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Encyclopedia > Carl von Clausewitz
Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz
June 1, 1780November 16, 1831
Image:Clausewitz.jpg
Carl von Clausewitz, painting by Karl Wilhelm Wach
Place of birth Burg bei Magdeburg, Prussia
Allegiance Prussia
Years of service 1792–1831
Rank Major-General

Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz (IPA: [ˈklaʊzəvɪts]) (June 1, 1780[1]November 16, 1831) was a Prussian soldier, military historian and influential military theorist. He is most famous for his military treatise Vom Kriege (complete text available here), translated into English as On War (complete text available here). June 1 is the 152nd day of the year (153rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1780 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... November 16 is the 320th day of the year (321st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 45 days remaining. ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Image File history File links Clausewitz. ... A town on the Elbe- Havel canal, northeast of Magdeburg around a former weir, the Saxon Sluices (Sachsenschleusen). ... Motto Suum cuique Latin: To each his own Prussia at its peak, as leading state of the German Empire Capital Königsberg, later Berlin Government Duke1  - 1525–68 Albert I (first)  - 1688–1701 Frederick III (last) King1  - 1701–13 Frederick I (first)  - 1888–1918 William II (last) Prime Minister1,2... Motto Suum cuique Latin: To each his own Prussia at its peak, as leading state of the German Empire Capital Königsberg, later Berlin Government Duke1  - 1525–68 Albert I (first)  - 1688–1701 Frederick III (last) King1  - 1701–13 Frederick I (first)  - 1888–1918 William II (last) Prime Minister1,2... Major General or Major-General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... June 1 is the 152nd day of the year (153rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1780 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... November 16 is the 320th day of the year (321st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 45 days remaining. ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Motto Suum cuique Latin: To each his own Prussia at its peak, as leading state of the German Empire Capital Königsberg, later Berlin Government Duke1  - 1525–68 Albert I (first)  - 1688–1701 Frederick III (last) King1  - 1701–13 Frederick I (first)  - 1888–1918 William II (last) Prime Minister1,2... Neo Gomanism Manifesto Special - On War Vom Kriege (complete text available here) is a book on war and military strategy by Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz, written mostly after the Napoleonic wars, between 1816 and 1830, and published posthumously by his wife in 1832. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Neo Gomanism Manifesto Special - On War Vom Kriege (complete text available here) is a book on war and military strategy by Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz, written mostly after the Napoleonic wars, between 1816 and 1830, and published posthumously by his wife in 1832. ...

Contents

Life and times

Carl von Clausewitz was born in Burg bei Magdeburg, Prussia on June 1, 1780 to a poor but middle-class family. His grandfather, himself the son of a Lutheran Pastor, had been a professor of theology. Clausewitz's father was once a lieutenant in the Prussian army and held a minor post in the Prussian internal revenue service. Carl was the fourth and youngest son. Carl entered the Prussian military service at the age of twelve years as a Lance-Corporal, eventually attaining the rank of Major-General.[2] A town on the Elbe- Havel canal, northeast of Magdeburg around a former weir, the Saxon Sluices (Sachsenschleusen). ... Motto Suum cuique Latin: To each his own Prussia at its peak, as leading state of the German Empire Capital Königsberg, later Berlin Government Duke1  - 1525–68 Albert I (first)  - 1688–1701 Frederick III (last) King1  - 1701–13 Frederick I (first)  - 1888–1918 William II (last) Prime Minister1,2... A standard of the Prussian Army. ... Lance Corporal is a military rank used by some elements of the United States and United Kingdom Armed Forces, police, and other uniformed organizations. ... Major General or Major-General is a military rank used in many countries. ...


