Sun Tzu, The Art Of War Quotes
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Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy
If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.
If those who are sent to draw water begin by drinking themselves, the army is suffering from thirst. [One may know the condition of a whole army from the behavior of a single man.]
When your army has crossed the border, you should burn your boats and bridges, in order to make it clear to everybody that you have no hankering after home.
If there is disturbance in the camp, the general's authority is weak.
the worst calamities that befall an army arise from hesitation
You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended.
Success in warfare is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to the enemy's purpose.
You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.
We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors.
Whether in an advantageous position or a disadvantageous one, the opposite state should be always present to your mind.
There are not more than five primary colors (blue, yellow, red, white, and black), yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen.
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.
There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.
The principle on which to manage an army is to set up one standard of courage which all must reach.
We are not fit to lead an army on the march unless we are familiar with the face of the country -- its mountains and forests, its pitfalls and precipices, its marshes and swamps.
Danger has a bracing effect.
To begin by bluster, but afterwards to take fright at the enemy's numbers, shows a supreme lack of intelligence.
Be stern in the council-chamber, [Show no weakness, and insist on your plans being ratified by the sovereign.] so that you may control the situation.
Ground on which we can only be saved from destruction by fighting without delay, is desperate ground.
Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.
When an invading force crosses a river in its onward march, do not advance to meet it in mid-stream. It will be best to let half the army get across, and then deliver your attack.
The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.
Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
Knowing the enemy enables you to take the offensive, knowing yourself enables you to stand on the defensive.
If his forces are united, separate them.
who does not know the evils of war cannot appreciate its benefits
do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat
A clever general, therefore, avoids an army when its spirit is keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return.
The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.
These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand.
When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.
So long as victory can be attained, stupid haste is preferable to clever dilatoriness.
Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions.
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.
who wishes to fight must first count the cost
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.
Rouse him, and learn the principle of his activity or inactivity. Force him to reveal himself, so as to find out his vulnerable spots.
O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible, and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands.
War is like a fire - if you do not put it out, it will burn itself out.
Great results, can be achieved with small forces.
Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory is won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.
The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent.
If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.
He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win
Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.
Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.