On War

On War

3.95 (8,332 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Introduction by  , Translated by 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


Combining military theory and raw accounts of its practice, Carl von Clausewitz's treatise On War has had a profound influence on subsequent thinking on warfare. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction by Anatol Rapoport. Writing at the time of Napoleon's greatest campaigns, Prussian soldier and writer Carl von Clausewitz created this landmark treatise on the art of warfare, which presented war as part of a coherent system of political thought. In line with Napoleon's own military actions, he illustrated the need to annihilate the enemy and make a strong display of one's power in an 'absolute war' without compromise. But he was also careful to distinguish between war and politics, arguing that war could only be justified when debate was no longer adequate, and that if undertaken, its aim should ultimately be to improve the wellbeing of the nation, pioneering the notion of war as 'politics by other means'. This edition contains a detailed introduction, examining von Clausewitz's skill and reputation as a writer, philosopher and political thinker, as well as a bibliography, notes and a glossary.Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) was a Prussian soldier and writer who entered the Prussian Military at the age of twelve with the rank of Lance-Corporal, serving in the Rhine campaign from 1793 to 1794. In 1801 he joined the Berlin Military Academy, where he studied Kant and attracted the attention of General Gerhard von Scharnhorst, whom he later helped to reform the Prussian army. More a philosopher than a soldier, Clausewitz's fame rests on the enduring success of On War (Vom Kriege), unfinished at the time of his death and published posthumously by his wife, in 1832. If you enjoyed On War, you might like Sun-Tzu's The Art of War, also available in Penguin Classics.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 124 x 196 x 26mm | 340.19g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • bibliography, index
  • 0140444270
  • 9780140444278
  • 82,061

About Carl von Clausewitz

Prussian general and military theorist Charles Von Clausewitz was born in the Prussian city of Burg in 1780. He was commissioned to take part in the campaigns of the First Coalition against Revolutionary France. He is most famous for his military treatise Vom Kriege, translated into English as On War.show more

Table of contents

On WarPreface to the Pelican Edition Introduction by Anatol Rapoport On War Introduction by Col. F. N. Maude Introduction of the Author Brief Memoir of General Clausewitz by the Translator Book One: On The Nature Of War I. What is War? II. End and Means in War III. The Genius for War IV. Of Danger in War V. Of Bodily Exertion in War VI. Information in War VII. Friction in War VIII. Concluding Remarks Book Two: On The Theory Of War I. Branches of the Art of War II. On the Theory of War III. Art or Science of War IV. Methodicism V. Criticism VI. On Examples Book Three: Of Strategy In General I. Strategy II. Elements of Strategy III. Moral Forces IV. The Chief Moral Powers V. Military Virtue of an Army VI. Boldness VII. Perseverance VIII. Superiority of Numbers IX. The Surprise X. Stratagem XI. Assembly of Forces in Space XII. Assembly of Forces in Time XIII. Strategic Reserve XIV. Economy of Forces XV. Geometrical Element XVI. On the Suspension of the Act in War XVII. On the Character of Modern War XVIII. Tension and Rest Book Four: The Combat I. Introductory II. Character of the Modern Battle III. The Combat in General IV. The Combat in General (continuation) V. On the Signification of the Combat VI. Duration of the Combat VII. Decision of the Combat VIII. Mutual Understanding as to a Battle IX. The Battle X. Effects of Victory XI. The Use of the Battle XII. Strategic Means of Utilizing Victory XIII. Retreat After a Lost Battle Sketches For Book Eight: Plan Of War I. Introduction II. Absolute and Real War III. (A) Interdependence of the Parts in War (B) Of the Magnitude of the Object of the War, and the Efforts to be Made IV. Ends in War More Precisely Defined—Overthrow of the Enemy V. Ends in War More Precisely Defined (continued)—Limited Object VI. (A) Influence of the Political Object on the Military Object (B) War as an Instrument of Policy Concluding Remarks by Anatol Rapoport Notes References Glossary Indexshow more

Rating details

8,332 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 33% (2,784)
4 36% (2,998)
3 24% (1,998)
2 5% (456)
1 1% (96)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X