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Thread: Outwitting the Mongol: 'The Art of War'

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    Post Outwitting the Mongol: 'The Art of War'

    I don't think an understanding of realpolitik is complete without reading 'The Prince' and 'The Art of War.' Of course, the latter was written by a Chinese man more than 2000 years ago. Do not disregard it for that reason! (Even Hitler recommended boys be trained in judo - and boxing - rather than fencing.) Few works rival it in purity and noble simplicity. Napoleon used it, and Westpoint Military Academy School required its reading. It may easily be read in one sitting - the basic text that is, the commentary is rather extensive. (I'll not say Sun Wu was Tocharian, but I feel he at least belonged to a different expression of the Mongoloid spirit than the modern Chinese generally do. It is similar to the way that the modern Greeks, as a whole, cannot really lay claim to the achievements of Golden Age Athens, IMO.)

    Here's the basic text: sun tzu.txt

    My favourite paragraph, from the 'Formation' chapter:

    Perceiving a victory when it is perceived by all is not the
    highest excellence. Winning battles such that the whole world
    says "excellent" is not the highest excellence. For lifting an
    autumn down is not considered great strength, seeing the sun and
    the moon is not considered a sign of sharp vision, hearing
    thunder is not considered a sign of sensitive hearing. In ancient
    times, those who are skilled in warfare gained victory where
    victory was easily gained. Therefore, the victories from those
    skilled in warfare are not considered of great wisdom or courage,
    because their victories have no miscalculations. No
    miscalculations mean the victories are certain, achieving victory
    over those who have already lost.
    If I rest, I rust.
    - Martin Luther

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    Senior Member Götterschicksal's Avatar
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    I am sorry but Von Clausewitz's "Vom Kriege" is better.
    „Sollten Sie dabei sein, wenn ich sterbe, so werden Sie sehen, dass ich ruhig dahinscheide; denn ich glaube, dass nach dem Tode alles zu Ende ist.”
    Friedrich der Große

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    Quote Originally Posted by Götterschicksal
    I am sorry but Von Clausewitz's "Vom Kriege" is better.
    LOL, perhaps! Although I can hardly recommend people attack that tome in a lighthearted manner! 'Vom Kriege' is great, but is more purely a book on war (sorry for the pun) of the day. For many reasons, VK cannot be as widely applicable in non-military areas. VK can never be a nice primer for understanding, and practicing, politics and business etc. 'The Art of War''s perfect simplicity allows it to stand as a book on strategy, alone. Thus, it can never really go out of date. Much of VK is quite dated now, due to airpower and WMD. I do like the 'fog/friction of war' concept, though.
    If I rest, I rust.
    - Martin Luther

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    Post Re: Outwitting the Mongol: 'The Art of War'

    How could von Clausewitz be better than Sun Tzu? Vom Kriege tell of the 'total war', where all forces of a nation is centered to attack the strongest point of the opponent in a 'decisive battle'. In the Great War both France and Germany applied Clausewitzian tactics and 'advice', and attacked eachothers strong points with strength. The result: not one inch of land gained in 4 years!

    23 years later, when Germany defeated France, the French still clung to the Clausewitzian concept, while Germany used Sun Tzu and it's "attack weakness with speed" concept.

    Clausewitz is nothing compared to Sun Tzu. Clausewitzian tactics lead to numberous sacrifices, national exhaustion and trench warfare, while Sun Tzu tactics lead to these Blitzkrieg and 'Shock and Awe' victories we've seen.

    Personally I think Clausewitz was too found of the French civil mobilization invention from the Napoleonic wars, and drew his conclusions of this to hastely.

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    Post Re: Outwitting the Mongol: 'The Art of War'

    I'm sorry I didn't notice this thread before, for this is a topic I have quite a lot of expertise in and have rather good sources to quote on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deling
    How could von Clausewitz be better than Sun Tzu?
    Read one page of Sun Tzu and then read one of Clausewitz and you'll know right away who knows more about what they're talking about!

    Vom Kriege tell of the 'total war', where all forces of a nation is centered to attack the strongest point of the opponent in a 'decisive battle'.
    Sun Tzu saids the same thing.

    Clausewitz is nothing compared to Sun Tzu. Clausewitzian tactics lead to numberous sacrifices, national exhaustion and trench warfare, while Sun Tzu tactics lead to these Blitzkrieg
    BWAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH! You don't know squat mister! Blitzkrieg was a direct outcome of Clausewitz's thought. All the German general staff and officers who outlined and carried out the Blitzkrieg attacks are educated in Clausewitz, not Sun Tzu. Sun Tzu did not become popular with military leaders untill the Vietnam war.


    and 'Shock and Awe' victories we've seen
    ROTFL! Yeah lets take a look at "shock and awe"(which has nothing to do with Sun Tzu btw) :eyes


    http://www.g2mil.com/Apr2003.htm

    From the little we know, the conquest of Iraq is going okay; it's not going great. The war began with a pleasant surprise. It seemed the Pentagon was just bluffing about employing a mad doctrine of terrorizing civilians with heavy bombing, a concept recently renamed after a horrible book Shock and Awe. When armchair experts who fail to read military history advocated this, military experts laughed, until General Myers supported the idea. Surely the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs was just taunting the Iraqis. Since the US military hadn't bombed Kabul into rubble to crush the Taliban in Afghanistan, it was assumed the concept of massive strategic bombardment had finally died after a series of failures since World War II.

    Two days later, the surprise ended as a mindless bombing campaign began, mostly the result of a distorted concept of "jointness". Navy surface ships and submarines are of little value in this war, yet admirals insisted they be allowed to fire hundreds of million-dollar Tomahawk missiles at "something". The Air Force spent billions of dollars on their B-2 bombers as part of its "Global Reach" concept; so they must bomb "something" too. Aircraft carrier pilots also like bombing buildings too since they can drop JDAM satellite-guided bombs miles away from Iraqi anti-aircraft systems. So these groups had a grand time planning and executing a bombardment to pummel Iraqi government buildings in Baghdad.

    Once the fun began, it didn't look good on television. Reporters on the scene noted that government buildings under attack had been empty for days. They said Iraqi civilians were angry at the pointless destruction, which also broke their windows and frightened all. It soon became apparent that "Shock is Awe" was a failed strategy, but it was too much fun to stop. Then the first 10% of precision-guided munitions which malfunction slammed into houses, then another into a marketplace. A couple years ago, the Navy would drop 500 lb bombs filled with concrete in Iraqi cities to limit civilian damage. As the US Air Force dropped 2000 lb bombs filled with high explosives onto Baghdad, it didn't take an expert to determine this caused civilian deaths even when the bomb impact point was perfect. The leader of Iraq's main Shiite opposition group was so angered at the destruction that he stated US troops must leave as soon as Hussein is overthrown.

    Television images of the senseless bombings inflamed world opinion against the war, except in the USA where TV executives decided to censor them. Corporate television news also avoided reports of any battles with significant American losses, even after a detailed story of heavy fighting appeared in USA Today, which miraculously claimed only one American was injured in the firefight. There are always large numbers of unhappy troops complaining about things, yet no negative remarks appeared on American TV, nor images of wounded GIs on the battlefield. As a result, a Russian website with believable reports has become popular. Antiwar.com continues gain readers for their excellent links to foreign news sources, while former soldier Scott Miller posts interesting comments each day.

