At least one quote from each chapter of The Art of War by Sun Tzu, as translated by Lionel Giles.
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.
There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.
The general, unable to control his irritation, will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants, with the result that one-third of his men are slain, while the town still remains untaken. Such are the disastrous effects of a siege.
If equally matched, we can offer battle; if slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy; if quite unequal in every way, we can flee from him.
Hence, though an obstinate fight may be made by a small force, in the end it must be captured by the larger force.
Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.
Sun Tzǔ said: The control of a large force is the same principle as the control of a few men: it is merely a question of dividing up their numbers.
In making tactical dispositions, the highest pitch you can attain is to conceal them; conceal your dispositions, and you will be safe from the prying of the subtlest spies, from the machinations of the wisest brains.
Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.
In war, practice dissimulation, and you will succeed.
Move only if there is a real advantage to be gained.
Whether to concentrate or to divide your troops, must be decided by circumstances.
Let your rapidity be that of the wind, your compactness that of the forest. In raiding and plundering be like fire, in immovability like a mountain.
Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.
Therefore soldiers must be treated in the first instance with humanity, but kept under control by means of iron discipline. This is a certain road to victory.
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.
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.
If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority felt; kindhearted, 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.
Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy’s unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots.
I'm not a great fan of the following approach, but it sounds understandable.
Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape, and they will prefer death to flight. If they will face death, there is nothing they may not achieve. Officers and men alike will put forth their uttermost strength.
Hence the saying: The enlightened ruler lays his plans well ahead; the good general cultivates his resources.
Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.
Hence it is only the enlightened ruler and the wise general who will use the highest intelligence of the army for purposes of spying and thereby they achieve great results. Spies are a most important element in war, because on them depends an army’s ability to move.