Tactical plans must always be
kept a secret. When attacking an enemy, one must attack like the gale, and when curshing your enemy, one must be swift as
the falcon tracking its prey. All battles must be completed swiftly like the raging river-current. Only through this could
one defeat their foe with the least casualties.
Those who are apt at war are not
influenced by emotion. Those who have composed an impeccable tactical plan have no reason to fear their enemy. Those who are
wise consolidate their victory beforehand through impeccable planning. On the other hand, fools wage battle without planning,
and make decisions in the heat of battle.
Winners proceed the path without
veering, but losers try to take the shortcut and get lost in the process. Fools take the opposite path.
An army functions at its best
when commanders stand proud and soldiers man their respective stations. This is like casting rounded stones down an inclined
plank--there are no edges to stop the flow. Such an army could defeat all in its path with invincable strength. Thus is the
basis of all tactics.
The Secret of
When facing those apt in offense,
the opponent does not know how to defend. Likewise, when facing those apt in defense, the opponent does not know how to attack.
This is because those who are apt in offense do not rely on weapons, and those who are apt in defense do not rely on their
fortifications. Thus, building high walls and deep moats does not equal an impenetrable defense. Likewise, wearing sturdy
armor and wielding sharp weapons doesn't make an army strong.
What to do when an enemy has
Attack where they are lest protected.
What to do when an enemy dissolves
their camp and starts marching?
Ambush them when least expected.
What to do when you and your
enemy both start marching?
Choose an appropriate terrain and establish your formations.
What to do when you have started
marching while your enemy remains silent?
Attack from both sides of the enemy.
What to do if your enemy is
composed of many different factions?
First, attack their main force.
When one does not know the terrain,
and does not have the correct timing, preparing for battle only leads to misallocation of troops.
The Good and
Bad of Military Tactics
Military tactics could be separated
into three different levels of execution.
1. The Best Application of
Military Tactics--Prevent problems before it occurs, and resolve conlicts before it starts. Read the minds of your enemy
and plan ahead of them. Even if there are strict rules within your military, act in advance to make sure none will break the
military law. This is the best application of military tactics.
2. Moderate Application of
Military Tactics--Set up your ranks agains your enemies and charge your cavalry. Then unleash your crossbows at your enemy
and slowly approach your enemy. Fear will breed within the minds of your enemy, leading them to confusion. This is the moderate
application of military tactics.
3. The Worst Application of
Military Tactics--The leader sharges into the midst of the enemy and gets rained on with arrows, and is blinded by shirt
term goals. Many soldiers die, freind and foe, but victory is not clear on both sides. This is clearly the worst application
of military tactics.
There are many different types
of military leaders.
Those who could see the darkness
within others and detect danger beforehand while managing his own soldiers adequately--such a man can be a leader of ten men.
Those who perform their duty from
dawn until dusk while remaining courteous in speech--such a man can be a leader of a hundred men.
Those who have a distaste for
trickery but are resourceful, and are brave and enthusiastic in battle--such a man can be a leader of a thousand men.
Those who are respectable in appearance,
holding a warrior's spirit while having an understanding of the hardships of his men--such a man can be a leader of ten-thousand
Those who recruit men of skill
while himself improving upon his skills, while being trustworthy and wide in perspective, unyielding to the temptations present
within the confounded world of warfare--such a man can be a leader of a hundred-thousand men.
Those who shed lovingkindness
to his subjects and defeats surrounding nations through trust and moral goodness, and is versed in astrology, geography, and
human affairs while garnering respect from all citizens--such a man can be a leader of all under heaven.
The Fifteen Testaments
of Military Leaders
The source of all defeat comes
from underestimating your enemy. Thus, military leaders must keep the following fifteen testaments within their mind.
- 1. Gathering Intelligence--Use spies to collect information.
- 2. Information--Gather information about your enemy from various sources.
- 3. Bravery--Do not show fear against even the toughest foe.
- 4. Selflessness--Do not be moved by profit.
- 5. Equality--Award and punish all equally.
- 6. Patience--Withstand humiliation.
- 7. Compassion--Be willing to forgive.
- 8. Trust--Do not lie.
- 9. Respect--Recruit those who have greater skills than yourself.
- 10. Wisdom--Do not listen to ill-will.
- 11. Humbleness--Act humbly.
- 12. Lovingkindness--Treat your subjects with lovingkindness.
- 13. Loyalty--Sacrifice yourself for the good of the country.
- 14. Discrimination--Discriminate between what is possible and impossible.
- 15. Strategy--Know yourself and your enemy.
If these 15 testaments are forgotten, defeat will come swiftly as the winds of December.
Characteristics that make one unfit as a Military Leader
There are eight characteristics that makes one unfit as a military leader.
- 1. Filled with greed and knows not when to repress his lust.
- 2. Jealous against those with greater skill.
- 3. Listens to ill-will against others and employs sweet-talkers.
- 4. Knows one's enemies but does not know oneself.
- 5. Indecisive and lacks the ability to judge.
- 6. Indulges too much in drinks.
- 7. Uses trickery on others and is a coward.
- 8. Those whos words do not reflect their actions.