Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 8 of 10

Sun Tzu says you must behave like the snake.  When your enemy attacks, you must be flexible.

Throughout the invasion of Normandy, France, Sun Tzu’s rules of war guide the Allies to victory. The Allies used deception, foreknowledge, and a superior command structure that motivated the army to fight as one.

Sun Tzu says, “The winning army realizes the conditions for victory first then fights. The losing army fights first then seeks victory.”

More than two thousand years before the Battle of Normandy, the battle between the kingdoms of Wu and Chu raged on.

Even with a smaller army, Sun Tzu is not worried. He has split his army. While the Chu army is surrounding his smaller force, the main part of his army is moving toward the unprotected Chu capital.

The Chu commander turns from the smaller Wu force under Sun Tzu’s command and rushes back to save the capital.

Sun Tzu says, “No nation has ever benefitted from prolonged war.”  The American Civil War is Sun Tzu’s nightmare scenario. Possibly the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are the same since so many of Sun Tzu’s rules of war have been ignored.

Sun Tzu says, “Those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle. They are not brought by him.” This will happen to General Robert E. Lee in 1863.

Continued on September 16, 2013 in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 9 or return to Part 7

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 7 of 10

During the invasion of Normandy, the allies survived on death ground exactly as Sun Tzu predicted by fighting together and never giving up.

Another reason the Allies succeeded during D-day was another of Sun Tzu’s rules of war. He said, “It is essential for victory that generals are unconstrained by their leaders.”

The allied command structure gives total authority to General Eisenhower as supreme commander.

However, Germany under Hitler did not have the same command structure.

Hitler had set up a confusing system of overlapping authority so no one had total control over the military leaving Hitler the only one who made final decisions.

Hitler’s command structure is a perfect example of what Sun Tzu says about “no interference from the leader”.

The allies in France are bogged down in difficult terrain. The combat losses are horrible and little progress is made.

The solution is found in Sun Tzu’s rules of war. “Make your enemy prepare on his left and he will be weak on his right.”

The allies will follow this rule.

Continued on September 11, 2013 in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 8  or return to Part 6

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_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 6 of 10

Sun Tzu says, “It is essential to seek out enemy agents who have come to spy against you and bribe them to serve you.” In The Art of War, double agents are the most important spies.

That is what the Allies did in World War II before the Normandy Invasion of France. No one used double agents better than the British did.

Britain turned almost every spy Germany sent during the war.  These double agents made the Germans believed the invasion would take place at Pas de Calais and not Normandy.

Sun Tzu says, “The way a wise general can achieve greatness beyond ordinary men is through foreknowledge.” The allies had foreknowledge because they broke the German code and knew what the Germans were thinking and planning.

Sun Tzu would have praised the allied preparation for the invasion and the use of deception but he would have condemned the actual assault.

Sun Tzu says, “When a falcon’s strike breaks the body of its prey, it is because of timing. When torrential water tosses boulders, it is because of momentum.”

Sun Tzu believes that the best attack can be ruined if momentum is lost, and he would have predicted the cost of lives during the Normandy invasion more than two-thousand years before it took place.

Continued on September 9, 2013 in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 7 or return to Part 5

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_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 4 of 10

Sun Tzu said, “Keep plans as dark as night.”

The NVA (North Vietnamese Army) and Vietcong did this by moving supplies and troops through miles of tunnels built in the 1950 and 60s.

Deception was also one of Sun Tzu’s rules.

To achieve deception, the NVA and Vietcong announced they would honor a cease-fire on January 31, 1968, the Tet New-Year Holiday.

Sun Tzu said, “In battle use a direct attack to engage and an indirect attack to win,” meaning to deceive your enemy so you can win your real objective.

To achieve this goal, the NVA launched a surprise attack on Khe Sanh, a remote US base, one week before the Tet Offensive.

The South Vietnamese and American military are surprised when the NVA launches the Tet Offensive.  At first, it looks like the Vietcong will win, but the NVA ignored one of Sun Tzu’s rules—moral influence.

Moral influence means a leader must have the people behind him to win.

During the early days of the Tet, the Vietcong rounded up and brutally assassinated several-thousand South Vietnamese government workers and killed many Catholic nuns losing the support of the people.

However, in America, watching the violence of the Tet Offensive on TV turned more Americans against the war.

