This is coolbert:
Here is where you can download for free
, from the Project Gutenberg, your own copy, again, for free, and to keep, the great work of the Chinese military commentator, Sun Tzu
Well, who has not
heard of Sun Tzu? Wrote his work around 500 B.C.? A man whose writings demonstrate a most profound knowledge of military strategy, tactics, leadership, etc. To have read [not
necessarily understood, but read] Sun is considered obligatory for all senior military officers? Regardless of rank, nation, or branch of service?
This particular translation of Sun was the work of the Englishman, Lionel Giles
. Done in 1910. An earlier translation to English was done in 1905 by a Captain Calthrope, but was considered by Giles to be an inferior, flawed and inaccurate work. Hence the version now made available for free.
A reprint of this translation was commissioned in 1983 by James Clavell
. I have that particular reprint in my own personal library and refer to it from time to time. Clavell states he was particularly intrigued about the last chapter, number 13, the chapter dealing with spies [espionage]. A number of my previous blog entries have dealt with the subject matter of this chapter as well.
The reading of Sun is NOT EASY! OR
easily understood. Try the best you can. And try to find analogs as best you can in modern warfare.
The introduction found in the Project Gutenberg text [by Lionel Giles?] is also very interesting. If it was Giles that was responsible for the [such an introduction is not found in the Clavell commissioned work] introduction, his scholarship is to be admired, even today!
It seems that Sun has had in China for many millennia now a number of commentators and acolytes. His work HAS
been studied and admired by the Chinese as IT IS NOW IN THE WEST
. Those commentators include:
1. TS`AO TS`AO or Ts`ao Kung
. . . [A.D. 155-220] . . . One of the greatest military geniuses
that the world has seen, and Napoleonic in the scale
of his operations, he was especially famed for the marvelous rapidity of his marches, which has found expression in the line 'Talk of Ts`ao Ts`ao, and Ts`ao Ts`ao will appear.'"
2. MENG SHIH
3. LI CH`UAN
of the 8th century was a well-known writer on
4. TU YU
5. TU MU
(803-852) is perhaps the best known as a poet -- a
bright star even in the glorious galaxy of the T`ang period. We
learn from Ch`ao Kung-wu that although he had no
experience of war, he was extremely fond of discussing the
subject, and was moreover well read in the military history of
the CH`UN CH`IU and CHAN KUO eras.
6. CH`EN HAO
appears to have been a contemporary of Tu Mu.
7. CHIA LIN
is known to have lived under the T`ang dynasty.
8. MEI YAO-CH`EN
9. WANG HSI
, also of the Sung dynasty.
10. HO YEN-HSI
of the Sung dynasty.
11. CHANG YU
[it is during the period of Chang Yu that:
"During the early years of the Sung dynasty the Empire enjoyed a long spell of peace
, and men ceased to practice the art of war. But when [Chao] Yuan-hao's rebellion came [1038-42] and the frontier generals were defeated time after time, the Court made strenuous inquiry for men skilled in war,and military topics became the vogue amongst all the high officials."]
Again, from the introduction: [Giles here?]
"Sun Tzu has exercised a potent fascination over the minds
of some of China's greatest men . . . . Sun Tzu's 13 chapters are
not only the staple and base of all military men's training,
but also compel the most careful attention of scholars and men of letters.
His sayings are terse yet elegant, simple yet profound
,perspicuous and eminently practical
. Such works as the LUN
YU, the I CHING and the great Commentary,  as well as the
writings of Mencius, Hsun K`uang and Yang Chu, all fall below
the level of Sun Tzu."
And here, again, from the introduction regarding the perceived relatively [??] pacific [non-warlike] nature of the Chinese nation [this being written in 1910!]:
"Accustomed as we are to think of China as the greatest
peace-loving nation on earth
, we are in some danger of
forgetting that her experience of war in all its phases has also
been such as no modern State can parallel. Her long military annals
stretch back to a point at which they are lost in the mists of
time . . . No less remarkable is the succession of illustrious captains
to whom China can point with pride. As in all countries, thegreatest are fond of emerging at the most fateful crises
history . . . Po Ch`i . . . Ts`ao Ts`ao . . . Li shih-min . . . Li Ching.
None of these generals need fear
comparison with the greatest
names in the military history of Europe."
"In spite of all this, the great body of Chinese sentiment,
from Lao Tzu downwards, and especially as reflected in the
standard literature of Confucianism, has been consistentlypacific and intensely opposed
to militarism in any form."
[the gist is, China does have a basic non-military and pacific nature as part of the culture, BUT DOES ALSO HAVE A VERY LONG AND ILLUSTRIOUS MILITARY HISTORY AS WELL!!
, there is one additional person, A MODERN
, who has obviously studied with intent the work of Sun and taken it to heart. Mao Tse-Tung
. The "Great Helmsman". The Chairman so beloved of 1960 radical types. "The Little Red Book
" of Mao, was THE THING
for aspiring communists on college campuses during that period of the 1960's. Mao does NOT
seem to be the originator of all the various thoughts contained in the Little Red Book that deal with "military science". NOT
as he would have liked you to have thought. Rather, in many cases, was a rehash, sometimes word for word, sometimes in communist doggerel, of Sun. Communist military strategy of the Eighth Route Army
was credited to Mao but actually is the ideas of Sun brought to fruition 2500 years later??!!