Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

This is coolbert: Sun Tzu, "The Art of War". A book believed to be written in China around 2500 years ago. A guide to warfare from the Chinese perspective [but not entirely from the Chinese perspective]. Not much is known about the author. Has been quoted from by numerous persons, including Mao, who incorporated certain passages as if they were his own. It would be possible to infer that from the precepts of this book being so well understood 2500 years ago, that these fundamental principles had been appreciated, understood, and practiced for a period long before that. War is something that is common to the world-wide human condition! The two famous quotations from "The Art" are::

"All war is based upon deception".


"Know the enemy and yourself, and you will win all your battles. Know yourself but not the enemy, and you will win as many battles as you lose. Know neither yourself or the enemy, and you will lose all the battles you fight."

The copy of "The Art" that I have is a translation done in 1910, edited and annotated by James Clavell. The British writer [King Rat, Tai-Pan, Noble House, Shogun] who lived for a long time in the Far East, most of the time in Hong Kong. Clavell is adamant that this book should be required reading for all serving military officers. And further that all officers of general rank should be given yearly an oral exam based upon the content of the book. Failure to pass the oral exam would mean instant dismissal.



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