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Home History and Culture Thirty-Six Strategies 29-32
Thirty-Six Strategies 29-32
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

29.Deck The Dead Tree With Silk Blossoms

Tying silk blossoms on a dead tree gives the illusion that the tree is healthy. Through the use of artifice and disguise make something of no value appear valuable; of no threat appear dangerous; of no use, useful.

The warlord Cao Cao of Wei, was pursuing the fleeing army and population of Shu led by the heroes of the Peach Grove, Liu Pei and Chang Fei. The retreating column came upon the Changpan bridge over the Wei river with the enemy army only hours behind. On the opposite side of the river there was heavy forest. Chang Fei turned to his general Liu Pei and said: "This bridge is the only crossing point for miles and provides us with an advantage. You take the army and people across while I hold off the Wei army to give you as much of a lead as possible." After the Shu army had crossed over, Chang Fei sent his small group of cavalrymen across the bridge into the forest where they tied branches to their horses tails and rode around in circles. Chang Fei remained sitting on his charger in the middle of the bridge. When the pursuing army of Wei came upon the sight of Chang Fei alone on the bridge they stopped. Cao Cao noticed the huge dust cloud in the distance behind the woods and suspected a trap. Chang Fei roared out a challenge to the Wei army but Cao Cao, now convinced this was a ruse, turned his men around to retreat. Chang Fei seeing the Wei army turn about spurred his charger towards the Wei as though to attack them single handedly. This so unnerved the Wei forces that they made a mad scramble to escape the area convinced a trap was closing around them. This trick bought Lui Pei and Chang Fei enough time to escape with their men and regroup at Chianling.

30.Exchange The Role Of Guest For That Of Host
Defeat the enemy from within by infiltrating the enemy's camp under the guise of cooperation, surrender, or peace treaties. In this way you can discover his weakness and then, when the enemy's guard is relaxed, strike directly at the source of his strength.

In the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, by Luo Guanzhong, Han Fu participated in the coalition against Dong Zhuo. After the coalition is broken, he returned to Jizhou. Yuan Shao, whose troops are supported by Han Fu begins to look at the options to remove his dependency on the food shipment from Han Fu to maintain his troops. Following Feng Ji's advice, Yuan Shao pretended to be willing to divide Han Fu's territory with Gongsun Zan if he attacks Han Fu. Seeing the incoming invasion from Gongsun Zan, the frightened Han Fu surrendered his territory to Yuan Shao although a number of officials pleaded for him to reconsider. After Yuan Shao took over Jizhou, he kept the territory for himself, which infuriated Gongsun Zan, and stripped Han Fu's rank. The disappointed Han Fu left everything, including his family and went to seek refuge.

31.The Strategy Of Beautiful Women
Send your enemy beautiful women to cause discord within his camp. This strategy can work on three levels. First, the ruler becomes so enamored with the beauty that he neglects his duties and allows his vigilance to wane. Second, other males at court will begin to display aggressive behavior that inflames minor differences hindering co-operation and destroying morale. Third, other females at court, motivated by jealousy and envy, begin to plot intrigues further exasperating the situation.

Even though this has been done many times, perhaps the most famous historical example is Xi Shi who was sent to the State of Wu during the Spring and Autumn Period.
Xi Shi's beauty was said to be so extreme that while laundering her garments in the river, the fish were so dazzled that they forgot how to swim and gradually sunk to the bottom of the rive.

King Gou Jian of Yue, was once imprisoned after a defeat in a war by King Fu Chai of Wu, king of the State of Wu. The state of Yue later became a tribulatory to Wu. Secretly planning his revenge, Gou Jian's minister Wen Zhong suggested training beautiful women and offering them to Fu Chai as a tribute. His other minister, Fan Li, found Xi Shi and Zheng Dan, and gifted them to Fu Chai in 490 BC.

Bewitched by the beauty of Xi Shi and Zheng Dan, Fu Chai forgot all about his state affairs and on their instigation, killed his best advisor, the great general Wu Zixu. Fu Chai even built Guanwa Palace (Palace of Beautiful Women) in an imperial park on the slope of Lingyan Hill, about 15 kilometers west of Suzhou. The strength of Wu dwindled, and in 473 BC Gou Jian launched his strike and put the Wu army to full rout. King Fu Chai lamented that he should have listened to Wu Zixu, and then committed suicide.

