The supreme act of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting
Know your enemy, know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster
The purpose of war is peace.
In peace prepare for war, in war prepare for peace.
He who wishes to fight must first count the cost
He who only sees the obvious, wins his battles with difficulty; he who looks below the surface of things, wins with ease.
Humble words and increased preparations are signs that the enemy is about to advance. Violent language and driving forward as if to attack are signs that he will retreat.
The art of war is governed by 5 constant factors:
Only one who knows the disastrous effects of a long war can realise the supreme importance of rapidity in bringing it to a close.
How to attack based on your own army versus the enemy army’s strength:
It if the rule in war, if our forces are 10 to the enemy’s 1, to surround him; if 5 to 1, to attack him; if twice as numerous, to divide our army into 2. If equally matched, we can offer battle with the generals; if slightly inferior, we can void the enemy; if quite unequal in every way, we can flee from him.
General and the army…
A kingdom should not be governed from without, an army should not be directed from within
5 essentials for victory:
Simulations for failure for the enemy…
If you wish to feign confusion in order to lure the enemy on, you must first have perfect discipline; If you wish to display timidity in order to entrap the enemy, you must have extreme courage; if you wish to parade your weakness in order to make your enemy over-confident; you must have exceeding strength
Like water, taking the line of least resistance
Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing.
Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions
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 banner and flags.
Strategies of Attack…
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.
It is a military axion not to advance uphil against the enemy, nor to oppose him when he comes downhill
5 Dangerous faults which may affect a general:
the army on the march…
If the soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and unless submissive, they will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be useless.
Regard your soldiers as you own children and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.
If those who are sent to draw water begin by drinking themselves, the army is suffering from thirst.
types of terrains:
The general who advances without coverting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom
Bestow rewards without regard to rule, issue orders without regard to previous arrangements; and you will be able to handle a whole army as though you had to do with but a single man.