    The Pentagon tried to spin the onslaught and assure everyone that civilian areas are never "targeted", meaning they don't feel responsible when precision weapons malfunction. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters that what was shown on television was not really happening. He bragged that these precision weapons had accuracy "undreamt of in earlier wars." He was proven correct after some of these weapons hit Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia; no one had dreamt weapons could miss their targets by hundreds of miles. It was possible their GPS signals had been jammed by the Iraqis. The Pentagon denied this, and then announced it had destroyed six Iraqi GPS jammers. They claimed the jammers were ineffective and caused no problems, yet put them on top of their target list for immediate attack, and criticized capitalist Russians for selling them.

    While the ground offensive has visibly stalled, there have been no disasters. No Anglo-American units have been defeated in battle, few oil wells were set afire, and many bridges were captured intact. Nevertheless, the supply system is fouled up and the ground offensive stalled for the reasons G2mil warned about last February in: "The Crusade to Baghdad ". The US Army blamed Rumsfeld and the Air Force for concentrating airpower on meaningless targets in Baghdad, while the Air Force blamed the Army for not requesting air support. While everyone outside the Pentagon realized "Shock and Awe" had failed and was actually counterproductive, the Air Force and Navy continued pointless bombings while their "targeteers" scoured images of Baghdad rooftops for more fun. An Air Force General explained this madness last year when he admitted: "We don't like to bomb mud". Post strike photos of craters are not as impressive as destroyed buildings. Meanwhile, the US Army will soon learn that clearing enemy infantrymen from building rubble is far more difficult than from undamaged buildings.

    There were just a couple dozen legitimate military targets in Baghdad after Iraqi military forces had deployed into the field and government officials moved elsewhere. Attacking these few targets was justified, so long as civilian casualties were avoided. However, Congress and the American people must demand an end to this satanic practice of wasting billions of dollars to bomb empty buildings while killing hundreds of innocent Iraqis by accident. Isn't the USA "liberating" Iraq? Hasn't the USA promised to rebuild Iraq? Haven't constant images of bombing Baghdad enraged the world? Aren't dropping thousands of weapons of minor destruction on a city as bad as a single weapon of mass destruction? Shouldn't the remaining bombs be reserved to support US Army operations? The first step to winning the war is to STOP BOMBING BAGHDAD, at least until US troops arrive there and need close air support. "Shock and Awe" was a lousy idea, which fooled some politicians and generals with little historical knowledge about warfare. It has failed! Stop bombing Baghdad for fun!

    Carlton Meyer editor@G2mil.com

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    Post Re: Outwitting the Mongol: 'The Art of War'

    Quote Originally Posted by hardcorps
    I don't think an understanding of realpolitik is complete without reading 'The Prince' and 'The Art of War.'
    I do agree to an extent. Machiavelli's "the Prince" and "Art of War"(which he wrote in 1521), give very much a good outline of what realpolitik is and the strong relationship between politics and warfare. This is especially true with the Art of War, where Book One talks about the political implications of certain forms of military service. As far as tactics and strategy is concerned, Machiavelli is rather weak. As Napoleon said, this treatise is good for general principles but weak on actual tactical advice.

    Probally a far better reading on actual strategy and tactics is Henri de Jomini's "Art of War", which sadly is very rare to find and most of which you have to read about in secondary sources.

    Few works rival it in purity and noble simplicity.
    Yeah, its favored by people who think warfare can be understood in ten seconds. Yet ironically as Michael Handel explains in his "Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought", that while Clausewitz is longer hes much easier to understand. Sun Tzu is shorter, but harder to understand. This largely has to do with the fact Sun Tzu continually uses proverbs and other mystical slogans than one could only understand both within the cultural and historical contexts in which they were written. And that by itself is confusing, since the Chinese way of thinking is largely different from the European way of thinking.

    Napoleon used it,
    No he didnt. He did use Machiavelli's "Art of War" and he did make comments to Jomini about his treatise titled "the Art of War", but theres no evidence whatsoever Napoleon either read or used Sun Tzu's copy. People who often argued this are often of the impression that either there was no European heritage of military strategy(which Napoleon drew heavily from) and/or that much of what Sun Tzu said was lacking in that European military heritage. What often shocks and suprises most people who actually study Sun Tzu is that almost everything he saids has a counter-part in European military thought(especially Clausewitz). Its only the method at which Sun Tzu explains his concepts that is significantly different from European military thought. Wheras European military strategists approach things from a scientific rational point of view, Sun Tzu approaches it from a more mystical point of view. But both heritages say the same thing.

    and Westpoint Military Academy School required its reading.
    So what? Westpoint has gone to shit quality over the past few years.

    I fail to see how Sun Tzu's little book on warfare is somehow better than Clausewitz's 600 pages or even Jomini's 30 volumes on the topic of warfare. I'm sorry, I fail to see it. Maybe for beginners to military strategy, but overall real military men look to Clausewitz and Jomini(among others of course, but these are the main two).

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    Post Re: Outwitting the Mongol: 'The Art of War'

    I'll post some interesting quote by Handel(whose an outright expert on the whole Clausewitz vs. Sun Tzu fad) but untill then heres an interesting article on this topic.

    http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/a...r/summers.html

    CLAUSEWITZ: EASTERN AND WESTERN APPROACHES TO WAR
    COLONEL HARRY G. SUMMERS, JR., USA (RET)

    "WOKE up at 0300 and it was raining like hell," noted General George S. Patton, Jr., in his diary on 8 November 1944. "I actually got nervous and got up and read Rommel’s book, Infantry Attacks. It was most helpful, as he described all the rains he had in September 1914, and also the fact that, in spite of the heavy rains, the Germans got along."1 This was the incident—cited, with poetic license, over a year-and-a-half earlier at El-Guettar in North Africa—that is immortalized in the movie Patton when George C. Scott shakes his fist at the attacking panzers and shouts, "You S.O.B., I’ve read your book!"

    Twenty years later, America’s military commander in Vietnam also sought to read his enemy’s book. In his assessment of the military theories and philosophies of war that influenced the strategic thinking of General Vo Nguyen Giap, the North Vietnamese general-in-chief, General William C. Westmoreland wrote in his autobiography that General Giap "studied at a Communist military school in China, where he apparently absorbed the teachings of Sun Tzu and of the pedagogue of modern revolutionary warfare, Mao Tse-Tung."2 General Westmoreland kept beside his bed in Saigon "Mao Tse-tung’s little red book on theories of guerilla warfare"3 and bragged that he had "long [been] a student of the Chinese military philosopher Sun Tzu, who," General Westmoreland stated, "may be called the Clausewitz of the Orient."4 Later, in an address to the staff and faculty of the Chinese National War College in Taiwan, General Westmoreland noted that he "discussed the principles of Sun Tzu as the enemy was practicing them in Vietnam."5 His fascination with Eastern approaches to war was revealed by the fact that in the index to his autobiography, General Westmoreland had no listing for Clausewitz but included six listings for Sun Tzu.

    But General Westmoreland was reading the wrong book. One of the most famous aphorisms in Sun Tzu's The Art of War is that in order to achieve victory, one must "know the enemy and know yourself."6 In Vietnam, the American military failed both of these tests, a failure that grew out of false distinctions drawn between Eastern and Western approaches to war.

