The 36 Strategies

Lure To The Weakly To Attack Easily

 

Lure Your Enemy Onto The Roof, Then Take Away The Ladder

Means that you will lure your enemy into a terrain where he will be weak. Then he must fight both his disadvantage AND your army. Then you can attack easily that leads to victory.

With baits and deceptions lure your enemy into treacherous terrain. Then cut off his lines of communication and avenue of escape. To save himself he must fight both your own forces and the elements of nature.

Expose your weak points deliberately to entice the enemy to penetrate into your line, then ensnare him in a death trap by cutting off his rearguard support. The enemy will meet his doom because of his misjudgement.

 

Han Dynasty China

After defeating the rebel kingdom of Wei, the famous Han general Han Xin was sent to quell the other two kingdoms that had revolted, Qi and Chu.

General Han set out towards Qi but Chu sent its general Long Chu with a force of two hundred thousand men to intercept Han's invasion of Qi.

The two armies met on opposite sides of the Wei river. General Han ordered his men to fill over ten thousand sandbags and carry them up-river to dam the flow of water. The next morning General Han led his army across the lowered river and attacked Chu, but after a short engagement pretended defeat and fled back across the river. General Long announced, " See I always knew Han Xin was a coward!" and he led his army across the river in pursuit.

Through a prearranged signal, General Han had his men break the dam and free the pent up waters. Only half of the Chu army was across the river when the flood cut the army in half drowning those caught midstream. General Han then wheeled around his retreating forces and attacked the advance guard of Chu killing its general Long Chu. The remaining troops panicked and fled in all directions but were captured by the pursuing Han soldiers.

 

In the year 204 BC, generals of Han Xin and Zhang Er led 20,000 troops to attack the fiefdom of Zhao to consolidate the Han dynasty. King Xie of Zhao and general Chen Yu gathered 200,000 soldiers to do battle with Han Xin.

First Han Xin quietly sent two cavalry divisions of 2,000 men to flank the Zhao headquarters, ordering them to charge into the campsite and plant their flags when they see the Zhao army falling back to their camp in full force.

Then he told Zhang Er to take 10,000 soldiers to form a battle formation on the eastern bank of the river with the soldier's backs to the river.

Han Xin sent out one division to make a brief show of fighting and retreated luring the enemy to the river. Han Xin met up with Zhang Er at the riverbank and said, "We're caught between the river and the pursuers. Instead of drowning, let's fight for our survival."

Although outnumbered, Han Xin's men put up a spirited fight. General Chen Yu was beheaded and King Xie was taken captive.

 


 
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