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Pat Vinciolo

The Art of War (Sun Tzu)

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I will make course in discourses :smile:

Read and to look at this film.

Even if this book were written there has long time, its doctrines still current in all are armed with the world. It is the base even of our modern armies

Inspire by this there :wink:


/>http://suntzusaid.com/


/>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p--LYyhj1tU

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This is probably the best part of the whole book...

King of Wu. Ho Lu said to him: "I have carefully perused your 13 chapters. May I submit your theory of managing soldiers to a slight test?"

Sun Tzu replied: "You may."

Ho Lu asked: "May the test be applied to women?"

The answer was again in the affirmative, so arrangements were made to bring 180 ladies out of the Palace. Sun Tzu divided them into two companies, and placed one of the King's favorite concubines at the head of each. He then bade them all take spears in their hands, and addressed them thus: "I presume you know the difference between front and back, right hand and left hand?"

The girls replied: Yes.

Sun Tzu went on: "When I say "Eyes front," you must look straight ahead. When I say "Left turn," you must face towards your left hand. When I say "Right turn," you must face towards your right hand. When I say "About turn," you must face right round towards your back."

Again the girls assented. The words of command having been thus explained, he set up the halberds and battle-axes in order to begin the drill. Then, to the sound of drums, he gave the order "Right turn." But the girls only burst out laughing. Sun Tzu said: "If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame."

So he started drilling them again, and this time gave the order "Left turn," whereupon the girls once more burst into fits of laughter. Sun Tzu: "If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders ARE clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers."

So saying, he ordered the leaders of the two companies to be beheaded. Now the king of Wu was watching the scene from the top of a raised pavilion; and when he saw that his favorite concubines were about to be executed, he was greatly alarmed and hurriedly sent down the following message: "We are now quite satisfied as to our general's ability to handle troops. If We are bereft of these two concubines, our meat and drink will lose their savor. It is our wish that they shall not be beheaded."

Sun Tzu replied: "Having once received His Majesty's commission to be the general of his forces, there are certain commands of His Majesty which, acting in that capacity, I am unable to accept."

Accordingly, he had the two leaders beheaded, and straightway installed the pair next in order as leaders in their place. When this had been done, the drum was sounded for the drill once more; and the girls went through all the evolutions, turning to the right or to the left, marching ahead or wheeling back, kneeling or standing, with perfect accuracy and precision, not venturing to utter a sound. Then Sun Tzu sent a messenger to the King saying: "Your soldiers, Sire, are now properly drilled and disciplined, and ready for your majesty's inspection. They can be put to any use that their sovereign may desire; bid them go through fire and water, and they will not disobey."

But the King replied: "Let our general cease drilling and return to camp. As for us, We have no wish to come down and inspect the troops."

Thereupon Sun Tzu said: "The King is only fond of words, and cannot translate them into deeds." After that, Ho Lu saw that Sun Tzu was one who knew how to handle an army, and finally appointed him general. In the west, he defeated the Ch`u State and forced his way into Ying, the capital; to the north he put fear into the States of Ch`i and Chin, and spread his fame abroad amongst the feudal princes. And Sun Tzu shared in the might of the King.

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This is probably the best part of the whole book...

My confusion with Sun Tzu is that he was master of speaking in principle which often makes those teachings mysterious and obscure. Because we do not always understand the context that the principles were applied in, it is difficult to see how we should apply them. That being said. The story of his training of the Kings' concubines is very insightful. Perhaps an occasional beheading would suffice to ensure discipline. lol.

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Its not the beheading that really got their attention per say... The context in this case, is the fact that these women lived a pretty good life and were usually protected from anything by the Emperor. They could do, pretty much, anything they wanted to as long as it didnt affect the Emperor directly or earn his ire. So when Sun Tzu comes along, at the request of the Emperor, the rules changed a bit. General Tzu had the Emperor's word that they were his to do with as he needed to do and not to interfere. That is why the beheadings worked so well... the girls realized that they were no longer safe, and if they wanted to live, they had better do what they were told. You can extrapolate that lesson into just about any context today as well.. know and understand how things work, and find a way to impact those you are in charge of to obtain the required results. The unfortunate part is that many ppl walk away with the sentimentality of "THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES!!" Which actually does the exact opposite.

