Heaven & Earth
|Heaven & Earth|
"Everything is part of a prudent general's calculations before and after battle."
Soldiers cannot fight without arms; they cannot march without shoes; they cannot do either without food in their bellies. Armies need all of these expensive items, and more, for their soldiers, and replacement soldiers too, or they cannot function for long. The wise commander therefore pays as much attention to his supplies and surroundings as he does to the battles he must fight. Improving supply efforts and the understanding of how armies fight ensures a better replenishment rate and a better ammunition capacity in the field.
Once again, Sun Tzu wrote of these basic tenets of warfare and his teachings influenced samurai generals. His consideration of heaven involved taking into account the effects of climate, weather and time on the outcome of a battle. Earth involved understanding the terrain of the campaign, and the ease of crossing it, both for attack and retreat. His recommendations were that every aspect of heaven and earth had to be considered before battle commenced.
Interestingly, Sun Tzu advised sending only a single shipment of rice with any invading army. Once this was gone, he expected his men to live by organised plunder and looting, taking what they needed from the enemy. He also recommended taking the enemy soldiers and using them too as part of the invading army!