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Home History and Culture Thirty-Six Strategies 17-20
Thirty-Six Strategies 17-20
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

17.Throw out a brick to attract a jade

It was said that a poet named Chang Jian of the Tang Dynasty one day heard that Zhao Gu would visited Ling Yan Temple of Su Zhou. In order to invite Zhao Gu to poetize, he wrote down two sentences on the wall in advance. Sure enough this unfinished poem attracted Zhao Gu's attention, and he wrote down another two more wonderful sentences to finish this poem. Later on people described Chang Jian's action as " Throw out a brick to attract a jade ".

Now people try to use this statement which indicates that one first establishes a superficial opinion or analogy in order to lead others setup higher purposes or features, the statement shows kind of modest spirit. When it has application in military affairs, people use some similar things to confuse and lure the enemy, then they can find a chance to defeat them.

18.Catch bandits first catch the ringleader
It comes from a poem of Tu Fu who was a very famous poet of the Tang Dynasty.

When used for military affairs, it means catching the ringleader is an available way to crumple up the main force of the enemy, because this action will get the enemy into confusion and lose battle effectiveness. If the command is satisfied by little victory, he will not lead the troops to the final victory. To let the ringleader slip is like to let the tiger return to the mountain,it will cause calamity for the future.

In 756 AD,the rebel commander Yin Ziqi led an army to lay siege against the strategic city of Suiyang. The defending commander, Zhang Xun, believed that if he could take out the leader the rebel's morale would sink and he would be able to launch a counter attack. He devised a plan with his best archers. The next time the rebels assailed the wall they were to shoot back using the branches of trees. When Yin Ziqi heard that the defenders were reduced to shooting with branches he felt certain the city was ready to be taken. Before the next assault he moved in closer to better oversee the final victory. Riding atop his horse he unknowingly came within range of the archers who had saved their arrows for just such a moment. One arrow hit Yin Ziqi in the left eye killing him instantly. The spectacle of their commander's death in front of almost the entire rebel army served to demoralize them to such an extent that they dispersed the field.

19. Take a drastic measure to deal with a situation
The idiom literally means to take away the firewood from under the cauldron. As figure of speech it indicates to remove the ultimate cause of trouble. Once water has been boiled, in order to make water temperature go down, the most essential solution is to put the fire off, namely to remove the firewood. As for military affairs, this means not to antagonize the powerful enemy face to face, otherwise, we should avoid its advantage and abate its arrogance, and finally win the victory.
During the reign of Han emperor Jing Di in the year 154 BC, the prince of Wu, Liu Bi, and the prince of Chu, joined forces with seven other states to stage a rebellion. They first attacked the state of Liang.

Han Marshal Zhou Yafu felt that the Wu and Chu forces were formidable and could not be easily beaten in a clash. But if their supplies were cut off, they could be defeated and the siege of Liang would be lifted.

Zhou Yafu made a detour around the enemy and managed to arrive at Yingyang before the enemy supplies did.

Zhou Yafu himself withdrew to set up camp at Maoyi to sieze the enemy's provisioons and to seal off their supply route. He ordered his men to fix crossbows around Daying and to hold their ground when the enemy attacked.

Just as the princes of Wu and Chu were fiercely attacking Liang's capital, they recieved bad news, "Zhou Yafu had sealed off their food supply route and siezed their provisions." The rebels panicked and had to give up attacking Liang. They attacked Maoyi but failed to take it and their supplies ran out. Morale was low.

The troops were unwilling to fight and within three months, the rebellion collapsed.

In 200 AD, Yuan Shao, the most powerful warlord of the north, amassed more than 100,000 troops and marched from Ye on Xuchang. To defend against the invasion, Cao Cao placed 30,000 men at Guandu, a strategic landing point on the shore of the Yellow River which Yuan Shao's troops had to secure en route Xuchang.

With a few diversionary tactics, Cao Cao managed to disorient Yuan Shao's troops as well as kill two of Yuan Shao's most capable generals, Yan Liang and Wen Chou. The morale of Yuan Shao's troops suffered a further blow when Cao Cao launched a stealth attack on the former's food store, Wu Chao. Many more of Yuan Shao's men surrendered or deserted than were killed during the ensuing battle. When Yuan Shao eventually retreated back to Ye in the winter of 201, he did so with little more than 800 light cavalry.

第17计 抛砖引玉

【读音】pāo zhuān yǐn yù
【解释】抛出砖头,引来白玉。比喻用自己不成熟的意见引出别人更好的意见。
【典故】出自《传灯录》。相传唐代诗人常建,听说赵嘏(gǔ)要去游览苏州的灵岩寺。为了请赵嘏作诗,常建先在庙壁上题写了两句,赵嘏见到后,立刻提笔续写了两句,而且比前两句写得好。后来文人称常建的这种作法为“抛砖引玉”。
后来,人们用这句成语,比喻自己先发表粗浅的见解或简陋的文字,目的在于引出别人的高论或佳作,是一种表示自谦的说法。此计用于军事,是指用相类似的事物去迷惑、诱骗敌人,使其懵懂上当,中我圈套,然后乘机击败敌人的计谋。