    "Know Yourself"

    A major reason such false distinctions were drawn was that the American Vietnam-era military did not "know itself." Within its ranks a vacuum existed on Western approaches to war. The American military has never been noted for its attention to the theories and philosophies of war. If there ever was an American philosopher of war, it was Antoine Henri, Baron de Jomini, who was particularly influential in the Civil War. His concentration on fixed rules and geometric and algebraic formulas became so pervasive that in 1869 then Commanding General of the Army William Tecumseh Sherman warned the graduating class at the United States Military Academy against the "insidious and most dangerous mistake" that one could "sit in ease and comfort in his office chair and ... with figures and algebraic symbols, master the great game of war."7

    While Jominian influence waned (only to return with a vengeance during the Vietnam War), it was replaced by military theories derived from the post-Civil War writings of Brevet Major General Emory Upton.8 Reflecting these views, a 1936 Army Command and General Staff School manual, The Principles of Strategy, stated boldly: "Politics and strategy are radically and fundamentally things apart. Strategy begins where politics end."9 The very antithesis of Clausewitzian theory, this neo-Uptonian approach was reflected in the American conduct of World War II. As Bernard Brodie has noted, "supporters of the Clausewitzian ideal of keeping political aims always at the forefront of strategic consideration, and, on the other hand, those inclined to the traditional military preference for keeping them out altogether ... played out in a tug of war between Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt."10

    During the Korean War, reflecting the Uptonian mind-set (a mind-set shared by most of the senior American generals of World War II), General of the Army Douglas MacArthur testified before the Senate in 1951 that "the general definition which for many decades has been acceptable was that war was an ultimate process of politics; that when all of the political means failed we then go to force."11 This was a direct rejection of the Clausewitzian belief that "war should never be thought of as something autonomous but always as an instrument of policy."12

    The relief of General MacArthur from command during the Korean War over just such policy issues marked the end of these neo-Uptonian theories. While there was a brief attempt after the Korean War to begin to build a theoretical structure for U.S. military policy on Clausewitzian principles—the Army's 1954 Field Service Regulations, for example, emphasized that "since war is a political act, its broad and final objectives are political; therefore, its conduct must conform to policy and its outcome realize the objectives of policy"13 –these Clausewitzian beginnings were soon overtaken by the impact of nuclear weapons on American military thought. Historian Russell Weigley has commented on the result:

    A national military policy and strategy relying upon massive nuclear retaliation for nearly all the uses of force left the Army uncertain of its place in the policy and strategy, uncertain that civilians recognized a need even for the Army's existence and uncertain therefore of the Service's whole future.14

    When President John F. Kennedy took office, this vacuum was filled at the managerial level by the neo-Jominian policies of then Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and their emphasis on hard data, quantification, and computerization. At the operational level, it was filled by the social science-derived theories of "counterinsurgency."15 Adopting "counterinsurgency" as the basis of Army doctrine required defining the enemy in terms of "insurgency," which, in turn, led to what General Westmoreland had called "the pedagogue of modern revolutionary warfare, Mao Tse-tung," and to the military philosophies of Sun Tzu from which it was commonly believed Mao's theories were derived.

    "Know Your Enemy"

    In his masterful 1963 translation of Sun Tzu's The Art of War, Brigadier General Samuel B. Griffith, USMC (Ret), devoted an entire chapter to "Sun Tzu and Mao Tse-tung" and emphasized that Mao had "been strongly influenced by Sun Tzu's thought, [an influence] apparent in his works which deal with military strategy and tactics." General Griffith went on to conclude:

    It has often been said that had Western leaders read Hitler's Mein Kampf, they would have been somewhat better equipped than they were to deal with him. Some familiarity with Mao’s speeches and writings, together with the major works which provide their conceptual framework, would assist leaders of the present generation to an equal degree. From any collection of such works, The Art of War could not be omitted. 16

    Commenting on such beliefs, Raymond Aron observed:

    Some people are inclined to see Mao as anti-Clausewitzian, as being more in the tradition of classical Chinese writings.... Certainly Mao sometimes quoted Sun Tzu, and inasmuch as a non-Chinese-speaking commentator, who is also ignorant of the military thought of classical China, can risk a judgment, he appears to have been inspired by certain aspects of the age-old wisdom forged by the oldest empire in the world. Besides, wars fought between conflicting states before imperial unification in some ways resemble the civil wars.17

    Because Vietnam-era American military leaders were not only "ignorant of the military thought of classical China" but also not well grounded in classical Western military philosophy either, it was not apparent to them that while Sun Tzu's Art of War was important to an understanding of Maoist theory, it was not the basis of that theory. Above all, Mao's theories rested on what Clausewitz called the "remarkable trinity" of the people, the government, and the army18 and especially depended on the mobilization of the people. It is critical to understand that Sun Tzu's Art of War, on the other hand, fits into the category of what in the West is known as eighteenth-century military literature. As Clausewitz explained:

    In the eighteenth century,…war was still an affair for governments alone, and the people's role was simply that of an instrument....The executive represented the state in its foreign relations…The people's part has been extinguished…War thus became solely the concern of the government to the extent that governments parted company with their peoples and behaved as if they were themselves the state.19

    Thus, while Sun Tzu remains an important philosopher of war, the one thing he most definitely was not is the "Clausewitz of the Orient." As Griffith makes clear in his introduction to The Art of War, Sun Tzu flourished during the 150 years between 450 and 300 B.C., in what was known as the period of the "Warring States." Like eighteenth-century Europe, China was then divided into a number of separate countries—Ch’in, Chin, Yen, Ch'i, Lu, Sung, Chou, Ch'u, and Wu—each of which had its own armies. Sun Tzu was a native of Ch'i who began as an advisor to the king of Wu. According to the ancient chronicles, forces under his command "defeated the strong state of Ch'u to the west and entered Ying; to the north, he intimidated Ch'i and Chin."20 As Lionel Giles put it so well in his earlier translation of The Art of War, "the only warfare Sun Tzu knows is that carried on between various feudal princes."21 Moreover, Sun Tzu's victories were based on what Raymond Aron has called "the school of ruse, deceit, and indirect action."22

    The oriental strategisms contained in Sun Tzu's The Art of War, while valuable, are more comparable to those in Niccolò Machiavelli's similarly titled Arte della Guerra (Art of war). Just as Machiavelli influenced Carl von Clausewitz,23 so Sun Tzu influenced Mao Tse-tung. But there were other more powerful and fundamental influences. In order to understand Mao, as Raymond Aron has written, "laws of war themselves, followed by laws of revolutionary war, and finally laws resulting from the peculiarities of China, have to be understood."24 There was a syncretic relationship between these laws, laws rooted in the peasant revolutions of China's past. As Mao himself said, "in thousands of years of history ... it was peasant uprisings that brought about most dynastic changes."25

    The Chinese Clausewitz

    A key to the fundamental classical influences on Mao Tse-tung's theories of war was contained in the marginal notes that he wrote in his ethics text in 1917:

    When we read history, we always praise the time of the Warring States, the time of the struggle between Liu Chi and HsiangYu, the, time of Han Wu-Ti's battle with the Huns, . . . the periods when the situation is constantly changing, and when talents were continually emerging.26

    Mao—who, in his speeches, continually referred to the Chinese people as Han jen or "Men of Han"—found the roots of his military theory in the beginnings of the Han dynasty in the third century B.C.

