The great value Per clausewitzs on war essay On War is that it integrates a vast range of military concerns political, strategic, operational, tactical, analytical, historical, and pedagogical within this fundamental socio-political framework.
Using terrain to cover the disposition and advance of troops needs no detailed exposition. It is, therefore, always very advantageous to put our first line of infantry and artillery upon a mountain.
Second, Clausewitz challenges our egos. To support our flank it must be absolutely impassable, such as a large river, a lake, an impenetrable morass. First, there is the prosaic fact that many find it very difficult to read and comprehend.
Each commander of a column, therefore, has the order to attack the enemy wherever he may find him and to do so with all his strength. We may see from this what a fallacy it would be to refer the war of a civilised nation entirely to an intelligent act on the part of the Government, and to imagine it as continually freeing itself more and more from all feeling of passion in such a way that at last the physical masses of combatants would no longer be required; in reality, their mere relations would suffice—a kind of algebraic action.
Experienced politicians and soldiers, on the other hand, who know full well that the environment of war is dangerous, chaotic, and unpredictable, object that war is hardly the convenient "instrument of policy" that so many writers clearly mean to imply when drawing on this phrase from Clausewitz.
Thus reasoning in the abstract, the mind cannot stop short of an extreme, because it has to deal with an extreme, with a conflict of forces left to themselves, and obeying no other but their own inner laws. Nobody can possibly be as penetrating and brilliant as Clausewitz's acolytes endlessly proclaim him to be.
From tohowever, he was a second lieutenant in the U. I can also, at the moment the attack is about to be delivered, withdraw my troops, luring the enemy into unknown territory and attacking him from all sides. We see, therefore, that the impulsive force existing in the polarity of interests may be lost in the difference between the strength of the offensive and defensive, and thereby become ineffectual.
But war is no pastime; no mere passion for venturing and winning; no work of a free enthusiasm; it is a serious means for a serious object.
This in itself is unimportant, and an extension of the front limits the depth of our formation that is, the number of units which are lined up one behind the other.
It should, therefore, be calculated primarily for the defensive. Even under the most favorable circumstances and with greatest moral and physical superiority, the aggressor should foresee a possibility of great disaster.
At Wagram the Austrians had yielded to the French too much territory without the slightest necessity, so that the disadvantages inherent in a river crossing had disappeared.
If we have many troops to hold in reserve, only part of them should stand directly behind the front. He would not have run this risk had he passed through Saxony with all his forces. Any moderation shown would leave us short of our aim. But it is very dangerous, and thus a grave mistake, to leave forests on our front or flank unoccupied, unless the forest can be traversed only by a few paths.
Military Innovation and the Rise of the West —, 2nd ed. Principles Governing the Use of Troops 1. It would have been wiser to profit from Napoleon's disadvantageous position, and to gather the fruits of the battle of Aspern. For an elevated position seldom has any important influence, often none at all, on the effectiveness of arms.
The order of march is essentially as follows: The battle of Kolin forced him to give up all this territory again, which proves that battles decide everything. Once this decisive mass has been thrown in, it must be used with the greatest audacity. We try first to discover what lies ahead of us for we can seldom see that clearly in advanceand which way the battle is turning, etc.
From the character, the measures, the situation of the adversary, and the relations with which he is surrounded, each side will draw conclusions by the law of probability as to the designs of the other, and act accordingly.
As there is room for this accidental on the one hand, so on the other there must be courage and self-reliance in proportion to the room left. Yet every war would necessarily resolve itself into a single solution, or a sum of simultaneous results, if all the means required for the struggle were raised at once, or could be at once raised; for as one adverse result necessarily diminishes the means, then if all the means have been applied in the first, a second cannot properly be supposed.Clausewitz's magnum opus, On War, is unquestionably the most important single work ever written on the subject of warfare.
Despite its hoary publication date ofOn War recently enjoyed a good fifteen years in vogue ().
From Jomini to Clausewitz: Tactics and Strategy HIST SEC Christopher P. McCuiston 22 September In times of war there always the unknown. Aug 31, · von Clausewitz: still relevant? A review by Per Andersson Like war, politics is a nonlinear struggle between opposing forces; coupled with the feedback from the political consequences of events in war, it is obvious that even the rational forces are not stable.
If we superimpose further interconnected trinities representing the other. Principle Of War Kronprinzen"]. This essay is usually referred to as the "Principles of War." It represented Clausewitz's theoretical development up to that point, translated into.
On War: Is Clausewitz Still Relevant? JOHN E. SHEPHARD, JR. war have been reduced to mere aphorisms to decorate the pages of field Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and.
Before Clausewitz left Prussia in to join the Russian army and resist Napoleon, he prepared an essay on war to leave with the sixteen year-old Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm (later King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, r), whose military tutor he had become inDownload