Saturday, February 27, 2010

292) Sun Tzu: The Art of War, 10

Chapter Nine: Army Maneuvers
Sun Tzu said:

Generally, on positioning the army and observing the enemy:

To cross mountains, stay close to the valleys;

observe on high ground and face the sunny side.

If the enemy holds the high ground, do not ascend and do battle with him.

This is positioning the army in the mountains. ?

After crossing a river, you must stay far away from it.

If the enemy crosses a river, do not meet him in the water.

When half of his forces has crossed, it will then be advantageous to strike. ?

If you want to do battle with the enemy, do not position your forces near the water facing the enemy;

take high ground facing the sunny side, and do not position downstream.

This is positioning the army near rivers. ?

After crossing swamps and wetlands, strive to quickly get through them, and do not linger.

If you do battle in swamps and wetlands, you must position close to grass, with the trees to your back.

This is positioning the army in swamps and wetlands. ?

On level ground, position on places that are easy to maneuver with your right backed by high ground, with the dangerous ground in front, and safe ground to the back.

This is positioning the army on level ground. ?

These are the four positions advantageous to the army, which enabled the Yellow Emperor to conquer four rulers. ?

Generally, the army prefers high ground and dislikes low ground, values the sunny side and despises the shady side, nourishes its health and occupies places with resources, and avoids numerous sicknesses.

These factors mean certain victory. ?

Where there are hills and embankments, you must position on the sunny side, with the hills and embankments to your right back.

These are advantages to the army. ?

Use the ground for assistance. ?

When the rainwater rises and descends down to where you want to cross, wait until it settles. ?

Where there is ground with impassable ravines, Heaven's Wells, Heaven's Prisons, Heaven's Nets, Heaven's Pits, and Heaven's Fissures, you must march quickly away from them.

Do not approach them. ?

When we distance from them, draw the enemy to approach them.

When we move to face the enemy, he will have them at his back. ?

When the army is flanked by high ground, wetlands, tall reeds and grass, mountain forests, or areas with thick undergrowth, you must search carefully and thoroughly, because these are places where men lie in ambush or where spies hide. ?

If the enemy is close and remains quiet, he occupies a natural stronghold. ?

If the enemy is far away and challenges you to do battle, he wants you to advance, because he occupies level ground that is to his advantage. ?

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