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Zhiping shengsuan quanshu 治平勝算全書

Jan 18, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhiping shengsuan quanshu 治平勝算全書 "Whole book of calculating victory at pacificiation" is a military treatise written during the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by the general Nian Gengyao 年羹堯 xxx. It has a length of 12 juan and contains 455 illustrations of weapons and battle formations. There is another manuscript version preserved in Japan which is 20-juan long. The book is in many respects an excerpt of traditional military writings like Sunzi bingfa 孫子兵法 , Taibaiyin jing 太白陰經, Huqianjing 虎鈐經 and Wujing zongyao 武經總要.

The content is arranged according to military topics, containing descriptions of the search for an ideal battlefield, the organisation of the army, the use of weapons, defence of garrisons and cities, the cultivation of the troops' spirit, signals and commands, and training. Constant training of the troops in peacetime was necessary to keep up their fighting spirit. The corps of officers had to be trained in the use of command chains and the method to keep together the platoons so that the soldiers were willing to die for the cause of the dynasty. The right terrain had to be selected and disadvantageous places to be avoided. Nian Gengyao's book describes different methods to be used in a war of attack, or during defence, how to fight during the night, on water, with fire, and with many different types of arms.

The book was unfortunately never printed, and is therefore only rarely available.

Sources:
Chen Bingcai 陳秉才 (1989). "Zhiping shengsuan quanshu 治平勝算全書", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, part Junshi 軍事 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1295.
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1635.
Wan Fang 万方 (2016). "Zhonghua bingshu baodian: Zihping shengsuan quanshu 中华兵书宝典——治平胜算全书", Shuwu 书屋, 2016 (12): 1.