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

A leader leads by example not by force.

Being unconquerable lies with yourself; being conquerable lies with your enemy.

He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.

If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders ARE clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers.

In your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise. 1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law? 2) Which of the two generals has most ability? 3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth? 4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced? 5) Which army is the stronger? 6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained? 7) In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment? By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.

A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective.

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.

Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.

If you are near the enemy, make him believe you are far from him. If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.

A skilled commander seeks victory from the situation and does not demand it of his subordinates.

Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs… use the conquered foe to augment one's own strength.

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

If you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself, you win one and lose one; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

A wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy. 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.

Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.

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

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.

According to my assessment, even if you have many more troops than others, how can that help you to victory?

Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?

If asked how to cope with a great host of the enemy in orderly array and on the point of marching to the attack, I should say: Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will. Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy's unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete.

The art of using troops is this:
...When ten to the enemy's one, surround him;
...When five times his strength, attack him;
...If double his strength, divide him;
...If equally matched you may engage him;
...If weaker numerically, be capable of withdrawing;
...And if in all respects unequal, be capable of eluding him,
...for a small force is but booty for one more powerful.

All warfare is based upon deception.

Rapidity is the essence of war.

Know your enemy and know yourself, find naught in fear for 100 battles. Know yourself but not your enemy, find level of loss and victory. Know thy enemy but not yourself, wallow in defeat every time.

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"