George Polti's 36 dramatic situations on film with Hannaleena Hauru

36 ohjetta sotaan

36 juonta – 36 Stratagems

Luku 36 esiintyy useissa yhteyksissä, joista minulle aiemmin tuntematon oli tämä kiinalainen sotaohjeisto. Julkaisuajankohta ja kirjoittaja on epäselvä.

Stratagems When In Superior Position

1) Cross the sea under camouflage

The best secrets are carried out in broad daylight. The best hoax is to repeat it so often that people are convinced that the next move is also a hoax. When this happens, it is the best moment to carry out one’s previously hidden true objective.

2) Besiege Wei to save Zhao

Avoid a head on battle with a strong enemy, and instead strike at his weakness elsewhere. This will force the strong enemy to retreat in order to support his weakness. Battling against the now tired and low-morale enemy will give a much higher chance of success.

3) Kill with a borrowed knife

Cause damage to the enemy by getting a 3rd party to do the deed.

4) Wait at ease for the fatigued enemy

Have your troops well-prepared for battle, in the same time that the enemy is rushing to fight against you. This will give your troops a huge advantage in the upcoming battle, of which you will get to select the time and place.

5) Loot a burning house

Keep gathering internal information about an enemy. If the enemy is currently in its weakest state ever, attack it without mercy and totally destroy it to prevent future troubles.

6) Make a feint in the east while attacking in the west

Get the enemy to focus his forces in a location, and then attack elsewhere which would be weakly defended.

Stratagems for Confrontation

7) Create something out of nothing

One method of using this stratagem is to create an illusion of something’s existence, while it does not exist. Another method is to create an illusion that something does not exist, while it does.

8) Advance to Chencang by a hidden path

To pin down the enemy, expose part of your action deliberately, so that you can make a surprise attack somewhere else. This tactic is an extension of the ”Make a sound in the east, then strike in the west” tactic. But instead of simply spreading misinformation to draw the enemy’s attention, physical baits are used to increase the enemy’s certainty on the misinformation. These baits must be easily seen by the enemy, to ensure that they draw the enemy’s attention. At the same time, the baits must act as if what they meant to do what they were falsely doing, to avoid drawing the enemy’s suspicion.

9) Watch the fire burning across the river

When a serious conflicts breaks out within the enemy alliance, wait quietly for the
chaos to build up. Because once its internal conflict intensifies, the alliances will
bring destruction upon itself. As for you, observe closely and make any
preparations for any advantage that may come from it.

10) Conceal a dagger in a smile

One way or another, make the enemy trust you and thereby slacken his
vigilance. Meanwhile, plot secretly, making preparations for your future action to
ensure its success. In this stratagem, one conceals one’s hostility by assuming
outward friendliness.

11) Sacrifice the peach for the plum

When loss is inevitable, sacrifice the part for the benefit of the whole. This is the scapegoat stratagem whereby someone else suffers the consequences so that the rest do not.

12) Lead away a goat in passing

While carrying out your plans be flexible enough to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself, however small, and avail yourself of any profit, however slight.

Stratagems for Attack

13) Beat the grass to startle the snake

Any suspicion about the enemy’s circumstances must be investigated. Before
any military action, be sure to ascertain the enemy’s situation; repeated
reconnaissance is an effective way to discover the hidden enemy.

14) Raise a corpse from the dead

Take an institution, a technology, a method, or even an ideology that has been forgotten or discarded and appropriate it for your own purpose. Revive something from the past by giving it a new purpose or bring to life old ideas, customs, or traditions and reinterpret them to fit your purposes.

15) Lure the tiger out of the mountain

Use unfavourable natural conditions to trap the enemy in difficult positions. Use
deceptions to lure him out. In an offensive that involves great risks lure the
enemy to come out against you.

16) In order to capture, one must let loose

Cornered prey will often mount a final desperate attack. To prevent this you let the enemy believe he still has a chance for freedom. His will to fight is thus dampened by his desire to escape. When in the end the freedom is proven a falsehood the enemy’s morale will be defeated and he will surrender without a fight.

