Sun WU: Manoeuvring ~ 《孙子兵法—军争篇》 with English Translations

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小编导读:《孙子兵法–军争篇》是春秋末年的齐国人孙武的作品。军争篇是《孙子兵法》的第七篇,本篇以“诈”“动”“分合”为指导,论述军队在战场上实际接战中的战机选择问题,要求指挥者创造战机,不失时机地把握战机。

《孙子兵法—军争篇》

孙子曰:

凡用兵之法,将受命于君,合军聚众,交和而舍,莫难于军争。军争之难者,以迂为直,以患为利。故迂其途,而诱之以利,后人发,先人至,此知迂直之计者也。

故军争为利,军争为危。举军而争利,则不及;委军而争利,则辎重捐。是故卷甲而趋,日夜不处,倍道兼行,百里而争利,则擒三将军。劲者先,疲者后,其法十一而至;五十里而争利,则蹶上将军,其法半至;三十里而争利,则三分之二至。是故军无辎重则亡,无粮食则亡,无委积则亡。

故不知诸侯之谋者,不能豫交;不知山林、险阻、沮泽之形者,不能行军;不用乡导者,不能得地利。故兵以诈立,以利动,以分合为变者也。故其疾如风,其徐如林,侵掠如火,不动如山,难知如阴,动如雷震。掠乡分众,廓地分利,悬权而动。先知迂直之计者胜,此军争之法也。

《军政》曰:“言不相闻,故为金鼓;视不相见,故为旌旗。”夫金鼓旌旗者,所以一人之耳目也;人既专一,则勇者不得独进,怯者不得独退,此用众之法也。故夜战多火鼓,昼战多旌旗,所以变人之耳目也。

故三军可夺气,将军可夺心。是故朝气锐,昼气惰,暮气归。故善用兵者,避其锐气,击其惰归,此治气者也。以治待乱,以静待哗,此治心者也。以近待远,以佚待劳,以饱待饥,此治力者也。无邀正正之旗,勿击堂堂之陈,此治变者也。

故用兵之法,高陵勿向,背丘勿逆,佯北勿从,锐卒勿攻,饵兵勿食,归师勿遏,围师必阙,穷寇勿迫,此用兵之法也。

Manoeuvring

Sun WU

Normally, in war, the general receives his commands from the sovereign. During the process from assembling his troops and mobilising the people to blending the army into a harmonious entity and encamping it, nothing is more difficult than the art of manoeuvering for advantageous positions. What is difficult about it is to make the devious route the most direct route and to turn disadvantage to advantage. Thus, march by an indirect route and divert the enemy by enticing him with a bait. So doing, you may set out after he does and arrive at the battlefield before him. One able to do this shows the knowledge of the artifice of diversion.

Therefore, both advantage and danger are inherent in manoeuvering for an advantageous position. One who sets the entire army in motion with impediments to pursue an advantageous position will not attain it. If he abandons the camp and all the impediments to contend for advantage, the stores will be lost. Thus, if one orders his men to make forced marches without armour, stopping neither day nor night, covering double the usual distance at a stretch, and doing a hundred li to wrest an advantage, it is probable that the commanders will be captured. The stronger men will arrive first and the feeble ones will struggle along behind; so, if this method is used, only one-tenth of the army will reach its destination. In a forced march of fifty li, the commander of the van will probably fall, but half the army will arrive. In a forced march of thirty li, just two-thirds will arrive. It follows that an army which lacks heavy equipment, fodder, food, and stores will be lost.

One who is not acquainted with the designs of his neighbors should not enter into alliances with them. Those who do not know the conditions of mountains and forests, hazardous defiles, marshes and swamps, cannot conduct the march of an army. Those who do not use local guides are unable to obtain the advantages of the ground. Now, war is based on deception. Move when it is advantageous and create changes in the situation by dispersal and concentration of forces. When campaigning, be swift as the wind; in leisurely marching, majestic as the forest; in raiding and plundering, be fierce as fire; in standing, firm as the mountains. When hiding, be as unfathomable as things behind the clouds; when moving, fall like a thunderbolt. When you plunder the countryside, divide your forces. When you conquer territory, defend strategic points. Weigh the situation before you move. He who knows the artifice of diversion will be victorious. Such is the art of manoeuvering.

The Book of Military Administration says: ‘As the voice cannot be heard in battle, drums and gongs are used. As troops cannot see each other clearly in battle, flags and banners are used.’ Now, gongs and drums, banners and flags are used to unify the action of the troops. When the troops can be thus united, the brave cannot advance alone, nor can the cowardly withdraw. This is the art of directing large masses of troops. In night fighting, use many torches and drums, in day fighting, many banners and flags, in order to guide the sight and hearing of the troops.

Now, an army may be robbed of its spirit and its commander deprived of his confidence. At the beginning of a campaign, the spirits of soldiers are keen; after a certain period of time, they flag, and in the later stage thoughts turn towards home. And therefore, those skilled in war avoid the enemy when his spirit is keen and attack him when it is sluggish and his soldiers homesick. This is the control of the moral factor. In good order, they await a disorderly enemy; in serenity, a clamorous one. This is control of the mental factor. Close to the field of battle, they await an enemy coming from afar; at rest, they await an exhausted enemy; with well-fed troops, they await hungry ones. This is control of the physical factor. They do not engage an enemy advancing with well-ordered banners nor one whose formations are in impressive array. This is control of the factor of changing circumstances.

Therefore, the art of employing troops is that when the enemy occupies high ground, do not confront him uphill, and when his back is resting on hills, do not make a frontal attack. When he pretends to flee, do not pursue. Do not attack troops whose spirits are keen. Do not swallow bait. Do not thwart on an enemy who is running homewards.

Leave a way of escape to a surrounded enemy, and do not press a desperate enemy too hard. Such is the art of employing troops.

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