32.The Strategy Of Open City Gates
When the enemy is superior in numbers and your situation is such that you expect to be overrun at any moment, then drop all pretence of military preparedness and act casually. Unless the enemy has an accurate description of your situation this unusual behavior will arouse suspicions. With luck he will be dissuaded from attacking.

In 149 BC, the famous strategist Kong Ming of Shu, launched an attack against the state of Wei by sending an advance force to scout for the enemy. Leading the army of Wei was Suma-I who also sent an advance force of fifty thousand troops. The two vanguards met and engaged in battle but the Wei forces were superior and won the day. The defeated Shu vanguard raced back to the main body of Kong Ming's army whose troops, seeing the look of fear in the faces of their comrades, thought that the enemy was upon them and fled in panic. Kong Ming and a few bodyguards fled to the city of Yangping with the Wei army in hot pursuit. Vastly outnumbered and unable to either retreat or sustain a siege, Kong Ming played a last resort strategy that made him famous throughout China. He removed all the guards and battle flags from the walls and had all four of the city gates flung open. When Suma-I approached the city he could see only a few old men nonchalantly sweeping the grounds within the gates. Kong-Ming was seen sitting in one of the towers smiling and playing his lute. Suma-I remarked to his advisors: "That man seems to be too happy for my comfort. Doubtless he has some deep laid scheme in mind to bring us all to disaster." As they stood spell bound, the strains of Kong Ming's lute reached their ears and this only heightened their sense of foreboding. Such peculiar behavior was too suspicious and, fearing a clever trap, Suma-I turned his army back and retreated. After the army left Kong Ming and his remaining troops departed in the opposite direction and made their way safely back to their capital.

三十六计故事 29-32
第29计 树上开花


【读音】shù shàng kāi huā
【解释】本意是指树上本来没有开花,但可以用彩色的绸子剪成花朵粘在树上,做得和真花一祥,不仔细去看,真假难辩。此计用在军事上,指自已的力量比较小,却可以借友军势力或借某种因素制造假象,使自己的阵营显得强大,也就是说,在战争中要善于借助各种因素来为自己壮大声势。

刘备和张飞带领下的蜀军一路败逃,而曹操率领的魏军紧追不舍。来到长坂桥时,张飞看到河对岸有一片茂盛的森林,便转身对刘备说:“这座桥是过河的唯一的通道,这为我们提供了优势。你带着部队先走,我留在这边拖延魏军。”当蜀军离开后,张飞让一小队骑兵骑着马在森林里跑动,自己仍然站在桥梁中间。追击的魏军来到桥前,他们看到了独身一人的张飞,便停了下来。曹操注意到不远处的森林里烟尘飞扬,张飞又面无惧色地冲他们大喊“放马过来”,便认为这是一个圈套,森林里一定有埋伏,于是畏缩不前,而这给了蜀军足够的时候逃跑并重新整顿。
这个故事对败退的蜀军而言,使用了“金蝉脱壳”一计,以假象迷惑曹军得以逃脱。而对制造假象的张飞而言,他正是使用了“树上开花”一计,命令手下的一小队骑兵真真假假地制造幻相,使得曹军以为森林里藏有千军万马。

第30计 反客为主

【读音】fǎn kè wéi zhǔ
【解释】本意是指就是变被动为主动,把主动权慢慢地掌握到自己手中来。做为一条军事谋略,“反客为主”主要是强调把握战机,控制战略要地,步步为营,以攻为守,争取先机之利。
在罗贯中的《三国演义》中,韩馥曾参加讨伐董卓的联盟,在联盟解散后,他回到了冀州。后来,袁绍的势力渐渐强大,他屯兵河内,缺少粮草,十分犯愁。老友韩馥知道情况之后,主动派人送去粮草,帮袁绍解决供应困难。袁绍觉得等待别人送粮草,不能够解决根本问题。他听了谋士逢纪的劝告,先假意向公孙瓒表示愿意和他一起攻打冀州。眼看公孙瓒即将入侵,韩馥非常害怕,虽然许多官员竭力反对,韩馥还是向袁绍求助,请袁绍带兵进入冀州。袁绍接管冀州后,继续大力扩张版图,这让公孙瓒非常恼火;另一方面袁绍亦进一步消灭韩馥在冀州的势力,掌握统治权。韩馥非常失望却也无可奈何,为了保全性命,他只得和家人一起逃出冀州,寻求其他的庇护之所。


