Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu
  • Born:
  • Nationality: Chinese
  • Profession: Philosopher









Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, writer and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, an influential work of military strategy that has affected Western and East Asian philosophy and military thinking. His works focus much more on alternatives to battle, such as stratagem, delay, the use of spies and alternatives to war itself, the making and keeping of alliances, the uses of deceit and a willingness to submit, at least temporarily, to more powerful foes. Sun Tzu is revered in Chinese and East Asian culture as a legendary historical and military figure. His birth name was Sun Wu and he was known outside of his family by his courtesy name Changqing. The name Sun Tzu by which he is best known in the Western World is an honorific which means "Master Sun".

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quote Topics Cited
A leader leads by example not by force. Leaders & Leadership
A skilled commander seeks victory from the situation and does not demand it of his subordinates. Leaders & Leadership
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear 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. War & Peace
Always be prudent but never hesitant. Leaders & Leadership ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Attacking does not merely consist in assaulting walled cities or striking at an army in battle array; it must include the art of assailing the enemy's mental equilibrium War & Peace
Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack. War & Peace
If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. Military & Veterans
It is essential to seek out enemy agents who have come to conduct espionage against you and to bribe them to serve you. Give them instructions and care for them. Thus doubled agents are recruited and used. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
It is important to seek out the spies that the enemy has sent to spy on you so you can bribe them to really spy for you. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt. Secrecy & Transparency
Management of many is the same as management of few. It is a matter of organization. Management & Managing Government
Put the army in the face of death where they cannot escape and they will do heroic things to win. War & Peace
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. Military & Veterans
There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare. War & Peace
To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill War & Peace
To win victory is easy; to preserve its fruits, difficult. War & Peace
Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley. Leaders & Leadership
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. War & Peace ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations. War & Peace
You should always try to deceive your enemy. Propaganda & Disinformation
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
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.
Confront them with annihilation, and they will then survive; plunge them into a deadly situation, and they will then live. When people fall into danger, they are then able to strive for victory.
For them to perceive the advantage of defeating the enemy, they must also have their rewards.
For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.
He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious. Leaders & Leadership
He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.
He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and you know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and you know Earth, you may make your victory complete.
If fighting is sure to result in victory, than you must fight, even though the ruler forbid it; if fighting will not result in victory, then you must not fight even at the ruler's bidding.
If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.
If our soldiers are not overburdened with money, it is not because they have a distaste for riches; if their lives are not unduly long, it is not because they are disinclined to longevity. Money, Coins & Minting
If we know that our own men are in a condition to attack, but are unaware that the enemy is not open to attack, we have gone only halfway towards victory.
If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.
If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.
If your opponent is of choleric temper, irritate him.
Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack.
It is only the enlightened ruler and the wise general who will use the highest intelligence of the army for the purposes of spying, and thereby they achieve great results.
Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories. War & Peace
Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.
Now the reason the enlightened prince and the wise general conquer the enemy whenever they move and their achievements surpass those of ordinary men is foreknowledge.
Of all those in the army close to the commander none is more intimate than the secret agent; of all rewards none more liberal than those given to secret agents; of all matters none is more confidential than those relating to secret operations.
Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.
Prohibit the taking of omens, and do away with superstitious doubts. Then, until death itself comes, no calamity need be feared. Death
Quickness is the essence of the war. War & Peace
Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death. Death
Secret operations are essential in war; upon them the army relies to make its every move. War & Peace
Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
The art of war is of vital importance to the state. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected. Life ;Death ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution.
The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.
The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.
The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.
The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. War & Peace ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. War & Peace
Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory. War & Peace
Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy. War & Peace
To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence.
Victory usually goes to the army who has better trained officers and men.
When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths, it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce.

Trending Quotes