第18计 擒贼擒王

【读音】qín zéi qín wáng
【解释】擒:抓,捉。指作战要先抓主要敌手。比喻作事要抓住要害。
【典故】出自唐代诗人杜甫《前出塞》:“挽弓当挽强,用箭当用长。射人先射马,擒贼先擒王。”
此计用于军事,是指打垮敌军主力,擒拿敌军首领,使敌军彻底瓦解的谋略。擒贼擒王,就是捕杀敌军首领或者摧毁敌人的首脑机关,敌方隐于混乱,便于彻底击溃之。指挥员不能满足小的胜利,要通观全局,扩大战果,以得全胜。如果错过时机,放走了敌军主力和敌方首领,就好比放虎归山,后患无穷。
公元756年唐朝安史之乱时,反叛军首领尹子奇率领十万劲旅包围睢阳。驻守睢阳的张巡认为只要抓获敌军首领,便可以打击对方的士气从而发动反击。于是,他和弓箭手们制定了一个计划——当反叛军下次攻城时,他们将用树枝当箭进行回击。当尹子奇听说对手竟然简化到打算用树枝进行防御时,他觉得一定会攻下这个城市,于是放松了警惕。在进攻时,尹子奇毫无防备地驱马向前,而这正好合了张巡的心意。张巡让弓箭手向尹子奇发射真正的箭,正中他的左眼,当下立即毙命。首领的死让敌军一片混乱,大败而逃。

第19计 釜底抽薪

【读音】fǔ dǐ chōu xīn
【解释】釜:古代的一种锅;薪:柴。把柴禾从锅底抽掉,比喻从根本上解决问题。一旦水烧开了,要像让水温降下来,根本的办法是把火熄掉, 即是抽掉燃烧用的柴禾。此计用于军事,是指对强敌不可用正面作战取胜,而应该避其锋芒,削减敌人的气势,再乘机取胜。
【典故】最早出自汉·董卓《上何进书》:“臣闻扬汤止沸,莫若去薪。”
北齐魏收《为侯景叛移梁朝文》中亦有:“抽薪止沸,剪草除根。”
公元前154年,吴王刘濞野心勃勃,他串通楚汉等七个诸侯国,联合发兵叛乱。他们首先攻打忠于汉朝的梁国。汉景帝派周亚夫率三十万大军平叛。这时,梁国派人向朝廷求援,说刘濞大军攻打梁国,我们已损失数万人马,已经抵档不住了,请朝廷急速发兵救援。汉景帝也命令周亚夫发兵去梁国解危。
周亚夫说:刘濞率领的吴楚大军,素来强悍,如今士气正旺。我与他们正面交锋,一下恐怕难以取胜。汉景帝问周亚夫准备用什么计谋击退敌军。周亚夫说,他们出兵征讨,粮草供应特别困难,我们如能断其粮道,敌军定会不战自退。
荥阳是扼守东西二路的要冲,必须抢先控制。周亚夫派重兵控制荥阳后,分两路袭击敌军后方:派一只部队袭击吴、楚供应线,断其粮道;自己亲自率领大军袭击敌军后方重镇冒邑。周亚夫占据冒邑,下令加固营寨,准备坚守。刘濞闻报大惊,想不到周亚夫根本不与自己正面交锋,却迅速抄了自己的后路。他立即下令部队迅速往冒邑前进,攻下冒邑,打通粮道。刘濞数十万大军气势汹汹,扑向冒邑。周亚夫避其锋芒,坚守城池,拒不出战。敌军数次攻城,都被城上的乱箭射回。刘濞无计可施,数十万大军驻扎城外,粮草已经断绝。双方对峙了几天,周亚夫见敌军已数天饥饿,士气衰弱,已经毫无战斗力了。他见时机已到,调集部队,突然发起猛攻。精疲力竭、软弱无力的叛军不战自乱。叛军大败,刘濞落荒而逃,在东越被杀。
公元200年,北方最有实力的军阀袁绍率领十万大军攻打许昌。当时,曹操据守官渡,兵力只有三万多人。官渡位于黄河之滨,是袁绍前往许昌行军路上,必经的一个战略渡口。
由于兵力相差过多,曹操决定以智取胜。他在迷惑袁绍军队的同时斩杀了袁绍的两员大将——颜良和文丑。而在曹操放火烧了袁绍囤积在乌巢的粮草之后,袁绍军队的士气被大大地打击。于是在接下来的战斗中,很多人因为缺乏斗志而被杀死。当袁绍在公元201年的冬天撤退时,只剩下了800骑兵。

第20计 混水摸鱼


【读音】hùn shuǐ mō yú
【解释】原意是,在混浊的水中,鱼晕头转向,乘机摸鱼,可以得到意外的好处。此计用于军事,是指当敌人混乱无主时,乘机夺取胜利的谋略。在混乱的水中,鱼儿辩不清方向。在复杂的战争中,弱小的一方经常会动摇不定,这里就有可乘之机。更多的时候,这个可乘之机不能只靠等待,而应主动去制造这种可乘之机,一方主动把水搅浑,一切情况开始复苏起来,然后可借机行事。
公元前632年,晋、楚两国在城濮交战,史称“城濮之战”。楚国派遣使节要求在第二天以战车战斗,晋国的国君晋文公同意了。到了早上,晋文公命令部队砍伐林木为他一个不正统的战略作准备。开战时,晋文公命令部队在楚军的右翼发动一次突然袭击,然后迅速开始撤退。当晋国军队撤退时,战车后拖着早上砍伐的树木,使得地上尘土飞扬。而这让楚国的指挥认为晋国必定仓促逃跑,于是紧追不舍。当楚国军队的主力被烟尘包围时,他们无法知道自己的部队已经被分成两部分,而且已经被包围了。战争的结果,在楚国将领自杀后楚军惨败。
 

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