Bloody Shovel 3

We will drown and nobody shall save us

Posts tagged as: war

The Empty Fortress

Today it's Stratagem 32:

The Empty Fortress


Those who are empty, empty it. Create uncertainty inside uncertainty. Between hard and soft, be strange and strange again.


如吐蕃陷瓜州,王君焕死,河西恟懼。以張守珪為瓜州刺史,領餘眾方複築州城。版乾裁立,敵又暴至。略無守禦之具,城中相顧失色,莫有鬥志。守珪曰:“徒眾我寡,又瘡痍之後,不可以矢石相持,須以權道制之。”乃於城上,置酒作樂,以會將士。敵疑城中有備,不敢攻而退。 又如齊祖珽為北徐州刺史。至州,會有陳寇,百姓多反。珽不關城門。守陴者皆令下城,靜座街巷,禁斷行人,雞犬不亂鳴吠。賊無所見聞,不測所以,或疑人走城空,不設警備。珽複令大叫,鼓譟聒天,賊大驚,登時走散。

Empty or full [weak or strong], there are no constants in warfare. Of weak armies who show openly their weakness, ever since Zhuge Liang, there have been many.

For example when the Tibetans conquered Guazhou [in 776], Wang Junhuan died, and the West edges of the Yellow River all fell into panic. Zhang Shougui, governor of Guazhou, took the remainer population and started to build a new fortress. With the scaffolding for the walls was just finished the enemy attached again.

They had no means of defense, and everyone immediately turned pale, with no will to fight. Wang then gave a speech: "The enemy are many, and we are few. We've just survived a defeat, we can't fight again with arrows and stones, we must use other means to defeat them". Saying this he went to the top of the fortress, served some wine, played some music, and held a banquet with his soldiers. The enemy on seeing this thought the fortress was well prepared, so they retreated.

Or like Zu Ting...