Superphysics
Chapter 10

Terrain

4 minutes  • 785 words

There are 6 kinds of terrain

Name Description Strategy
Accessible ground can be freely traversed by both sides occupy the raised and sunny spots before the enemy, to fight with advantage. Carefully guard your line of supplies
Entangling ground can be abandoned but is hard to re-occupy if the enemy is unprepared, you may sally forth and defeat him. But if the enemy is prepared and your attack fails, then it will be disaster
Temporizing ground neither side will gain by making the first move You should retreat to lure the enemy out and then attack him
Narrow passes garrison this strongly and await the enemy. If the enemy garrisons here first, do not attack until it is weaker
Precipitous heights occupy the raised and sunny spots and wait for him to come up. If the enemy has occupied them, retreat and entice him away
Positions very far from the enemy If an equally-sized enemy is far, it will be disadvantageous to go there to fight

These 6 are the principles connected with Earth. The general who has attained a responsible post must be careful to study them.

An army is exposed to six several calamities, not arising from natural causes, but from faults for which the general is responsible

1. Flight

2. Insubordination

3. Collapse

4. Ruin

5. Disorganization

6. Rout

7. Other conditions being equal, if one force is hurled against another ten times its size, the result will be the flight of the former.

8. When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too weak, the result is insubordination. When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers too weak, the result is collapse.

9. When the higher officers are angry and insubordinate, and on meeting the enemy give battle on their own account from a feeling of resentment, before the commander-in-chief can tell whether or no he is in a position to fight, the result is ruin.

10. When the general is weak and without authority; when his orders are not clear and distinct; when there are no fixes duties assigned to officers and men, and the ranks are formed in a slovenly haphazard manner, the result is utter disorganization.

11. When a general, unable to estimate the enemy’s strength, allows an inferior force to engage a larger one, or hurls a weak detachment against a powerful one, and neglects to place picked soldiers in the front rank, the result must be rout.

12. These are six ways of courting defeat, which must be carefully noted by the general who has attained a responsible post.

13. The natural formation of the country is the soldier’s best ally; but a power of estimating the adversary, of controlling the forces of victory, and of shrewdly calculating difficulties, dangers and distances, constitutes the test of a great general.

14. He who knows these things, and in fighting puts his knowledge into practice, will win his battles. He who knows them not, nor practices them, will surely be defeated.

15. If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight, even though the ruler forbid it; if fighting will not result in victory, then you must not fight even at the ruler’s bidding.

16. The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.

17. Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.

18. If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority felt; kind-hearted, but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable, moreover, of quelling disorder= then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children; they are useless for any practical purpose.

19. If we know that our own men are in a condition to attack, but are unaware that the enemy is not open to attack, we have gone only halfway towards victory.

20. If we know that the enemy is open to attack, but are unaware that our own men are not in a condition to attack, we have gone only halfway towards victory.

21. If we know that the enemy is open to attack, and also know that our men are in a condition to attack, but are unaware that the nature of the ground makes fighting impracticable, we have still gone only halfway towards victory.

22. Hence the experienced soldier, once in motion, is never bewildered; once he has broken camp, he is never at a loss.

23. Hence the saying= If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete.