This essay will explore the influences of Sun Tzu in the Second World War. Sun Tzu (544 – 496 BC) was a Chinese general and strategist in times of the Zhou dynasty. His techniques, even today are highly respected. The teachings of Sun Tzu were used not only in Asia and Europe but have also been applied today by the western society.
Sun Tzu's book is divided into thirteen chapters, all of which provide vital information about victory. The thirteen chapters are: Laying plans, Waging war, Attack by stratagem, Tactical dispositions, Energy, Weak points & strong, Maneuvering, Variation in tactics, The army on the march, terrain, The nine situations, The attack by fire, and The use of spies. Executing these according to Sun Tzu, will bring any Commander to victory.
Sun Tzu says the laying of plans take place prior to entering a war/battle. During which a General must remember the five fundamental factors; Moral Law, Heaven, Earth, The commander, Method and discipline. Moral law signifies that people are in complete accord with their leader, and they are willing to fight for their motives. This also applies to the soldiers, who need to have complete faith in the Commander. Secondly, Heaven signifies the seasons or climate; when planning for a battle the Commander must contemplate for the time and characteristics of the battleground, and make his troops carry supplies accordingly. Earth is used to represent the terrain encountered by the troops. On a long march, the Commander needs to make sure that his troops maintain their energy in case of a surprise attack. In order to assure the strength of his troops he must provide them with appropriate times to rest, he must plan ahead. A General is a dignitary who informs the Commander of the plans; it is then the Commander’s job to lead the troops into battle. Sun Tzu mentions that a strong Commander has five common traits; bravery, care, intelligence, trustworthy, and strict. Lastly in concern to method and discipline Sun Tzu says “In which army is there greater constancy, both in reward and in punishment”. He believes that good deeds should be rewarded immensely as well as crimes should be punishable by death. This results in the
The next chapter in Sun Tzu’s book is titled Waging war. In this chapter he explains the economic perspective towards war. He says "There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare." He believes that a successful campaign should be brief with limited money, resources, and casualties. He also discusses the constraints a conflict can put on the people. He says” the proximity of an army causes prices to go up; and high prices cause the people’s substance to be drained away. When their substance is drained away, the peasantry will be afflicted by heavy exaction. With this loss of substance and exhaustion of strength, the homes of the people will be stripped bare.” This means that if the fighting is prolonged the tax paying people will have their homes ripped...