He served in the Rhine Campaigns (17931794) e.g. the Siege of Mainz, when the Prussian army invaded France during the French Revolution, and later served in the Napoleonic Wars from 1806 to 1815. Clausewitz entered the Kriegsakademie in Berlin (also cited variously as "The German War School," the "Military Academy in Berlin," and the "Prussian Military Academy") in 1801 (age 21 years), studied the philosopher Kant and won the regard of General Gerhard von Scharnhorst, the future first chief of staff of the new Prussian Army (appointed 1809). Clausewitz, along with Hermann von Boyen (17711848) and Karl von Grolman (17771843), were Scharnhorst's primary allies in his efforts to reform the Prussian army, between 1807 and 1814. 1793 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1794 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Combatants First French Republic Kingdom of Prussia Austria (Habsburg) Electorate of Saxony Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel Electoral Palatinate Duchy of Saxe-Weimar Commanders General Ignace dOyré Alexandre de Beauharnais Field marshal von Kalckreuth Duke of Brunswick Strength 23,000 184 cannons 36,000 later 44... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... Combatants Austria[1] Portugal Prussia[1] Russia[2] Sicily  Spain[3]  Sweden United Kingdom[4] French Empire Holland Italy Naples [5] Duchy of Warsaw Bavaria[6] Saxony[7] Denmark-Norway [8] Commanders Archduke Charles Prince Schwarzenberg Karl Mack von Leiberich Gebhard von Blücher Duke of Brunswick â€  Prince of Hohenlohe... 1806 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... April 5-12: Mount Tambora explodes, changing climate. ... Fassade Unter den Linden 74, erbaut 1845/25 von Karl Friedrich Schinkel als vereinte Artillerie- und Ingenieurschule Fassade des Lehrgebäudes an der Dorotheenstraße 58/59, entworfen von Franz Schwechten (1883) Lageplan der Kriegsakademie mit dem Lehrgebäude an der Dorotheenstraße und dem aufgrund der vornehmen Lage 1878... Fassade Unter den Linden 74, erbaut 1845/25 von Karl Friedrich Schinkel als vereinte Artillerie- und Ingenieurschule Fassade des Lehrgebäudes an der Dorotheenstraße 58/59, entworfen von Franz Schwechten (1883) Lageplan der Kriegsakademie mit dem Lehrgebäude an der Dorotheenstraße und dem aufgrund der vornehmen Lage 1878... Fassade Unter den Linden 74, erbaut 1845/25 von Karl Friedrich Schinkel als vereinte Artillerie- und Ingenieurschule Fassade des Lehrgebäudes an der Dorotheenstraße 58/59, entworfen von Franz Schwechten (1883) Lageplan der Kriegsakademie mit dem Lehrgebäude an der Dorotheenstraße und dem aufgrund der vornehmen Lage 1878... Fassade Unter den Linden 74, erbaut 1845/25 von Karl Friedrich Schinkel als vereinte Artillerie- und Ingenieurschule Fassade des Lehrgebäudes an der Dorotheenstraße 58/59, entworfen von Franz Schwechten (1883) Lageplan der Kriegsakademie mit dem Lehrgebäude an der Dorotheenstraße und dem aufgrund der vornehmen Lage 1878... The Union Jack, flag of the newly formed United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804) was a Prussian philosopher, generally regarded as one of Europes most influential thinkers and the last major philosopher of the Enlightenment. ... Gerhard Johann David von Scharnhorst (November 12, 1755 - June 28, 1813) was a general in Prussian service, Chief of the Prussian General Staff, noted for both his writings and his leadership during the Napoleonic Wars. ... Year 1809 (MDCCCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar). ... Leopold Hermann Ludwig von Boyen (20 June 1771 – February 15, 1848) served as an army officer who helped to reform the Prussian army in the early 19th century. ... 1771 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1848 (MDCCCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Karl Wilhelm Georg von Grolmann ( July 30, 1777 - June 1, 1843), Prussian general, was born in Berlin. ... Year 1777 (MDCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1843 (MDCCCXLIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1807 (MDCCCVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar). ... Year 1814 (MDCCCXIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ...


Both Clausewitz and Hermann von Boyen served during the Jena Campaign. Clausewitz, serving as Aide-de-Camp to Prince August, was captured in October of 1806 when Napoleon invaded Prussia and defeated the massed Prussian-Saxon army commanded by Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick (who was mortally wounded), in twin battles at Jena and Auerstedt (see Battle of Jena-Auerstedt) on October 14, 1806. Carl von Clausewitz, at the age of twenty-six years, became one of the 25,000 prisoners captured that day as the Prussian army disintegrated. Leopold Hermann Ludwig von Boyen (20 June 1771 – February 15, 1848) served as an army officer who helped to reform the Prussian army in the early 19th century. ... An aide-de-camp (French: camp assistant) is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state. ... 1806 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, (Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Herzog zu Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Fürst von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern) (October 9, 1735 - 1806) was a German military general born in Wolfenbüttel, Germany. ... This article needs cleanup. ... For other uses, see Jena (disambiguation). ... , Auerstedt is a municipality in the Weimarer Land district of Thuringia, Germany. ... Combatants First French Empire Prussia Commanders Napoleon I Louis Nicolas Davout Duke of Brunswick Prince Hohenlohe Strength 90,000 (Jena); 27,000 (Auerstedt) 38,000 (Jena); 63,000 (Auerstedt) Casualties 5,000 dead and wounded (Jena); 7,000 killed, wounded, or missing (Auerstedt) 25,000 dead, wounded, or captured (Jena...


