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The Annotated Art of War (Parts 9.9-10: Dry Plains)

 

Disciplines > Warfare > The Annotated Art of War > Parts 9.9-10: Dry Plains

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IX. The Army on the March

 

Sun Tzu said: Commentary
9. In dry, level country, take up an easily accessible position with rising ground to your right and on your rear, so that the danger may be in front, and safety lie behind. So much for campaigning in flat country.

The easiest of territories for marching is flat, dry ground, across which an army can travel quickly. Enemies can be seen from a distance and preparations made, for example by moving uphill to a stronger position.

The point about rising ground to the right and not the left seems likely to be relevant to a particular situation. In practice, either may be equally good or one preferred due to other terrain factors.

10. These are the four useful branches of military knowledge which enabled the Yellow Emperor to vanquish four several sovereigns. The four terrains that affect marching are high ground, rivers, salt marshes and dry level ground.

In general the idea is to understand the ground over which you are travelling, knowing the advantage and disadvantage these may confer.

In business, the changing competitive landscape also provides contexts to be avoided and points at which decisions are needed.

 

 

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