THE ART OF WAR by SUN TZU , the ancient Chinese master of war, plays an important part in Awakening The Beast, second in the Beast book series. There was a recent blog about Sun Tzu. Now you can read excerpts from his book, The Art of War.


All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

If [the enemy] is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he [has] superior strength, evade him.

Pretend to be weak, that [the enemy] may grow arrogant.

If [the enemy] is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.

Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.


Though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.

There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.

Bring war materials with you from home, but forage on the enemy… One cartload of the enemy’s provisions is equivalent to twenty of one’s own.

In chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots have been taken, our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy, and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours. The captured soldiers should be [treated] kindly… This is called, using the conquered foe to augment one’s own strength.


In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to capture an entire army than to destroy it, to capture an entire regiment,  detachment or  company than to destroy them.ATBchinese_battle2

Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

Thus the highest form of generalship is to [block] the enemy’s plans; the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy’s forces; the next [best] is to attack the enemy’s army in the field; and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities.

[If] our forces are ten to the enemy’s one, …surround him; if five to one, …attack him; if twice as numerous,… divide our army into two.

If equally matched, we can offer battle; if slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy; if quite unequal in every way, we can flee from him.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.


Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a superabundance of strength.

A clever fighter wins his battles by making no mistakes.

The skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy.

The consummate leader strictly adheres to method and discipline; thus it is in his power to control success.


The control of a large force is the same principle as the control of a few men: it is merely a question of dividing up their numbers.

In battle, there are [only] two methods of attack–the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers.

Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; [release of the energy is] the releasing of a trigger.

Simulated disorder [requires] perfect discipline, simulated fear [requires] courage; simulated weakness [requires]  strength.


ATBchinese_battle4Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.

Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected.

You can be sure of succeeding if you only attack places which are undefended. You can ensure the safety of your defense only if you hold positions that cannot be attacked.

You may be safe from pursuit if your movements are more rapid than those of the enemy.

By discovering the enemy’s dispositions and remaining invisible…, we can keep our forces concentrated, while the enemy’s must be divided. We are able thus to attack an inferior force with a superior one.

Numerical weakness comes from having to prepare against possible attacks; numerical strength, from compelling our adversary to make these preparations against us.

Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.

So in war, avoid what is strong and… strike at what is weak.


Let your rapidity be that of the wind, your compactness that of the forest.

Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night.

When you move, fall like a thunderbolt.

Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.

Now a soldier’s spirit is keenest in the morning; by noonday it has begun to flag; and in the evening, his mind is bent only on returning to camp. A clever general, therefore, avoids an army when its spirit is keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return.


The rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an [ambush]. Startled beasts indicate that a sudden attack is coming.

When there is dust rising in a high column, it is the sign of chariots advancing; when the dust is low, but spread over a wide area, it [means] the approach of infantry.

[Quiet] words and increased preparations are signs that the enemy is about to advance. When there is much running about and the soldiers fall into rank, it means that the critical moment has come.

If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, …will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be useless.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt.


Rapidity [speed] is the essence of war.

Take advantage of the enemy’s unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots.

Devise unfathomable plans.

Soldiers when in desperate straits lose the sense of fear. If there is no place of refuge, they will stand firm.

Inspire your men with unity of purpose.

By persistently [attacking] the enemy’s flank, we shall succeed in the long run in killing the commander-in-chief.

If the enemy leaves a door open, you must rush in.


Sun Tzu said: There are five ways of attacking with fire.

The first is to burn soldiers in their camp;

the second is to burn stores;

the third is to burn baggage trains;

the fourth is to burn arsenals and magazines;

the fifth is to hurl dropping fire amongst the enemy.

If it is possible to make an assault with fire, do not wait, but deliver your attack at a favorable moment.

Hence those who use fire as an aid to the attack show intelligence.


What enables the wise [and] good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.

Knowledge of the enemy’s dispositions can only be obtained from other men. Hence the use of spies.

 If you have any comments or would like to add something, please post your comments below.ATBchinese_battle6

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