夫战,勇气也 – Chinese philosophy and culture

fú zhàn, yǒngqì yě 夫战,勇气也

Fighting Takes Courage.

打仗,凭的是勇气。“勇气”即军队的战斗精神、必胜意志、无所畏惧的气概。它不仅指个体士兵的精神状态,也指整个作战部队的精神气势。它往往是决定战争胜利的必要条件或先决条件。打仗是凶险之事,如果没有足够的勇气,其他任何有利条件都难以发挥应有的作用。其中隐含着这样的军事智慧:在诸多因素中,人的因素第一;在人的诸多因素中,人的精神因素第一。

“Courage” is what it takes to go into a battle. It means the fighting spirit of an army, its will to win and its fearless heroism. The word “courage” not only refers to the spirit of individual soldiers, but also that of the entire army. It is a necessary condition or pre-requisite for winning the victory. Going into battle is dangerous. Without sufficient courage, other favorable conditions will hardly matter. What is implied is the following military wisdom: Of all the factors needed for a victory, the human factor is of primary importance; of all the human factors required, human spirit is of primary importance.

引例 Citations:

◎夫战,勇气也,一鼓作气,再而衰,三而竭。彼竭我盈,故克之。(《左传·庄公十年》)

(打仗,凭的是勇气。头一次击鼓,能振作士气;第二次击鼓,士气就开始衰减了;第三次击鼓,士气就完全没有了。敌方的士气完全没有了,而我们的士气正处在鼎盛阶段,所以就能战胜他们。)

Fighting takes courage. Beating the battle drum for the first time, soldiers will be aroused; the second time it is beaten, they will become less enthusiastic; and the third time, they will lose their fighting spirit completely. As opposed to the enemy soldiers who have lost their fighting spirit, our soldiers are full of it. This is the reason why they can defeat the enemy. (Zuo’s Commentary on The Spring and Autumn Annals)

◎战而胜者,战其勇者也;战而北者,战其怯者也。(《吕氏春秋·决胜》)

(战胜,靠的是军队的勇敢;战败,多因为军队的怯懦。)

A victory is won because of the valor of an army whereas defeat is suffered due to its cowardice. (Master Lü’s Spring and Autumn Annals)

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