    In 230 B.C., the kingdom of Ch'in, which had been hardened by constant warfare with its barbarian neighbors, descended on the rest of China. Ch’in’s army was completely ruthless. Ch'in adopted more modern and efficient methods of warfare, including the use of mobile cavalry, while the other Chinese states were still engaging in rather chivalrous warfare with strict rules of proper conduct. Ch'in had universal conscription to man three armies. One army, composed of all able-bodied men, served as the warriors; the second, consisting of all able-bodied women, constructed the defenses and carried provisions; and the third, consisting of the old and feeble, foraged and guarded the cattle.27 In 221 B.C., the last of the separate states fell, and Ch'in emerged as the victor. China was completely unified for the first time in her history and took her modern name, China, from the state of Ch'in.

    Instituting a set of particularly harsh laws with a political philosophy known as "Legalism,"the Ch'in dynasty began to come apart soon after it was founded, and revolts broke out throughout the empire. Out of these revolts arose the father of Chinese revolutionary war, Liu Chi—a man who in important ways was China's Clausewitz. Born a simple peasant in 248 B.C. in the village of Chung-yang in P'ei Commandery (the present Kiangsu Province), Liu Chi worked his way to a minor position as a village official under the Ch'in dynasty. Condemned to death because several prisoners assigned to his care escaped, he subsequently fled to the hills and became the leader of an outlaw band. In October 209 B.C., at the age of forty, he was summoned with his band to join the revolt of the chief magistrate of P'ei Commandery against the hated Ch'in dynasty. When the chief magistrate vacillated, Liu Chi killed him and assumed the leadership of the local revolt.28

    The banner of revolution had been raised the previous August by another peasant, Ch'en She, also under sentence of death (for being late in reporting for duty, due to heavy rains). The harsh Ch'in laws had exactly the opposite effect from their intent. Men already under sentence of death for minor infractions felt that they had nothing to lose and everything to gain in joining a revolt.

    Sensing the need for an ideological basis for their revolution, the rebels turned to the political philosophy of Confucianism. Since the Ch'in emperors had been so violently against Confucianism, the, people felt that there must be some merit in a philosophy that was antipathetic to Legalism. Capitalizing on the people's respect for Confucianism and the people's resentment of the harsh and tyrannical rule of the Ch'in, the rebels were successful in promoting a general revolution, which spread throughout the empire. However, rebel Ch'en She was defeated and assassinated by his own charioteer. The leadership of the overall revolt passed to Hsiang Yu, an aristocrat and a descendant of famous generals. In order to legitimize the rebellion and bring in further recruits, Hsiang Yu set up a puppet government headed by King Huai of the state of Ch'u. In November 207 B.C., King Huai united the rebel armies, appointing Hsiang Yu to the command of one field army and Liu Chi to the command of another smaller field army. The two chief protagonists for the imperial throne, the aristocrat Hsiang Yu and the peasant Liu Chi, were nominally united in a common cause.

    Liu Chi was sent to the west to subjugate the Ch'in capital, while Hsiang Yu moved north against the main Ch'in army. Hsiang Yu was a capable and ruthless general. He crossed the Chang River in the face of a superior force, burned his boats, destroyed all but three days' worth of his provisions, and boldly attacked the enemy. In a series of nine battles, he defeated the enemy decisively, captured the generals, and burned their camps. He then turned on the remaining Ch'in general, Chang Han. Chang Han suffered a minor defeat and, although he had 200,000 soldiers left, surrendered on the promise of a kingdom. When the surrendered Ch'in army showed signs of discontent about the actions of its general, Hsiang Yu had the entire 200,000-man force massacred. He then started for the capital of Ch'in, leading an army said to number 400,000 men.

    Meanwhile, Liu Chi had been working his way westward with his small force. On the road, he met a party of Confucian scholars and paid his respects in a rather peculiar manner:

    Some Confucians came to Liu Chi in full costume, with their scholar's bonnets on.... In order to show contempt for them, Liu Chi suddenly snatched off a bonnet and urinated into it.... He had an aversion to the sight of Confucian scholars.29

    Later, a village elder and Confucian scholar, Li Yi-chi, called on Liu Chi, who received him squatting on a bed, with two maids washing his feet. Li Yi-chi rebuked him, saying, "if your honor firmly wishes to destroy the utterly inhuman dynasty of Ch'in, it is not fitting that you should interview your senior squatting down."31 Liu Chi, in a famous incident, begged the scholar's pardon and conducted him to a seat of honor. Li Yi-chi became Liu Chi's political advisor and psychological warfare expert, advising him on the methods to win hearts and minds. As we shall see, these slights to the Confucian scholars (who were to become the official historians of Imperial China) were to have effects that have extended into our own time.

    In November 207 B.C., Liu Chi entered the state of Ch'in through a little-used southern pass and defeated the Ch'in armies that were defending the capital. Refusing to execute the defeated generals of Ch'in, Liu Chi sealed up the depositories, treasuries, and libraries of the Ch'in emperor and encamped his men outside the capital. He issued strict orders to his troops; "the soldiers were ordered, wherever they went, not to be rude, nor to pillage, so that the people of Ch'in were delighted."31

    In a further attempt to win the popular support of the people, Liu Chi issued a famous proclamation to the defeated enemy:

    Fathers and Elders, you have suffered long enough from the cruel laws of the Ch'in; those who spoke ill or criticized the government have been cruelly executed with their relatives, those who talked in private have been publicly executed in the market place.... I am merely going to agree with you upon a code of laws in three articles: he who kills anyone will be put to death; he who wounds anyone will be punished according to his offense; as to the remainder I am repealing and doing away with the laws of the Ch'in....All that I have come for is to deliver your Elders from harm. I do not have any intention of exploiting or tyrannizing over you. Do not be afraid.32

    Even though the harsh Ch'in laws were not actually repealed until after Liu Chi's death, his propaganda theme was effective. The people flocked to him with gifts of cattle, sheep, wine, and food for his troops. Liu Chi refused the offerings, saying, "In the government granaries there is much grain; I do not wish to be a burden on the people."33 Liu Chi ensured that news of his generosity was disseminated throughout the kingdom of Ch'in, and the people, expecting death, rape, pillage, and plunder from their conquerors, worshipped him.

    In the meantime, Hsiang Yu approached the Ch'in capital from the east with his army of 400,000 men, greatly outnumbering Liu Chi's army of approximately 100,000. Hsiang Yu was so outraged that a mere peasant had beaten him to the Ch'in capital that he wanted to attack Liu Chi immediately. Chang Liang, Liu Chi's advisor, dissuaded him, pointing out that all the treasure had been sealed up, awaiting Hsiang Yu's arrival. Hsiang Yu vented his rage on the Ch'in capital. He abrogated Liu Chi's promises, executed the Ch'in emperor who had surrendered to Liu Chi, massacred the people, and burned the palaces and courts of the Ch'in regime.

    King Kuai was placed on the throne as I Huang-ti or third emperor. In reality, the third emperor was only a puppet, for Hsiang Yu kept the actual power to himself. He reestablished the old feudal empire destroyed by the first emperor, dividing the empire among his subordinates. Liu Chi was virtually exiled to the kingdom of Han, in present Shensi and Szechuan provinces, away from central China. Incensed by his shabby treatment but badly outnumbered, Liu Chi departed for Han with only 30,000 troops. But, most important, he left with the goodwill of the people of Ch'in.

