Essay Sun Tzu's The Art of War

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Sun Tzu's The Art of War

The translation of the “Sun Tzu: The Art of War” ancient Chinese text has been given by many different writers. Samuel B. Griffith, Brigadier General, retired, U.S. Marine Corps; is a proven strategist that studied the English commandoes war fighting skills as a Captain. As a Major, Griffith was hand picked to serve as Executive Officer under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Merritt Edson of the 1st Raider Battalion, one of the battalions that perfected the amphibious landings during World War II. Samuel B. Griffith gives his in-depth study on “Sun Tzu: The Art of War” and how Mao Tse-tung used the strategies and teachings of Sun Tzu while commanding the Red Army of China. Griffith’s translation of Sun
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Griffith compares these scholars to the likes of Plutarch and lists the penalties for those giving bad advice and the rewards for those that were talented. The author of “The Art of War” was one such author, and although the author is still in question his works were successful enough to survive the ages.

The fourth chapter, War in Sun Tzu’s Age, gives a brief historical description of how war was conducted prior to 500 B.C., which was mostly considered civilized and with mutual respect. But during the era of Sun Tzu, war had become ferocious and Griffith shares an account of three thousand condemned men forced to commit suicide by cutting their own throat. (p. 33) The more brutal warring became; the more insight of successful combating was sought. Sun Tzu’s doctrine includes the soldiers of the time with the armies composed of swordsmen, archers, spearmen, crossbowmen, and chariots who found themselves using techniques of tactical reconnaissance, to observation, flank patrolling, and security issues. (pp. 36, 38)

Sun Tzu on War, chapter five, is Griffith’s description of Sun Tzu’s recommendations in strategy for winning battles. The best way to win a battle is by not having to fight it at all, and when a war has to be conducted it should be “applied so that victory was gained
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