11.23

Chapter: The Nine Situations 11.23
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Translation:

Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape, and they will prefer death to flight. If they will face death, there is nothing they may not achieve. Officers and men alike will put forth their uttermost strength.

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Commentary

If soldiers may be motivated to fight less than their best, then the alternative of death will bring out the best in them.

Even those who are motivated, will fight with an extra desperation when they believe there is no alternative.

In this way, you may engineer situations where they believe there is no way back and so will fight on to the bitter end.