    Liu Chi brooded in his far-off kingdom and plotted with his advisors. He cast about for a suitable area from which to launch his revolt against Hsiang Yu and decided finally on the kingdom of Ch'in as his base of operations. In words that Clausewitz echoed two thousand years later in his discussion on the selection of guerrilla base areas, Liu Chi enumerated the strategic advantages of Ch'in:

    Ch'in is a country with an excellent geographical situation. It is girdled by the Yellow River, with mountains as barriers, separated from the rest of the world along a thousand li (300 miles) of border. ... The strength of Ch'in is proportionate to double that of a hundred enemy. Its geographical situation is convenient and favorable; when it sends down its troops from the passes upon the nobles, it is like a person on the top of a high building upsetting water into a tile gutter.34

    Leaving his general, Han Hsin, as King of Han, Liu Chi marched against Ch'in and secured the capital as his base of operation. His earlier generosity paid handsome dividends for the people of Ch'in flocked to his banner. In order to ensure their continued support, Liu Chi opened the imperial pastures, enclosures, gardens, and ponds to the common people to make cultivated fields; he exempted the families of his soldiers from taxes for one year; he appointed the san-lo, (village elders) to rule over their own villages and exempted them from forced labor and garrison service; he proclaimed an amnesty for criminals; he provided shrouds, coverlets, coffins, encoffining, and return to the family for burial for all soldiers who died in his service; he promoted to noble rank all those who brought 10,000 troops into his service; and he exempted the neighboring states of Shu and Han, which had been heavily burdened with furnishing supplies for his army, from land taxes and contributions for two years.35 After the tyranny of the Ch'in and the cruelty of Hsiang Yu, Liu Chi was looked upon as the savior of the people.

    In November 106 B.C., Hsiang Yu made a fatal mistake. Seizing total power, he executed the puppet third emperor, and, in so doing, relieved his rival, Liu Chi, of his fealty to the imperial throne. Liu Chi quickly raised an army of 560,000 troops, captured Hsiang Yu's capital, and "liberated" the absent leader's concubines and treasures. But Hsiang Yu returned to his capital with a picked army of 30,000 men and attacked Liu Chi's army on the banks of the Sui River. Liu Chi was routed, and so many men were killed that the flow of the river was blocked. Liu Chi learned a bitter lesson. From that point on, he avoided pitched battles, kept his field forces mobile, attacked Hsiang Yu's army only when its leader was absent, and maintained a secure base area in Ch'in under his Grand Councilor, Hsiang Ho. Most significantly, he capitalized on the goodwill of the people of Ch'in. After every defeat, Liu Chi was able to raise a new army immediately—even the old, the weak, and the young flocked to him. Although his army lost several major engagements, his advisors were captured and boiled alive, and the nobles deserted him, the common people never lost faith in him.

    Losing most of his battles, Liu Chi nevertheless won the war. In January 202 B.C., Hsiang Yu committed suicide after being wounded ten times. His immortal final words were: "Heaven has forsaken me. I have never made a military error."36 But Hsiang Yu had made the gravest error of them all, for it is axiomatic in Chinese history that heaven forsakes only those who have committed the cardinal sin of losing the hearts of the people.37

    After being entreated three times by his subordinates, Liu Chi finally consented to become emperor, and on 28 February 202 B.C., he ascended the imperial throne as Han Kao Tsu, the founder of the Han dynasty, one of the greatest of the Chinese dynasties.38

    This brief overview of the first successful peasant revolution in Chinese history and especially the emphasis in the ancient texts on the importance of winning the confidence of the common people makes clear the critical influence of Liu Chi on Mao Tse-tung's theories. Thus, the foreword to a 1947 article in Mao's Selected Works states:

    From the earliest days, Comrade Mao Tse-tung required that his soldiers speak politely to the masses, pay fairly for all purchases, never impress the people into forced labor, or hit or swear at people.

    The article reveals (without giving credit to the similar guidance set down by Liu Chi in 206 B.C.) that Mao issued strict orders to his troops in the spring of 1928:

    Obey orders in all your actions.
    Don't take anything from the workers and peasants.
    Turn in all things taken from local bullies.
    These "Three Main Rules of Discipline" were added to in the summer of 1928, with the "Six Points for Attention":

    Put back the doors you have taken down for bed boards.
    Put back the straw you have used for bedding.
    Speak politely.
    Pay fairly for what you buy.
    Return everything you borrow.
    Pay for anything you damage.
    In 1929, two additional points for attention were added: "Don't bathe within sight of women" and "Don't search the pockets of captives."39 Just as a disciplined soldiery won support for Liu Chi in 206 B.C., the discipline of Mao's troops favorably impressed the peasants of the twentieth century. The Clausewitzian "remarkable trinity" had been established, a "remarkable trinity" first created by Liu Chi in the third century B.C.

    In 1935-36, Mao again emulated his early predecessor when his Red Army escaped from Nationalist encirclement in South China and made the famous Long March to a new base area in the north. This new base area in Yenan was in the ancient state of Ch'in in precisely the same place that the "Chinese Clausewitz" Liu Chi had established his base—the mountain stronghold that dominated the North China plain, which contained the bulk of China's population.

    But these "Chinese Clausewitzian" roots of Mao Tse-tung thought were not apparent to those seeking the basis of his military theories. They were not apparent because they were deliberately obscured by Mao himself. Because of some unusual and little-known facts about Chinese historiography, it was quite impolitic for Mao to identify with Liu Chi. Mao would use his precursor's revolutionary strategies but would refuse to acknowledge his debt to the originator of peasant revolutionary warfare. China, with several milleniums of recorded history, had reduced most personages to historical models or stereotypes. The facts were selected to fit the stereotypes. Chinese historians had one fundamental concern: to create models that would inspire men and mold their conduct.40 This selection was common not only in official histories but also in popular plays, in popular fiction, and in education, where, traditionally, teaching by imitation had relied heavily on models and precedents more than rules.

    By an odd quirk of history, possibly because of his contempt for the Confucian scholars who were also the official historians, Liu Chi was relegated to an obscure position in Chinese folk legend. His principal opponent, Hsiang Yu, on the other hand, was exemplified as an example of the brave and fearless warrior who was the embodiment of a military leader.41 Liu Chi was portrayed in Chinese popular fiction as a monument of hypocrisy compared to his straightforward, noble, artless rival, Hsiang Yu.42

    Mao perpetuated the legend that he drew his inspiration from the bandit heroes of such popular romantic novels as Water Margin and Tales of Three Kingdoms, whose fictional deeds were modeled on the actual exploits of Liu Chi.43 Both Mao's rivals among the returned-student intelligentsia of the Chinese Communist Party and Mao's mortal (Chinese Nationalist) enemies were quite content to accept and perpetuate the legend that popular but tawdry romantic novels of the common people had influenced the peasant mentality of Mao Tse-tung, rather than consider the possibility that Mao might have been influenced by respectable classical texts.44

    While in the East there was a question of whether Mao Tse-tung had read and profited from the ancient chronicles of Chinese history, in the West there was another question. "Does all this mean that Mao Tse-tung studied Clausewitz?" asked Raymond Aron (who may well have also asked, "Does all this mean that Clausewitz had studied Liu Chi?"). Answering his own question, he said:

