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Vom Kriege

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  8,054 Ratings  ·  197 Reviews
Der Krieg als "Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln" - als Carl von Clausewitz an seiner monumentalen Abhandlung "Vom Kriege" (1832-34) arbeitete, konnte er nicht ahnen, dass dieser Satz einmal zum geflügelten Wort werden würde. Doch wer wie sein Autor gute Gründe hat, den Krieg als ein Instrument zu begreifen, das in der Hauptsache politischen Zwecken dient, kommt ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published 2010 by Rowohlt (first published 1832)
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Sep 13, 2009 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reviewing classics can be humbling. Some books have passed through so many generations and have been analyzed so thoroughly that they've reached mythic proportions. Only the arrogant or ignorant would criticize them. On War is just such a book.

First the disclaimer. I have an amateur interest in military history but do not have the depth to fully appreciate mid-19th century military theory. Regardless, I know enough to appreciate Clausewitz's rejection of formulated tactics and movement.

Now for
Michael Burnam-Fink
May 09, 2012 Michael Burnam-Fink rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, war, 2012
"War is simply the continuation of politics by other means."

Far too many people quote Clausewitz without read him, but after reading this edition of On War, there is no excuse not to read Clausewitz, and perhaps understand him.

I will speak first to the translation: This is how it should be done. Howard, Paret, and Brodie produce an accurate and highly readable text, with invaluable supplementary essays on the historical impact of Clausewitz and his key points. Accept no other translations.

The most difficult book I've ever completed. Took me a month just to read it, and sadly not 100% able to understand the whole thing. This one needs a re-read someday. Some parts are just so indigestible and make me want to pull my hair due to frustration.

Having said that, why I gave this book four stars? Well, first it is a challenging read. Secondly, the contents are unbelievable. Yes, some explanations may be outdated, but the gist is still relevant. If one could get pass through the Book I-II
Mike Edwards
Nov 22, 2011 Mike Edwards rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, war
Almost 200 years later, this masterpiece is still misunderstood and ignored.

Clausewitz argues that the purpose of war is to disarm your opponent and thereby force him to give you want you want. Based on this premise, he concludes that wars are essentially unwinnable on the battlefield: it is virtually impossible to completely disarm your opponent through might alone. Instead, your opponent at some point has to decide to give you want you want--and getting your opponent to come to that decision m
No one can actually enjoy reading Clausewitz - it simply must be done.
Mar 20, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: European historians, military historians, strategists in training
Recommended to Michael by: Serendipity
Shelves: classics
This is the classic work of military strategy, written by a Prussian general in the nineteenth century, which has been often discussed but little understood. It is often held up as the ultimate example of “Prussianism,” of stifling military correctness, or as the champion of “absolute war” and the use of brutality and abandonment of rules in order to annihilate the enemy. It is blamed for the outbreak of both World Wars and for the horrors which those and subsequent conflicts loosed on the world ...more
Oct 29, 2008 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book stands as an important and modern classic about the nature of war. Clausewitz applies rigorous analysis to almost all the factors that influence war, not least of which are social and political aspects. Indeed, for him, war is part of man's social existence, and politics the womb in which war develops. This is encapsulated in his famous comment: "War is merely the continuation of policy by other means."

There are a number of intriguing and developed insights within this book: how defens
Sep 09, 2014 Olethros rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-Probablemente, sin superar tras ciento ochenta y dos años.-

Género. Ensayo.

Lo que nos cuenta. Análisis teórico sobre la guerra basado en el pensamiento del autor, su experiencia y su tiempo, desde su propio concepto hasta la generalidad de sus planes operativos, pasando por las fuerzas armadas, el combate y la teoría estratégica. Publicado de manera póstuma, menos de un año después del fallecimiento del autor, con sólo el primer libro, de los ocho que lo componen, revisado por Clausewitz y los
Amazing how theories of war have not changed much over 200 years. This book is still relevant even though published in 1832.
Five stars for the translation which is simply the best on the market, and includes a superb commentary by Bernard Brodie. This is my fourth time reading this in the context of a class (Naval War College) and it is not any easier to navigate or understand, however, it is never a waste of time.

Clausewitz himself gives the best summary of this work on p. 89: "First, therefore, it is clear that war should never be thought of as something autonomous, but always as an instrument of policy; otherwise
Mar 18, 2009 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a sometime student of History and War Studies I read this book a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away...

I have the abridged Wordsworth Classics edition, abridged because the original consists of eight books in three volumes, and of course was written in German, so it's not a light read.