Clausewitz was held prisoner in France from 1807 to 1808. Returning to Prussia, he assisted in the reform of the Prussian army and state. He also married the socially prominent Countess Marie von Brühl and socialized with Berlin's literary and intellectual elites. Opposed to Prussia's enforced alliance to Napoleon, he left the Prussian army and subsequently served in the Russian army from 1812 to 1813 during the Russian Campaign. Like many Prussian officers living in Russia, he joined the Russo-German Legion in 1813. In the service of the Russian Empire, Clausewitz helped negotiate the Convention of Tauroggen (1812), which prepared the way for the coalition of Prussia, Russia, and the United Kingdom that ultimately defeated Napoleon I of France and his allies. Look up Count in Wiktionary, the free dictionary A count is a nobleman in most European countries, equivalent in rank to a British earl, whose wife is still a countess (for lack of an Anglo-Saxon term). ... Marie Sophie Gräfin von Brühl (en: Countess Marie Sophie von Brühl), (June 3, 1779 - 1836) was a member of the von Brühl noble family originating in Thuringia. ... For the overture by Tchaikovsky, see 1812 Overture; For the wars, see War of 1812 (USA - United Kingdom) or Patriotic War of 1812 (France - Russia) For the Siberia Airlines plane crashed over the Black Sea on October 4, 2001, see Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 1812 was a leap year starting... Year 1813 (MDCCCXIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar). ... Kazan Cathedral in St Petersburg and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow were built to commemorate the Russian victory against Napoleon. ... The subject of this article was previously also known as Russia. ... The Convention of Tauroggen was a truce signed 30 December 1812 at Tauroggen between Generalleutnant Johann David Ludwig Graf Yorck von Wartenburg on behalf of his Prussian troops, and by General Hans Karl von Diebitsch of the Russian Army. ... For the overture by Tchaikovsky, see 1812 Overture; For the wars, see War of 1812 (USA - United Kingdom) or Patriotic War of 1812 (France - Russia) For the Siberia Airlines plane crashed over the Black Sea on October 4, 2001, see Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 1812 was a leap year starting... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ...


In 1815, the Russo-German Legion was integrated into the Prussian Army and Clausewitz thus re-entered Prussian service. He was soon appointed chief of staff to Johann von Thielmann's III Corps. In that capacity, he served at the Battle of Ligny and the Battle of Wavre during the Waterloo Campaign in 1815. The Prussians were defeated at Ligny (south of Mount St. Jean and the village of Waterloo) by an army led personally by Napoleon, but Napoleon's failure to actually destroy the Prussian forces led to his eventual defeat a few days later at the Battle of Waterloo when the Prussian forces arrived on his right flank late in the afternoon and joined the Anglo-Dutch forces pressing Napoleon's front. At Wavre, Thielmann's corps, greatly outnumbered, prevented Marshall Grouchy from reinforcing Napoleon with his corps. Johann Adolf, freiherr von Thielmann (1765-1824), Prussian cavalry soldier, was born at Dresden. ... The Battle of Ligny, fought June 16, 1815, was a French victory under Napoleon against the Prussian army under Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher in the Napoleonic Wars. ... Combatants First French Empire Prussia Commanders Marshal Grouchy Johann von Thielmann Strength 33,000, 80 cannons[1] 17,000, 48 cannons[1] Casualties 2,500[1] 2,500[1] Hundred Days Quatre Bras – Ligny – Waterloo – Wavre Map of the Waterloo campaign In the Battle of Wavre a Prussian rearguard was... For information about the legislative programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt, see New Deal. ... April 5-12: Mount Tambora explodes, changing climate. ... Ligny is a village in the municipality of Sombreffe (in the province of Namur), where Napoleon defeated Blücher two days before the battle of Waterloo while Wellington and Marshal Ney were engaged at Quatre Bras. ... Waterloo The top of the knoll and the famous lion. ... Combatants First French Empire Seventh Coalition: United Kingdom Kingdom of Prussia Kingdom of the United Netherlands Kingdom of Hanover Dutchy of Nassau Duchy of Brunswick Commanders Napoleon Bonaparte, Michel Ney Duke of Wellington, Gebhard von Blücher Strength 73,000 67,000 Coalition 60,000 Prussian (48,000 engaged by...


