China’s Sun Tzu says if the orders are unclear, it is the fault of the commanding general.
General Lee told one of his generals to “Attack when you think it is practical.” That general decides it isn’t practical and does nothing.
At the Battle Gettysburg, Lee did not give clear orders.
Robert E. Lee made a tactical mistake when he did not follow Sun Tzu’s rule to “Move only when you see an advantage and there is something to gain. Only fight if a position is critical.”
Sun Tzu says, “When the enemy occupies high ground, do not confront him. If he attacks downhill. do not oppose him.” Robert E. Lee didn’t listen and decides to attack the Union positions on the high ground.
General Longstreet disagrees. He does not want to attack the high ground. Instead, he wants to go around the Union Army toward the North’s capital, Washington D.C.
Sun Tzu says, “There are some armies that should not be fought and some ground that should not be contested.”
After two days of horrible losses, Robert E. Lee orders what’s left of his army to attack uphill a third time. General Longstreet urges Lee not to do this. Lee ignores him.
Go to Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” – Part 10 or return to Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” – Part 8
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the unique love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.
China’s Holistic Historical Timeline