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I like the part where Sun Tzu isn't considered historically accurate at all, and the Art of War is basically a narrative of common sense that was built upon by commanders of dynast forces in China over the ages. The story of the concubines was completely fabricated, and it even has very limited real world application in any way. Punishment isn't the best form of control not by a long shot, you always need the threat of punishment and once the threat is gone (IE the General is taken away due to political needs) discorse and disorder ensue. Anyone who takes The Art of War as a completely accurate, to live by bible is a complete rube and moron, offense to anyone who does actually do this is meant.

The thing is, just that, to treat it like the bible. There is some things you can take from The Art of War, and there are some general idea's that do indeed work. But to take this as a literal document is ridiculous, to assume that Sun Tzu wrote it all himself is completely hilarious, as the timeline doesn't match what-so-ever. In fact the book has had many revisions and re-writes!

But for those are bible hump The Art of War, don't depair. Some historians actually theorize that Sun Tzu "... [M]ay have been an actual General... [P]ossibly wrote the core of (The Arth of War) where his ancestors and descendants added to it over the years" (Ralph D. Sawyer, 2002). And for those whom suffered through the book and managed to take little good from this book filled with some of the worst qualities of humanity, good for you!

Suggested replacements for reading, more a long the lines of what it takes to be a soldier, or leader, and the gravity of said position would be, It Doesn't Take a Hero, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf; They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children, General Romeo Dallaire; Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, General Romeo Dallaire; Valiant Young Men, Bryce D. Gibby. There are many other, but I prefer to see the humanity side of conflict, because its the one you will have to deal with most as an infantryman, an officer, and even a general.

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Whilst I may disagree with Valaska's academic assessment, which albeit has some valid points. Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda by General Romeo Dallaire and It Doesn't Take a Hero by General Schwarzkopf are brilliant and almost essential reads for anyone who has an interest in military strategy, leadership and the relationship strategy and politics share.

These are two of my favorite books, I highly recommend them.

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Guest Ruin Nefarious

Considering a deal of the Art of War discusses the use of chariots in combat, I would consider it fairly axiomatic that it isn't sound to follow it as a abide-all document for combat. :rolleyes:

A few from my reading list . .

Attacks by Erwin Rommel.

Panzer Leader by Heinz Guderian.

On War by Carl von Clausewitz.

Principles of War by Carl von Clausewitz.

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I agree, but that doesnt mean that it doesnt have its points to make.. the biggest, is that commanders have to think outside the box and apply common sense as well as use their observational skills -not- just rely on dogmatic doctrine, as was the case for centuries. it doesnt matter if the book itself is 'historically accurate' as long as the information within is understood and applied. Going back to the case of it being biblical... yes, the same ideology applies there. If you take the bible at face value then the universe is only like 10 thousand years old, which we know isnt the case... but what can be learned from the context within the rest of the book applies to life, as does the Torah, the Quran, and just about every other religious text thats existed.. -Most- of them teach that we should treat one another decently and show compassion.. are they all 100% historically accurate.. no, but what they have to offer still stands. The same can be said for the Art of War. The REASON its stood the test of time is merely because of the fact that anecdotes and lesson IN the book are the basis for and the observations for combat over the last how ever many hundreds of years and MOST of it still applies today.. -including- the chariot scenario. If you take the chariots themselves out of the equation, you can still estimate the size of a force (small, medium, large) by the disturbance it creates as it moves.. in the case of the art of war, it was the dust raised by the chariots and the foot soldiers. Its pointed out that you can see the basic layout of where which troops are and can send your scouts out to get an accurate count of what your facing. That is the lesson to be learned there. We take it for granted and as common sense these days, but it wouldnt occur the every day guy to think of that. This is why the book is provided to commanders in training, to help them start to realize that they have more tools than JUST their AWACS and all the fancy electronic gear and toys and doodads that are available these days. It's not always going to work, and you're gonna have to rely on old school training.. this is why map and compass training still takes place.. why soliders and Marines are taught how to read the layout of the land so that they can find their way around using nothing but a paper map, a compass and a red light. In short.. just because it's old and outdated, doesnt mean there's nothing to learn from it.. historically accurate or not.

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Guest Ruin Nefarious

I am pretty sure most of us didn't think that, but okay. :content:

Edited by Ruin Nefarious

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Considering a deal of the Art of War discusses the use of chariots in combat, I would consider it fairly axiomatic that it isn't sound to follow it as a abide-all document for combat. :rolleyes:

A few from my reading list . .

Attacks by Erwin Rommel.

Panzer Leader by Heinz Guderian.

On War by Carl von Clausewitz.

Principles of War by Carl von Clausewitz.

Attacks? Is this only Infantrie Greift An or does it also include the unfinished Panzer Greift an?

