The Importance of Maneuvering

1. When the objective has been decided the "G" just receives his assignment. He second gets his forces together and third mobilizes the support milieu. Fourth he blends his forces into a united team and fifth encamps it.

2. Now the "G" is ready for maneuver. This is the most difficult of all arts; for you must be a magician: just making the most direct out of the most indirect and second turning misfortune into advantage (failure into success; defeat into victory; impossibility into the possible).

3. For instance you may take an indirect route and divert the enemy from the direct route by baiting him (which you could not do if you smashed straight ahead) and thereby arrive at the desired position before him. Now all of this is but a matter of understanding the primordial strategy for winning a war, namely the principal of direct/indirect.


The Dangers of Maneuvering

4. But one must know that maneuver is dangerous as well as advantageous. Risk is inherent in maneuver. This inherent danger is illustrated in the following 6 pitfalls.

5. Never use the whole army to chase an advantage. To do so is to fail. It is impossible so to attain such.

6. Never abandon the base stronghold to contend for advantage. To do so is to fail. For your basic mans are lost

7 ­ 8. Never overtax or over demand of the forces to gain an advantage (hard and long marches) or you will lose 90% or 50% or 33% of your forces. Only the strongest will survive and you need all.

9. Always the means of action must be secured ­ equipment and stores ­ or there is no chance of victory. This is a matter of secure base.

10. Always the conditions of the situation must be known and kept current or there can be no victory. This is a matter of secure movement (march)

11. Always the local leadership must be cultivated (guides not everybody) or there can be no victory. This is a matter of secure position (advantage).


The Keys to Maneuvering

12. The above has to do more with defensive maneuver, the avoiding of pitfalls which is the first step in effective maneuvers. Now consideration is given more to offensive maneuver and the first thing to recollect is that war is based on creating illusion or recreating reality (deception). This has to do with when and how one "moves it." There are two ruling principles: first only move from advantage; second, if you don't have the advantage only be concerned with creating the advantage by the dispersal and concentration of forces.

The second arena relative to "moving it" has to do with the appropriate style at any given moment as illustrated here

when campaigning (vying for position)

be as SWIFT as the wind

when marching (in a leisurely way)

be as MAJESTIC as the forest

when raiding (or plundering)

be as CONSUMING as the fire

when standing (in defense)

be as FIRM as the mountains

when moving (into action)

be as UNFATHOMABLE as the clouds

be as OVERPOWERING as the thunderbolt

14. This verse is enigmatic; working with the footnotes I think it means the following relative to effective maneuver or "moving it." First when you move divide your forces and also divide your enemy forces. Don't put all your forces on one thing and don't attack the enemy only from one side. Second when you succeed defend it by again holding onto only that which is advantageous.

15. The basic key to maneuver will always be "weigh the situation" then move it ­ this is brooding, battle planning, considering the consequences and the like.

16. Offensive maneuvering all comes back to the matter of direct and indirect action. To effectively "move it" requires a profound understanding of this principle. It is the basic in the art of maneuvering.


The Morale for Maneuvering

17. The immediately above has to do more with the rational or objective factors in "moving it" (offensive maneuver). What follows is more the spiritual or psychological factors. The first part deals with the operation of one's own forces and the second with the control of the enemy. Relative to impact on the home forces first, this has to do with symbols and signs such as banners, flags, trumpets, bells and other noises.

18. No the main emphasis here is upon conveying orders across the front but there is more than simply a communication system. The emphasis is upon focusing the attention of the body and upon uniting the forces into effective team action ­ welding together the courageous and the fearful, the rash and the reluctant into effective operating units. Here is the crucial means for employing larger forces spread over larger territory. This is the symbol system's function.

19. This symbol system day and night "influences the sight and the hearing (the vision and the story) of the troops. And, as one commentary says correctly, this system also likewise influences the enemy.


The Decisive Factors in Maneuvering

20. The second arena of spirit in effective maneuver has to do with psychological warfare. The morale of the enemy can be collapsed and its leadership rendered timid without fighting or from a distance. This includes controlling several factors: the moral, the mental, the physical and the circumstantial.

21­22. Any forces spirits vary: in the early morning they are high, later in the day they flag and in the evening their thoughts are on home. There are many other illustrations: the point is you don't attack when the other is keen; you think through and confront him when he is low in spirit. This is managing or controlling the morale factor.

23. The IIG'I who would win must also control the mental (or rational or discipline) factor. For instance one waits in good order for a disorderly enemy; in serenity for a clamorous one. It is discipline, transrationality, the model, the comprehensiveness and the consequential non­defensive detachment that wins.

24. Next is the control of the physical factor; making sure your troops are in superior shape when engagement is decided: well­fed versus hungry, rested versus exhausted; close to battlefield versus afar. Here is taking care of yourself.

25. Finally he who would win must control the circumstantial factors (the factors of changing circumstances). This again has to do with the symbolic dynamic. Do not engage an army with well ordered banners or one whose formations are impressive. Where the teamwork is strong and the sense of meaning firm, there is the center of control and key to victory.


The Principles of Maneuvering

26. The final section on the art of maneuvers has to do with remembering and heeding the basic principles or guidelines relative to the deploying and engaging troops. First, when the enemy has the advantage do not engage him.

27. Second, when he pretends to flee do not pursue him. You must deceive, not get caught in a devise.

28. Third, when he offers his elite troops do not attack, seek only for his vulnerable points. Head on is not the way to victory .

29. Fourth (like the second) when he proffers baits do not gobble. Ants is not the way to success.

30 ­ 31. Fifth, when he goes homeward to not thwart his effort. You do not have to have the last word.

32. Sixth, when he is at bay do not press him. He is in death ground and will fight to the finish.

33. The above is the method of deploying troops.

GRA Summer '78


Chicago Qt 1, 78­79





  • Walk thru it and describe it
  • Art-form what you see thru the swirl
  • Talk about the "leap"
This is an informal art-form of the contradiction and literally places yourself

2 weeks/months at the end of maneuver. It is not goals, or practical vision.





  • Describe issues of genuine haze
  • Voluminous data is key
  • List points of advantage
  • List points of vulnerabilities




  • List on board
  • Accept anything, move quickly
  • Get out unknowns, issues etc. as well as concrete do's
Standing in the victory, looking back and get out the "to do's"




  • Read list aloud rapidly
  • Group intuitively, writing down maneuver arenas being read
  • Read some lists aloud and ponder
  • Ask-What are the maneuver arenas - Final list




  • Break into two groups
  • One group-concrete and poetic names; second group do a chart to hold dynamics and relationships of the maneuvers to symbolize thrust
  • Draw holding chart, poetic titles, 4 points of maneuver intent




  • Whole group talk maneuvers thru
  • Select person to "talk" one aloud (Intent, specifics, how to's, names, etc. are crucial)
  • Take notes on talk-thrus
It is at this point that the unclarities are objectified and where the great "a-ha's" take place that catalyze the break through




  • Assign people to write paragraphs from notes; print them and distribute. These become your symbol of "death ground"


  • Charts, symbols and hitting the road are key
Re-maneuvering is a constant daily process.