    I cannot say so, [but] the thought processes seem to be the same for the simple reason that they reflect common sense and use the same concepts. In the middle of the object (war) man is both subject and object because war is struggle and involves two enemies, each with a brain. Clausewitz and Mao Tse-tung [and Liu Chi] both state that man decides all.45

    Echoing the same theme, Michael Howardnotes that while war resolves itself into "a struggle for the control of territory" such

    control over territory involves also control over the people who live there, and here again the Clausewitzian insights have a lasting relevance…Mao Tse-tung and the theorists of revolutionary warfare gave to this social dimension an overriding importance which perhaps it deserves only in the context of "wars of national liberation"; but it is one that strategists under any circumstances ignore at their peril.... If the people themselves are not prepared if necessary to take part in the defence of their country, they cannot in the long run be protected.46

    The lasting legacy of the military philosophies of Liu Chi, Clausewitz, and Mao Tse-Tung is reflected in the fact that the People’s Republic of China, alone of the major powers, lists "political mobilization" as one of its principles of war.47 During the Vietnam War, the United States was so mesmerized by its ill-thought-out doctrines of counterinsurgency that it expended its efforts in a futile attempt to "win the hearts and minds" of the South Vietnamese people, disregarding the fact that the first task was to establish its own "remarkable trinity"—to "win the hearts and minds" of the American people in support of that way. Instead, the American people were deliberately excluded from the strategic equation, first by the academic limited-war theorists and then by their commander in chief. Ultimately, the United States found, to its sorrow, that Clausewitz knew what he was talking about when he warned that

    a theory that ignores [the "remarkable trinity" of the people, the army and the government] ... would conflict with reality to such an extent that for this reason alone it would be totally useless.48

    As I have discussed in detail elsewhere, 49 it was not the wily and inscrutable oriental strategisms of Sun Tzu that caused our undoing in Vietnam. It was failure to understand and appreciate the lasting relevance of classic Western military theories and the importance of the principles of war. The great irony is that while the United States ignored these "Western" approaches to war, the North Vietnamese Army followed them almost to the letter. It was not so much that American commanders read the wrong book on the art and science of war as it was that, in too many cases, they had read no such book at all.

    One of the aftereffects of the Vietnam War has been a reappreciation of the importance of military history and classic military theory. Today, we are experiencing a revival in the study of the fundamentals of military art and science. All of this gives hope that by the bedside of any future American battlefield commander will be that most valuable of military texts, Carl von Clausewitz's OnWar. With that frame of reference, as a guide, a commander can then shout with confidence at any enemy he might face, "You S.O.B., I've read the book!"

    Washington, DC

    Notes

    1. Martin Blumenson, The Patton Papers, 1940-1945 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin 1974), p. 571.

    2. General William C. Westmoreland, A Soldier Reports (GardenCity, New York: Doubleday, 1976), p. 404.

    3. Ibid., pp. 277-78.

    4. Ibid., p. 102.

    5. Ibid., p. 369.

    6. Sun Tzu, The Art of War, translated by Samuel B. Griffith (New York: Oxford University Press, 1963) p. 84.

    7. General William Tecumseh Sherman, Address to the Graduating Class of the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, June15th 1869 (New York: Van Nostrand, 1869), p. 8.

    8. Brevet Major General Emory Upton, The Military Policy of the United States (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1917).

    9. The Principles of Strategy for an IndependentCorps or Armyin a Theater of Operations (Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: Command and General Staff School Press, 1936), p. 19.

    10. Bernard Brodie, Warand Politics (New York: Macmillan, 1973), p. 37.

    11. 82d Congress, lst Session, Hearings before the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Military Situationinthe Far East (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1951), vol. 1, p. 45.

    12. Carl von Clausewitz, On War, edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1976), p. 8.

    13. Field Manual 100-5, Field Service Regulations—Operations (Washington: Government Printing Office, 27 September 1954). p. 7.

    14. Russell F. Weigley, The American Way of Way: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy (New York: Macmillan, 1973). p. 418.

    15. For a detailed analysis of the impact of counterinsurgency on the Army, see Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr., On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War (Novato, California: Presidio Press, 1982), chapter 7. See also Douglas S. Blaufarb, The CounterinsurgencyEra (New York: Free Press, 1976).

    16. Sun Tzu, pp. 45, 55-56.

    17. Raymond Aron: Clausewitz: Philosopher of War, translated by Christine Booker and Norman Stone (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1985), p. 302.

    18. Clausewitz, p. 89.

    19. Ibid., pp. 583, 589-91.

    20. Sun Tzu, pp. 57, 59.

    21. Lionel Giles, Sun Tzu on The Art of War: The Oldest Military Treatise in the World (London: Luzac and Company, 1910), p. xxv.

    22. Aron, p. 302.

    23. Ibid., pp. 20, 58, 86, 226.

    24. Ibid., p. 298.

    25. Mao Tse-tung, "The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party," Selected Works, III, December 1939, p. 74.

    26. The notation in the ethics text is reported in Li Jui, Mao Tse-tung T'ung Chih Ti Ch'u-ch'i Ko-ming Huo-tung (Peking: Chung-kuo Ch’ing-nien Ch’u-pan She 1957). This is especially relevant because it was an authorized hagliography of Mao published in Communist China. See Stuart Schram, Political Thought of Mao Tse-tung (New York: Praeger, 1963), p. 14.

    27. Ssuma Ch'ien, Shih Chi, quoted in Derk Bodde, China's First Unifier: A Study of the Ch'in Dynasty as seen in the Life of Li Ssu (280? - 208 B.C.)(Leiden: Sinica Leidensia III, E. J. Brill, 1938), p. 7.

    28. Pan Ku, Ch'ien Han Shu, translated by Homer H. Dubs as History of the FormerHan Dynasty (Baltimore, Maryland: Waverly Press, 1938), 3 volumes, I, 1A:la-5b.

    29. Ibid., p. 19.

    30. Ibid., p. 1A: 15b.

    31. Ibid., p. 1A:18a.

    32. Ibid., p. 1A:20b.

    33. Ibid.

    34. Ibid., pp. 1B:8a. Note the similarity to Clausewitz’s comments in his chapter "The People in Arms" (On War, p. 481-82).

    35. Ibid., p. 1A:30b-31a.

    36. Ibid., p. 1B:2a

    37. James Legge, The Chinese Classics, 5 volumes (Hong Kong: London Missionary Society Printing Office, 1861), Ta Hsueh, p. X.5, and Li Chi (Book of Odes), p. 42.

    38. Ibid., p. 1B:3b.

    39. Mao Tse-tung, "On the Reissue of the Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention: Instructions of the General Headquarters of the Chinese People's Liberation Army," 10 October 1947, SelectedWorks, V, p. 156.

    40. Arthur F. Wright, "Sui Yang-ti, Personality and Stereotype," The Confucian Persuasion (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1960), pp. 47-76.

    41. Wang Shao Chi, China and her Great Men (Taipei: Chinese Association for the Advancement of Science, 1962), p. 45.

    42. Robert Ruhlmann, "Traditional Heroes in Chinese Popular Fiction," in The Confucian Persuasion, edited by Arthur F. Wright, p. 185.

