THE ART OF WAR by Sun Tzu Wu
THE OLDEST MILITARY TREATISE IN THE WORLD
Translated from the Chinese into the Anglish Norse of Alcuin
By General Sun Wu of Tmutorokan
And Prince Hraerik ‘Bragi’ Hraegunarson of Gardariki
Hand Scripted in the Trebuchet Font
In Honour of the Chinese Invention of the Trebuchet
By LIONEL GILES, M.A. (1910)]
And CAPTAIN E. F. CALTHROP, R.F.A. (1908)]
It is now generally accepted that ‘The Art of War’ was written by Sun Tzu Wu sometime between 500 and 430 BC.
The oldest sources state that Sun Tzu was born in Qi and that he was active as a general and strategist, serving King Helu of Wu in the late sixth century BC, beginning around 512 BC. Sun Tzu’s victories then inspired him to write ‘The Art of War’, one of the most widely read military treatises in the subsequent ‘Warring States’ period, a time of constant war among seven ancient Chinese states –Zhao, Qi, Qin, Chu, Han, Wei and Yan – who fought to control the vast expanse of fertile territory in Eastern China.
One of the famed stories about Sun Tzu, illustrates Sun Tzu’s temperament as follows: Before hiring Sun Tzu, the King of Wu tested Sun Tzu’s skills by commanding him to train a harem of three hundred and sixty of his concubines into soldiers. Sun Tzu divided them into two companies, appointing the two concubines most favoured by the king as the company commanders. When Sun Tzu first ordered the concubines to face right, they giggled. In response, Sun Tzu said that a general was responsible for ensuring that soldiers understood the commands given to them. The general asked the ladies if they knew their lefts and rights and they affirmed this. He then repeated the command and, again, the concubines giggled. Sun Tzu then ordered the execution of the king’s two favourite concubines, against the protests of the king, but Sun Tzu explained that if the general’s soldiers understood their commands but did not obey, it was the fault of their commanders. Sun Tzu also said that, once a general was appointed, it was his duty to carry out his mission, even if the king protested. After both concubines were beheaded, new commanders were put in charge and both companies, now well aware of the costs of further frivolity, performed their maneuvers flawlessly.
I. PRELIMINARY PLANNING
II. OPERATIONS OF WAR
III. THE ATTACK BY STRATAGEM
IV. THE ORDER OF BATTLE
V. THE ESPRIT OF THE TROOPS
VI. STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
VII. TACTICAL OPERATIONS
VIII. THE NINE TACTICAL VARIATIONS
IX. MOVEMENT OF TROOPS
X. THE BATTLE GROUND
XI. NINE VARIETIES OF GROUND
XII. ASSAULT BY FIRE
XII. THE EMPLOYMENT OF SPIES
Note: A Viking or Varangian Manual of War (or translation) can never have thirteen chapters, any more than a troop unit could have a thirteenth man. Assault by Fire is covered under our Norse translation of the Roman Manual of War which also includes the inhumane use of Greek Fire.