Calthrop 料敵第二篇 료적편

THE BOOK OF WAR
THE MILITARY CLASSIC OF THE FAR EAST

TRANSLATED FROM THE CHINESE BY CAPTAIN E. F. CALTHROP, R.F.A. (1908)


II
ESTIMATION OF THE ENEMY

And Lord Wen said to Wu:—

“Chin threatens us on the west; Chu surrounds us on the south; Chao presses us in the north; Chi watches us in the east; Yen stops our rear, and Han is posted in our front. Thus, the armies of six nations encompass us on every side, and our condition is very unpropitious. Canst thou relieve my anxiety?”

Wu answered and said:—

“The path of safety of a state lies first of all in vigilance. Now my Lord has already taken warning, wherefore misfortunes are yet distant.

“Let me state the habits of these six countries. The forces of Chi are weighty but without solidity; the soldiers of Chin are scattered, and fight each of his own accord: the army of Chu is well ordered, but cannot endure: the soldiers of Yen[Pg 86]defend well, but are without dash: the armies of the three Chins are well governed, but cannot be used.

“The nature of Chi is stubborn and the country rich, but prince and officials are proud and luxurious, and neglectful of the common people; government is loose and rewards not impartial; in one camp there are two minds; the front is heavy, but the rear is light. Therefore it is ponderous without stability. To attack it, the force must be divided into three parts, and, by threatening it on three sides, its front can be broken.

“The nature of Chin is strong, the country rugged, and the government firm; rewards and punishments just, the people indomitable, and all have the fighting spirit; wherefore, when separated, each fights of his own accord.

“To defeat this people, they must first be tempted by gain to leave their cause, so that the soldiers, greedy of profit, desert their general: then, taking advantage of their disobedience, their scattered forces[Pg 87] can be chased, ambushes laid, favourable opportunities taken, and their general captured.

“The nature of Chu is weak, its territory wide, the government weak, and the people exhausted; the troops are well ordered but of short endurance.

“The way to defeat them is to assault their camp, throw it into confusion and crush their spirit, advance softly, and retire quickly; tire them out, avoid a serious encounter, and they may be defeated.

“The nature of Yen is straightforward; its people are cautious, loving courage and righteousness, and without guile; wherefore they defend but are not daring.

“The way to defeat them is to draw close and press them; tease them and pass to a distance; move quickly, and appear in the rear, thus causing bewilderment to their officers and fear in their ranks. Our chariots and horsemen will act with circumspection and avoid encounter. Thus their general can be captured.

“The three Chins are the middle king[Pg 88]dom: their nature is peaceful and their rule just. Their people are tired of war; their troops are trained, but their leaders are despised; pay is small, and the soldiers lack the spirit of sacrifice, thus they are well governed but cannot be used.

“The way to defeat them is to threaten them from afar. If a multitude attack—defend; if they retreat—pursue, and tire them out.

“In every army there are mighty warriors with strength to lift the Censer, swifter of foot than the war horse; who can take the enemy’s standard, or slay his general. If such men be selected, and set apart, cared for and honoured, they are the life of the army.

“Those who use the five arms[20]with skill, who are clever, strong and quick, and careless of the enemy, should be given rank and decoration, and used to decide the victory. Their parents and families should be cared for, encouraged by rewards, and kept in fear of punishment. These men[Pg 89]consolidate the battle array; their presence causes endurance.

“If these men be well selected, double their number can be defeated.”

And Lord Wen said:—

“It is good!”

Wu the Master said:—

“In the estimation of the enemy there are eight cases when, without consulting the oracles, he may be attacked.

“First, an enemy who, in great wind and cold, has risen early, started forth across ice and rivers, and braved stress and hardships.

“Second, an enemy who, in the height of summer, and in great heat, has risen early, has travelled incessantly, is hungry and without water, and is striving to reach a distance.

“Third, an enemy who has been encamped long in one place, who is without provisions, when the farmers are vexed and indignant, who has suffered frequent calamities, and whose officers are unable to establish confidence.

“Fourth, when the enemy’s funds are exhausted, fuel and fodder scarce; when[Pg 90] the heavens have been overcast by long continued rain; when there is the desire to loot, but no place to loot withal.

“Fifth, when their numbers are few; when water is scarce; when men and horses are scourged by pestilence, and from no quarter is succour at hand.

“Sixth, when night falls, and the way is yet far; when officers and men are worn out and fearful, weary and without food, and have laid aside their armour and are resting.

“Seventh, when the general’s authority is weak, the officials false, and the soldiers unsettled; when their army has been alarmed, and no help is forthcoming.

“Eighth, when the battle formation is not yet fixed, or camp pitched; when climbing a hill, or passing through a difficult place; when half is hidden and half exposed.

“An enemy in these situations may be smitten without hesitation.

“There are six enemies, that, without consulting oracles, should be avoided.

“First, wide and vast territories, and a large and rich population.

[Pg 91]

“Second, where the officials care for the people, and bestow bountiful favours and rewards.

“Third, where rewards are well deserved, punishment accurately apportioned, and operations undertaken only when the time is fitting.

“Fourth, where merit is recognised and given rank, wise men appointed, and ability employed.

“Fifth, where the troops are many and their weapons excellent.

“Sixth, when help is at hand on every side, or from a powerful ally.

“For, if the enemy excel in the foregoing, he must be avoided without hesitation. As it is written, if it be judged good, advance; if it be known to be difficult, retreat.”

And Lord Wen asked and said:—

“I desire to know how the interior of the enemy can be known from his outer appearance; the form of his camp by observing his advance, and how victory may be determined?”

And Wu answered and said:—

[Pg 92]

“If the coming of the enemy be reckless like roaring waters, his banners and pennons disordered, and horses and men frequently looking behind, then ten can be struck with one. Panic will certainly seize them.

“Before the various princes have assembled, before harmony has been established between lord and lieges, before ditches have been dug, or regulations established, and the army is alarmed; wishing to advance, but unable; wishing to retreat, but unable: then the force can strike twice their numbers, and in a hundred fights there is no fear of retreat.”

Lord Wen asked:—

“How can the enemy be certainly defeated?”

Wu answered and said:—

“Make certain of the enemy’s real condition and quickly strike his weak point; strike an enemy who has just arrived from afar, before his ranks are arranged; or one who has eaten and has not completed his dispositions; or an enemy who is hurrying about, or is busily occupied; or has not[Pg 93] made favourable use of the ground, or has let pass the opportunity; or one who has come a long distance, and those in rear are late and have not rested.

“Strike an enemy who is half across waters; or who is on a difficult or narrow road; or whose flags and banners are in confusion; or who is frequently changing position; or whose general is not in accord with the soldiers; or who is fearful.

“All such should be assaulted by the picked men; and the remainder of the army should be divided, and follow after them. They may be attacked at once without hesitation.”

吳子兵法-chn-eng 吳起





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