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Attack by Stratagem – mou gong pian di san

Apr. 1, 2015

Sun Zi’s Art of War was written by Sun Wu in the final year of the Spring and Autumn

Period (770BC – 476BC).

It is not only the oldest Chinese military work in existence but also the oldest book

of military theory in the world, well-known for a long time in the history of the

military academy in China and abroad.

Sun Zi’s Art of War has altogether 13 chapters. Both concise and comprehensive,

this book sum up the experience of ancient wars, bring to light the many laws of

war which are of universal significance.

Want to know why business people like it so much? Come and learn Sun Zi’s Art of

War with eChineseLearning’s professional teachers!

原文:
móu ɡōnɡ piān dì sān
谋      攻      篇   第 三

sūnzi yuē : fán yònɡ bīnɡ zhī fǎ , quán ɡuó wéi shànɡ , pò
孙子   曰 :  凡    用      兵   之 法,    全     国    为    上,     破

ɡuó cì zhī ;quán lǚ wéi shànɡ , pò lǚ cì zhī ;quán zú wéi shànɡ ,
国   次 之 ;   全   旅  为     上 ,   破 旅 次 之;     全  卒  为   上 ,

pò zú cì zhī ;quán wǔ wéi shànɡ , pò wǔ cì zhī 。
破 卒 次 之 ;    全   伍  为     上,     破  伍  次 之。

shì wèi bǎizhànbǎishènɡ ,fēi shàn zhī shàn zhě yě ;
是   谓       百战百胜 ,       非   善    之    善    者  也;

bú zhàn ér qū rén zhī bīnɡ , shàn zhī shàn zhě yě 。
不   战   而  屈  人   之   兵 ,    善    之    善   者  也。

ɡù shànɡ bīnɡ fá móu , qí cì fá jiāo , qí cì fá bīnɡ , qí xià ɡōnɡchénɡ 。
故    上       兵  伐  谋 ,   其 次 伐 交 , 其 次 伐  兵 ,  其 下    攻城 。

ɡōnɡchénɡ zhī fǎ , wéi bù dé yǐ 。 xiū lǔ fén yūn ,jù qìxiè ,
攻城            之  法 ,  为 不  得 已。  修 橹  轒   輼 , 具 器械,

sānyuè ér hòu chénɡ ; jù yīn , yòu sānyuè ér hòu yǐ 。
三月     而 后       成  ;  距 堙 ,    又    三月  而  后  已。

jiànɡ búshènɡ qí fèn ér yǐ fù zhī , shā shì sān fēn zhī yì ér
将       不胜      其 忿  而 蚁 附 之 , 杀  士   三  分  之 一 而

chénɡ bù bá zhě , cǐ ɡōnɡ zhī zāi yě 。
城        不  拔 者 ,  此  攻     之  灾  也。

ɡù shàn yònɡbīnɡ zhě , qū rén zhī bīnɡ ér fēi zhàn yě ,
故     善    用兵       者 ,   屈  人  之  兵    而 非   战   也,

bá rén zhī chénɡ ér fēi ɡōnɡ yě , huǐ rén zhī ɡuó ér fēi jiǔ yě 。
拔   人  之   城     而 非   攻   也 ,   毁  人   之   国  而 非 久 也。

bì yǐ quán zhēnɡ yú tiānxià , ɡù bīnɡ bú dùn ér lì kě quán ,
必 以 全       争    于  天下 ,    故   兵   不  钝  而 利 可  全 ,

cǐ móu ɡōnɡ zhī fǎ yě 。
此  谋      攻   之 法 也 。

ɡù yònɡbīnɡ zhī fǎ , shí zé wéi zhī , wǔ zé ɡōnɡ zhī ,
故       用 兵   之  法 , 十  则  围  之 , 五  则   攻   之 ,

bèi zé fēn zhī , dí zé nénɡ zhàn zhī , shǎo zé nénɡ táo zhī ,
倍   则  分 之 , 敌  则  能      战    之 ,   少   则    能    逃 之 ,

bú ruò nénɡ bì zhī 。 ɡù xiǎo dí zhī jiān , dà dí zhī qín yě 。
不   若    能   避 之 。 故   小  敌  之   坚 , 大 敌  之  擒  也 。

