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《兵守 - Military Defence》

English translation: J. J. L. Duyvendak [?]
Books referencing 《兵守》 Library Resources
1 兵守:
Military Defence:
A state that has to fight on four fronts values defence, and a state that rests against the sea values attack. For, if a state that fights on four fronts is fond of raising soldiers, it will be in a dangerous position, as it has to resist four neighbours. As soon as a country with four neighbours begins hostilities, four countries mobilize armies; therefore is it said that the country is in a dangerous position. If a state that has to fight on four fronts is unable to raise, from a city of ten thousand houses, an army of more than ten thousand men, then the state will be in a dangerous position. Therefore is it said: 'A state that has to fight on four fronts should concern itself with defensive warfare.'

2 兵守:
Military Defence:
In defending walled cities, the best way is, with the strength of the worn-out men, to fight the fresh strength of the invaders. It is assaults upon walled cities that wear out the strength of men. So long as the walled cities have not all been razed, the invaders have no means of penetrating the country. This is meant by the saying that the strength of worn-out men should fight the fresh strength of the invading force. But when the walled cities have all been razed and the foreign army thus finds the means of penetrating, then certainly it will be exhausted, and the people within the country will be rested. Fighting with rested strength against those of exhausted strength is said to be: fighting with the strength of fresh men against the worn-out strength of the invading forces. All these are called the misfortunes attendant upon the besieging of walled cities. It is regarded as a misfortune that always, in capturing cities, the strength of the army is worn out. In these three things misfortune is due, not to insufficient effort, but to mistaken generalship.

3 兵守:
Military Defence:
The way to hold a city is to have abundant strength. Therefore is it said: 'When the invading force musters its levies, mobilize as many as three armies, and divide them according to the number of the chariots of the invading force.' Of these three armies, one should be formed of able-bodied men, one of able-bodied women, and one of the old and feeble men and women. These are called the three armies. Cause the army of able-bodied men, with abundant provisions and sharp weapons, to marshal themselves and to await the enemy; cause the able-bodied women, with abundant provisions and ramparts at their backs, to marshal themselves and to await orders, so as to make, at the approach of the invaders, earthworks as an obstruction, and traps, chevaux-de-frise and pitfalls, to pull down the supporting beams and to tear down the houses, to transport what is transportable, and to burn what is untransportable, so that the invaders are not able to make use thereof in their attack. Cause the army of the old and feeble to guard the oxen, horses, sheep and swine, and to collect all that is consumable of plants and water, to feed them therewith, so as to obtain food for the able-bodied men and women. But see to it carefully that the three armies do not intermingle. If the ablebodied men mingle with the army of the able-bodied women, they will attach great value to the safety of the women, and wicked people will have opportunities for intrigue, with the result that the state will perish. Taking pleasure in the women's company, the men will be afraid of disturbing reports and so not even the brave will fight. If the able-bodied men and women intermingle with the army of the old and feeble, then the old will arouse the compassion of the able-bodied, and the feeble the pity of the strong. Compassion and pity in the heart cause brave people to be more anxious and fearful people not to fight. Therefore is it said: 'See to it carefully that the three armies do not intermingle.' This is the way to have abundant strength.

URN: ctp:shang-jun-shu/military-defence