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Art of War 孫子兵法

孫子兵法 The Art of War by Sunzi

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孫子兵法
作者孫武

始計第一
Section I: Laying Plans

孫子國之大事
[p. 1] Sun Tzŭ said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.

死生存亡之道不可不察
It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

五事
The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.


[p. 2] These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.

道者同意不畏危
The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.

陰陽寒暑
Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.

高下遠近險易死生
Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.


[p. 3] The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness.


By Method and discipline are to be understood the marshalling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.

五者莫不聞知之者勝不知不勝
These five heads should be familiar to every general: he who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail.


Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise:—

有道天地法令士卒賞罰
[p. 4] Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law?
Which of the two generals has most ability?
With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?
On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?
Which army is stronger?
On which side are officers and men more highly trained?
In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?

以此知勝負
By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.

必勝
[p. 5] The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it, will conquer: — let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it, will suffer defeat: — let such a one be dismissed!

其外
While heeding the profit of my counsel, avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules.


According as circumstances are favourable, one should modify one’s plans.


[p. 6] All warfare is based on deception.

不能不用
Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

利而誘之
Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.


If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.

怒而撓之
If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.


[p. 7] If he is taking his ease, give him no rest.

攻其無備出其不意
Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

兵家不可
These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand.

不勝不勝以此勝負
Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple where the battle is fought.

作戰第二
Section II: Waging War

孫子馳車千駟
[p. 9] Sun Tzŭ said: In the operations of war, where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots, as many heavy chariots,

帶甲十萬千里饋糧
and a hundred thousand mail-clad soldiers,
with provisions enough to carry them a thousand li,

內外賓客
the expenditure at home and at the front, including entertainment of guests,


[p. 10] small items such as glue and paint, and sums spent on chariots and armour,

千金然後十萬
will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day.
Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000 men.


When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardour will be damped.

攻城則力屈
If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.

不足
Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.

諸侯智者不能其後
[p. 11] Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardour damped, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.


Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.


[p. 12] There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.

不盡不能
It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.

善用不再
The skilful soldier does not raise a second levy, neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice.

取用軍食
Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.

百姓
[p. 13] Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army to be maintained by contributions from a distance. Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes the people to be impoverished.

百姓
On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes prices to go up; and high prices cause the people's substance to be drained away.

急於
When their substance is drained away, the peasantry will be afflicted by heavy exactions.

中原百姓
[p. 14] With this loss of substance and exhaustion of strength, the homes of the people will be stripped bare,
and three-tenths of their income will be dissipated;

公家甲胄大車
while Government expenses for broken chariots, worn-out horses, breast-plates and helmets, bows and arrows, spears and shields, protective mantles, draught-oxen and heavy wagons, will amount to four-tenths of its total revenue.


[p. 15] Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy.

二十;𦮼二十
One cartload of the enemy's provisions is equivalent to twenty of one's own, and likewise a single picul of his provender is equivalent to twenty from one's own store.

故殺
Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.

乘以其先
Therefore in chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots have been taken, those should be rewarded who took the first.

旌旗
[p. 16] Our own flags should he substituted for those of the enemy, and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours. The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept.


This is called, using the conquered foe to augment one's own strength.


In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.

故知生民司命國家安危
Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is the arbiter of the people's fate, the man on whom it depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.

謀攻第三
[p. 17] Section III: Attack by Stratagem

孫子全國次之
Sun Tzŭ said: In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good.

全軍次之次之次之次之
So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.

是故百戰百勝
Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.

伐謀其次其次攻城
Thus the highest form of generalship is to baulk the enemy's plans;
[p. 18] the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy's forces;
the next in order is to attack the enemy's army in the field;
and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities.

攻城不得已
The rule is, not to besiege walled cities if it can possibly be avoided.

器械三月而後
The preparation of mantlets, movable shelters, and various implements of war, will take up three whole months;

距闉三月而後
[p. 19] and the piling up of mounds over against the walls will take three months more.

不勝忿
The general, unable to control his irritation, will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants,

三分之一
with the result that one-third of his men are slain, while the town still remains untaken. Such are the disastrous effects of a siege

善用
Therefore the skilful leader subdues the enemy's troops without any fighting; [p. 20] he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.

天下
With his forces intact he will dispute the mastery of the Empire, and thus, without losing a man, his triumph will be complete.

謀攻
This is the method of attacking by stratagem.

分之
It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten to the enemy's one, to surround him; if five to one, to attack him;
if twice as numerous, to divide our army into two.

