Sun Tzu or Sunzi

Sun
Tzu or Sunzi
544 B.C.
496 B.C.

Chinese Military General, Strategist and Philosopher known for authoring "The Art of War"

Author Quotes

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

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

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

Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.

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. 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 no he is in a position to fight, the result is RUIN.

All warfare is based on deception. There is no place where espionage is not used. Offer the enemy bait to lure him.

Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.

If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.

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 maneuvers.

An army may march great distances without distress, if it marches through country where the enemy is not. You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended. You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.

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.

If our soldiers are not overburdened with money, it is not because they have a distaste for riches; if their lives are not unduly long, it is not because they are disinclined to longevity.

In making tactical dispositions, the highest pitch you can attain is to conceal them.

And therefore those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him.

For them to perceive the advantage of defeating the enemy, they must also have their rewards.

If quick, I survive. If not quick, I am lost. This is death.

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. Therefore in chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots have been taken, those should be rewarded who took the first. Our own flags should be 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.

Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.

For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.

If the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain. When your weapons are dulled, your ardor 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.

In peace prepare for war, in war prepare for peace. The art of war is of vital importance to the state. It is matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence under no circumstances can it be neglected.

Appraise war in terms of the fundamental factors. The first of these factors is moral influence.

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

If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things.

In the operations of war, where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots, as many heavy chariots, and a hundred thousand mail-clad soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them a thousand li the expenditure at home and at the front, including entertainment of guests, small items such as glue and paint, and sums spent on chariots and armour, will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day. Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000 men.

Author Picture
First Name
Sun
Last Name
Tzu or Sunzi
Birth Date
544 B.C.
Death Date
496 B.C.
Bio

Chinese Military General, Strategist and Philosopher known for authoring "The Art of War"