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Home History and Culture Thirty-Six Strategies 25-28
Thirty-Six Strategies 25-28
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25.Replace The Beams With Rotten Timbers

Replace the enemy's strength with weakness. One way of making for the enemy's weak points is to give the enemy weaknesses that he does not recognize. Infiltration of your own picked personnel to take key roles in the enemy's forces is one way of following this stratagem. But it's less costly and less risky to cause the opponent to switch out his own best people.

In 383 emperor Fu Jian of Qin, personally led an advance guard of 5,000 horses to attack the Jin general Xie Shi. Discovering that the Jin forces were greater than he anticipated, the emperor had his army form defensive positions along the bank of the river. The Jin armies likewise encamped on the opposite side. Neither side wished to cross first since it was well known that an army is most vulnerable when crossing a river. General Shi sent an envoy across the river with a message that read: " My lord, your army has entered deeply into our territory, and in deploying your ranks you have crowded upon the river. This is the plan for a lengthy stalemate. Do you really want to fight? If you will order your men to withdraw to a safe distance and allow us to cross we can then fight it out and settle the matter quickly."

The emperor agreed to the request. When his advisors objected, emperor Fu Jian told them that he planned to turn his army about and attack the Jin after half their troops had crossed. But general Xie anticipated the emperor's treachery and sent scouts disguised as imperial troops to infiltrate the Qin ranks. When the emperor ordered his army to pull back, the disguised Jin troops began to incite panic by spreading the rumor that Qin was withdrawing in defeat and that Jin was in hot pursuit. The retreat quickly turned into a rout as the Qin troops broke formation to escape. The emperor and his generals raced frantically after the fleeing soldiers with whips in hand to stop them, but to no avail. The Jin army quickly crossed the river and pursued the Qin forces inflicting enormous casualties. The emperor was wounded and narrowly escaped.

26.Point At The Mulberry, But Curse The Locust Tree
To discipline, control, or warn others whose status or position excludes them from direct confrontation; use analogy and innuendo. Without directly naming names, those accused cannot retaliate without revealing their complicity.
During the Spring and Autumn period, Duke Huan of the prosperous Qi made Guan Zhong his chief minister. Duke Huan wanted to be dominant and invited the eight states to a meeting on forming an alliance. Chen, Cai, Zhu and Song attended the meeting. Lu, Wei, Zheng, Cao did not attend the meeting. Duke Huan told those who attended the meeting that he wanted their support to deal with Lu first. The duke of Song however did not want part of it and left. This greatly angered Duke Huan.

Duke Huan was about to launch an attack to punish Song when Guan Zhong stopped him, "Song is far, Lu is near. Let's deal with Lu first. We can attack Lu's vassal Sui." Sui was small and easy to conquer.
Guan Zhong also said, "We can strike at Sui first to scare Lu. Lu will then pay allegience to us. Song will also feel intimidated."

Duke Huan sent his army to attack Sui. The duke of Lu was told that the Qi army had subdued Sui. The duke of Lu quickly apologised to Qi. Wei and Cao also apologised for their absence at the meeting. Lu, Wei, Cao and Qi joined forces to attack Song. The duke of Song was terrified and quickly mend fences with Qi.
In 678 BC, Duke Huan succeeded in forming an alliance of eight states with barely any fighting.

27.Feign Madness, But Keep Your Balance
The man who survived danger by pretending to be insane or mentally deficient. It's not fun to be thought of as stupid, but it is safer than to be reckoned intelligent and therefore dangerous. Hide behind the mask of a fool, a drunk, or a madman to create confusion about your intentions and motivations. Lure your opponent into underestimating your ability until, overconfident, he drops his guard. Then you may attack.

During the final years of Emperor Yang of the Sui Dynasty there appeared a ballad that foretold the fall of the house of Sui and the ascent of a man named Li as emperor. The ballad became immensely popular among the disaffected subjects of Emperor Yang's infamous rule. The emperor, being superstitious and believing in the prophecy himself, began a campaign to search out and execute anyone of importance with the surname Li. He had numerous ministers and officials along with their entire families put to the sword.

A minor official whose name was, Li Yuan, was serving as superintendent in the provinces when he was summoned to the court. Li Yuan delayed appearing in court by claiming poor health. Li Yuan had a niece who was a palace maid and one day the emperor asked her where her uncle Li has been. The lady replied that her uncle was ill. The emperor said: "I wonder if he is courting death?" When Li Yuan heard this he was certain that if he obeyed the summons to court he would never return. Thereupon he feigned madness and pretended to become an incorrigible drunk. When the imperial spies reported Li's behavior the emperor thought that a madmen could never fulfill the prophesy and was no longer suspicious of Li. Surprisingly, two years later the Sui emperor placed Li in charge of a field army to defend the empire against barbarian incursions. Li fought bravely, won the respect of his troops, marched on the capital, and went on to found the illustrious Tang dynasty thus fulfilling the prophecy.

28.Lure Your Enemy Onto The Roof, Then Take Away The Ladder
With baits and deceptions lure your enemy and draw the opponent into a trap. Then cut off his lines of communication and avenue of escape. One application of this stratagem was to lure the enemy army into attacking what appears to be your own weakened front line. Once they commit to an attack, half your forces rush their flank or rear, thus enabling you to harass them from two sides.

Luring an antagonistic person into saying too much in front of others, or tricking a boaster into making a claim in front of witnesses that he cannot back up, or getting a commitment from an adversary to do things your way are all methods of removing the ladder after the enemy has ascended your walls. An impatient, overly sensitive, choleric person is prone to say too much, and so the best way to handle such a person is by patience and quietness at the start and then firmness and immoveable resolution at the end.

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.

三十六计故事 25-28

第25计 偷梁换柱

【读音】tōu liáng huàn zhù
【典故】唐朝张守节《正义》引《帝王世纪》:“纣倒曳九牛,抚梁易柱 。”
公元383年,前秦皇帝符坚亲自率领5000骑兵进攻。当时东晋的指挥为大将军谢安。当发现东晋的军队比自己预料中要强大时,符坚命令部队在河对岸驻扎,于是两军隔岸对峙。 双方都希望自己可以第一个渡河,但同时又知道军队在渡河时是最容易受到攻击的。谢玄派使者去见符坚,说:“大王您带领军队孤身深入,又与我方隔岸对峙,这不是长久的计谋,为什么不速战速决呢。如果将您的军队稍微向后撤退一些,使得晋军渡过河,然后再决一胜负不是更好么?”

第26计 指桑骂槐

【读音】zhī sāng mà huái

第27计 假痴不癫

【读音】jiǎ chī bù diān
当时,有一名名叫李渊的小官,当他被传唤上朝时,他谎称身体虚弱而推辞。李渊有一名在皇宫当宫女的侄女,一天隋炀帝问她是不是有一个叫李渊的舅舅。那个侄女回答说,她的舅舅生病了。隋炀帝说:“我想知道他是不是病得快死了。” 李渊听到这个消息后,知道如果他前去上朝一定是有去无回,于是他假装成一个不可救药的疯汉,成日喝酒买醉。当密探向隋炀帝报告了这一情况后,隋炀帝认为疯子是不可能造反的,于是对李渊便不再怀疑。两年以后,隋末农民起义,李渊乘机起兵攻入长安,建立了唐朝。

第28计 上屋抽梯

【读音】shàng wū chōu tī

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