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Chinese Literature
Lianbing shiji 練兵實紀 "The Practical Arrangement of Military Training"


The Lianbing shiji 練兵實紀 "Practical arrangement of military training" is a miliary treatise from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) written by Qi Jiguang 戚繼光. It is 9 juan "scrolls" long, plus a supplement of 6 juan. The book was finished in 1571.
In the first part of the book, the training of troops is described. Except the body of the men, the mind of the troops has to be prepared so that a military unit will consist of one single will and mind. It is described, how many firearms the particular types of unit have. A chariot brigade, for instance, disposes of 128 chariots and 256 cannons, as well as of a high number of muskets and rockets. Infantry and cavalry units must be trained in a different way from musketeers and gunners. Nevertheless, during battle it is important that each type of troop cooperates with the others so that each unit can profit from the other's strength. Except the troops, the most important persons are high officers, which must be carefully selected and trained in the art of war, especially, how to make use of their troops, and how to nourish, to train and to encourage them. For the higher officers, military academies (wuxiang 武庠) have to be established. The language of the Lianbing shiji is relatively simple, so that it can easily be read and memorized by officers as a tool for practical use.
There are a lot of prints form the Ming and Qing 清 (1644-1911) periods, and also manuscripts in circulation. The Lianbing shiji is included in a lot of collectanea, for example, the Mohai jinhu 墨還金壺.


Source: Zou Jing 鄒經 (1989). "Lianbing shiji 練兵實紀", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Junshi 軍事, vol. 1, p. 690. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.

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January 15, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail