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Approaching the Border

 

Disciplines > WarfareThe Six Secret Teachings > 4.6 Approaching the Border

Teaching set  | Observed lessons | Discussion | See also

 

Teaching set

Tiger Secret Teachings 4.6 (36)

Observed lessons

  • When two armies are equal and facing each other, breaking forward can be a failing strategy. So you have stalemate.
  • Have advance troops dig in, building forward defenses.
  • Have rearguard troops build up supplies.
  • Send elite troops forward for surprise attacks.
  • Have older and weaker troops search the local environment to test for secret enemy advances.

Discussion

Digging in creates a wall against which a large enemy advance will break itself. Building supplies lets you wait for as long as needed until you have an advantage.

Surprise attack tests their defenses and resolve. When they break through, you have to choose between continuing or pulling back. The danger of a small, fast group is that it can get lost ahead where the enemy closes around it. To be able to retreat often requires other troops to hold the way back.

It is always important to watch for enemy tricks, including sneaking up on you. Weaker troops give you numbers that are needed to scan a wider area at lower risk levels.

See also

Victory not Campaigns

 

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

 

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