Clausewitz was promoted to Major-General in 1818 and appointed director of the Kriegsakademie, where he served until 1830. In the latter year, the outbreak of several revolutions around Europe and a crisis in Poland appeared to presage another major European war. Clausewitz was appointed chief-of-staff to the only army Prussia was able to mobilize, which was sent to the Polish border. He subsequently died in a cholera outbreak in 1831. His magnum opus on the philosophy of war was written during this period, and was published posthumously by his widow in 1832. 1818 (MDCCCXVIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar. ... Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix commemorates the July Revolution 1830 (MDCCCXXX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Cholera (or Asiatic cholera or epidemic cholera) is a severe diarrheal disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Magnum opus (sometimes Opus magnum, plural magna opera), from the Latin meaning great work,[1] refers to the best, most popular, or most renowned achievement of an author, artist, or composer, and most commonly one who has contributed a very large amount of material. ... The Philosophy of war examines war beyond the typical questions of weaponry and strategy, inquiring into the meaning and etiology of war, what war means for humanity and human nature as well as the ethics of war. ...


Although Carl von Clausewitz participated in many military campaigns, he was primarily a military theorist interested in the examination of war. He wrote a careful, systematic, philosophical examination of war in all its aspects, as he saw it and taught it. The result was his principal work, On War, the West's premier work on the philosophy of war. His examination was so carefully considered that it was only partially completed by the time of his death. Other soldiers before this time had written treatises on various military subjects, but none undertook a great philosophical examination of war on the scale of Clausewitz's and Tolstoy's, both of which were inspired by the events of the Napoleonic Era. Neo Gomanism Manifesto Special - On War Vom Kriege (complete text available here) is a book on war and military strategy by Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz, written mostly after the Napoleonic wars, between 1816 and 1830, and published posthumously by his wife in 1832. ... Coat of arms of the Tolstoy family Tolstoy, or Tolstoi (Russian: ) is a prominent family of Russian nobility, descending from one Andrey Kharitonovich Tolstoy (i. ... The Napoleonic Era is a period in the History of France and Europe. ...


Clausewitz's work is still studied today, demonstrating its continued relevance. Lynn Montross writing on that topic in War Through the Ages said; "This outcome...may be explained by the fact that Jomini produced a system of war, Clausewitz a philosophy. The one has been outdated by new weapons, the other still influences the strategy behind those weapons." Lynn Montross was born in Battle Creek, Nebraska in ???, and lived in Denver, Colorado, before moving to Washington, D.C. He studied at the University of Nebraska before serving three years in an American Expeditionary Force (AEF) regiment in World War I (aka The Great War) and afterward, became a... Jomini Antoine-Henri, baron Jomini (March 6, 1779–March 24, 1869), general in the French and afterwards in the Russian service, and one of the most celebrated writers on the art of war, was born at Payerne in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland, where his father was syndic. ...


Clausewitz introduced systematic philosophical contemplation into Western military thinking, with powerful implications not only for historical and analytical writing but for practical policy, military instruction, and operational planning.


Principal ideas

A young Carl von Clausewitz.
A young Carl von Clausewitz.

Vom Kriege (On War) is a long and intricate investigation of Clausewitz's observations based on his own experience in the Wars of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars and on considerable historical research into those wars and others. It is shaped not only by purely military and political considerations but by Clausewitz's strong interests in art, science, and education. Image File history File links CarlvonClausewitz. ... Image File history File links CarlvonClausewitz. ... Neo Gomanism Manifesto Special - On War Vom Kriege (complete text available here) is a book on war and military strategy by Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz, written mostly after the Napoleonic wars, between 1816 and 1830, and published posthumously by his wife in 1832. ...


