Strategist Sun Wu and the Art of War-Ending
Another contingent of Wu traveled hundreds of kilometers up the Huaishui River to besiege Xuan (today's Huangchun County, Henan Province), an important city of Chu, pretending that it planned to capture the city. However, they quickly retreated, as soon as Chu forces came to its rescue from a long way away.
The forces of Chu became so exhausted as result of the frequent, tiring deployments that their combat capacity drastically declined. Believing the time was ripe for the final attack, Sun dispatched the well-prepared main force to quickly charge toward the enemy, to secure a great victory.
Sun Wu systematically elaborated his military strategies in his book The Art of War, China's oldest and best-known work on military studies. The book consists of 13 chapters, namely "Laying Plans," "Waging War," "Attack by Stratagem" "Tactical Dispositions," "Energy," "Weak and Strong Points," "Maneuvering," "Variation in Tactics," "The Army on the March," "Terrain," "The Nine Situations," "Attack by Fire" and "The Use of Spies." In this 6,000-character treatise, in addition to his insightful analysis of different wars, Sun uncovered certain universal laws of warfare. He argued that "moral laws" was the primary factor governing the art of war. He also underscored the need for a commander to be familiar with both his own army and the enemy, putting forward a universally acknowledged military rule: "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles."
The Art of War goes down in the history of ancient Chinese military affairs as an invaluable masterpiece. Its author Sun Wu is thus considered the "All-time Sage of Military Studies."