Eight years later, in 1975, Saigon falls to the NVA and America loses the war even though the US had military superiority.

Continued on September 2, 2013 in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 5  or return to Part 3

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_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 3 of 10

Sun Tzu liked the enemy to maneuver and respond to his moves. This way he was in charge of the battlefield.

A US report after the Vietnam War revealed that 80% of the time, it was the North Vietnamese and Vietcong who decided where and when to fight.

Sun Tzu said, “Once you know the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses, you can avoid the strengths and attack the weaknesses.” At the beginning of the war, almost 80% of Americans supported it.

As the Vietnam war continued with mounting US causalities, that support at home shifted against the war, which achieved another of Sun Tzu’s rules, “The skillful leader subdues enemy’s troops without any fighting. One does not win wars by winning battles.”

Although the North Vietnamese and Vietcong did not win battles, they won the war by turning the American people against it. To achieve this goal, the North Vietnamese commander was willing to lose ten men for every American killed.

In the end, the US lost 53 thousand troops and the North Vietnamese and Vietcong more than a million with several million more noncombatants killed as collateral damage to the American bombing.

Sun Tzu felt spies were important, and he devoted one chapter to spies.  He said, “Use your spies for every kind of business,” and the North Vietnamese and Vietcong followed that advice.

Sun Tzu said, “An accurate knowledge of the enemy is worth ten divisions.”

He also said, “Let your plans be as dark as night – then strike like a thunderbolt.”  The Tet Offensive in January of 1968 was that thunderbolt.

Continued on August 28, 2013 in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 4 or return to Part 2

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_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 2 of 10

The state of Wu has only 33,000 troops while Chu can field a force of 300 thousand.

Outnumbered ten to one, Sun Tzu could build his defenses and wait for the attack. However, he does the unexpected. He invades Chu.

He doesn’t attack Chu’s main army. Instead, he attacks outposts and weaker targets. When Chu sends an army to fight, Sun Tzu slips away emphasizing maneuver, surprise and deception.

After every battle, Sun Tzu learns more about his enemy.

During another war more than two thousand years later, Sun Tzu’s ultimate secret becomes more evident. In the mid 1960s, the world’s largest super power is fighting in Vietnam—a country smaller than the state of Montana.

The American general sees the battlefield like a chessboard where armies stand and fight. However, Vietnam has no clear objectives to attack and destroy.

The Communist general understands Sun Tzu and uses the Viet Cong in hit and run attacks against fixed US positions.

Sun Tzu said, “It is more important to outthink your enemy than outfight him. In war, numbers alone confer no advantage. Do not advance relying on sheer military power.”

The US commander breaks these rules.

Continued on August 26, 2013 in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 3 or return to Part 1

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_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: part 1 of 10

Around 500 BC, the King of Wu summons Sun Tzu, one of the greatest military minds in history, to save his kingdom from a more powerful enemy.

Sun Tzu was a warrior, a philosopher and the author of The Art of War, a book still studied—for example at West Point—more than two-thousand years after it was written.

Sun Tzu is important because he had a cohesive, holistic philosophy on strategy.  Sun Tzu tells the King of Wu he can defeat the enemy with a smaller army.  Doubting him, the king challenges Sun Tzu to turn the palace concubines into a fighting force and Sun Tzu accepts.

Sun Tzu shows the concubines what to do, selects the best two students and puts them in charge of the others.  When Sun Tzu orders the exercise to begin, the woman laugh.

He tries again but the concubines laugh again.

Sun Tzu says, “If instructions are not clear and commands not explicit, it is the fault of the general.  But if the orders are clear, and my orders are clear, it is the fault of the subordinate officers.”

Without warning, Sun Tzu beheads the two concubines he had selected to lead the others.  To Sun Tzu, war is a matter of life and death. This is the key principal of his teachings.  Once understood, everyone from the general to the solider will be motivated to win.

While the bodies of the first two concubines are still warm, Sun Tzu appoints two new concubines to lead the others. This time the concubines follow his orders without hesitation. The king of Wu is convinced and  appoints Sun Tzu commander of the Wu army.

Sun Tzu now must train an army of 30 thousand troops to fight a force ten times larger.

Continued on August 21, 2013 in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 2

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_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”