However, in Clausewitz began to have serious doubts about whether total war was really the sole legitimate type of war. He died while working on Book One, however. Thus, the manuscript remained as an incomplete draft—Books Two to Six expressed his old ideas regarding the supremacy of the decisive battle and total war, whereas the beginning and end of On War proclaimed the subservience of war to politics and consequently the legitimacy of limited war.
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Since later readers have been largely unaware of the reasons for the glaring inconsistency in On War , while being impressed by its sophistication, they have tended to concentrate on those ideas that most accorded with the spirit of their own times. However, once disillusionment with total war had set in after the two world wars of the 20th century, and with the advent of nuclear weapons , interpretations completely reversed themselves.
Carl von Clausewitz.
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Early military career Clausewitz enlisted in the Prussian army in , and in —95 he took part and was commissioned in the campaigns of the First Coalition against Revolutionary France. Facts Matter. A final section considers Clausewitz's relevance to the rapidly changing nature of war today.
He has taught officer cadets in Australia for over three decades and was the Founding Director of the Australian Defence Studies Centre. His publications cover many aspects of military affairs, from nuclear strategy to conscientious objection. Smith is particularly good at outlining the intellectual influences on Clausewitz Far from being the bloody-minded apostle of total war portrayed by detractors, Smith's Clausewitz is a complex and fully rounded thinker.
A Study of Military and Political Ideas
Publishing With Us. Book Authors Journal Authors. Free Preview. Buy eBook. Buy Hardcover. Buy Softcover. FAQ Policy. Note that the seemingly powerful points he makes in the first few pages are only an opening bid, not his actual argument—a fact that confuses and often outrages many readers. Read the short c. This excellent review essay covers a great deal of the current debate amongst Clausewitz scholars in the US and UK.
It explicitly reviews:. This is a collection of articles based on presentations at Oxford University's conference, "Clausewitz in the 21st Century. This piece focuses on the meaning of Clausewitz's trinitarian concept for wars both historical and contemporary. Pick one of the following articles. Alan D. Beyerchen is a historian of science and this is an ambitious and influential effort to understand Clausewitz's theories in the light of modern scientific theories about the nature of real-world systems like weather, economies, biological systems, etc.
Note to skeptics: Don't delude yourself. Despite the popularity in Hollywood of weird nonlinear concepts like "the Butterfly Effect," Nonlinearity and the related concepts of Chaos and Complexity are not some kind of 'New Age' mysticism. They are the most rigorous sort of "hard science" and mathematics, reflecting the direction that virtually all of modern science took in the later 20th century. Terence M. Holmes takes on some writers who argue that Clausewitzian theory is somehow inimical to practical military planning. But that's a good subject for debate.
This is a survey and critique of various recent efforts to dismiss Clausewitz as irrelevant to war in the current era—e. Backup copy. This is an exploration of the meaning of the most quoted—and most frequently misunderstood—concept in On War. Our primary focus in this second Clausewitz seminar is on the interrelationship of political and military objectives.
We will also be interested in Clausewitz's argument that defense is inherently the stronger form of war and in Jon Sumida's controversial arguments concerning Clausewitz's ideas about strategic education. From the standpoint of analyzing the strategic structure of a particular conflict , this is the most important discussion in On War. To understand this, put yourself in the shoes of an indecisive King who doesn't really trust the common people of his Kingdom, but who's growing pretty desperate under the foreign French occupation of his country.
Jon T. That book usefully emphasizes Clausewitz's belief in the inherent superiority of the defensive form of war and offers a powerful explanation of Clausewitz's views on strategic education, stressing the concept of "historical reenactment. Lieutenant Colonel ret. Freiherr Claus von Rosen and Colonel Dr. Pommerin, Reiner, ed. Note: The prose in this chapter—written in English by a German and published in Germany—is a little rough. Clausewitz, On War , excerpts relating to " Centers of Gravity.
But that makes it interesting in a different, if highly perverse, manner. Paper delivered at the University of Oxford, March Local backup. Note: The prose in this chapter—written in English by a Chinese scholar but edited in Germany—is more than a little rough but is, in the main, comprehensible. A hostile review of Clausewitz and today's Clausewitzians. Or Willful Misreading? This a critique of the use and misuse of Clausewitz in Western military thought generally and by the US military in particular.
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Carl von Clausewitz
A famous French political philosopher's treatment of Clausewitz. This translation has been widely criticized, however. Pedlow Clausewitz. The Campaign of was among the last major historical studies Clausewitz wrote, so it reflects his most mature thinking. Unlike his earlier studies, however, these findings were never incorporated into On War. This will therefore be new material for most readers. This book also contains the Duke of Wellington's somewhat annoyed response to Clausewitz's observations and other relevant materials.
Also available on-line as a paper presented at the conference "Clausewitz in the 21st Century," Oxford University, March Handel, ed. This is an anthology of 14 articles reflecting the post-Vietnam surge in Clausewitz's popularity in the US. Hooker, Jr.
Clausewitz and On War
Student Issue. Looks at Clausewitz's ideas rather narrowly in terms of their meaning with regard to Clausewitz's own era. Part I, "Clausewitz's Life and Personality," pp. Whether this is "psychohistory" or "psycho-babble" may be a matter of taste.