Skip to content
Site Tools
Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color blue color green color
Home History and Culture Thirty-Six Strategies 25-28
Thirty-Six Strategies 25-28
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

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
【解释】指用偷换的办法,暗中改换事物的本质和内容,以达蒙混欺骗的目的。在军事上,指联合对敌作战时,反复变动友军阵线,借以调换其兵力,等待友军有机可乘、一败涂地之时,将其全部控制。这反映了在封建社会里,军阀割据,所谓“友军”,不过只是暂时的联合而已,所以“兼并盟友”是常事。不过,从军事谋略上去理解本计,重点也可以放在对敌军“频更共阵”上。也就是多次佯攻,促使敌人变换阵容,然后伺机攻其弱点。这种调动敌人的谋略,也能收到很好的效果。
【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?”
符坚答应了这个请求。前秦的其他将领都表示反对,但符坚认为可以将计就计,让军队稍向后退,待晋军半渡过河时,再以骑兵冲杀,这样就可以取得胜利。可谢安早就预料到符坚会违背约定,于是派遣了一些侦察员伪装成前秦的士兵混迹在部队中。当符坚下令后退时,这些伪装的士兵立刻大叫:“我们打败了!”来制造混乱,而前秦兵士信以为真,于是转身竟相奔逃。前锋的溃败,引起后续部队的惊恐,也随之溃逃,行成连锁反应,结果全军溃逃,向北败退。晋军乘胜追击,前秦人马相踏而死,满山遍野,充塞大河。苻坚本人也中箭负伤,单枪匹马逃回洛阳。


第26计 指桑骂槐

【读音】zhī sāng mà huái
【解释】本意是指着桑树而实骂槐树。比喻表面上是在骂一个人,实际上是在骂另外一个人。用于军事应从两方面广为理解,一是要运用各种政治和外交谋略,“指桑”而“骂槐”,施加压力配合军事行动。对于弱小的对手,可以用警告和利诱的方法,不战而胜。对于比较强大的对手也可以旁敲侧击威慑他。二是作为部队的指挥官,必须做到令行禁止,法令严明。所以,有时采用“杀鸡儆猴”的方法,抓住个别坏典型,从严处理,就可以震慑全军将士。
【典故】《红楼梦》第十六回:“咱们家所有的这些管家奶奶,那一个是好缠的?错一点儿他们就笑话打趣。偏一点儿他们就桑骂槐的抱怨。”
春秋时期,齐桓公任命管仲为丞相,使得齐国国力昌盛。于是,齐桓公想要召开一个八国联盟大会,而由自己来充当盟主。但这一次会议,只有宋、陈、蔡、邾四个国家前来参加,鲁、卫、郑、曹四国缺席。齐桓公建议与会的四国国君,大家一起合力首先对付鲁国。宋国的国君不赞同这样的做法,于是在会议中途离开,这让齐桓公非常生气。
齐桓公想要立刻攻打宋国,但管仲阻止了他。管仲说:“宋太远了,鲁国比较近,所以请先对付鲁国吧。攻打鲁国的话,可以先进军鲁国的诸侯国隋。”隋国很小,非常容易攻占。
管仲又说:“攻打隋国可以让鲁国惊恐不安,继而向我们效忠。那么宋也会因此而感到恐慌。”
齐桓公派遣他的军队前去攻打隋。当鲁国国君得知这一消息后,立刻为自己之前的傲慢向齐国道歉,卫和曹也同样为他们之前的缺席表示歉意。鲁、卫、曹、齐结成联盟准备一起前去攻打宋国。宋国的国君极度惊吓之下,马上亦改善了与齐国的邦交。
公元前678年,齐桓公在没有打一场仗的情况下,成功地建立八国联盟,成为盟主。


第27计 假痴不癫

【读音】jiǎ chī bù diān
【解释】痴:傻,呆。癫:疯癫,癫狂。假装呆傻,实际并不疯癫。形容外表看似愚钝,而心里却十分清醒。用在军事上,指有时为了以退求进,必须假痴不癫,借此麻痹对方,等待最佳时机,以争取获胜。
隋朝末年,隋炀帝的荒淫统治激情民众不满。当时民间流传着一首民谣,称隋朝即将灭亡,而一个姓李的人会成为新的帝王。隋炀帝非常迷信,当他听到这首民谣后十分紧张,四处找寻在朝廷里是否有姓李的重臣,还杀了众多的大臣、普通官员及其家属。
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
【解释】本意是指让人先尝到甜头,然后断其后路。用于军事,是指先给敌人大开方便之门,目的是让他进入你预先设下的圈套,然后一网打尽。这是一个创造战机的过程,需要有一定的耐心。而且安放梯子有很大的学问,对贪婪的敌人,要用利益诱惑;对骄傲的敌人,要示弱迷惑;对莽撞无谋的敌人,要暗设埋伏使其中计。
韩信被派遣前往齐、楚两地平定叛乱。韩信率领部队往齐地挺进,但是楚国派遣了将军龙且带领着一支军队挡住了韩信的去路。两军在潍水两岸对峙。韩信仔细观察战场地形,决定用水战破敌。他连夜秘密派人装满1万多个沙袋,将潍水上游堵起来,这样下游河水变浅了。次日上午,韩信率军过河进攻龙且。龙且见状,毫不示弱。亲率大军迎敌。双方未战几合,韩信佯败退兵。龙且不知是计,以为汉军无能,得意地说:“我早知道韩信胆小。”于是,传令全军渡河追赶,想一举消灭韩信。当齐、楚联军刚刚冲到河心,韩信暗令埋伏在上游的汉军扒开沙袋,飞奔而下的大水将正在渡河的齐、楚联军截为两段,被大水卷走的士兵不计其数。韩信回兵掩杀过去,一举全歼了已过河的齐、楚联军,齐王逃跑,龙且战死,留在东岸尚未渡河的齐、楚联军见主帅已死,纷纷弃甲曳兵,落荒而逃。就这样,汉军一举占领了齐地全境。
 

Sponsor Ads

China Yellow Pages