9.34

Chapter: The Army on the March 9.34
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Translation:

When an army feeds its horses with grain and kills its cattle for food, and when the men do not hang their cooking-pots over the camp-fires, showing that they will not return to their tents, you may know that they are determined to fight to the death.

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Commentary

An army usually keeps grain for eating itself. Feeding it to the horses gives the horses more energy in readiness for battle or flight.

If they eat all their food or they show signs of not preparing for the next meal, then then are not thinking they will survive in the longer term.