不若
[p. 21] If equally matched, we can offer battle;
if slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy;
if quite unequal in every way, we can flee from him.


Hence, though an obstinate fight may be made by a small force, in the end it must be captured by the larger force.


Now the general is the bulwark of the State;


if the bulwark is complete at all points; the State will be strong;


if the bulwark is defective, the State will be weak.

之所以
There are three ways in which a ruler can bring misfortune upon his army: —

不知不可以不知不可以退退
[p. 22] By commanding the army to advance or to retreat, being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey. This is called hobbling the army.

不知三軍三軍軍士
By attempting to govern an army in the same way as he administers a kingdom, being ignorant of the conditions which obtain in an army. This causes restlessness in the soldier's minds.

不知三軍三軍軍士
[p. 23] By employing the officers of his army without discrimination,

三軍諸侯
But when the army is restless and distrustful, trouble is sure to come from the other feudal princes. This is simply bringing anarchy into the army, and flinging victory away.

故知可以不可以衆寡上下不虞五者
Thus we may know that there are five essentials [p. 24] for victory:
(1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
(2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
(3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
(4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
(5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.
Victory lies in the knowledge of these five points.

知彼知己百戰不殆不知知己不知不知
Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

軍形第四
[p. 26] Section IV: Tactical Dispositions

孫子不可
Sun Tzŭ said: The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat,


and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.

不可可勝在敵
To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

不可不能使
[p. 27] Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat,
but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy.

可知不可
Hence the saying: One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.

不可
Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive.

守則有餘不足
Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a superabundance of strength.

九地之下
The general who is skilled in defence hides in the most secret recesses of the earth;

九天之上
[p. 28] he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven.

自保全勝
Thus on the one hand we have ability to protect ourselves; on the other, a victory that is complete.

不過所知
To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence.

戰勝天下
Neither is it the acme of excellence if you fight and conquer and the whole Empire says, “Well done!”

秋毫不為日月不為雷霆不為
[p. 29] To lift an autumn hair is no sign of great strength;
to see the sun and moon is no sign of sharp sight; to hear the noise of thunder is no sign of a quick ear.

所謂
What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.


Hence his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage.

戰勝其所必勝
He wins his battles by making no mistakes.
Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.

不敗之地
Hence the skilful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy.

是故而後
Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

而後善用修道勝敗
The consummate leader cultivates the moral law, and strictly adheres to method and discipline;

兵法
In respect of military method, we have, firstly, Measurement; secondly, Estimation of quantity; thirdly, Calculation; fourthly, Balancing of chances; fifthly, Victory.

度生
Measurement owes its existence to Earth; Estimation of quantity to Measurement; Calculation to Estimation of quantity; Balancing of chances to Calculation; and Victory to Balancing of chances.


A victorious army opposed to a routed one, is as a pound's weight placed in the scale against a single grain.

積水
The onrush of a conquering force is like the bursting of pent-up waters into a chasm a thousand fathoms deep. So much for tactical dispositions.

第五
Section V: Energy

孫子分數
Sun Tzŭ said: The control of a large force is the same principle as the control of a few men: it is merely a question of dividing up their numbers.


Fighting with a large army under your command is nowise different from fighting with a small one: it is merely a question of instituting signs and signals.

三軍使正是
To ensure that your whole host may withstand the brunt of the enemy's attack and remain unshaken — this is effected by manœuvres direct and indirect.

虛實
That the impact of your army may be like a grindstone dashed against an egg — this is effected by the science of weak points and strong.


In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.

出奇無窮天地江海終而復始日月死而復生四時
Indirect tactics, efficiently applied, are inexhaustible as Heaven and Earth, unending as the flow of rivers and streams;
like the sun and moon, they end but to begin anew; like the four seasons, they pass away to return once more.

不過不可
There are not more than five musical notes,
yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.

不過五色不可
There are not more than five primary colours,
yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever be seen.

不過五味不可
There are not more than five cardinal tastes,
yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.

不過不可
In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack — the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of manœuvres.

相生循環無端
The direct and the indirect lead on to each other in turn. It is like moving in a circle — you never come to an end. Who can exhaust the possibilities of their combination?

至於
The onset of troops is like the rush of a torrent which will even roll stones along in its course.

至於
The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.


Therefore the good fighter will be terrible in his onset, and prompt in his decision.


Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of a trigger.

