Bloody Shovel 3

We will drown and nobody shall save us

Posts tagged as: military

There's always a way

There's a nifty book in China called the 三十六計. The "36 stratagems". Nobody knows when the book was written, though it must be old, the first mention of it goes back to the 5th century AD, when it was attributed to Tan Daoji 譚道濟, a general for the Liu Song Dynasty. The consensus is that he did indeed write it.

The 36 stratagems are organized as six different scenarios, with six stratagems each. Each stratagem is phrased as a catchy four letter idiom, the staple of Chinese vocabulary, and most of them have since become common idioms known even by small children. The book also quotes extensively the Yijing 易經, the Book of Changes, the famous book on divination. For no good reason really, but it does sound cool.

The six scenarios vary on the balance of power they apply to. Generally speaking half the stratagems apply to when you have an advantage in the war, when you are stronger than your enemy, while the other half are for when you are in a weaker position.

The last scenario is outright called 敗戦計 "tactics for when you're losing the war", and describe crafty attempts to gain an advantage or reverse the course of the fight. You may not be able to fight your enemy head on in the open, but that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do. There's plenty of tactics that a committed force can use even when fighting a vastly stronger enemy.

For no reason in particular, certainly nothing to do with c...