On the subject of Heinz Guderian, Read Achtung - Panzer!. That book shaped the WW2 German Panzer doctrine.

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Considering a deal of the Art of War discusses the use of chariots in combat, I would consider it fairly axiomatic that it isn't sound to follow it as a abide-all document for combat. :rolleyes:

A few from my reading list . .

Attacks by Erwin Rommel.

Panzer Leader by Heinz Guderian.

On War by Carl von Clausewitz.

Principles of War by Carl von Clausewitz.

On War. <33 I might read that again now that I just finished Descent of Angels.

Edited by Johann Wilberg

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Regardless of authorship, Sun Tzu's writings were considered the authority of chinese tactics for a great deal longer than most nations have been around.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_War

For me it's difficult to discount the relevance of Sun Tzu's tactics simply on a fringe historical critique. Many of the great military leaders consult various ancient histories and battle formations to gain insight into their present situation. The greatest of these relatively modern leaders De Saxe, Napolean, Patton, and those already mentioned have often concluded that the ancients had a much clearer understanding of those tactics than they themselves did. For those of us that have never truly been in that position of command or pinnacle of excellence it's difficult to conclude other criticisms of the ancients is overly relevant. All i can say is master the principle or demonstrate a superior one before determining the entire thing is hogwash.

Edited by Phares Sarjeant

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At best, it is a glance over his idea's on logistics and what not, which have changed greatly. Broad scopes such as "Know your Enemy" have carried over but those were old addages. The principles are there for everyone, and many are just common sense, or logit. Artillery works best on a hill, Artillery demorailizes and is extremely important, keep your people fed, motivated etc.

At it is, the Art of War is dated, and it has a lot of excess text thats not needed for the simplicity you can achieve by reading clip notes without the annotations. From what I recall, Patton basically took in things such as capturing and using enemy supplies, no brainer, leaving enemies a venue of escape, and changing tactics if you've failed the first time around. He was a smart guy, he took in the broad strokes and threw out the literal pages of filler.

Actual modernized texts are more than needed, and being issued as standard learning material of today. Why? Because unlike Fallout, war has changed, a lot. Its good to know the fundamentals and the basics from whence we came, but lingering in the past like that, the future is bound to come sweeping up and by the time you turn to face it your nose is broke!

Another compendum written, and more recent (includes the advent of gun use) is; General Carl von Clausewitz, On War. Quite a simple little text. but it delves into political means and morality, things that The Art of War won't teach you too terribly much in, especially in an enlightened age where we've drawn the distinction of fear to respect drawn from the actions of discpiline exhibited in The Art of War. Our keen modern minds can distinct the advantages of tying a soldier up to the back of a tank and dragging him for fourt kilometers does not raise, improve, or sustain troop morale, but actually increases the chances of friendly fire (Ergo Vietnam).

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Agares I have to say you have contributed some spectacularly angry posts in this, and have contributed greatly to any discussion and/or debate. You are truly a boon to the maturity and image of the Ordo

Sorry mate but I am not going to devolve a decent back and forth, with good points and good counter points to personal insults and mud slinging, I'm above that. If you wish to do that, send me an IM in world so can summarily ignore it. Let it be known, In no way am I insulting anyone here, their opinion or beliefe, I am expressing my own and I hardly feel there was a "rambling" or ranting.

If you would like me to become more poignant, and cite sources and such again, I can do so if you wish but just ask nicely as I do research constantly and have personal experience through the RCMC in this field. But I would politely ask you try not to devolve and derail this.

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I didn't read anything in this thread at all, because I don't care, however;

[...] You are truly a boon to the maturity and image of the Ordo [...]

[...]

Sorry mate but I am not going to devolve a decent back and forth [...] I'm above that. [...] Let it be known, In no way am I insulting anyone here [...]

Are you seriously incapable of forming coherent arguments, or are you just really that incompetent?

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Guest Ruin Nefarious

Marquess of Queensberry rules, gentlemen. Above the belt or stay out of the ring!

post-480-0-68605700-1350325416_thumb.jpg

Edited by Ruin Nefarious

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I didn't realize complementing someone to being an upstart image for an organization was an insult! Don't worry I'm not going to go that route.

By insulting anyone, I meant before Agares decided to innitiate an ad hominom attack on me, as in discussing The Art of War, I hadn't attacked any one in particular or even vehemetly disagreed with anyone. I'm not going to resort outright arguing and insults like Agares is trying to bait me into.

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