Why did this resourceful leader play
music while a superior army advanced?
An episode from the 14th Century Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms:
The small town of Xixian (Xicheng) is storing grain for the troops, and there is only a small group of soldiers left to defend the town. They discover that a huge enemy force is approaching. The leader of the town, Zhuge Liang, realizes he cannot fight or flee, so based on his knowledge of the leader of the attack, he devises a deceptive ruse to save the town. This strategy, known as the Empty Fort Strategy, is found in the Chinese book Thirty-Six Stratagems and is one of the stratagems for desperate situations:
The Strategy of Open City GatesThe clips dramatizing this incident are from the Chinese language TV series Three Kingdoms.
When the enemy is superior in numbers and your situation is such that you expect to be overrun at any moment, then drop all pretence of military preparedness and act casually. Unless the enemy has an accurate description of your situation this unusual behavior will arouse suspicions. With luck he will be dissuaded from attacking.
Three Kingdoms: Sima Yi vs. Zhuge Liang (Part 1/3)
Three Kingdoms: Sima Yi vs. Zhuge Liang (Part 2/3)
Three Kingdoms: Sima Yi vs. Zhuge Liang (Part 3/3)
- The Strategy of Open City Gates, Wengu>>
- Thirty-Six Strategies, Wengu>>
- Thirty-Six Stratagems, Wikipedia>>
- Empty Fort Strategy, Wikipedia>>
- Three Kingdoms, IMDB>>
- Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Three Kingdoms>>