Some of the key ideas discussed in On War include:

  • the dialectical approach to military analysis
  • the methods of "critical analysis"
  • 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
  • the nature of "military genius" (involving matters of personality and character, beyond intellect)
  • the "fascinating trinity" (wunderliche Dreifaltigkeit) of war
  • 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 to the realms of art or science
  • "strategy" belongs primarily to the realm of art
  • "tactics" belongs primarily to the realm of science
  • the importance of "moral forces" (more than simply "morale") as opposed to quantifiable physical elements
  • the "military virtues" of professional armies (which do not necessarily trump the rather different virtues of other kinds of fighting forces)
  • conversely, the very real effects of a superiority in numbers and "mass"
  • the essential unpredictability of war
  • the "fog" of war
  • "friction"
  • strategic and operational "centers of gravity"
  • the "culminating point of the offensive"
  • the "culminating point of victory"

Clausewitz used a dialectical method to construct his argument, leading to frequent modern misinterpretation. As described by Christopher Bassford, professor of strategy at the National War College: Broadly speaking, a dialectic (Greek: διαλεκτική) is an exchange of propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses) resulting in a disagreement. ... Christopher Bassford (b. ... The National War College (NWC) of the United States is a school in the National Defense University. ...

One of the main sources of confusion about Clausewitz's approach lies in his dialectical method of presentation. For example, Clausewitz's famous line that "War is merely a continuation of politics," ("Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln") while accurate as far as it goes, was not intended as a statement of fact. It is the antithesis in a dialectical argument whose thesis is the point—made earlier in the analysis—that "war is nothing but a duel [or wrestling match, a better translation of the German Zweikampf] on a larger scale." His synthesis, which resolves the deficiencies of these two bold statements, says that war is neither "nothing but" an act of brute force nor "merely" a rational act of politics or policy. This synthesis lies in his "fascinating trinity" [wunderliche Dreifaltigkeit]: a dynamic, inherently unstable interaction of the forces of violent emotion, chance, and rational calculation.[1]

Another example of this confusion is the idea that Clausewitz was a proponent of total war as used in the Third Reich's propaganda in the 1940s. He did not coin the phrase as an ideological ideal--indeed, Clausewitz does not use the term "total war" at all. Rather, he discussed "absolute war" or "ideal war" as the purely logical result of the forces underlying a "pure," Platonic "ideal" of war. In what Clausewitz called a "logical fantasy," war cannot be waged in a limited way: the rules of competition will force participants to use all means at their disposal to achieve victory. But in the real world, such rigid logic is unrealistic and dangerous. As a practical matter, the military objectives in real war that support one's political objectives generally fall into two broad types: "war to achieve limited aims" and war to "disarm” the enemy--i.e., “to render [him] politically helpless or militarily impotent." Thus the complete defeat of one's enemies may be neither necessary, desirable, nor even possible. Total war is a military conflict in which nations mobilize all available resources in order to destroy another nations ability to engage in war. ...


Influence

Despite his death just prior to completing On War, Clausewitz' ideas have been widely influential in military theory. Later Prussian and German generals such as Helmuth Graf von Moltke were clearly influenced by Clausewitz: Moltke's famous statement that "No campaign plan survives first contact with the enemy" is a classic reflection of Clausewitz's insistence on the roles of chance, friction, "fog," and uncertainty in war. The idea that actual war includes "friction" which deranges, to a greater or lesser degree, all prior arrangements, has become common currency in other fields as well (e.g., business strategy, sports). Military theory is the analysis of normative behavior and trends in military affairs and military history. ... Generalfeldmarschall Helmuth, Graf von Moltke (known as Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke before 1870) (October 26, 1800 – April 24, 1891), was a German Field Marshal, thirty years chief of the staff of the Prussian army, widely regarded as one of the great strategists of the latter half of the 1800s...


Some claim that nuclear proliferation makes Clausewitzian concepts obsolescent after a period--i.e., the 20th century--in which they dominated the world.[3] John E. Sheppard, Jr., argues that, by developing nuclear weapons, state-based conventional armies simultaneously both perfected their original purpose (to destroy a mirror image of themselves) and made themselves obsolete. No two nuclear powers have ever used their nuclear weapons against each other, instead using conventional means or proxy wars to settle disputes. If, hypothetically, such a conflict did in fact occur, both combatants would be effectively annihilated. Therefore, the beginning of the 21st century has found many instances of state armies attempting to suppress terrorism, bloody feuds, raids and other intra/supra-state conflict whilst using conventional weaponry. World map with nuclear weapons development status represented by color. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... There are currently five nations considered to be nuclear weapons nations, an internationally recognized status conferred by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). ... A proxy war is a war where two powers use third parties as a supplement or a substitute for fighting each other directly. ... Terrorist redirects here. ...