    43. Mao Tse-tung, quoted in Edgar A. Snow, Red Star over China (London: Victor Gollancz, 1937), pp. 129-30.

    44. See, for example, "Historical References in Mao's Selected Work" China News Analysis, 22 January 1971.

    45. Aron, p. 301.

    46. Michael Howard, Clausewitz (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983), pp. 72-73.

    47. Joint Staff Officers Guide 1984, Armed Forces Staff College Publication 1, 1 July 1984, pp. 1-5.

    48. Clausewitz, p. 89.

    49. Summers, op. cit.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Contributor

    Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr., USA (Ret.) (B.S., University of Maryland; M.M.A.S., U.S. Army Command and General Staff College), is Senior Military Correspondent for U.S. News and World Report. A veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars, he held the General Douglas MacArthur Chair of Military Research at Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, and taught strategy there and at Army Command and General Staff College, retiring after 38 years of military service. He is the author of On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War (1982) and The Vietnam War Almanac (forthcoming). Colonel Summers is a graduate of Army War College and a previous contributor to the Review.

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    Post Re: Outwitting the Mongol: 'The Art of War'

    Well, you seem more self-righteous and 'up-blown' than a stereotype Yankee. And your obsession with Clausewitz isn't strange: the only way Russia has won military victories is by plunging hordes of million after million men and women into the enemy lines... great strategies Russia has come up with!


    "Vom Kriege tell of the 'total war', where all forces of a nation is centered to attack the strongest point of the opponent in a 'decisive battle'."

    Sun Tzu saids the same thing.


    3:10 - "Thus, those skilled in war subdue the enemy's army without battle. They capture his cities without assaulting them and overthrow his state without protracted operations."

    6:7 - "To be certain to take what you attack is to attack a place the enemy does not protect. To be certain to hold what you defend is to defend a place the enemy does not attack."

    6:13 - "If I am able to determine the enemy's dispositions while at the same time I conceal my own then I can concentrate and he must divide. And if I concentrate while he divides, I can use my entire strength to attack a fraction of his. There, I will be numerically superior..."

    6:14 - "The enemy must not know where I intend to give battle. For if he does not know where I intend to give battle he must prepare in a great many places. And when he prepares in a great many places, those I have to fight in any one place will be few."

    From these quotes we can see:
    -A decisive battle where all resources of all sides are concentrated to a single spot isn't the point, but attacking weakness with strength (the opposite of Clausewitz). Therefore he didn't say the same thing as Clausewitz.

    "BWAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH! You don't know squat mister! Blitzkrieg was a direct outcome of Clausewitz's thought. All the German general staff and officers who outlined and carried out the Blitzkrieg attacks are educated in Clausewitz, not Sun Tzu. Sun Tzu did not become popular with military leaders untill the Vietnam war."

    Not true. The WW1 Storm trooper concept, and later the blitzkrieg, means:
    -Reinforcements are not being sent to places at the front where success isn't gained, but where success are being gained. Reinforce success, not unsuccess. In Clausewitzian 'tactics' force must always be met with force, and numerical superiority everywhere on the battlefield must be maintained through 'total war' (mobilisation of the whole nation).
    -Through speed and attacking weak spots on the battlefield, the blitz spears penetrate far beyond enemy lines and wreak havoc and disorder, and advancing further while the enemy is being rounded up by the ordinary army. Shock and awe is another version of blitzkrieg: With speed and small amount of force, one shall penetrate enemy defences, and spread disorder and unease within the enemy camp. Clausewitz: annihilation of the enemy through superior, numerical force.

    "ROTFL! Yeah lets take a look at "shock and awe"(which has nothing to do with Sun Tzu btw)"

    It got everything to do with Sun Tzu, as I've explained: speed and movement, attack weakness with strength, penetrate/spread disorder, obtain objectives without annihilation of the enemy. That's Yankee 'Shock and Awe' in a nutshell.

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    Post Re: Outwitting the Mongol: 'The Art of War'

    Quote Originally Posted by Deling
    Well, you seem more self-righteous and 'up-blown' than a stereotype Yankee.
    ROTFL! Whatever, you sound more like some crackpot Yankee yuppie who worships Sun Tzu because its the latest fad for business sucess on wall street. :eyes

    And your obsession with Clausewitz isn't strange: the only way Russia has won military victories is by plunging hordes of million after million men and women into the enemy lines... great strategies Russia has come up with!
    ROTFL! If you actually studied military history, you would know that Russians have employed plenty of military strategies and tactics to defeat their opponents. But I guess you just go by the Hollywitz version of history. ROTFL! What a fricking joke are are!

    And the Russian soldier was never a pussy btw:

    http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/wwii/104-3/ch3.htm

    I. Characteristics and Training of the Russian Soldier

    In World War II, as in preceding wars, the Russian soldier demonstrated that he was closer to nature than his west European counterpart. This was hardly surprising since most of the Russian soldiers were born and raised far from big cities. The civilian occupation of the typical Russian soldier was that of a farmer, lumberjack, or huntsman. From early childhood he had been used to covering long distances across difficult terrain, orienting himself by conspicuous features on the ground, by the stars, and often simply by following his natural instincts. The manifold dangers that were ever present in the wide-open Russian countryside were bound to sharpen his senses, particularly his sight and hearing. Even the city dwellers, most of whom had only recently been transplanted to the densely populated cities as part of the industrialization of the Soviet Union and the resulting concentration of labor masses, remained relatively close to nature. Being attuned to the vast open spaces and desolate steppes with which a large part of his country is covered, the Russian did not know the depressing loneliness and forlornness that often overwhelmed the German soldier. The Russian was accustomed to getting along with a minimum of comfort and equipment under climatic conditions that imposed severe hardship on the invader.

    The Russian was able to move without a sound and orient himself in the darkness. On a night patrol he instinctively behaved like a huntsman who is careful to avoid making the slightest noise. During long night vigils the German sentries, on the other hand, often saw no harm in conversing or lighting a cigarette or pipe just to lessen their drowsiness. When reporting to a superior who was checking their post, they spoke in a loud voice without realizing that they often permitted the intently listening Russian who was hiding in the immediate vicinity to gather valuable information. When their not-too-keen ears picked up a suspicious sound. German sentries often fired Very pistols, thus giving away their position to the enemy. Since the Germans were in the habit of posting sentries at the same place night after night over periods of several weeks or even months, Russian agents who were watching the sentries perform their routine, duties were able to infiltrate the German lines without danger to themselves. In contrast to the stereotype way in which the Germans posted their guards at night, the Russians changed the location of their posts constantly.

    The Russian soldier performed particularly well as a night observer. Stern discipline and self-constraint enabled him to lie motionless for hours and observe the German troops at close range without being detected. He waited patiently for the most favorable opportunity to carry out his mission.

    Russian junior officers were accustomed to act in accordance with rigid orders. Upon encountering unexpected resistance they were easily confused and, in the event of a surprise counterattack against the flank of their unit, often helpless.

    In general, Russian night combat training was adapted to the terrain conditions and the characteristics of the average soldier. The exigencies of war led to an intensification of the training with emphasis on trickery, cunning, and deception rather than orthodox tactical doctrine and independent imaginative thinking.


    And the tactics you described were more common among the Chinese military mentality. I only have to mention the Chinese actions in Korea to back my assertion up.


    3:10 - "Thus, those skilled in war subdue the enemy's army without battle. They capture his cities without assaulting them and overthrow his state without protracted operations."
    Yes and hes describing the ideal victory. Yet Sun Tzu himself knows that those ideal conditions hardly is ever going to occur.

