24) Ground to which access is constricted, the way out
is tortuous and where a small force can strike my
larger one is called encircled.
25) In encircled ground, one should block the points
of access and egress.
26) In encircled ground devise strategies.
27) Ground in which the army survives only with
the courage of desperation is called
28) In death ground, one should make it evident that
there is no chance of survival. Soldiers will then
fight to the death when there is no alternative
and they are desperate; they will follow
29) Lay on many deceptive operations. Be seen in
the west and march out of the east; lure him in
the north and strike in the south. Drive him crazy
and bewilder him so that he disperses his
forces in confusion.
30) Take him unaware; by surprise, attack with shock
troops where he is unprepared.
31) To cope with a well ordered enemy host about to
attack; seize something he cherishes and he
will conform to your desires.
32) To cultivate a uniform level of valor is the object
of military administration. It is by the proper use
of the ground that both shock troops and normal
forces are used to the best advantage.
33) The tactical variations appropriate to the nine
types of ground, the advantages of close or
extended deployment and the principles of
human nature are matters that must be
examined and weighed with the greatest care.
Chapter 6 Maneuver 24
1) Nothing is more difficult than the art of maneuver.
What is difficult about maneuver is to make the
devious route the most direct and to turn misfortune
2) Thus, march by an indirect route and divert the enemy
by enticing him with bait. In so doing, you may set out
after him and arrive before him. One able to do this
understands the strategy of the direct and the indirect.
3) He who wishes to achieve an advantage takes a
devious and distant route and makes of it the short
way. He deceives and fools the enemy to make him
unhurried and then marches on speedily.
4) Both advantage and danger are inherent in maneuver.
5) One who set the entire army in motion to obtain an
advantage will not attain it.
6) If he abandons the camp to contend for advantage,
the stores will be lost.
7) If one moves with everything, the stores will travel
slowly and he will not gain the advantage.
8) The protection of metal walls is not as important as
grain and food.
9) Therefore, where heavy equipment, food and stores
are concerned, devise expedients according to the
10) Those who do not know the conditions of mountains
and forests, hazardous ravines, marshes and swamps,
cannot conduct the march of an army.
11) Those who do not use local guides are unable to
obtain the advantages of the ground.
12) Generally, the commander must thoroughly acquaint
himself with the maps so that he knows dangerous
places for chariots and carts, where the water is too
deep for wagons; passes in mountains, the principal
rivers, the locations of highlands and hills; where
rushes, forests and reeds are luxuriant; the road
distances; the size of cities and towns; well known
cities and abandoned ones and where there are
flourishing orchards. The size of the opposing army,
the keenness of his weapons - all must be fully known.
Then we will have the advantage of the ground and the
enemy in our sights.