attack them, preventing them from executing their strategies, forcing them to abandon it and when they are fearful, attack them.
Chasing The Enemy
In warfare, when pursuing an enemy, do not rest. If some of the enemy stop on the road, be wary.
Planning Attacks And Retreats
In warfare, when nearing an enemy’s city, you must have a route of attack. When about to withdraw, you must ponder the retreat route.
Before The Start Of War
In warfare, if you move too early, you will be exhausted easily; if you move too late, the men maybe afraid. If focus on resting the men, the men would become lax, if you do not rest the men, they will be exhausted, yet if the men are allowed to rest too long, they may become afraid.
Administration Of Troops
Writing letters to families should be forbidden, this is to break all troubles of life. Select the best and equipping them with weapons, this is to increase the strength of troops. Abandoning armor and carrying minimal rations, this is to motivate the troops. From antiquity, this hase been the administration of troops.