On War is certainly one of the great books of military history. It is probably also one of the most dangerous, because his theories can, and have been, taken out of context and misused as justification f
Mar 04, 2016 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: part-read, book-club
Ranked one of the great contributions in the literature of war, Clausewitz's book, "On War", presents a wide-ranging and very intellectual discussion of the subject of war. There is room for debate about precisely what the book is about. But Clausewitz is emphatic about what it is not: it is not a book on doctrine; it does not presume to give definitive tactical lessons; it does not pretend to give a formula on strategy-making. These are not Clausewitz's purpose. Rather it is theory that he says ...more
Jan 14, 2012 Ivana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Without doubt the best book about war ever written!
Even after all this time (how long has it been since it was written? centuries!) it is not dated. Really, it is not dated.

Carl Von Clausewitz is the first theorist of war (and he remains the best). Moreover, he is the first to write and understand war fully. There are other great books on this subject such as those written by Machiavelli and Sun Tzu but this is a theory, a great theory of war. Just like Sun Tzu and Machiavelli, the author creat
Bradley Hood
On War is often considered tedious, long, and difficult to read. Those who promote this argument certainly have some valid points, and their concerns were echoed by Clausewitz's contemporaries, which led to Antoine Henri Jomini achieving far more prominence in military circles before 1914. However, despite Jomini's continued influence in the concept of "scientific principles of war", Clausewitz's On War has proved instrumental in shaping the foundations of today's military theory and thought. An ...more
Aaron Crofut
Mar 31, 2013 Aaron Crofut rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, war
It's hard to write a review of such a disjointed work. The important points he hits on are indeed extremely important, but wading through 750 pages of repetitive and wordy abstract run on sentences gets old pretty quickly. Two most important points:

1) Why don't nations fight wars of annihilation (remember, this is the early 19th Century, he doesn't know about the World Wars)? Well, why don't school children carry on their fights to the death? Answer: doing so isn't anywhere near worth the cost.
Antonio Simon Jr.
There are scores of books throughout history that have stood the test of time and remain relevant even today. To Clausewitz's credit, "On War" is one of them. Unfortunately, while Clausewitz's observations may be timeless, his writing style and voice are horribly out of date. His treatise is obtuse, repetitive, and rife with long-winded, complicated sentences.

It is true that he was a soldier and not a writer, and that his holistic view of war has shaped the manner in which armed conflict is cond
Jul 31, 2015 Vaas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
война есть часть целого, а это целое - политика. Для Клаузевица война - только инструмент политики, особая форма политических отношений. Политика определяет характер войны.

Помимо этого фактического различия между типами войн, надлежит точно и определенно установить еще практически столь же необходимую точку зрения, что война есть не что иное, как продолжение государственной политики иными средствами

Раз война является актом насилия, то она неминуемо вторгается в область чувств
Mick E.
Jun 04, 2014 Mick E. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Como bien dicen y no mal, "un clásico de la literatura de estrategia". He de reconocer que jo es una lectura fácil, nada menos tardé 6 meses en este libro. Mismo que es todo un ladrillo. ¿Sigue teniendo vigencia esta obra? Sí, aunque habríamos que aclarar sobre qué tema. El ensayo de Clausewitz toca historia, política, táctica militar, estrategia, administración y filosofía. La importancia del libro pesa más en algunos tópicos que en otros, misma situación que pasa con su vigencia. En cuanto a h ...more
Henry Manampiring
Sep 12, 2007 Henry Manampiring rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone young and foolish enough to become an army officer
Dubbed "Sun Tzu from the West", I rushed to buy this book after it was mentioned in my fave movie Crimson Tide. Turned out to be as indigestible as unthawed frozen food. So much with my youth's dream of becoming a general and invade Malaysia....

One point from the book still rings in my head though: "you only achieve complete victory if you have broken the enemy's WILL to fight". As long as there is will to resist and fight, the enemy will be a pain in the ass, no matter how poorly equipped they
Justin Tapp
Sep 22, 2014 Justin Tapp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership, history, war
I was inspired to read this after it was cited heavily in Gaddis' biography of George Kennan and Thomas Ricks' The Generals. As the U.S. embarks on a quasi-war against the Islamic State, I was eager to compare Clausewitz's thoughts on war to the modern, limited conflicts we currently seem to wage with unclear political ends.

