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

Look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death!

One defends when his strength is inadequate, he attacks when it is abundant.

Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy's unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions.

The expert in battle seeks his victory from strategic advantage and does not demand it from his men.

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

Thus we may know that there are five essentials 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.

We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors.

When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press.

Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.

One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.

Spies cannot be usefully employed without a certain intuitive sagacity; (2) They cannot be properly managed without benevolence and straight forwardness; (3) Without subtle ingenuity of mind, one cannot make certain of the truth of their reports; (4) Be subtle! be subtle! and use your spies for every kind of warfare; (5) If a secret piece of news is divulged by a spy before the time is ripe, he must be put to death together with the man to whom the secret was told.

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.

The ultimate in disposing one's troops is to be without ascertainable shape. Then the most penetrating spies cannot pry in nor can the wise lay plans against you.

Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy.

We may know that there are five essentials 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.

Where the army is, prices are high; when prices rise the wealth of the people is exhausted.

Management of many is the same as management of few. It is a matter of organization.

One who sets the entire army in motion to chase an advantage will not attain it

Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength: attacking, a superabundance of strength.

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!

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.

To a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape.

What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations.

While heeding the profit of my counsel, avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules. According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one's plans.

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

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"