The Reading Guide at the end applies what Clausewitz wrote to the 20 century American wars. Among much advice, Clausewitz says war is politics by other means. Clausewitz is very philosophical and abstract, to the point that many of his ideas are simply not applicable to everyday military planning. “War is nothing but a continuation of politics with the admixture of other means.”, “The conqueror is always a lover of peace; he would prefer to take over our country unopposed.”. While Clausewitz is quoted and discussed by military men repeatedly, it fascinates me how many military officers serve long and distinguished careers without ever having read this book. Clausewitz seemed obsessed with Fredrick the Great. His insights were based on a rigid study of military history and, in particular, the Napoleonic Wars in which … In many ways this is understandable. Even as we don't fight wars in our everyday lives, we can use this book to solve problems and conflicts. Source; Report... War is regarded as nothing but the continuation of state policy with other means. Who am I to critique Clausewitz? Clausewitz’s Military Genius and the #Human Dimension. Clausewitz's erudition verges on genius often. Van Creveld argues that "Clausewitzian war" requires the state to act in conjunction with the people and the army, the state becoming a massive engine built to exert military force against an identical opponent. Maude C.B. tags: clausewitz, strategy, war. This in a breath is the spirit of his book. Written: circa 1827 First Published: after Clausewitz's death in 1831 Source: 1874, 1st edition of the translation. ", The military objectives in war that support one's political objectives fall into two broad types: "war to achieve limited aims" and war to "disarm" the enemy: "to render [him] politically helpless or militarily impotent.". Publication date 1976 Topics Military art and science, War Publisher Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press Collection americana Digitizing sponsor Google Book from the collections of unknown library While Clausewitz wrote in the first half of the 19th Century, his thought never really came to be accepted in the armies of France, Britain or the United States until well into the 20th century. Why was that? Clausewitz was well educated and had strong interests in art, history, science, and education. (Late R.E.) Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984), particularly if you are using this book for your scholarly or research work. Dr. T. Echevarria, Army War College faculty, Aug. 29, 2017. Five stars for the translation which is simply the best on the market, and includes a superb commentary by Bernard Brodie. Superficial hypocracy and seeming contradictions are eliminated with careful evaluation, intellectually Clausewitz reduces issues to their theoretical, most simplistic forms, and then walks them back with elaboration of the real world complications that prevent and contrive a perfe. There is nothing like reading a history or biography book and being so completely transported to another time and place that you find... To see what your friends thought of this book. The people's armies supported the idea that war is an existential struggle. Clausewitz’s concepts of grammar and logic have stood the test of time. They resulted (though the evolution of war has not yet ended) in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with all the forces and capabilities of the state devoted to destroying forces and capabilities of the enemy state (thus "total war"). The book is a good snap shot of the thinking of the time. These are not Clausewitz's purpose. About the AuthorExcept for a brief stint in 1812 when he served in the Russian army, Clausewitz spent his whole career, from the age of twelve until his death in 1831, in the Prussian army. Almost 200 years later, this masterpiece is still misunderstood and ignored. He reasoned that the Purpose of war is one's will to be enforced, which is determined by politics. He served in the campaigns of 1793-94 on the Rhine, after which he seems to have devoted some time to the study of the scientific branches of his profession. Superficial hypocracy and seeming contradictions are eliminated with careful evaluation, intellectually Clausewitz reduces issues to their theoretical, most simplistic forms, and then walks them back with elaboration of the real world complications that prevent and contrive a perfect solution. Readers’ Top Histories and Biographies of the Last 5 Years. What's the Lexile Level for this book and what's the age limit? [5], In his 1812 Bekenntnisschrift ("Notes of Confession"), he presents a more existential interpretation of war by envisioning war as the highest form of self-assertion by a people. Matthijs Jolles at the University of Chicago during World War II—not today's standard translation, but certainly the most accurate. He was a professional soldier who spent a considerable part of his life fighting against Napoleon. Resources. : On Strategy in the Twenty-first Century. the uses and abuses of historical studies, the nature of the balance-of-power mechanism, the relationship between political objectives and military objectives in war, the asymmetrical relationship between attack and defense, philosophical distinctions between "absolute or ideal war," and "real war", in "real war," the distinctive poles of a) limited war and b) war to "render the enemy helpless", "war" belongs fundamentally to the social realm, rather than the realms of art or science, "strategy" belongs primarily to the realm of art, "tactics" belongs primarily to the realm of science, 1873. Carl Philipp Gottlieb von Clausewitz was a Prussian soldier, military historian and military theorist. deep and philosophical analysis of "War" by Clausewitz. Not much mentioned about sea power or guerilla warfare. The insights he gained from his political and military experiences, combined with a solid grasp of European history, provided the basis for his work.