BOOK 2 – PREPARATIONS FOR WAR
Supplies are essential for the proper management of a conflict and its resolution. Without supplies there is nothing to sustain the army except bare hands and berries. Oversupply presents problems of a different nature. Though it may appear better to be oversupplied, consider the hindrance in mobility when approaching the enemy or when retreating. Proper rationing of supplies includes food, ammunition, and money. All are equally important. Food is essential on the march: more so than weapons. Weapons are more important in combat than is food. Money is more important during times of rest. There must be adequate rationing of all supplies.
Without food the army cannot sustain its energy. Overfeeding troops will make them sluggish and interfere with their desire to win as much as too little food will make them nervous and edgy. There must be a sufficient supply of arrows and spears to replace those lost in battle and on the march. Replacements must be available when needed. Money must be paid when the troops are at rest. Some men may wish to buy presents for their loved ones. Some will prefer to gamble. Others will wish to buy books, trinkets, or sweets. The warlord should not be concerned with how a soldier spends his money, as long as it doesn’t interfere with command.
All food, weapons, and money must be in safekeeping prior to ordering your troops into battle. Only then can you appropriately deploy your men. There should be enough money in reserve to counter any surprises that could deplete your supplies and force you to change your plans during unfavorable times.
The intelligent warlord understands that entrance into conflict is senseless without an attitude of complete and total victory. There is no reason to contemplate anything else. Paper tigers are burned up at the first contact with a flame and cease to exist. If victory is not his main goal, then what is to be accomplished? If plans do not include destruction of the enemy, the warlord’s troops will sense this and develop a lack of morale. Their keenness for battle will be dampened by the lack of leadership, and they will challenge the chain of command. Neighboring states will also see that he has no heart for the matter and take pleasure in setting traps that they normally would not attempt. They will look to humiliate him and see him falter. He cannot permit these conditions to arise.
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