11.19

Chapter: The Nine Situations 11.19
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Translation:

Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy’s unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots.

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Commentary

War is a game of positioning. Where you are at any time is critical. In between, as you travel to these places, you are vulnerable. Speed hence reduces the chance of dangerous attack.

Getting to strong positions earlier than the enemy expects also gives you the advantage of surprise and hence letting you attack them where they are weak.

Speed also lets you travel in circuitous routes to avoid detection and yet arrive in time.

Finally, speed gives you kinetic energy, which in physics is measured as half of the mass times the speed squared. An attack at speed hence is very powerful.