The Art of War – Sun Tzu (5th Century BC) – Chapter 12 – Incendiary Attacks

The Art of War – Sun Tzu (5th Century BC) – Chapter 12 – Incendiary Attacks

  • 5 types of incendiary attacks
    1. to incinerate men
    2. to incinerate provisions
    3. to incinerate supply trains
    4. to incinerate armories
    5. to incinerate formations
      • Choice depends on the conditions at the time
      • You must be prepared to attack in advance
      • Must be right for the season – usually the dry season
  • 5 changes of fire
    1. If started within the enemy’s camp, attack from the outside
    2. If fires are set & they’re calm, wait – don’t attack
    3. If it turns into a conflagration, continue if you can, if not, just wait – don’t attack
    4. If you can start it without inside help, choose the right time
    5. If fires are started upwind, don’t attack downwind
      • Daytime winds last longer than nighttime winds
      • Use the 5 changes of fire to defend yourself at the right times
        • Use fire & water for your cause
  • If you’re successful in battle & don’t follow up on it, you’re doomed
    • Wise generals ponder this. Good ones cultivate it
    • If there’s no advantage to be had from moving, don’t move
    • Don’t engage in warfare unless there’s danger from not engaging
    • Rulers shouldn’t mobilize out of personal anger
    • Generals shouldn’t engage out of personal anger
    • When it’s advantageous, move. When it’s not, stop
    • Anger can subside into happiness. Annoyance can turn to joy
      • A vanquished state cannot be revived
      • The dead can’t be brought back to life
  • The Tao for State Security & preserving the army
    • Unenlightened rulers are cautious about it
    • Good generals are respectful about it

 

Author: knowit68

Leave a Reply