Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
The opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.
The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.
Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.
The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
He who wishes to fight must first count the cost
He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.
When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.
Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.
If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.
If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are.
Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.
If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.
Secret operations are essential in war; upon them the army relies to make its every move.
What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.
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