13) Now war is based on deception. Move when it is
advantageous and create changes in the situation
by dispersal and concentration of forces.
14) Weigh the situation, then move.
15) If the enemy occupies high ground, do not confront
16) When he pretends to flee, do not pursue.
17) Do not gobble proffered baits.
18) Do not attack his elite troops.
19) Do not press a trapped enemy. Wild beasts when
trapped will fight desperately. How much more this
is true of men! If they know there is no alternative,
they will fight to the death.
20) When taking up position in confrontation with the
enemy, stay close to valleys; encamping on
21) Fight downhill, do not ascend to attack
22) After crossing a river, you must move some distance
away from it.
23) When an advancing enemy crosses water it is
advantageous to allow half his forces to cross
and then strike.
24) If you wish to give battle, do not confront your enemy
close to the water. Take position on high ground.
Do not take position downstream.
25) In level ground, occupy a position that facilitates
26) Carefully search out lush reeds and grasses, or
forested mountains with dense tangled undergrowth,
for these are areas where ambushes are laid and
spies are hidden.
27) When the enemy is near but lying low, he is depending
on a favourable position.
28) When he challenges you from afar, he wishes to lure
you to advance.
29) The movement of trees; birds rising in flight; and
the startling of wild animals can indicate enemy
positions and movement.
30) Dust spurting upward in high straight columns
indicates the approach of chariots. When it hangs
low and is widespread infantry is approaching.
31) When the army marches there should be patrols
on all sides to observe.
32) When half his force withdraws and half advances,
he is attempting to decoy you.
33) When the enemy sees an advantage but does not
advance to seize it, they are fatigued.
34) By taking into account the favorable factors, one
makes the plan feasible; by taking into account
the unfavorable, one may resolve the difficulties.
35) If I wish to take advantage of the enemy, I must
perceive not just the advantage in doing so, but
must first consider the ways he can harm me.
36) In war, numbers alone confer no advantage. Do not
advance relying on sheer military power.
37) There are some roads not to follow; some troops not
to strike; some cities not to assault; and some ground
which should not be contested.