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Sun Tzu

c. 5th cent. BC ,  Chinese general & military strategist
Sun TzuChinese general, military strategist, and philosopher who lived in the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, a widely influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and Eastern philosophy.

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Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy 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.

Opportunities multiply as they are seized.

When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.

So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.

Thus the expert commander in battle moves the enemy, and is not moved by him.

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

All warfare is based on deception.

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 nea

Pretend inferiority and encourage the arrogance of your enemy.

What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations.

There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.

It is the rule in war, if ten times the enemy's strength, surround them; if five times, attack them; if double, be able to divide them; if equal, engage them; if fewer, defend against them; if weaker, be able to avoid them.

He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.

The expert in battle seeks his victory from strategic advantage and does not demand it from his men.

Too frequent rewards indicate that the general is at the end of his resources; too frequent punishments that he is in acute distress.

Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.

Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy's unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions.


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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou