Neither deride the opposition nor initiate a campaign
Until you possess the strategic place from which to strike.
In battle a fortified place yields numerous advantages,
Even to those possessing power and prowess.
Even the weak may powerfully prevail if they choose the right
Field of action, establish good defenses and then fight well.
When an attacker attacks from a strategic location
His enemies' thoughts of conquest become unthinkable.
In the river's depths the crocodile is unconquerable,
But others may defeat it if it departs those waters.
The massive chariot with mighty wheels cannot sail the sea,
Nor can the ocean-going ship traverse the land.
Fearlessness is the only friend one needs,
If ceaselessly he ponders from which place to pounce.
If a large army assails a well-entrenched small army,
Its power will be repelled and it will retreat.
Even if they have neither potent resources nor strong fortresses,
It is difficult to conquer a people on their own soil.
The fearless elephant may slaughter a multitude of warriors
Yet be slain by a single jackal if his legs sink in muddy marsh.
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