The Book of War

The Book of War

The Book of War

The Book of War

Excerpt

The Art of War by Sun Tzu gives us Chinese theories on warfare. Tales of the Dragon — the Book of War chronicles the military organization, equipment, key personalities, and major campaigns that produced China.

This book focuses predominantly on ancient Chinese military history from 500 bc to 200 bc. Military accomplishments and developments of that era left an indelible legacy in the field of warfare for ensuing generations to study and learn.

According to the Chinese Military History Society at the Department of History, Kansas State University, “No comprehensive survey of Chinese military history is yet available in English.” Tales of the Dragon — the Book of War addresses that shortfall.

The Imperial Chinese Empire was the product of over five hundred years of continuous warfare that took place in the latter part of the Zhou Dynasty (1122–256 BC). Initially, the King of Zhou ruled as the leader of an alliance with over 1,800 subordinate feudal states. the erosion of central authority led to power struggles, assimilations and conquest. By the time of the Spring and Autumn Era (770–476 BC) and the ensuing Warring States Era (476–221 BC), near the end of the Zhou Dynasty, the 1,800 feudal states had dwindled to a mere score.

Seven powerful lords dominated central China. the Ch’in and the Chu, the strongest of those seven, were able to field million men armies each, while the other five could individually marshal 300,000–400,000 soldiers into one battle. At the time, taking a 100,000 heads in one single campaign was not uncommon. Such major military undertakings created standardized military organizations, equipment, and weaponry; more significantly they produced commanders that were at least equal, if not superior, to Alexander, Caesar and Napoleon in terms of skills and achievements.

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