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ca - 512 BC __ « Ping Fa - 孙子兵法 »
Sun Tzu (''孫子) (ca 544-496 BC)
Comment : The Art of War (孙子兵法,Sun Zi Bing Fa) is a Chinese military treatise that was written by Sun Tzu in the 6th century BC, during the Spring and Autumn period. Composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare, it has long been praised as the definitive work on military strategies and tactics of its time, and one of the basic texts on the subject. The Art of War is one of the oldest and most successful books on military strategy in the world. It has had a huge influence on Eastern military thinking, business tactics, and beyond. Sun Tzu recognized the importance of positioning in strategy and that position is affected both by objective conditions in the physical environment and the subjective opinions of competitive actors in that environment. He taught that strategy was not planning in the sense of working through a to-do list, but rather that it requires quick and appropriate responses to changing conditions. Planning works in a controlled environment, but in a competitive environment, competing plans collide, creating unexpected situations. The book was first translated into the French language in 1772 by French Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot, and into English by British officer E. F. Calthrop in 1905. It very likely influenced Napoleon, and the planning of Operation Desert Storm. Leaders as diverse as Mao Zedong, General Vo Nguyen Giap, Baron Antoine-Henri Jomini, and General Douglas MacArthur have claimed to have drawn inspiration from the work. The Art of War has also been applied to business and managerial strategies. (Compiled from various sources)
Original excerpt 1 : « The control of large numbers is like that of small numbers - we sub-dived them. If we use the drum, the bell, and the flag, it is possible to control large forces at a distance the same as small forces. According to old books of war, the drum and the bell are used as the voice will not reach and flags are used to assist in seeing. The use of bells, drums, banners, and flags is to unite and attract the eye and ear. » (“Ping Fa The Art of Warfare”, Chapter VII, “Manoeuvre”)
French translated excerpt 2 : « ARTICLE V.Des décisions à prendre en diverses circonstances.Il peut arriver qu’une armée bien commandée, composée de bonnes troupes aguerries, pourvue d’excellents chevaux et munie de bons chars soit, à l’improviste, mise en déroute. En pareille occurrence, il faut distinguer les différentes circonstances où ce malheur arrive. Si la surprise s’est effectuée de nuit, c’est aux signaux sonores qu’il faut recourir pour transmettre les ordres de ralliement. Le jour, on fera appel aux signaux visuels : pavillons, enseignes, drapeaux. Que ces moyens restent toujours à votre portée et soyez impitoyable pour quiconque n’obéirait pas immédiatement aux ordres qui sont transmis. Une fois remise en ordre, conduisez votre armée au combat. » (Cited by L. Nachin, “Sun Tse, Ou Tse et Se Ma Fa”, p. 80)
Source : Sun Tzu (- 512 BC), “The Art of War”, translated by Samuel B. Griffith, Oxford University Press US, 1988, p. 106.
Source : Sun Tzu (- 512 BC), “Ping Fa (The Art of Warfare)”, translated by R.T. Ames, New York : Ballantines Book, 1993.
Source : Burns, Russell W. (2003), "Communications : An international history of the formative years", Chapter 1 / Communication among the ancients, IEEE History of Technology Series 32, p. 2.
Urls : http://www.online-literature.com/suntzu/artofwar/ (last visited ) http://www.cnam.fr/lipsor/dso/articles/fiche/suntzuartdelaguerre.doc (last visited ) http://www.scribd.com/doc/20885685/sun-tse-L-art-de-la-guerre (last visited )

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