Others, however, argue that the essentials of Clausewitz's theoretical approach remain valid, but that our thinking must adjust to changed realities. Knowing that "war is an expression of politics" does us no good unless we have a valid definition of "politics" and an understanding of how it is reflected in a specific situation. The latter may well turn on religious passions, private interests and armies, etc. While many commentators are quick to dismiss Clausewitz's political context as obsolete, it seems worthwhile to note that the states of the twentieth century were very different from Clausewitz's Prussia, and yet the World Wars are generally seen as "Clausewitzian warfare"; similarly, North and South Vietnam, and the United States as well, were quite unlike 18th-century European states, yet it was the war in Indochina that brought the importance of Clausewitzian theory forcefully home to American thinkers. Clausewitz himself was well aware of the politics that drove the Thirty Years' War, a conflict that bears a great deal of similarity to the current struggle in Iraq. The idea that states cannot suppress rebellions or terrorism in a nuclear-armed world does not bear up well in the light of experience: Just as some rebellions and revolutions succeeded and some failed before 1945, some rebellions and revolutions have succeeded and some have failed in the years since. Insurgencies were successfully suppressed in the Philippines, Yemen, and Malaysia--just a few of many examples. Successful revolutions may destroy some states, but the revolutionaries simply establish new and stronger states--e.g., China, Vietnam, Iran--which seem to be quite capable of handling threats of renewed insurgency. Anthem Thanh niên Hành Khúc (Call to the Citizens) Capital Saigon Language(s) Vietnamese Government Republic Last President¹ Duong Van Minh Last Prime minister Vu Van Mau Historical era Cold War  - Regime change June 14, 1955  - Dissolution April 30, 1975 Area  - 1973 173,809 km² 67,108... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... An insurgency is an armed rebellion by any irregular armed force that rises up against an established authority, government, administration or occupation. ...


The real problem in determining Clausewitz's continuing relevance lies not with his own theoretical approach, which has stood up well over nearly two centuries of intense military and political change. Rather, the problem lies in the way that thinkers with more immediate concerns have adapted Clausewitzian theory to their own narrowly defined eras. When times change, people familiar only with Clausewitz's most recent interpreters, rather than with the original works, assume that the passing of cavalry, or Communism, or the USSR's Strategic Rocket Forces, means that Clausewitz is passé. Yet we always seem to be comfortable describing the age of warfare just past as "Clausewitzian"--even though Clausewitz never saw a machinegun, a tank, a Viet Cong, or a nuclear weapon.


The phrase fog of war derives from Clausewitz's stress on how confused warfare can seem while one is immersed within it.[4] The term center of gravity, used in a specifically military context, derives from Clausewitz's usage (which he took from Newtonian Mechanics). In the simplified and often confused form in which it appears in official US military doctrine, "Center of Gravity" refers to the basis of an opponent's power (at either the operational, strategic, or political level). The fog of war is a term used to describe the level of ambiguity in situational awareness experienced by participants in military operations. ... The center of gravity (CoG) is a concept developed by Carl von Clausewitz, a Prussian military theorist, in his work On War. ...


Name

Clausewitz's Christian name is sometimes given in non-German sources as Carl Philipp Gottlieb, Carl Maria, or misspelled Karl due to reliance on mistaken source material, conflations with his wife's name, Marie, or mistaken assumptions about German orthography. Carl Philipp Gottfried appears on Clausewitz's tombstone and is thus most likely to be the correct version. The tombstone reads:

Hier ruht in Gott
Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz
koenigl. General-Major u. Inspecteur der Artillerie
geboren 1 Juni 1780
gestorben 16 Nov 1831

Which translates as:

Here rests with God
Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz
In the royal service, Major General and Inspector of the Artillery
Born 1 June 1780
Died 16 November 1831

