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MO Round 3: Napoleon vs. Sun Tzu

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  • #16
    A Belgian hailing Napoleon and the Marselleise, now I've seen it all. LOL!
    All warfare is based on deception.
    Sun Tzu - Art of war - Chapter One - Laying Plans


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    • #17
      OK, if this theorist beats the Emperor, I am going to be extremely pissed.
      And it's over the mountain and over the Main,
      Through Gibralter, to France and Spain.
      Pit a feather tae your bonnet, and a kilt aboon your knee,
      Enlist my bonnie laddie and come awa with me.

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      • #18
        I voted for Sun Tzu.

        He's done more for military thought then Nappy has. In fact, given that it is likely Nappy read Sun Tzu it might be possible that Nappy wouldn't have accomplished what he had without reading it.
        #occupyarmchairgeneral.
        Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true. Demosthenes.
        Against logic there is no armor like ignorance. Laurence J. Peter

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        • #19
          Chalk my post up to "Grant's Revenge".

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          • #20
            This is hard for me too. Sun Tzu's theories are relevant after thousands of years, and millions of soldiers and thousands of generals lived by them....but Napoleon was the best general of all time (or since Hannibal, anyway).

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            • #21
              In our days I've heard that some military academies study as much of Sun Tzu as they studdy Napoleon's battles, so I guess it's fair to say that the student surpassed the master.
              All warfare is based on deception.
              Sun Tzu - Art of war - Chapter One - Laying Plans


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              • #22
                I think we're stuck voting with Sun Tzu because we have so little information, in the west, about famous generals of China. They had innovative men for their times ever since the ancient days. Huo Qubing had an army of cavalry that beat the world's best cavalrymen on their own soil. Yue Fei and Gaodi (1st Ming Emperor) would free their own lands though they were merely the resistance for a time.

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                • #23
                  I'm giving the nod to Napoleon, mainly because of his superior command of troops in the field. To conduct large scale battles with sweeping maneuvers and scores of units - including massed artillery takes not only somone good at theory, but great at management. Sure he eventually overreached, but absolute power does corrupt LOL.

                  I respect Sun Tzu, but years and years of intense combat and leadership by Napoleon probably gave him more experience and insight than Sun Tzu anyway. No matter what actual field command Sun Tzu might have had, it certainly pales in comparison. The fact his record was lost suggests to me it wasn't worth saving.
                  Our forefathers died to give us freedom, not free stuff.

                  I write books about zombies as E.E. Isherwood. Check me out at ZombieBooks.net.

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                  • #24
                    While I think this is a fun question I don't think it's entirely fair. It's like comparing apples to oranges. Napoleon used tactics to win, Sun Tzu wrote tactics on how to win. The difference between theory and execution of theory can be a very large leap.

                    Just a thought.
                    "The State is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else."

                    Frederic Bastiat

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                    • #25
                      My theory on why Sun Tzu's military exploits are not well known, is that Chinese Warlords, Kings, and Emperors did not like to share power, and telling too many tales of a general's exploits, especially a living one, might have been worrisome to their desire to hold onto what power they had. Not just worrying about Sun Tzu, but for any uppity generals who might have followed.
                      I have no problem at all with being proved wrong. Especially when being proved wrong leaves the world a better place, than being proved right...

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by JAMiAM View Post
                        My theory on why Sun Tzu's military exploits are not well known, is that Chinese Warlords, Kings, and Emperors did not like to share power, and telling too many tales of a general's exploits, especially a living one, might have been worrisome to their desire to hold onto what power they had. Not just worrying about Sun Tzu, but for any uppity generals who might have followed.

                        As I understand it, in Chinese academic culture it was common for a scholar to write a work and then acredit it to a famous general. I believe there has been some debate over whether or not Sun Tzu actually wrote Sun Tzu's Art of War. However, in light of that, the book, regardless of who wrote it, is still in a classic.
                        "The State is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else."

                        Frederic Bastiat

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                        • #27
                          All Napoleon has to say is --- those who can, do. Others write a book. Napoleon moves into the final 4.

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                          • #28
                            Sun Tzu

                            I have to say, Sun Tzu is being massively underestimated here. Sun Tzu was the master of deception, he creates illusions. He would appear weak when he was strong, far away when near etc, he would not fight a battle that he did not choose the time and place of, " a good general defeats an enemy already defeated" he would turn all of his weaknesses in to strengths and have his strengths look like weaknesses and then avoid the strengths of napoleon and exploit his weaknesses (the commander/know your enemy). The metaphor that comes to mind is a bull fighter, Sun Tzu is the man, napoleon would be the bull and the red cloth would be the deceptions of Sun Tzu.
                            Sun Tzu would create patterns in his behavior then as soon as Napoleon noticed and adapted Tzu would just do a 180 and change. He would condition Napoleon to behave in a way advantageous to him and disadvantageous to Napoleon
                            What i am trying to say is, if all went well, and applied correctly, Sun Tzu would use his abilities to completely dictate the actions of Napoleon, he would choose the perfect time to destroy Napoleon and until that time was at hand he would wither away at the french force with guerrilla strikes, in the decisive battle Sun Tzu would be facing and exhausted, demoralized and confused french army with a distraught napoleon at it's head.
                            What i have just written could be either taken as a persuasive argument for the abilities of Sun Tzu or a prime example of blind optimism and naivety on my part haha.
                            Last edited by hayden1177; 14 Jul 14, 14:11.

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