Carl von Clausewitz was a Prussian general and military theorist. On War was part of Clausewitz's writings from 1816 to 1830 and appear to be Clausewitz's attempts to form a
I listened to Volume 1.
Carl von Clausewitz like Marcel Proust takes delight in unnecessarily complicated sentences. His style of writing isn't very suitable to the audiobook format.
In the beginning he spends some time defining fundamentals and debunking bullshitters.
His writing is most interesting when he uses examples to illustrate his ideas.
Ultimately, I was bored too often and his remarks frequently couldn't capture my attention, 2,5 stars.
Jaron Roux
Aug 18, 2012 Jaron Roux rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saass-600
So, after taking a week to really chew up and digest Uncle Carl, I see how and why a lot of people get his propositions wrong! They get his theory wrong, and then mis-apply it to modern day situations without fully understanding his context. I know for a fact this week has help to make me a better military thinker for gaining a better understanding and appreciation of Clausewitz!
JS Found
Jan 19, 2014 JS Found rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so this is a long book--over 600 pages--and some of it is a slog--like a battle that has gone on too long, with the reader's army expending a lot of energy and time to finish. But, it can be useful. The book I mean. Even as we don't fight wars in our everyday lives, we can use this book to solve problems and conflicts. Maybe. I haven't put its advice and strategies into action yet. But, here's hoping. Among much advice, Clausewitz says war is politics by other means. He urges it to be deci ...more
James Smith
It is clear that Clausewitz was an intelligent man who had a handle on the psychology of man as well as on philosophy. This book would suit a military historian rather then the two fields mentioned. It is clearly much outdated and could well do to have about 100 + pages omitted.
Much of the writing is focused on the actual tactics and strategy; Clausewitz demonstrates in places that he could have provided more insight into the workings within an individual and the military's interactions within
Aminmo Hassan
كتب كلاوزيفيتس العديد من الكتابات في التاريخ العسكري والفلسفة والسياسة فضلا عن النظريات الحربية ويعد كتابة " عن الحرب " أحد أشهر اعماله وقد نشر بعد وفاته حيث امضى في كتابته في 12 عاما وقد أصبح مع مرور الوقت من أهم المراجع الكلاسيكية في الحرب وقد اشاد به كل من هتلر وايزنهاور وانجلز ولينين.
He makes really good points on the theory of warfare, especially on the defense. I think, this applied in World war 2, during the first stages of war. Russia was on the defense side, but later on, their offense was superior (thanks to allied help, enormous soldiers lives), I guess Germany's line of supply became longer and Russia could simply retreat line by line. By doing this, they had more time and weakened the enemy's offense slowly.

War has three objectives
a) Conquer and destroy enemy army
Dec 31, 2013 Replicant33 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
As many have observed, this is the most often quoted yet least read or understood work of military theory ever written. A core text at the graduate school where I teach, I have probably read this full work ten times, and select sections several times that, over the past ten years - not to mention all of Clausewitz's other works that have been translated into English, plus many of the dozens of scholarly works seeking to apply, explain, or critique On War - and I continue to learn from and about ...more
Colin Flanigan
Jul 07, 2016 Colin Flanigan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book shows the modern reason's for war and a sensibility on how to define it. "War is a mere continuation of politics by other means," ("Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln"),

and my favorite..

"We repeat again: strength of character does not consist solely in having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one’s balance in spite of them. Even with the violence of emotion, judgment and principle must still function like a ship’s compass, which records the slight
Sam Motes
Jul 02, 2015 Sam Motes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"On War" gives a very high level adademic look at what war is and how war is conducted. Arguably dared since it is from Napoleonic times but still insightful on strategy and tactics. The idea of the "fog of war" comes with is work since in the authors time and view the numbers and placement of troops was critical as war technology was very balanced between rivals. As military technology has evolved and been heavily imbalanced in the hands of certain states and not others these pure numeric and l ...more
Tony Cavicchi
Carl von Clausewitz codified in one book a philosophy of war--logically thinking through and creating theories around the tactics and strategy Napoleon used at the turn of the century. A military history professor at a German war college, Clausewitz famously stated war is politics by other means. (What that did not mean is that politics is bad and always causes war or that people should wage war for their own political advantage). If politics is understood as collective action to allocate who ge ...more
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Carl Philipp Gottlieb von Clausewitz was a Prussian soldier, military historian and military theorist. He is most famous for his military treatise Vom Kriege, translated into English as On War.

Clausewitz has served in the Rhine campaign (1793–1794), when the Prussian army invaded France during the French revolution and in the Napoleonic Wars from 1806 to 1815.

Clausewitz helped negotiate the Conven
More about Carl von Clausewitz...

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“War is nothing but a continuation of politics with the admixture of other means.” 46 likes
“The conqueror is always a lover of peace; he would prefer to take over our country unopposed.” 34 likes
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