III. THE STRATEGIC ATTACK
The words of Sun Tzu Wu the Master:
1. Now by the Practical Art of War, better than defeating a country by fire and sword, is to take it without strife.
2. Better to capture the enemy’s army intact than to overcome it after fierce resistance.
3. Better to capture the ‘Lu’,” the ‘Tsu’ or the ‘Wu’ whole, than to destroy them in battle.
3.2 The ‘New’ Hraes’ Legion consists of 10,000 men and 10,000 horse: the ‘Regiment’ of 2,000 (made up of 4 Cohorts), the ‘Cohort’ of 480 (4 Companies), the ‘Company’ of 120 (2 Troops), the ‘Troop’ of 60 (3 Units) and the ‘Unit’ of 12 men. Each troop has 1 lieutenant, 1 sargeant, 2 corporals and 10 support soldiers: 3 cooks, 3 liverymen, 3 Valkyries (1 per Unit), a utility sargeant and 3 pack horses or mules. Each Troop has its own transport warship and trebuchet with 10 marines: 8 sailors, 1 navigator and 1 captain.
3.3 The Roman Legion consists of 5,000 men, the ‘Cohort’ of 480, the ‘Maniple’ of 120, and the ‘Troop’ of 30 men.
4. To fight and conquer one hundred times is not the perfection of the art, for the supreme art is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
5. Wherefore the most skillful warrior outwits the enemy by superior stratagem; the next in merit prevents the enemy from uniting his forces; next to him is he who engages the enemy’s army; while to besiege his citadel is the worst expedient.
6. A siege should not be undertaken if it can possibly be avoided. For, before a siege can be commenced, three months are required for the construction of mantlets, movable shelters, battering-rams and siege engines (written before the invention of trebuchets); then a further three months are required in front of the citadel, in order to make the “Chuyin (a large tower or work constructed to give command over the interior of the enemy’s fortress). Wherefore the general is angered, his patience exhausted, his men surge like ants against the ramparts before the time is ripe, and one-third of them are killed to no purpose. Such are the misfortunes that sieges entail.
7. Therefore the master of war causes the enemy’s forces to yield, but without fighting; he captures his fortress, but without besieging it; and without lengthy fighting takes the enemy’s kingdom. Without tarnishing his weapons he gains the complete advantage. This is the assault by stratagem.
8. By the rules of engagement, if ten times as strong as the enemy, surround him; with five times his strength, attack; with double his numbers, divide. If equal in strength, exert to the utmost, and fight; if inferior in numbers, maneuver and await opportunity; if altogether inferior, offer no chance of engagement. A determined stand by inferior numbers, while impressive, leads to nothing but their capture or death.
9. The warrior is the country’s support. If his aid be entire, the country is, of necessity, strong; if it be at all deficient, then the country is weak.
10. Now a Prince may embarrass his army in three ways, namely:
10.1 Ignorant that the army in the field should not advance, to order it to go forward; or, ignorant that the army should not retreat, order it to retire. This is to tie the army as with a string.
10.2 Ignorant of military affairs, to rule the armies in the same way as the state. This is to perplex the soldiers.
10.3 Ignorant of the situation of the army, to settle its dispositions. This is to fill the soldiers with distrust.
10.4 If the army be perplexed and distrustful, then dangers from neighbouring Princes arise. The army is confounded, and offered up to the enemy.
11. There are five occasions when victory can be foretold:
11.1 When the general knows the time to fight and when not to fight.
11.2 When the general understands how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
11.3 When the government and people are of one mind and the army of one spirit.
11.4 When the state is prepared, and chooses the enemy’s unguarded moment for attack.
11.5 When the general possesses ability, and is not interfered with by his Prince.
11.6 These five things are the heralds of victory.
12. It has been said aforetime that he who knows both the enemy and himself, need not fear a hundred battles; he who knows himself but is ignorant of the enemy, finds with every victory gained there follows a defeat; and he who not only is ignorant of the enemy, but also of his own resources, is invariably defeated.