The Influences of Sun Tzu in the Second World War

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This essay will explore the influences of Sun Tzu in the Second World War. Sun Tzu (544 – 496 BC) was a Chinese general and strategist in times of the Zhou dynasty. His techniques, even today are highly respected. The teachings of Sun Tzu were used not only in Asia and Europe but have also been applied today by the western society. Sun Tzu's book is divided into thirteen chapters, all of which provide vital information about victory. The thirteen chapters are: Laying plans, Waging war, Attack by stratagem, Tactical dispositions, Energy, Weak points & strong, Maneuvering, Variation in tactics, The army on the march, terrain, The nine situations, The attack by fire, and The use of spies. Executing these according to Sun Tzu, will bring any…show more content…
To move from a point to another A Commander does not create the openings for an advance due to the unpredictability of the weather. Instead he uses the changes in the weather to aid the advancement of his troops. The significance of this chapter is clear in the landings on the Normandy beaches in the Second World War. In this chapter Sun Tzu also informs that talent and experience are above rules and theory. The knowledge in his book ‘Art of War’ isn’t grasped by simply reading the texts. Understanding it and knowing when and where to appropriately apply these concepts takes practice. These concepts were not created with scientific knowledge or calculations, because war cannot be analytically calculated. War is like water, Sun Tzu says “it shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing.” Accordingly this book was written by generals in the army with years of experience, and wisdom and cannot be easily repeated. Sun Tzu says “One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.” Reading these texts only provides the reader with the theory; however to gain an understanding requires practice. Therefore the rank of a commander can only be attained through the medium of reflection, creativity, study, thought and intellectual instinct.” The next chapter analyzes the distribution of energy with direct and indirect attacks.
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