17) Cast a brick to attract a gem

Bait someone by making him believe he gains something or just make him react to it (”toss out a brick”) and obtain something valuable from him in return (”get a jade gem”)

18) To catch rebels, nab their leaders first

If the enemy’s army is strong but is allied to the commander only by money, superstition or threats, then take aim at the leader. If the commander falls the rest of the army will disperse or come over to your side. If, however, they are allied to the leader through loyalty then beware, the army can continue to fight on after his death out of vengeance.

Stratagems for Confused Situations

19) Take away the fire from under the cauldron

If something must be destroyed, destroy the source.

20) Catch a fish while the water is disturbed

When the enemy falls into internal chaos, exploit his weakened position and lack
of direction and win him over to your side.

21) The cicada sheds its skin

It’s a stratagem mainly used to escape from enemy of a more superior force. One use this stratagem by slough off one’s shell, which tricked the enemy to believe to have grasped one’s essential. Mask yourself. Either leave flamboyant traits behind, thus going incognito; or just masquerade yourself and create an illusion to fit your goals and distract others.

22) Bolt the door to catch the thief

Do not rush into action. Before you ”move in for the kill”, first cut off your enemy’s escape routes, and cut off any routes through which outside help can reach them.

23) Befriend a distant state while attacking a neighbour

It is more advantageous to conquer the nearby enemies, because of
geographical reasons, than those far away. So ally yourself temporarily with your
distant enemies in spite of political differences.

24) Borrow a route to conquer Guo

Borrow the resources of an ally to attack a common enemy. Once the enemy is defeated, use those resources to turn on the ally that lent you them in the first place.

Stratagems for Gaining Ground

25) Replace the beans and pillars with rotten timber

Disrupt the enemy’s formations, interfere with their methods of operations, change the rules in which they are used to follow, go contrary to their standard training.

26) Point at the mulberry only to curse the locust

To discipline, control, or warn others whose status or position excludes them from direct confrontation; use analogy and innuendo. Without directly naming names, those accused cannot retaliate without revealing their complicity.

27) Feigning foolishness

Hide behind the mask of a fool, a drunk, or a madman to create confusion about your intentions and motivations.

28) Remove the ladder after the ascent

Expose your weak points deliberately to entice the enemy to penetrate into your
line, then ensnare him in a death trap by cutting off his rearguard support. The
enemy will meet his doom because of his misjudgment.

29) Putting fake blossoms on the tree

Use deceptive appearances to make your troop look much more powerful than it
really is.

30) Host and guest reversed

Pretend to be a guest to be accepted, but develop from inside and become the owner later: whenever there is a chance, enter into the decision-making body of your ally and extend your influence skillfully step by step.

Stratagems for Desperate Situations

31) Beauty trap

Send your enemy beautiful women to cause discord within his camp. This stratagem can work on three levels. First, the ruler becomes so enamoured with the beauty that he neglects his duties and allows his vigilance to wane. Second, other males at court will begin to display aggressive behaviour that inflames minor differences hindering co-operation and destroying morale. Third, other females at court, motivated by jealousy and envy, begin to plot intrigues further exacerbating the situation.

32) Empty city plot

When the enemy is superior in numbers and your situation is such that you expect to be overrun at any moment, then drop all presence of military preparedness, act calmly and appear disrespect of the enemy, so that the enemy will think you have hidden huge power and you want to trap them into the fort with your calm and easiness.

33) Sow discord in the enemy’s camp

Spying is the best of all the deceptive measures against the enemy. Use the
enemy’s spies to work for you and you will win without any loss inflicted on your

34) Inflict injury on oneself to win the enemy’s trust

Pretending to be injured has two possible applications. In the first, the enemy is lulled into relaxing his guard since he no longer considers you to be an immediate threat. The second is a way of ingratiating yourself to your enemy by pretending the injury was caused by a mutual enemy.

35) Chain stratagems

In important matters, one should use several stratagems applied simultaneously after another as in a chain of stratagems. Keep different plans operating in an overall scheme; however, in this manner if any one stratagem fails, then the chain breaks and the whole scheme fails.

36) If everything else fails, retreat

If it becomes obvious that your current course of action will lead to defeat, then retreat and regroup. When your side is losing, there are only three choices remaining: surrender, compromise, or escape. Surrender is complete defeat, compromise is half defeat, but escape is not defeat. As long as you are not defeated, you still have a chance.

Access the full text in English here.



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