紛紛紜紜鬥亂不可不可
Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle, there may be seeming disorder and yet no real disorder at all; amid confusion and chaos, your array may be without head or tail, yet it will be proof against defeat.

怯生
Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline, simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.

治亂強弱
Hiding order beneath the cloak of disorder is simply a question of subdivision;
concealing courage under a show of timidity presupposes a fund of latent energy;
masking strength with weakness is to be effected by tactical dispositions.


Thus one who is skilful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act.
He sacrifices something, that the enemy may snatch at it.


By holding out baits, he keeps him on the march; then with a body of picked men he lies in wait for him.


The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and does not require too much from individuals.
Hence his ability to pick out the right men and utilize combined energy.


When he utilizes combined energy, his fighting men become as it were like unto rolling logs or stones. For it is the nature of a log or stone to remain motionless on level ground, and to move when on a slope; if four-cornered, to come to a standstill, but if round-shaped, to go rolling down.


Thus the energy developed by good fighting men is as the momentum of a round stone rolled down a mountain thousands of feet in height. So much on the subject of energy.

虛實第六
Section VI: Weak Points and Strong

孫子戰地戰地
Sun Tzŭ said: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.

不致
Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.

使使不得
By holding out advantages to him, he can cause the enemy to approach of his own accord; or, by inflicting damage, he can make it impossible for the enemy to draw near.

安能
If the enemy is taking his ease, he can harass him;
if well supplied with food, he can starve him out;
if quietly encamped, he can force him to move.

其所其所不意
Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected.

千里無人
An army may march great distances without distress, if it marches through country where the enemy is not.

其所不守其所
You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended.
You can ensure the safety of your defence if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.

不知其所不知其所
Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defence whose opponent does not know what to attack.

至于無形至于無聲司命
O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible;
and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands.

進而不可退不可不可
You may advance and be absolutely irresistible, if you make for the enemy's weak points; you may retire and be safe from pursuit if your movements are more rapid than those of the enemy.

故我不得不其所
If we wish to fight, the enemy can be forced to an engagement even though he be sheltered behind a high rampart and a deep ditch. All we need do is attack some other place that he will be obliged to relieve.

不得其所
If we do not wish to fight, we can prevent the enemy from engaging us even though the lines of our encampment be merely traced out on the ground. All we need do is to throw something odd and unaccountable in his way.

無形
By discovering the enemy’s dispositions and remaining invisible ourselves, we can keep our forces concentrated, while the enemy’s must be divided.

分為是以其一
We can form a single united body, while the enemy must split up into fractions. Hence there will be a whole pitted against separate parts of a whole,
which means that we shall be many to the enemy’s few.


And if we are able thus to attack an inferior force with a superior one, our opponents will be in dire straits.

不可不可
The spot where we intend to fight must not be made known; for then the enemy will have to prepare against a possible attack at several different points;
and his forces being thus distributed in many directions, the numbers we shall have to face at any given point will be proportionately few.

不備
For should the enemy strengthen his van, he will weaken his rear; should he strengthen his rear, he will weaken his van; should he strengthen his left, he will weaken his right; should he strengthen his right, he will weaken his left. If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.

使
Numerical weakness comes from having to prepare against possible attacks; numerical strength, from compelling our adversary to make these preparations against us.

故知千里會戰
Knowing the place and the time of the coming battle, we may concentrate from the greatest distances in order to fight.

不知不知不能不能不能不能
But if neither time nor place be known, then the left wing will be impotent to succour the right, the right equally impotent to succour the left, the van unable to relieve the rear, or the rear to support the van. How much more so if the furthest portions of the army are anything under a hundred li apart, and even the nearest are separated by several li!

勝敗
Though according to my estimate the soldiers of Yüeh exceed our own in number, that shall advantage them nothing in the matter of victory.
I say then that victory can be achieved.

使
得失
Though the enemy be stronger in numbers, we may prevent him from fighting.
Scheme so as to discover his plans and the likelihood of their success.

動靜死生
Rouse him, and learn the principle of his activity or inactivity.
Force him to reveal himself, so as to find out his vulnerable spots.

有餘不足
Carefully compare the opposing army with your own,

至於無形無形不能智者不能
In making tactical dispositions, the highest pitch you can attain is to conceal them;
dispositions, and you will be safe from the prying of the subtlest spies, from the machinations of the wisest brains.

不能
How victory may be produced for them out of the enemy’s own tactics — that is what the multitude cannot comprehend.

我所所以制勝
All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.

戰勝不復無窮
Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.