    6:7 - "To be certain to take what you attack is to attack a place the enemy does not protect. To be certain to hold what you defend is to defend a place the enemy does not attack."
    And thats just common sense, I could've figured that out when I was 12 years old playing war games on my computer. :eyes


    From these quotes we can see:
    -A decisive battle where all resources of all sides are concentrated to a single spot isn't the point, but attacking weakness with strength (the opposite of Clausewitz). Therefore he didn't say the same thing as Clausewitz.
    I'll quote my sources later and prove how much of an ignorant moron you are.

    Not true. The WW1 Storm trooper concept, and later the blitzkrieg, means:
    -Reinforcements are not being sent to places at the front where success isn't gained, but where success are being gained. Reinforce success, not unsuccess.
    The Storm trooper concept was based on fashion traditions of using elite assault troops to clear a way for the regular troops to follow. This is concept in Western warfare that dates back to the Trojan War. Sun Tzu had nothing to do that. :eyes

    Unless you can actually provide a source that talks about how the German general staff used Sun Tzu as its guide in developing the Storm Trooper tactics. Go ahead, I have sources both on German strategic thought from 1870-1945 and even more specifically to the Storm-troopers and their tactics. Not a single time is Sun Tzu mentioned, but I have noticed Clausewitz and other strategists influenced by Clausewitz come up quite a few times.

    In Clausewitzian 'tactics' force must always be met with force, and numerical superiority everywhere on the battlefield must be maintained through 'total war' (mobilisation of the whole nation).
    -Through speed and attacking weak spots on the battlefield, the blitz spears penetrate far beyond enemy lines and wreak havoc and disorder, and advancing further while the enemy is being rounded up by the ordinary army.
    And we see your further idiocy on this topic. You're usuing concepts of unconventional warfare to counter Clausewitz's concepts of convetional warfare. Nice try. Clausewitz as anybody who actually knew anything about him devoted a whole chapter to unconventional warfare(which elite assault troops like the Storm troopers were).

    Shock and awe is another version of blitzkrieg: With speed and small amount of force, one shall penetrate enemy defences, and spread disorder and unease within the enemy camp.
    Shock and awe was/is a joke.

    Clausewitz: annihilation of the enemy through superior, numerical force.
    Thats also how the Chinese fought wars. Indeed thats often been the only way the Chinese and even the Mongols won wars.

    It got everything to do with Sun Tzu,
    No it does not. Blitzkrieg and such were concepts that were forged from traditional Western military thinking. Sun Tzu had nothing to do with it.

    I will quote more, but for now heres a review of Ferdinand Otto Miksche`s book Blitzkrieg:

    http://home.no.net/tacops/Taktikk/Ka...eid/blitz1.htm

    Miksche states "This book is really a modern exposition of Clausewitz. The Nazis remain loyal to these doctrines; they apply Clausewitz`s teachings on the battlefield in an even more "total" manner than Ludendorf could do, or could have conceived of doing" This text is in accordance with the influence English military thinkers exerted on the continental general staffs` attitude to Clausewitz after WW 1. German generals had another viewpoint. They brought Clausewitz`s theories up to date and can be summarised as follows as the essence of Blitzkrieg: Attack is superior to defence because it forces the defenders to fight under unfavourable conditions. A really great master of warfare never permit himself to be put on the defensive if he can possibly avoid it; if he decides to take the defensive it is only to gain time or to gather material.


    Sun Tzu my ass! :eyes


    as I've explained: speed and movement, attack weakness with strength, penetrate/spread disorder, obtain objectives without annihilation of the enemy. That's Yankee 'Shock and Awe' in a nutshell.

    Yes, and we're seeing how well "Shock and Awe" worked overall. Quite interesting that "shock and awe" only works against nations that are tremendously weak. :eyes

    Man, I'm just going to love this discussion.
    Last edited by Taras Bulba; Monday, April 19th, 2004 at 08:05 PM.

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    Post Re: Outwitting the Mongol: 'The Art of War'

    "ROTFL! Whatever, you sound more like some crackpot Yankee yuppie who worships Sun Tzu because its the latest fad for business sucess on wall street."

    Thanks! You call me moron and yankee yuppie, but I guess that's how it goes when the argument's are running out...? Provocateur.

    "ROTFL! If you actually studied military history, you would know that Russians have employed plenty of military strategies and tactics to defeat their opponents. But I guess you just go by the Hollywitz version of history. ROTFL! What a fricking joke are are!"

    No, it's no joke at all. There's no war Russia hasn't won except with mass assaults or through nutrition-based hide-and-seek in its vast territories. And, of course, through 'divide et impera' deception among European states. When they have tried something else, like sticking their heads up at sea, they were the first western power to be beaten by a Non-European one. Could you enlighten me on examples I've missed? From what I've experienced, the Russian idea of warfare is largely based on strength alone.

    "Yes and hes describing the ideal victory. Yet Sun Tzu himself knows that those ideal conditions hardly is ever going to occur."

    Indeed, but it may as well occur. Besides; you claimed that Sun Tzu's view on total war was the same as Clauzewitz', which it isn't at all, and I just showed that they hadn't the same view. Then you, of course, can claim that Sun Tzu was 2000 years before Clausewitz, but that doesn't matter.

    "I'll quote my sources later and prove how much of an ignorant moron you are."

    Do so!

    "The Storm trooper concept was based on fashion traditions of using elite assault troops to clear a way for the regular troops to follow. This is concept in Western warfare that dates back to the Trojan War. Sun Tzu had nothing to do that."

    But it isn't a Clausewitzian concept.

    "Unless you can actually provide a source that talks about how the German general staff used Sun Tzu as its guide in developing the Storm Trooper tactics."

    I can't, because as far as I know, there aren't any.

    "Go ahead, I have sources both on German strategic thought from 1870-1945 and even more specifically to the Storm-troopers and their tactics. Not a single time is Sun Tzu mentioned, but I have noticed Clausewitz and other strategists influenced by Clausewitz come up quite a few times."

    But I believe you miss the big picture, and fail to understand what I'm getting at. For hundred years (~1800-1920-30) European warfare had been an affair of grand-scale mobilisation with large, slow armies attacking eachother on designated front: often a zero-sum game. The differences in the way WW1 and 2 was fought, by the German side, is remarkable. (Western front) WW1 with slow movement and trench warfare, with force plunged at force, and WW2 with fast, mobile units attacking weak spots. This is why the outcome in the both wars differed so greatly in France's (and Germany's) case. I haven't at all claimed that the German Command read Sun Tzu, what I claim is that the principles of field battle used by Germany during WW2 correspond more with Sun Tzu's concept of war than Clausewitz.

    And that you call Clausewitz' strategies of war good is rather astonishing. Attrition and nutrition tactics, wearing out the enemy and itself, prolonging the war with great sacrifices. A modern war isn't based on these fundamental Clausewitzian principles anymore, and yes; I would say that the American Shock and Awe small-scale blitzkrieg replica is heavely inspired by Sun Tzu's principles. Of course America can't apply the Clausewitzian concept of total war, when she has not at all the resourses for nutrition war. Besides: a modern technological army uses and should use much flexible strategies than Clausewitz. All other would be waste of resources and technological/communcative achievements.

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