fū jiànɡ zhě , ɡuó zhī fǔ yě 。 fǔ zhōu ér ɡuó bì qiánɡ ,
夫  将    者 ,    国  之  辅  也 。辅  周    而  国  必   强 ,

fǔ xì zé ɡuó bì ruò 。
辅 隙 则  国 必  弱 。

ɡù jūn zhī suó yǐ huàn yú jūn zhě sān : bù zhī jūn zhī bù ké yǐ
故   君   之 所  以  患    于  军  者   三 :  不  知  军  之 不  可  以

jìn ér wèi zhī jìn , bù zhī jūn zhī bù ké yǐ tuì ér wèi zhī tuì ,
进 而 谓   之  进 , 不 知   军  之  不 可 以 退 而  谓  之  退 ,

shì wèi mí jūn ; bù zhī sān jūn zhī shì , ér tónɡ sān jūn zhī
是   谓  縻  军 ;  不  知  三   军  之  事 , 而  同     三   军  之

zhènɡ zhě , zé jūn shì huò yǐ ; bù zhī sān jūn zhī quán ,
政       者 ,   则  军   士 惑   矣 ; 不 知   三  军   之   权 ,

ér tónɡ sān jūn zhī rèn , zé jūn shì yí yǐ 。
而  同    三   军  之  任 ,  则  军   士 疑 矣。

sān jūn jì huò qiě yí , zé zhūhóu zhī nán zhì yǐ 。
三  军  既  惑  且  疑 ,则   诸侯    之   难  至  矣。

shì wèi luànjūn yǐnshènɡ 。
是   谓   乱军      引胜 。

ɡù zhī shènɡ yǒu wǔ : zhī ké yǐ zhàn yǔ bù ké yǐ zhàn zhě shènɡ ,
故  知   胜      有    五 :  知 可 以  战   与  不 可 以  战    者    胜 ,

shí zhònɡ ɡuǎ zhī yònɡ zhě shènɡ , shànɡ xià tónɡ yù zhě shènɡ ,
识    众      寡   之   用    者     胜 ,        上    下    同    欲  者     胜 ,

yǐ yú dài bù yú zhě shènɡ , jiànɡ nénɡ ér jūn bú yù zhě shènɡ 。
以 虞 待 不  虞  者     胜 ,     将      能    而  君  不 御  者     胜。

cǐ wǔ zhě , zhī shènɡ zhī dào yě 。
此 五  者 ,  知    胜     之   道   也 。

ɡù yuē : zhībǐzhījǐ zhě , bǎizhànbúdài ; bù zhī bǐ ér
故  曰 :   知彼知己  者 ,   百战不 殆 ;     不  知  彼 而

zhī jǐ ,yí shènɡ yí fù ; bù zhī bǐ bù zhī jǐ , měi zhàn bì dài 。
知 己 ,一  胜   一 负;  不  知  彼 不 知 己 , 每   战    必 殆 。

Translation:(Translated from the Chinese version By LIONEL GILES, M.A.(1910))

III. ATTACK BY STRATAGEM

1. Sun Tzu 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. 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.

2. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence;

supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without

fighting.

3. Thus the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy’s plans;

thenext 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.

4. The rule is, not to besiege walled cities if it can possibly be avoided.

The preparation of mantlets, movable shelters, and various implements of

war, will take up three whole months; and the piling up of mounds over

against the walls will take three months more.

5. The general, unable to control his irritation, will launch his men to

the assault like swarming ants, 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.

6. Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any

fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he

overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.

7. With his forces intact he will dispute the mastery of the Empire, and

thus, without losing a man, his triumph will be complete. This is the

method of attacking by stratagem.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. Hence, though an obstinate fight may be made by a small force, in the

end it must be captured by the larger force.

11. 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.

12. There are three ways in which a ruler can bring misfortune upon his

army:–

13. (1) By commanding the army to advance or to retreat, being ignorant

of the fact that it cannot obey. This is called hobbling the army.

14. (2) 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.

15. (3) By employing the officers of his army without discrimination,

through ignorance of the military principle of adaptation to

circumstances. This shakes the confidence of the soldiers.

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

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