形象
Military tactics are like unto water; for water in its natural course runs away from high places and hastens downwards.


So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak.

因地制勝
Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows;

無成
Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions.

變化取勝
He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning, may be called a heaven-born captain.

五行無常四時無常死生
The five elements
are not always equally predominant;
the four seasons make way for each other in turn.
There are short days and long; the moon has its periods of waning and waxing.

第七
Section VII: Maneuvering

孫子受命
Sun Tzu said: In war, the general receives his commands from the sovereign.


Having collected an army and concentrated his forces, he must blend and harmonize the different elements thereof before pitching his camp.


After that, comes tactical manœuvring, than which there is nothing more difficult.
The difficulty of tactical manœuvring consists in turning the devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain.

後人先人
Thus, to take a long and circuitous route, after enticing the enemy out of the way, and though starting after him, to contrive to reach the goal before him, shows knowledge of the artifice of deviation.


Manœuvring with an army is advantageous; with an undisciplined multitude, most dangerous.

不及
If you set a fully equipped army in march in order to snatch an advantage, the chances are that you will be too late.
On the other hand, to detach a flying column for the purpose involves the sacrifice of its baggage and stores.

是故日夜百里三軍
Thus, if you order your men to roll up their buff-coats,
without halting day or night, covering double the usual distance at a 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.

十一
The stronger men will be in front, the jaded ones will fall behind, and on this plan only one-tenth of your army will reach its destination.

五十
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.

三十三分之二
If you march thirty li with the same object, two-thirds of your army will arrive.

是故糧食
We may take it then that an army without its baggage-train is lost; without provisions it is lost; without bases of supply it is lost.

不知諸侯不能
We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbours.

不知山林險阻不能行軍
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
and precipices,
its marshes
and swamps.

不用不能地利
We shall be unable to turn natural advantage to account unless we make use of local guides.


In war, practice dissimulation, and you will succeed.
Move only if there is a real advantage to be gained.

分合
Whether to concentrate or to divide your troops, must be decided by circumstances.


Let your rapidity be that of the wind,
your compactness that of the forest.

如火不動
In raiding and plundering be like fire,
in immovability like a mountain.

雷震
Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.


When you plunder a countryside, let the spoil be divided amongst your men;
when you capture new territory, cut it up into allotments for the benefit of the soldiery.


Ponder and deliberate

先知
He will conquer who has learnt the artifice of deviation.
Such is the art of manœuvring.

軍政:「相見旌旗。」
The Book of Army Management says:
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.

旌旗所以耳目
Gongs and drums, banners and flags, are means whereby the ears and eyes of the host
may be focused on one particular point.

專一不得不得退
The host thus forming a single united body, is it impossible either for the brave to advance alone, or for the cowardly to retreat alone.
This is the art of handling large masses of men.

旌旗所以耳目
In night-fighting, then, make much use of signal-fires and drums, and in fighting by day, of flags and banners, as a means of influencing the ears and eyes of your army.

三軍將軍
A whole army may be robbed of its spirit;
a commander-in-chief may be robbed of his presence of mind.

是故朝氣暮氣
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 camp.

善用銳氣治氣
A clever general, therefore,
avoids an army when its spirit is keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return. This is the art of studying moods.


Disciplined and calm, to await the appearance of disorder and hubbub amongst the enemy: — this is the art of retaining self-possession.


To be near the goal while the enemy is still far from it, to wait at ease
while the enemy is toiling and struggling, to be well-fed while the enemy is famished: — this is the art of husbanding one's strength.

正正堂堂
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.

高陵
It is a military axiom not to advance uphill against the enemy, nor to oppose him when he comes downhill.


Do not pursue an enemy who simulates flight; do not attack soldiers whose temper is keen.


Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy.
Do not interfere with an army that is returning home.

窮寇
When you surround an army, leave an outlet free.
Do not press a desperate foe too hard.


Such is the art of warfare.

第八
Section VIII: Variation in Tactics

孫子受命聚眾
Sun Tzu said: In war, the general receives his commands from the sovereign, collects his army and concentrates his forces.

絕地死地
When in difficult country, do not encamp.
In country where high roads intersect, join hands with your allies.
In hemmed-in situations, you must resort to stratagem.
In desperate position, you must fight.

有所不由有所有所有所不爭有所不受
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.


The general who thoroughly understands the advantages that accompany variation of tactics knows how to handle his troops.

不通地形不能
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.

不知地利不能得人
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.