There is no single "correct" spelling for German names before the early 19th century. Vital records were kept by pastors in their parish records. Different pastors used different spellings and commonly ignored how their predecessor may have spelled the same name. The name of the same individual can be found spelled differently in the same parish record, for example, if a pastor registered his birth and a different one his marriage and/or his death. It appears that pastors recorded names as they heard them and spelled them as they believed they should be spelled. Pastors treated persons of importance or high status such as nobility or civil or military officials more deferentially. For the names of such persons it can make sense to distinguish between such spellings as "Carl" or "Karl" even then. The situation changed radically in the Napoleonic era when French civil servants introduced greater discipline in keeping vital records in German lands. Spellings of family and given names were "frozen" in whatever state they happened to be in then. It was, however, not unusual for brothers who made their homes in different parishes to have their family names spelled differently. Such variations endure to this day and confound amateur genealogists who are not familiar with the fluidity of German spellings before the Napoleonic reforms. While spellings of names were fluid when Clausewitz was born, they had become firm by the time of his death. That is why it makes sense to accept the spelling of his name as recorded on his tombstone which, presumably, agrees with the vital records of his death. June 1 is the 152nd day of the year (153rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1780 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... November 16 is the 320th day of the year (321st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 45 days remaining. ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...


Notable Quotes

  • "The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan." This sounds vaguely Clausewitzian, but is not a quote from Clausewitz.
  • "No one starts a war—or rather, no one in his senses ought to do so—without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war and how he intends to conduct it."
  • "To secure peace is to prepare for war." - actually from Vegetius c. 390 AD, not Clausewitz.
  • “It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past.” Sounds like Patton--who was a long-time reader of Clausewitz.

Vegetius (Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus) was a celebrated military writer of the 4th century. ...

Cultural References

  • In the film Crimson Tide, the naval officers of the nuclear submarine have a discussion about the meaning of the quote "War is a continuation of politics by other means." The executive officer (played by Denzel Washington) contends that the captain (played by Gene Hackman) has taken a too simplistic reading of von Clausewitz.
  • In The Frosh Report, Anthony Frosh tells how he was concerned that his traveling companions would think negatively of him for expressing his "von Clausewitz attitude toward global conflict resolution." [2]
  • Sam Walker's non-fiction book Fantasyland references von Clausewitz, by name, briefly.
  • In Ian Fleming's "Moonraker", James Bond mentions that he has achieved Clausewitz's first principle in securing his base, though this base is a relationship for intelligence purposes and not a military installation.
  • In Steinbeck's East of Eden, Adam Trask's servant, Lee asks twice, "Did you ever read von Clausewitz?". Neither of the characters he asks has ever heard of Clausewitz. Lee responded the first time with, "Not very reassuring reading." This was Lee's way of expressing pessimism regarding the future outcome of the Great War.
  • In Lawrence of Arabia (1962), General Allenby (Jack Hawkins) contends to T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) that "I fight like Clausewitz, you fight like Saxe." (To which Lawrence replies, "We should do very well indeed, shouldn't we?")

Crimson Tide is a 1995 Hollywood submarine film starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman and directed by Tony Scott. ... Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. ... Gene Hackman (born Eugene Allen Hackman[1] on January 30, 1930) is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actor. ... John Ernst Steinbeck (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was one of the best-known and most widely read American writers of the 20th century. ... For other uses, see East of Eden (disambiguation). ... Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ... Lawrence of Arabia is an award-winning 1962 film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. ... Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby ( April 23, 1861 - May 14, 1936) was a British soldier most famous for his role during World War I, in which he led the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the conquest of Palestine and Syria in 1917 and 1918. ... John Edward Jack Hawkins (September 14, 1910 - July 18, 1973) was a British film actor of the 1950s and 1960s. ... Thomas Edward Lawrence (August 16, 1888 – May 19, 1935), also known as Lawrence of Arabia, and (apparently, among his Arab allies) Aurens or El Aurens, became famous for his role as a British liaison officer during the Arab Revolt of 1916–1918. ... Peter Seamus OToole (born August 2, 1932, accepted but presumed date[5]) is an eight-time Academy Award-nominated Irish actor. ...

See also

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Military science. ... This is a list of military writers, alphabetical by last name. ... Christopher Bassford (b. ... Sir Michael Eliot Howard, OM, CH, KBE, MC (born 29 November 1922) is a retired British military historian, formerly Chichele Professor of the History of War and Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford University. ... Sir John Keegan OBE (born 1934) is a British military historian, lecturer and journalist. ... Sun Tzu (孫子 also commonly written in pinyin: Sūn Zǐ) was the author of The Art of War, an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy (for the most part not dealing directly with tactics). ... Robert Greene was born in Los Angeles in 1959. ... Total war is a military conflict in which nations mobilize all available resources in order to destroy another nations ability to engage in war. ... The concept of absolute war (or real war) was developed by military theorist Karl von Clausewitz as a philosophical construct, the war in which every aspect of society was bent towards the conflict. ... The Philosophy of war examines war beyond the typical questions of weaponry and strategy, inquiring into the meaning and etiology of war, what war means for humanity and human nature as well as the ethics of war. ...

