You gotta love the opening of this documentary as Sun Tzu kills two of a group of women who refused to follow orders. Talk about instilling discipline.
This documentary, produced by The History Channel, chronicles the historic military manuscript: The Art of War, written by Sun Tzu in 500 B.C. as a set of principles to be used by the people of Wu to defend it self from the powerful state of Chu.
Sun Tzu: The Art of War
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Tzu’s army only numbered about 30,000 while the Chu could assemble armies of over 300,000. Sun Tzu’s key to victory was simple well thought strategy guided by the following principles…
Key Principles of Sun Tzu Outlined in The Art of War
- Know yourself, and your enemy, and in 100 battles you will never be in peril.
- To win 100 battles is not the height of skill, but to subdue the enemy without fighting, is.
- Avoid what is strong, attack what is weak.
- In war, numbers alone doesn’t translate to an advantage, do not advance relying on sheer military power.
- Let your plans be as dark as night, then strike like a thunder bolt.
- It is more important to out-think your enemy than to outfight him.
- In Battle, Use a direct attack to engage, and an indirect attack to win.
- If the orders are unclear, and the soldiers do not obey, it is the fault of the general. If the orders are clear, and the soldiers do not obey, it is the fault of the subordinate officers.
- To move your enemy, entice him with something he is likely to take.
- If you put your army in the face of certain death where there is no escape, they will not flee or be afraid, in this “do or die” mental state there is nothing they can’t achieve.
- All warfare is deception.
- It is essential to seek out enemy spies and recruit them.
- The way a wise general can achieve greatness beyond ordinary men is through foreknowledge.
- When a falcons strike breaks the body of its prey it is because of timing, when torrential waters toss boulders, its because of momentum.
- It is essential for victory that generals are unconstrained by their leaders.
- Make your enemy prepare on his left, and he will be weak on his right.
- The winning army realizes the conditions for victory first, then fights.
- The losing army fights first, then seeks victory.
- Those skilled in war bring the enemy to the battlefield of their choosing, they do not let the enemy choose the battle theater.
- Only fight if a position is critical.
- There are some armies that should not be fought and some territories that should not be challenged.
- When troops flee, or are insubordinate, collapse or are routed in battle, it is the generals fault.
- War is a matter of vital importance to the state. It is a matter of life and death, survival, or ruin.
5 fundamental Fundamental factors for success in war…
- Moral Authority (will of the people)
- Military doctrine (Strategy)
This documentary also features commentary, based on the concepts taught in the Art of War and in its context, for the following wars…
World War II
The American Civil War
Written By VizFact