是故智者利害
Hence in the wise leader's plans, considerations of advantage and of disadvantage will be blended together.

可信
If our expectation of advantage be tempered in this way, we may succeed in accomplishing the essential part of our schemes.

可解
If, on the other hand, in the midst of difficulties we are always ready to seize an advantage, we may extricate ourselves from misfortune.

是故諸侯諸侯諸侯
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.

有所不可
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.

忿廉潔愛民
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 honour which is sensitive to shame;
(5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.

五者
These are the five besetting sins of a general, ruinous to the conduct of war.

不可不察
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.

行軍第九
Section IX: The Army on the March

孫子
Sun Tzŭ said: We come now to the question of encamping the army, and observing signs of the enemy.
Pass quickly over mountains,
and keep in the neighbourhood of valleys.

生處此處
Camp in high places,
Do not climb heights in order to fight.
So much for mountain warfare.


After crossing a river, you should get far away from it.


When an invading force crosses a river in its onward march, do not advance to meet it in mid-stream. It will be best to let half the army get across, and then deliver your attack.


If you are anxious to fight, you should not go to meet the invader near a river which he has to cross.

生處水流此處水上
Moor your craft higher up than the enemy, and facing the sun.
Do not move up-stream to meet the enemy.
So much for river warfare.


In crossing salt-marshes, your sole concern should be to get over them quickly, without any delay.

之中水草此處
If forced to fight in a salt-marsh, you should have water and grass near you, and get your back to a clump of trees.
So much for operations in salt-marshes.

平陸死後此處平陸
In dry, level country, take up an easily accessible position
with rising ground to your right and on your rear,
so that the danger may be in front, and safety lie behind.
So much for campaigning in flat country.

四軍黃帝之所以
These are the four useful branches of military knowledge
which enabled the Yellow Emperor to vanquish four several sovereigns.

貴陽
All armies prefer high ground to low
and sunny places to dark.

養生必勝
If you are careful of your men,
and camp on hard ground,
and this will spell victory.

丘陵堤防
When you come to a hill or a bank, occupy the sunny side, with the slope on your right rear. Thus you will at once act for the benefit of your soldiers and utilize the natural advantages of the ground.

水沫
When, in consequence of heavy rains up-country, a river which you wish to ford is swollen and flecked with foam, you must wait until it subsides.

天井
Country in which there are precipitous cliffs with torrents running between,
deep natural hollows,
tangled thickets,
quagmires
and crevasses,
should be left with all possible speed and not approached.


While we keep away from such places, we should get the enemy to approach them; while we face them, we should let the enemy have them on his rear.

險阻林木
If in the neighbourhood of your camp
there should be any hilly country,
ponds surrounded by aquatic grass, hollow basins filled with reeds,
or woods with thick undergrowth,
they must be carefully routed out and searched; for these are places where men in ambush or insidious spies are likely to be lurking.


When the enemy is close at hand and remains quiet, he is relying on the natural strength of his position.

挑戰者
When he keeps aloof and tries to provoke a battle, he is anxious for the other side to advance.


其所
If his place of encampment is easy of access, he is tendering a bait.


Movement amongst the trees of a forest shows that the enemy is advancing.
The appearance of a number of screens in the midst of thick grass means that the enemy wants to make us suspicious.


The rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an ambuscade.
Startled beasts indicate that a sudden attack is coming.

往來
When there is dust rising in a high column, it is the sign of chariots advancing; when the dust is low, but spread over a wide area, it betokens the approach of infantry.
When it branches out in different directions, it shows that parties have been sent to collect firewood. A few clouds of dust moving to and fro signify that the army is encamping.

退
Humble words and increased preparations are signs that the enemy is about to advance.
Violent language and driving forward as if to the attack are signs that he will retreat.

輕車
When the light chariots
come out first and take up a position on the wings, it is a sign that the enemy is forming for battle.


Peace proposals unaccompanied by a sworn covenant indicate a plot.

奔走陳兵
When there is much running about
and the soldiers fall into rank,
it means that the critical moment has come.

退
When some are seen advancing and some retreating, it is a lure.

而立
If those who are sent to draw water begin by drinking themselves, the army is suffering from thirst.


If the enemy sees an advantage to be gained
and makes no effort to secure it, the soldiers are exhausted.


If birds gather on any spot, it is unoccupied.
Clamour by night betokens nervousness.

旌旗
If there is disturbance in the camp, the general's authority is weak. If the banners and flags are shifted about, sedition is afoot.