Notes

  • Note regarding personal names: von is a title prefix denoting some sort of (former) nobility, translated as of. It is an inseparable part of the last name, not a first or middle name.
  1. ^ Christopher Bassford. (2002). Clausewitz and his Works. Clausewitz.com. Accessed 2007-05-31.
  2. ^ Full copy of On War.
  3. ^ Sheppard, John E., Jr. (September 1990). "On War: Is Clausewitz Still Relevant?". Parameters 20 (3): pp.85–99. 
  4. ^ Berkun, Scott. The Art of Project Management. ISBN 0-596-00786-8. 

Von (generally in small case only as von) is a German preposition which approximately means of or from. ... In grammar, a preposition is a word that establishes a relationship between an object (usually a noun phrase) and some other part of the sentence, often expressing a location in place or time. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 151st day of the year (152nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Bibliography

1873 (MDCCCLXXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...

Further reading

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
  • Bassford, Christopher. Clausewitz in English: The Reception of Clausewitz in Britain and America, 1815-1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Full text on-line here.
  • Clausewitz, Carl Von (1976, rev.1984). On War, edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret., Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-05657-9. 
  • Clausewitz, Carl von. Col. J. J. Graham, translator. Vom Kriege. On War — Volume 1, Project Gutenberg eBook.
  • Gerhard Muhm : German Tactics in the Italian Campaign , http://www.larchivio.org/xoom/gerhardmuhm2.htm
  • Gerhard Muhm, La tattica tedesca nella campagna d'Italia, in Linea gotica avamposto dei Balcani, a cura di Amedeo Montemaggi - Edizioni Civitas, Roma 1993
  • Paret, Peter. Clausewitz and the State: The Man, His Theories, and His Times. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976.
  • Rogers, Clifford J. "Clausewitz, Genius, and the Rules", The Journal of Military History, Vol. 66, No. 4. (2002), pp. 1167–1176.
  • Rothfels, Hans “Clausewitz” pages 93-113 from The Makers of Modern Strategy edited by Edward Mead Earle, Gordon A. Craig & Felix Gilbert, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1943.
  • Edward J. Villacres and Christopher Bassford, “Reclaiming the Clausewitzian Trinity,” Parameters, Autumn 95, pp. 9-19, http://www.clausewitz.com/CWZHOME/Trinity/TRININTR.htm

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ... Christopher Bassford (b. ... Sir Michael Eliot Howard, OM, CH, KBE, MC (born 29 November 1922) is a retired British military historian, formerly Chichele Professor of the History of War and Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford University. ... Peter Paret (April 13, 1924-) is American military and art history historian with a particular interest in the German history. ... Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive, and distribute cultural works. ... Hans Rothfels (April 12, 1891-June 22, 1976) was a conservative German nationalist historian. ... Gordon Alexander Craig (November 13, 1913 - November 2, 2005) was a Scottish-born U.S historian of German, Swiss and of diplomatic history. ...

External links

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Carl von Clausewitz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1659 words)
Carl von Clausewitz was born in Burg bei Magdeburg, Prussia in 1780.
Clausewitz, serving as Aide-de-Camp to Prince August, was captured during the Jena Campaign in October of 1806 when Napoleon invaded Prussia and defeated the massed Prussian-Saxon army commanded by Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick (who was mortally wounded), in twin battles at Jena and Auerstedt (see Battle of Jena-Auerstedt) on October 14, 1806.
Carl von Clausewitz was appointed director of the Kriegsakademie in 1818 and served until 1830.
Clausewitz FAQs (2988 words)
Carl Phillip Gottfried (or Gottlieb) von Clausewitz (1780-1831) was a Prussian soldier and intellectual.
Clausewitz's fame is largely due to the importance and influence of his magnum opus, On War, unquestionably the most important single work ever written on the theory of warfare and of strategy, although both the book and its impact have been interpreted and misinterpreted in wildly varying ways.
However, Clausewitz's tombstone clearly gives the name as "Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz." While fog and friction pervade all human activities, we are inclined to believe that Clausewitz's family—especially the devoted Marie—would have demanded that his monument reflect their own opinion on the matter.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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