Calthrop 治兵第三篇 치병편

THE BOOK OF WAR
THE MILITARY CLASSIC OF THE FAR EAST

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


III
CONTROL OF THE ARMY

Lord Wen said:—

“What is of first importance in operations of war?”

Wu answered and said:—

“Lightness, of which there are four[Pg 94]natures, Weight, of which there are two natures, and Confidence must be clearly comprehended.”

And Wen said:—

“What are these?”

And Wu answered:—

“If the way be easy, the horses are light of foot; if the horses be light of foot, the chariots travel freely; if the chariots travel easily, men can ride in them without difficulty; if the men be free to move, the fight prospers. If the difficult and easy ways be known, the horses are lightened; if the horses be fed at proper intervals, the chariots are swift; if there be plenty of oil on the axles of the chariots, the riders are quickly conveyed; if the spears be sharp and the armour strong, the men make the fight easy.

“Large rewards in advance, heavy punishment in retreat, and impartiality in their bestowal are required.

“He who well understands these things is the master of victory.”

And Lord Wen asked and said:—

[Pg 95]

“By what means can the army gain the victory?”

And Wu answered:—

“The foundation of victory is good government.”

Again, Wen asked and said:—

“Is it not determined by numbers?”

And Wu replied:—

“If laws and orders be not clear; if rewards and punishments be not just; if the bell be sounded and they halt not, or drum be beaten and men do not advance; even if there be a hundred thousand men at arms, they are of no avail.

“Where there is order, then there is propriety at rest, and dignity in motion; none can withstand the attack, and retreat forbids pursuit; motion is regulated, and movements to right and left are made in answer to the signal; if the ranks be cut asunder, formation is preserved; if scattered, they are maintained; in fortune or in danger, there is unity; if a number be collected, they cannot be separated; they may be used but not wearied; in[Pg 96] whatever situation they are placed, nothing under heaven can withstand them. The army may be called a father and his children.”

And Wu said:—

“In marching, movements and halts must be properly adjusted, suitable occasions for rationing not missed; the strength of men and horses not exhausted. If these three things be observed, the commands of the superior can be carried out; if the commands of the superior be carried out, order is maintained. If advances and halts be without method, victualling unsuitable, horses and men tired and weary—neither unsaddled or housed—it is because the orders cannot be obeyed; if the orders be set aside, there is disorder in the camp, and in battle—defeat.”

Wu the Master said:—

“On that depository of corpses, the battlefield, if there be certain expectation of death, there is life; if there be happy expectation of life, there is death. The good general is like unto one sitting in[Pg 97] a leaking ship, or lying under a burning roof; the wisest man cannot contrive against him; the strongest man cannot destroy his composure; and the enemy’s onslaught can be withstood. For procrastination is the greatest enemy of the general; disasters to the army are born of indecision.”

Wu the Master said:—

“Men meet their death from lack of ability or unskilfulness. Wherefore training is the first requirement of war. One man with a knowledge of war can teach ten; ten men skilled in war can teach one hundred; one hundred can teach one thousand; one thousand can teach ten thousand; and ten thousand men can train an army.

“An enemy from a distance should be awaited, and struck at short range; an enemy that is tired should be met in good order; hunger should be opposed by full bellies; the battle formation should be round or square, the men should kneel or stand; go or remain; move to the right or left; advance or retire; concentrate or[Pg 98]disperse; close or extend when the signal is given.

“All these changes must be learnt, and the weapons distributed. This is the business of the general.”

Wu the Master said:—

“In the teaching of war, spears are given to the short; bows and catapults to the tall; banners and standards to the strong; the bell and drum to the bold; fodder and provisions to the feeble; the arrangement of the plan to the wise. Men of the same district should be united; and groups and squads should help each other. At one beat of the drum the ranks are put in order; at two beats of the drum, formation will be made; at three beats of the drum, food will be issued; at four beats of the drum, the men will prepare to march; at five beats of the drum, ranks will be formed; when the drums beat together, then the standards will be raised.”

And Lord Wen asked and said:—

“What is the way of marching and halting an army?”

[Pg 99]

And Wu answered:—

“Natural ovens and dragons’ heads should be avoided. Natural ovens are the mouths of large valleys. Dragons’ heads are the extremities of large mountains. The green dragons (banners) should be placed on the left, and the white tigers on the right; the red sparrows in front; the snakes and tortoises behind; the pole star (standard) above; and the soldiers will look to the standard.

“When going forth to battle, the direction of the wind must be studied; if blowing in the direction of the enemy, the soldiers will be assembled and follow the wind; if a head wind, the position will be strengthened, and a wait made for the wind to change.”

And Lord Wen asked and said:—

“In what way should horses be treated?”

And Wu answered and said:—

“The places where they are kept should be made comfortable; fodder should be suitable and timely. In winter their stables should be warmed, and in summer sheltered from the heat; their coats clipped, their[Pg 100] feet carefully pared, their attention directed so that they be not alarmed, their paces regulated, and their going and halting trained; horses and men should be in accord, and then the horses can be used. The harness, the saddle, bit, bridle, and reins must be strong; if the horse be without vice at the beginning, he can be used to the end; if the horse be hungry it is good; if his belly be full, his value decreases; if the sun be falling and the way still long, dismount frequently. For it is proper that the men be worked, but the horses must be used with discretion, so that they may be prepared should the enemy suddenly attack us.

“If these things be well known, then there is free passage under heaven.”

吳子兵法-chn-eng 吳起





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