欲擒故纵

 
yù qín gù zòng (yu qin gu zong)
leave sb. at large in order to apprehend him afterwards

Cornered prey will often mount a final desperate attack. To prevent this you let the enemy believe he still has a chance for freedom. His will to fight is thus dampened by his desire to escape. When in the end the freedom is proven a falsehood the enemy's morale will be defeated and he will surrender without a fight.

Six Dynasties Period China

During the Southern Song period, general Tan Dao-Ji launched an attack against the north on behalf of the emperor. Throughout the campaign he seized cities and destroyed fortifications, taking more than four thousand prisoners. His advisors suggested that he should execute them all and erect a victory mound with the dead. Tan Dao-Ji replied: "At this time we have attacked the guilty and consoled the people. The army of a true king takes the upright as its position, so why is it necessary to slay the people?" He released all the prisoners and sent them back to their homes. These former prisoners told their kinsmen of their capture and release and of the fair treatment they received at the hands of general Tan. Thereupon the barbarians dwelling in the region were elated, and wherever general Tan, went a great many came forward to give their allegiance to the emperor.

He Lu

In the year 506 BC, Wu joined forces with two other states and overwhelmed the army of Chu. The king of Wu, He Lu led troops in pursuit until they reached Qingfa.

He was about to attack when his younger brother Fu Gai stopped him, "A cornered beast will fight to the finish, what more armed troops? If the Chu troops have no choice but to fight for their survival, they'll put up a spirited defence and it'll be difficult to vanquish them."

The king took his brother's advice and gave them a chance to cross the river. The Chu soldiers were so busy running for their lives that they lost the morale to fight.

Five successful attacks were launched against Chu and its capital Yingdu fell.

Meaning: 擒:捉;纵:放。故意先放开他,使他放松戒备,充分暴露,然后再把他捉住。

Context: 清·吴趼人《二十年目睹之怪现状》第七十回:“大人这里还不要就答应他,放出一个欲擒故纵的手段,然后许其成事。”

Synonyms: 欲取故予、诱敌深入

Antonyms: 放虎归山、养虎为患

Grammar: 紧缩式;作谓语、定语、宾语;含贬义

逼则反兵;走则减势①。紧随勿迫。累其气力,消其斗志,散而后擒,兵不血刃②。需,有孚,光③。

【注释】

①逼则反兵,走则减势:走,跑。逼迫敌入太紧,他可能因此拼死反扑,若让他逃跑则可减削他的气势。

②兵不血刃:血刃,血染刀刃。此句意为兵器上不 沾血。

②需,有孚,光:语出《易经.需卦》。需,卦名。本卦为异卦相叠(乾下坎上)。需的下卦为乾为天,上卦为坎为水,是降雨在即之象。也象征着一种危险存在着(因为“坎”有险义),必得去突破它,但突破危险又要善于等待。“需”,等待。《易经,需》卦卦辞:“需,有享,光享”。孚,诚心。光,通广。句意为:要善于等待,要有诚心(包含耐性),就会有大吉大利。

【按语】

所谓纵着,非放之也,随之,而稍松之耳。“穷寇勿追”,亦即此意,盖不追者,非不随也,不追之而已。武侯之七纵七擒,即纵而随之,故蹑展转推进,至于不毛之地。武侯之七纵,其意在拓地,在借孟获以服诸蛮,非兵法也。故论战,则擒者不可复纵。

【解析】

打仗,只有消灭敌人,夺取地盘,才是目的。如果逼得“穷寇”狗急跳墙,垂死挣扎,己方损兵失地,是不可取的。放他一马,不等于放虎归山,目的在于让敌人斗志逐渐懈怠,体力、物力逐渐消耗,最后己方寻找机会,全歼敌军,达到消灭敌人的目的。诸葛亮七擒七纵,决非感情用事,他的最终目的是在政治上利用孟获的影响,稳住南方,在地盘上,次次乘机扩大疆土。在军事谋略上,有“变”、“常”二字。释放敌人主帅,不属常例。通常情况下,抓住了敌人不可轻易放掉,以免后患。而诸葛亮审时度势,采用攻心之计,七擒七纵,主动权操在自己的手上,最后终于达到目的。这说明诸葛亮深谋远虑,随机应便,巧用兵法,是个难得的军事奇才。

【探源】

欲擒故纵中的“擒”和“纵”,是一对矛盾。军事上,“擒”,是目的,“纵”,是方法。古人有“穷寇莫追”的说法。实际上,不是不追,而是看怎样去追。把敌人逼急了,它只得集中全力,拼命反扑。不如暂时放松一步,使敌人丧失警惕,斗志松懈,然后再伺机而动,歼灭敌人。

诸葛亮七擒孟获,就是军事史上一个“欲擒故纵”的绝妙战例。蜀汉建立之后,定下北伐大计。当时西南夷酋长孟获率十万大军侵犯蜀国。诸葛亮为了解决北伐的后顾之忧,决定亲自率兵先平孟获。蜀军主力到达泸水(今金沙江)附近,诱敌出战,事先在山谷中埋下伏兵,孟获被诱入伏击圈内,兵败被擒。

按说,擒拿敌军主帅的目的已经达到,敌军一时也不会有很强战斗力了,乘胜追击,自可大破敌军。但是诸葛亮考虑到孟获在西南夷中威望很高,影响很大,如果让他心悦诚服,主动请降,就能使南方真正稳定。不然的话,南方夷各个部落仍不会停止侵扰,后方难以安定。诸葛亮决定对孟获采取“攻心”战,断然释放孟获。孟获表示下次定能击败你,诸葛亮笑而不答。孟获回营,拖走所有船只,据守沪水南岸,阻止蜀军渡河。诸葛亮乘敌不备,从敌人不设防的下流偷渡过河,并袭击了孟获的粮仓。孟获暴怒,要严惩将士,激起将士的反抗,于是相约投降,趁孟获不备,将孟获绑赴蜀营。诸葛亮见孟获仍不服,再次释放。以后孟获又施了许多计策,都被诸葛亮识破,四次被擒,四次被释放。最后一次,诸葛亮火烧孟获的藤甲兵,第七次生擒孟获。终于感动了孟获,他真诚地感谢诸葛亮七次不杀之恩,誓不再反。从此,蜀国西南安定,诸葛亮才得以举兵北伐。

【故事】

两晋末年,幽州都督王浚企图谋反篡位。晋朝名将石勒闻讯后,打算消灭王浚的部队。王浚势力强大,石勒恐一时难以取胜。他决定采用“欲擒故纵”之计,麻痹王浚,他派门客王子春带了大量珍珠宝物,敬献王浚。并写信向王浚表示拥戴他为天子。信中说,现在社稷衰败,中原无主,只有你威震天下,有资格称帝。王子春又在一旁添油加醋,说得王浚心里喜滋滋的,信以为真。正在这时,王浚有个部下名叫游统的,
伺机谋叛王浚。游统想找石勒做靠山,石勒却杀了游统,将游统首级送给王浚。这一着,使王浚对石勒绝对放心了。

公元314年,石勒探听到幽州遭受水灾,老百姓没有粮食,王浚不顾百姓生死,苛捐杂税,有增无减,民怨沸腾,军心浮动。石勒亲自率领部队攻打幽州。这年4 月,石勒的部队到了幽州城,王浚还蒙在鼓里,以为石勒来拥戴他称帝,根本没有准备应战。等到他突然被石勒将士捉拿时,才如梦初醒。王浚中了石勒“欲擒故纵”之计,身首异处,美梦成了泡影。

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