Sun Tzu - Army Quotes
31 Sourced Quotes
To capture the enemy's entire army is better than to destroy it; to take intact a regiment, a company, or a squad is better than to destroy them. For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the supreme of excellence. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence.
We cannot enter into alliance with neighboring princes until we are acquainted with their designs. We are not fit to lead an army on the march unless we are familiar with the face of the country - its mountains and forests, its pitfalls and precipices, its marshes and swamps. We shall be unable to turn natural advantages to account unless we make use of local guides.
In your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise: which of the two generals has the most ability? on which side is Discipline most rigorously enforced? which army is stronger? on which side are the officers and men more highly trained? in which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?
The proximity of an army causes prices to go up; and high prices cause people's substance to be drained away. When their substance is drained away, they will be afflicted by heavy exactions. With this loss of substance and exhaustion of strength, the homes of the people will be stripped bare, and their incomes dissipated.