3. Attack by Stratagem

5

The general, unable to control his irritation, will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants,

This vivid simile of Ts`ao Kung is taken from the spectacle of an army of ants climbing a wall. The meaning is that the general, losing patience at the long delay, may make a premature attempt to storm the place before his engines of war are ready.

with the result that one-third of his men are slain, while the town still remains untaken. Such are the disastrous effects of a siege.

We are reminded of the terrible losses of the Japanese before Port Arthur, in the most recent siege which history has to record.

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