27) Thus, those skilled at making the enemy move
do so by creating situations to which he must
conform; they entice him with something he is
certain to take and with such lures they await
him in strength.
28) Experts in war depend especially on opportunity
and expediency. They do not place the burden of
accomplishment on their men alone.
29) Now, the valiant can fight, the cautious defend,
and the wise counsel. Thus, there is none whose
talent is wasted. Do not demand accomplishment
of those who have no talent.
30) Thus, the potential of troops skillfully commanded
in battle may be compared to that of round
boulders which roll down from mountain heights.
One then needs little strength to achieve much.
31) When on man defends a narrow mountain ravine,
he can withstand one thousand. This is a proper
situation with respect to terrain.
Chapter 5 Ground 19
1) Ground may be classified according to its nature
as accessible, entrapping, indecisive, constricted,
precipitous and distant.
2) Ground which both we and the and the enemy can
traverse with equal ease, is called accessible. He
who first takes the high positions has the high
positions can fight advantageously.
3) Ground easy to get out of but difficult to return to
is entrapping. If you sally out and the enemy is
unprepared, you may defeat him; but if he is
prepared and you do not win, it is difficult to return.
4) Ground equally disadvantageous for both the
enemy and ourselves to enter is indecisive.
5) If I first occupy constricted ground I must block
the passes and await the enemy. If the enemy
first occupies such ground I should not follow
6) On precipitous ground I must take position on
the sunny heights and await the enemy.
7) The nature of the ground is the fundamental
factor in aiding the army to set up its victory.
8) Ground may be further classified as dispersive,
frontier, key, communicating, focal, serious,
difficult, encircled and death. These relate my
position to the enemy's.
9) An army fighting in its own territory is dispersive
10) In dispersive ground unify the determination
of the army.
11) A shallow penetration into enemy territory is
12) In frontier ground, keep your forces closely linked.
13) Ground equally advantageous to occupy for both
our forces and the enemy, is called key ground.
14) Do not attack an enemy who occupies key ground.
15) In key ground, hasten up your rear elements.
15) Ground equally accessible to both our forces
and the enemy is communicating ground.
16) In communicating ground, do not allow your
formations to become separated.
17) In communicating ground pay strict attention
to your defenses.
18) When a state is enclosed by three other states,
its territory is focal.
19) In focal ground ally with neighboring forces.
20) When the army is deep into hostile territory, it is
in serious ground.
21) In serious ground, ensure a continuous flow of
22) When the army traverses mountains, forests,
precipitous country or any other place where the
going is hard, it is difficult ground.
23) In difficult ground press on until the conditions
are more advantageous.