Sun Tzu at Gettysburg

This excerpt was taken from Sun Tzu at Gettysburg by Bevin Alexander. Click here to purchase it from

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To Avoid Strength, Strike Weakness

Excerpt from Sun Tzu at Gettysburg, by Bevin Alexander, page xiv

Sun Tzu’s axioms can be employed in any military context in any war.  His most profound principle is that “the way to avoid what is strong is to strike what is weak.”  He writes this same principle in a different way: as water seeks the easiest path to the sea, so armies should avoid obstacles and seek avenues of least resistance.  The general should find a way to achieve his goals indirectly, not by direct confrontation.

A related Sun Tzu admonition is to “strike into vacuities,” that is, to move into undefended space , and to “attack objectives the enemy must rescue.”  One should move around the enemy to cut him off from retreat or succor, or to attack some point that he cannot afford to lose.

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