肉食窮寇
When an army feeds its horses with grain and kills its cattle for food,
and when the men do not hang their cooking-pots
over the camp-fires, showing that they will not return to their tents,
you may know that they are determined to fight to the death.

諄諄
The sight of men whispering together
in small knots
points to disaffection amongst the rank and file.


Too frequent rewards signify that the enemy is at the end of his resources;
too many punishments betray a condition of dire distress.

而後之至
To begin by bluster, but afterwards to take fright at the enemy's numbers, shows a supreme lack of intelligence.

休息
When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths, it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce.

不合相去
If the enemy's troops march up angrily and remain facing ours for a long time without either joining battle or taking themselves off again, the situation is one that demands great vigilance and circumspection.

武進足以料敵而已
If our troops are no more in number than the enemy, that is amply sufficient;
it only means that no direct attack can be made.
What we can do is simply to concentrate all our available strength, keep a close watch on the enemy, and obtain reinforcements.


He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them.

不服不服
If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, then will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be useless.
This is a certain road to victory.

不行不可
If in training soldiers commands are habitually enforced, the army will be well-disciplined; if not, its discipline will be bad.

不行不服行者
If a general shows confidence in his men but always insists on his orders being obeyed,
the gain will be mutual.

地形第十
Section X: Terrain

孫子地形
Sun Tzu said: We may distinguish six kinds of terrain, to wit:
(1) Accessible ground;
(2) entangling ground;
(3) temporizing ground;
(4) narrow passes;
(5) precipitous heights;
(6) positions at a great distance from the enemy.

可以可以
2. Ground which can be freely traversed by both sides is called accessible.

高陽糧道
With regard to ground of this nature, be before the enemy in occupying the raised and sunny spots, and carefully guard your line of supplies. Then you will be able to fight with advantage.

可以難以
Ground which can be abandoned but is hard to re-occupy is called entangling.

無備不勝難以不利
From a position of this sort, if the enemy is unprepared, you may sally forth and defeat him. But if the enemy is prepared for your coming, and you fail to defeat him, then, return being impossible, disaster will ensue.

不利不利
When the position is such that neither side will gain by making the first move, it is called temporizing ground.


In a position of this sort, even though the enemy should offer us an attractive bait, it will be advisable not to stir forth, but rather to retreat, thus enticing the enemy in his turn; then, when part of his army has come out, we may deliver our attack with advantage.


With regard to narrow passes, if you can occupy them first, let them be strongly garrisoned and await the advent of the enemy.

不盈
Should the army forestall you in occupying a pass, do not go after him if the pass is fully garrisoned, but only if it is weakly garrisoned.

高陽
With regard to precipitous heights, if you are beforehand with your adversary, you should occupy the raised and sunny spots, and there wait for him to come up.


If the enemy has occupied them before you, do not follow him, but retreat and try to entice him away.

難以挑戰不利
If you are situated at a great distance from the enemy, and the strength of the two armies is equal, it is not easy to provoke a battle, and fighting will be to your disadvantage.

之至不可不察
These six are the principles connected with Earth. The general who has attained a responsible post must be careful to study them.


Now an army is exposed to six several calamities, not arising from natural causes, but from faults for which the general is responsible. These are: (1) Flight; (2) insubordination; (3) collapse; (4) ruin; (5) disorganization; (6) rout.


Other conditions being equal, if one force is hurled against another ten times its size, the result will be the flight of the former.


When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too weak, the result is insubordination. When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers too weak, the result is collapse.

不服不知
When the higher officers are angry and insubordinate, and on meeting the enemy give battle on their own account from a feeling of resentment, before the commander-in-chief can tell whether or not he is in a position to fight, the result is ruin.

不明無常陳兵縱橫
When the general is weak and without authority; when his orders are not clear and distinct; when there are no fixed duties assigned to officers and men, and the ranks are formed in a slovenly haphazard manner, the result is utter disorganization.

不能料敵
When a general, unable to estimate the enemy's strength, allows an inferior force to engage a larger one, or hurls a weak detachment against a powerful one, and neglects to place picked soldiers in the front rank, the result must be rout.

之至不可不察
These are six ways of courting defeat, which must be carefully noted by the general who has attained a responsible post.

地形料敵制勝遠近上將
The natural formation of the country is the soldier's best ally; but a power of estimating the adversary, of controlling the forces of victory, and of shrewdly calculating difficulties, dangers and distances, constitutes the test of a great general.