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Chinese Literature
Zhiping shengsuan quanshu 治平勝算全書 "The Whole Book of Calculating Victory at Pacificiation"


The Zhiping shengsuan quanshu 治平勝算全書 "Whole book of calculating victory at pacificiation" is a military treatise written by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) general Nian Gengyao 年羹堯. It is 12 juan "scrolls" long and contains 455 illustrations of weapons and battle formations. There is another manuscript version preserved in Japan which is 20 juan long. The book is in many respects an excerpt of traditional military writings, like the Sunzi bingfa 孫子兵法 , Taibaiyin jing 太白陰經, Huqianjing 虎鈐經, Wujing zongyao 武經總要, etc. The content is arranged according to military topics, containing descriptions of the search for an ideal battlefield, the organisation of the army, the use of weapons, defense of garrisons and citites, the cultivation of the troops' spirit, signals and commands, and training. A permanent training of the troops in peacetime is necessary to keep up their fighing spirit. The corps of officers has to be trained in the function of a command chain and the method to keep together the platoons so that the soldiers are willing to die for the cause of the state. The right terrain has to be selected and disadvantageous places to be avoided. Nian Gengyao's book describes the different methods to be used in a war of attack, or during defense, how to fight during the night, on water, with fire, and with many different types of arms.
The book was unfortunately never printed, and is therefore only rarely available.


Source: Chen Bingcai 陳秉才 (1989). "Zhiping shengsuan quanshu 治平勝算全書", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Junshi 軍事, vol. 2, p. 1295. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.
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January 18, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail