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Occupying Enemy Territory

 

Disciplines > WarfareThe Six Secret Teachings > 4.10 Occupying Enemy Territory

Teaching set  | Observed lessons | Discussion | See also

 

Teaching set

Tiger Secret Teachings 4.10 (40)

Observed lessons

  • When laying siege, beware of rescue armies coming up behind you. Scout distantly around the siege location.
  • If a rescue army approaches, attack them well before they arrive.
  • Minimize the duration of a siege by showing the defenders that their prospects are zero.
  • When you win the siege, be generous. Do not kill captives or destroy religious sites.

Discussion

History is littered with long sieges, many of which failed. Cutting off food and water supplies is one of the fastest way to victory, especially if they have a large population and little in the stores.

Laying a full siege when there is a large rescue force nearby is hazardous as the arrival of the new force can embolden those besieged who may then sally forth and trap you on two sides.

Beware of people in besieged places sneaking out to cause harm in your camp or to escape and bring help. No communications out or in should be allowed without your strict control.

Being gracious in victory is a good way of quelling possible rebellion from ordinary civilians. In particular if you respect them and their deeply held beliefs then you may bring them over to your side, especially if the ruling classes have been harsh.

See also

Siege War

 

Sawyer, R.D. (1993). The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China, Basic Books

 

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