[1][2][3]. It reveals "War," stripped of all accessories, as the exercise of force for the attainment of a political object, unrestrained by any law save that of expediency, and thus gives the key to the interpretation of German political aims, past, present, and future, which is unconditionally ― Carl Von Clausewitz, On War. Instead, he wanted to highlight general principles that would result from the study of history and logical thinking. It is often held up as the ultimate example of “Prussianism,” of stifling military correctness, or as the champion of “absolute war” and the use of brutality and abandonment of rules in order to annihilate the enemy. Carl von Clausewitz, Prussian general and military thinker, whose work Vom Kriege (1832; On War) has become one of the most respected classics on military strategy. These thinkers would scoff at the tendency of Clausewitz to praise the defense and discuss it at such great length. Hughes, R. Gerald. Modern perceptions of war are based on the concepts that Clausewitz put forth in On War, but they have been diversely interpreted by various leaders (such as Moltke, Vladimir Lenin, Dwight Eisenhower, and Mao Zedong), thinkers, armies, and peoples. Carl von Clausewitz’s On War is the most significant attempt in Western history to understand war, both in its internal dynamics and as an instrument of policy. The most difficult book I have ever read, 5/5, would invest the fortresses again. It was unfinished when Clausewitz died and contains material written at … "[8], That quote in itself allows for the interpretation that the military will take over from politics as soon as war has begun, as, for example, the German General Staff did during World War I. It is one of the most important treatises on political-military analysis and strategy ever written, and remains both controversial and influential on strategic thinking. War, in its ideal form, Indeed, for him, war is part of man's social existence, and politics the womb in which war develops. Clausewitz enlisted in the Prussian army in 1792, and in 1793–95 he took part (and was commissioned) in the campaigns of … Again, such thinking was scoffed by military thinkers who were sure that their objective must be some fixed location on the map. Carlisle Barracks Wil Washcoe Hall About On War ‘War is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to our will’ Writing at the time of Napoleon’s greatest campaigns, Prussian soldier and writer Carl von Clausewitz created this landmark treatise on the art of warfare, which presented war as part of a coherent system of political thought. Reviewing classics can be humbling. He fought in all the major Prussian campaigns against France, and his most fateful experience - the 1806 Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, in which Napoleon destroyed the Prussian army - inspired him to write On War. Took me a month just to read it, and sadly not 100% able to understand the whole thing. Maude, abridged edited with an introduction by Anatol Rapoport. Best book on war I have ever read. With the understanding of certain tactical level chapters being outdated, it is still a phenomenal read for strategic and operational theorizing, but must be consumed slowly, deliberately, and with much contemplation. One must also remember tha. Napoleon and Frederick the Great figure prominently for having made very efficient use of the terrain, movement and the forces at their disposal. THE Author of the work here translated, General Carl Von Clausewitz, was born at Burg, near Magdeburg, in 1780, and entered the Prussian Army as Fahnenjunker (i.e., ensign) in 1792. Clausewitz argued that war theory cannot be a strict operational advice for generals. Odd that Clausewitz didn't mention Wellington. "Clausewitz, still the Master of War? I haven't put its advice and strategies into action yet. In real war — and Clausewitz makes this point again and again — the destruction of the enemy’s forces is only one possible goal, and not always the best one, depending both upon the relative capabilities of one’s self and the enemy, the nature of the objective one seeks, and its cost. He urges it to be decisive; you have to go all in, but, when it's being lost, you have to pull out and accept defeat, which, America hasn't really accepted in the past few decades. "On War" is one of those books that was at the same time amazingly influential and almost never actually read. The 20 century American wars, 5/5, would invest the fortresses again the text warfare. 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