第31计 美人计

【读音】měi rén jì
【解释】供奉美女,以消磨敌军将帅的意志,削弱他的体质,增加他所带领部队的怨恨情绪。扩展地说,对于用军事行动难以征服的敌方,要使用“糖衣炮弹”,先从思想意志上打败敌方的将帅,使其内部丧失战斗力,然后再行攻取。
【典故】出自《六韬•文伐》:“养其乱臣以迷之,进美女淫声以惑之。”
相传西施在溪边綄纱时,水中的鱼儿被她的美丽所吸引,看得发呆,都忘了游泳,以至沉入水底。
春秋时期,吴越发生战争,越国战败沦为吴的属国,越王勾践一度被吴国囚禁。当勾践回国后,他开始秘密策划起复仇大计。勾践的谋士文种出主意说,可以献给吴王夫差一些美女,让他沉溺在享乐之中。勾践的另一位谋士范蠡找到了西施和郑旦,将她们作为礼物献给了吴国的国君夫差。
果然,这两个美人让夫差忘记一切政务。在她们的唆使下,夫差杀死了自己明智的谋士、大将军伍子胥。为了讨美人的欢心,他又耗费了大量人力财力在灵岩山顶建馆娃宫。吴国的国力也因此逐渐衰弱,勾践乘机率领越国军队进攻,大获全胜。夫差这时才后悔没有听伍子胥的劝告,但为时已晚,只能绝望自杀。

第32计 空城计

【读音】kōng chéng jì
【解释】空城计,是一种心理战术。在己方无力守城的情况下,故意向敌人暴露我城内空虚,就是所谓“虚者虚之”。敌方产生怀疑,更会犹豫不前,就是所谓“疑中生疑”。敌人怕城内有埋伏,怕陷进埋伏圈内。但这是悬而又悬的“险策”。使用此计的关键,是要清楚地了解并掌握敌方将帅的心理状况和性格特征。
三国时期,魏将司马懿带领大军15万向诸葛亮(孔明)所在的西城蜂拥而来。当时,诸葛视身边没有大将,只有一班文官,所带领的五千军队,也有一半运粮草去了,只剩2500名士兵在城里。众人听到司马懿带兵前来的消息都大惊失色。诸葛亮登城楼观望后,对众人说:“大家不要惊慌,我略用计策,便可教司马懿退兵。”
于是,诸葛亮传令,把所有的旌旗都藏起来,士兵原地不动,如果有私自外出以及大声喧哗的,立即斩首。又教士兵把四个城门打开,每个城门之上派20名士兵扮成百姓模样,洒水扫街。诸葛亮自己披上鹤氅,戴上高高的纶巾,领着两个小书童,带上一张琴,到城上望敌楼前凭栏坐下,燃起香,然后慢慢弹起琴来。
司马懿的先头部队到达城下,见了这种气势,都不敢轻易入城,便急忙返回报告司马懿。司马懿听后,笑着说:“这怎么可能呢?”于是便令三军停下,自己飞马前去观看。离城不远,他果然看见诸葛亮端坐在城楼上,笑容可掬,正在焚香弹琴。左面一个书童,手捧宝剑;右面也有一个书童,手里拿着拂尘。城门里外,20多个百姓模样的人在低头洒扫,旁若无人。司马懿看后,疑惑不已,便来到中军,今后军充作前军,前军作后军撤退。他的二子司马昭说:“莫非是诸葛亮家中无兵,所以故意弄出这个样子来?父亲您为什么要退兵呢?”司马懿说:“诸葛亮一生谨慎,不曾冒险。现在城门大开,里面必有埋伏,我军如果进去,正好中了他们的计。还是快快撤退吧!”于是各路兵马都退了回去。
 

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