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  The Terra-Cotta Warriors Museum-Pit 2


The day on which pit 2 was formally discovered was April 23, 1976. But after overall exaction of the pit, a deserted well 10 meters deep was found on the west side of the pit, with pieces of pottery figures inside.

Different from pit 1, pit 2 is in shape of a letter L and is composed of four branches of the services within its four sections. Section 1 is a small square battle formation consisting of 334 clay archers, there are 30 kneeling archers in each of two rows in the front and 20 standing archers in each of the 14 columns behind. Section 2 is also a square battle formation; with 2 is also a square battle formation, with 64 light chariots arranged in 8 rows and 8 columns. And in each of the chariot, there are only three clay warriors. Sections 3 is another square battle formation , constituted by 19 war chariots and more than a hundred infantrymen, while Section 4 is a cavalry battle formation with six war chariots, 124 saddled horses and 124 clay cavalrymen. When combined, the four sections form a well-organized large battle arrays; when separated, they become four small, independent battle formations.

Which of the ten battle formations discussed in Sin Bin’s Art of War does this one belong to? After detailed textual research on the four small formations, Mr, yuan concludes that Section 1 is “a square battle formation of archers with bows and crossbows,” Section 2 is “a square battle array of war chariots”. Section 3 is “a rectangular battle formation of war chariots alternating with infantrymen,” Section 4 is “a cavalry battle formation.” The four small battle formation s are combined organically to form a large one in the shape of a letter L, which was one of the five battle arrays mentioned in the books on military strategies: the square, the round, the L-shaped, the straight and the sharp battle formations. The protruding left wing forms the front horn of the battle array and tail of the middle army becomes the hind horn of the battle formation. So the pit 2 is considered an L-shaped battle array with a front as well as a hind horn. Its four small battle formation combine into a large one. When separated, they are four independent fighting units; when combined, they merge into an organic whole. The above point view provides a proper analysis and sufficient grounds for the supposition that the terra-cotta army in the Pit 2 constitutes such an L-shaped battle-formation.

Pit 2 is most likely a scattered battle formation in ancient times. What is a scattered battle formation? According to “the ten battle arrays” is Sun Bin’ Art of War. “The way to arrange the scattered formation depends on fewer armored warriors and infantrymen behind the chariots. Therefore strength must be fully demonstrated. Force can be shown by displaying banners. More weapons are used to show that there are more soldiers. That is why the space between them, both along the tows and columns, should be wider. Many banners of different colors are held with brilliant and sharp weapon beside them. When the force is scattered, the enemy should be surrounded by the enemy. To do this, the force must be arranged carefully. The chariots are not to rush, and infantry not to run. The arrangement of the scattered formation depends on dividing the soldiers into a number of combat units, advancing or withdrawing, assuming the offensive or the defensive posing a threat to the enemy or intercept the weakened enemy. In this way, the scattered formation can defeat the enemy’s crack troop. It is clear that fundamentally, the scattered battle formation should be composed of several small units that have their own tactical significance. Pit 2 is exactly a large battle formation made up of four small ones, each of a different branch of the service –archers, lighter charioteers, foot soldiers and cavalrymen, completely in agreement with the characteristics of scattered battle formation. An analysis of the tactical principles of the scattered battle formation indicates that the way of dividing a scattered battle formation into several small units is decided by its own tactical features. Just as Sun Bin puts in the above quotation, the arrangement of the scattered formation depends on dividing the soldiers into a number of combat units, either advancing or withdrawing, assuming the offensive or the defensive, posing a threat to the enemy or intercepting the weakened the enemy. In this way, the scattered formation can defeat the enemy‘s crack troops. Obviously, the scattered formation has its own special function of destroying heavily fortified enemy positions and defeated the enemy’s crack troops. Only when a scattered battle formation is separated into several small units can it bring into play its tactical features of “advancing and withdrawing” and “launching surprise attacks”  Besides, the development of the armed forces in a scattered battle array should also in accordance with its tactical features. In Pit 2, the detachments of archers in the left forward part, light charioteers on the right and cavalrymen in the rear are all fresh and novel branches of the services emerged in the spring and Autumn and Warring States periods. In terms of tactics, they possess the special function of charging and shatter the enemy position, contrasting sharply with the traditional branches of the services and the tactical features of the Pit 1. Furthermore, the composition of the forces of Pit 2 coincides with the principles of the scattered battle formation. In Pit 1, there is a greater proportion of the armored warriors, whereas in the archers’ detachment of the Pit 2, there are more battle-robed light archers than armored ones. And the arrangement of the foot soldiers behind chariots than armored ones. And the arrangement of the pottery figures is not as dense as that of Pit1. The number of foot soldiers behind chariots is also smaller than that behind the chariots in Pit 1. All these fully demonstrate that all composition of the forces basically reflects such features of the scattered battle formation as fewer armored warriors and infantrymen behind the chariots. So Terra-cotta Army Pit 2 seems to be closer to the ancient scattered battle formation in its tactical features, branches of the services and disposition of the troops.

 
 
 

 

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