What is the nature of war itself?
How can success in war be achieved?
Carl von Clausewitz's On War has been called, "not simply the greatest, but the only truly great book on war."
It is an astonishing attempt to construct an all-embracing theory of how war works.
Its coherence and ambition are unmatched by other historical military literature.
On War is filled with sharp observation, biting irony, and memorable phrases, the most famous being, "War is a continuation of politics by other means."
The great value of 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.
No other coherent body of theory comes close to successfully interrelating such a wide range of considerations, and none is so flexible in adapting to political and historical change. Otherwise, we would not still be studying its many theories today.
CARL von CLAUSEWITZ (1780 –1831) was a Prussian general who was involved in numerous military campaigns, but he is famous primarily as a military theorist interested in the examination of war, utilizing the campaigns of Frederick the Great and Napoleon as frames of reference for his work. His most notable work On War is considered a seminal work on military theory—a systematic andphilosophical examination of war in all its aspects.
“Clausewitz was the greatest of all military thinkers: he wrote with the precision of a philosopher and the elegance of Goethe, and his works on strategy were the only ones hitherto produced that deserved the name of classics…”
“No military leader has ever become great without audacity…”
-Carl von Clausewitz