Carl Von Clausewitz

Easton Press Carl Von Clausewitz books

On War (2 volumes) - Books That Changed The World - 1991
On War - Library of Military History - 2004


Carl Von Clausewitz biography

Carl von Clausewitz, a Prussian military theorist and strategist, was born on June 1, 1780, in Burg bei Magdeburg, Prussia (now part of Germany). Widely regarded as one of the most influential military theorists in history, Clausewitz's seminal work, On War (Vom Kriege in German), has profoundly shaped the study and practice of war. Clausewitz came from a family with a strong military tradition. He began his military career at a young age, enlisting in the Prussian army during the Napoleonic Wars. His experiences on the battlefield, including witnessing the defeat of Prussia by Napoleon at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt in 1806, had a profound impact on his thinking and influenced his later theories on war. During the years that followed, Clausewitz continued to rise through the ranks of the Prussian military. He also became involved in diplomatic efforts, working to secure alliances against Napoleon. However, his military career suffered a setback when he was taken as a prisoner of war by the French in 1807.

While in captivity, Clausewitz used his time to deepen his understanding of military strategy and theory. He began writing what would become his magnum opus, On War, which he continued to refine over the years. The work, although not completed at the time of his death, outlined his comprehensive theories on the nature of war, the role of politics in war, and the concept of "friction" as an inherent part of military operations. Clausewitz's ideas were groundbreaking in their rejection of simplistic, linear approaches to warfare. He emphasized the complex and dynamic nature of war, stressing the importance of understanding the political context within which conflicts arise. His famous dictum, "War is the continuation of politics by other means," encapsulates this perspective. After his release from captivity, Clausewitz returned to active military service and continued to contribute to Prussian military and political affairs. Unfortunately, he did not live to see the publication of On War in its complete form. Carl von Clausewitz passed away on November 16, 1831, in Breslau, Prussia.

Despite its incomplete state, On War became a foundational text for military academies and strategists worldwide. Clausewitz's ideas have transcended his time, and his work remains influential in shaping strategic thinking and military doctrine to this day. His legacy endures as an essential source for those seeking to understand the complexities of war and conflict.


On War

The classic treatise that details war as the exercise of force for the attainment of a political object, unrestrained by any law save that of expediency.

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. Since the work’s first appearance in 1832, it has been read throughout the world, and has stimulated generations of soldiers, political leaders, and intellectuals.

Carl von Clausewitz’s theories of war have influenced generations of military leaders and policy makers throughout the Western world. On War is widely regarded as Clausewitz’s premier work on the philosophy of war.

On War is one of the most important books ever written on the subject of war. Clausewitz, a Prussian officer who fought against the French during the Napoleonic Wars, sought to understand and analyze the phenomenon of war so that future leaders could conduct and win conflicts more effectively. He studied the human and social factors that affect outcomes, as well as the tactical and technological ones. He understood that war was a weapon of government, and that political purpose, chance, and enmity combine to shape its dynamics.

On War continues to be read by military strategists, politicians, and others for its timeless insights. This abridged edition by Beatrice Heuser, using the acclaimed translation by Michael Howard and Peter Paret, selects the central books in which Clausewitz's views on the nature and theory of war are developed. Heuser's introduction explains the originality of Clausewitz's ideas, his education and background, and summarizes his key theories, while explanatory notes provide further information on the historical examples Clausewitz cites.

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