On War Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
On War On War by Carl von Clausewitz
10,757 ratings, 3.98 average rating, 265 reviews
Open Preview
On War Quotes Showing 1-29 of 29
“War is nothing but a continuation of politics with the admixture of other means.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“The conqueror is always a lover of peace; he would prefer to take over our country unopposed.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“There are cases in which the greatest daring is the greatest wisdom.”
Carl Von Clausewitz, On War
“If we read history with an open mind, we cannot fail to conclude that, among all the military virtues, the energetic conduct of war has always contributed most to glory and success.”
Carl Von Clausewitz, On War
“[...] to introduce into the philosophy of war itself a principle of moderation would be an absurdity”
Carl Von Clausewitz, On War
tags: sokol
“Great things alone can make a great mind, and petty things will make a petty mind unless a man rejects them as completely alien.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“The aggressor is always peace-loving (as Bonaparte always claimed to be); he would prefer to take over our country unopposed.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“history had no lessons or rules to offer the student, it could only broaden his understanding and strengthen his critical judgment.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“Anyone who falls into the habit of thinking and expecting the best of his subordinates at all times is, for that reason alone, unsuited to command an army”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“... a strong character is one that will not be unbalanced by the most powerful emotions”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“If, adhering closely to the absolute, we try to avoid all difficulties by a stroke of the pen, and insist with logical strictness that in every case the extreme must be the object, and the utmost effort must be exerted in that direction, such a stroke of the pen would be a mere paper law, not by any means adapted to the real world.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“But everything takes a different shape when we pass from abstractions to reality. In the former, everything must be subject to optimism, and we must imagine the one side as well as the other striving after perfection and even attaining it. Will this ever take place in reality?”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgment that the statesman and commander have to make is to establish by that test the kind of war on which they are embarking; neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its nature.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“Pity the theory which sets itself in opposition to the mind! It cannot repair this contradiction by any humility, and the humbler it is so much the sooner will ridicule and contempt drive it from real life.”
Carl Von Clausewitz, On War
“...vanity is content with the appearance alone”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“We propose to consider first the single elements of our subject, then each branch of part, and, last of all, the whole in all its relations-therefore to advance from the simple to the complex. But it is necessary for us to commence with a glance at the nature of the whole, because it is particularly necessary that in the consideration of any of the parts their relation to the whole be kept constantly in view.

We shall not enter into any of the abstruse definitions of War used by publicists. We shall keep to the element of the thing itself, to a duel. War is nothing but a duel on an extensive scale. If we would conceive as a unit the countless number of duels which make up a War, we shall do so best by supposing to ourselves two wrestlers. Each strives by physical force to compel the other to submit to his will: each endeavors to throw his adversary, and thus render him incapable of further resistance.

War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will.”
Carl Von Clausewitz, On War
“peace is maintained by the equilibrium of forces, and will continue just as long as this equilibrium exists, and no longer.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“الحرب هي مواصلة السياسة بطريقة أخرى”
كلاوزفيتر, عن الحرب
“The Statesman who, knowing his instrument to be ready, and seeing War inevitable, hesitates to strike first is guilty of a crime against his country.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“Válka je jen pokračování diplomacie jinými prostředky.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“The political object is the goal, war is the means of reaching it, and means can never be considered in isolation from their purpose”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“For political and social as well as for military reasons the preferred way of bringing about victory was the shortest, most direct way, and that meant using all possible force.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“(1) War becomes a completely isolated act, which arises suddenly, and is in no way connected with the previous history of the combatant States. (2) If it is limited to a single solution, or to several simultaneous solutions. (3) If it contains within itself the solution perfect and complete, free from any reaction upon it, through a calculation beforehand of the political situation which will follow from it.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“The talent of the strategist is to identify the decisive point and to concentrate everything on it, removing forces from secondary fronts and ignoring lesser objectives.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“If the wars of civilised people are less cruel and destructive than those of savages, the difference arises from the social condition both of states in themselves and in their relations to each other. Out of this social condition and its relations war arises, and by it war is subjected to conditions, is controlled and modified. But these things do not belong to war itself; they are only given conditions; and to introduce into the philosophy of war itself a principle of moderation would be an absurdity.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“The worst position in which a belligerent can be placed is that of being completely disarmed. If, therefore, the enemy is to be reduced to submission by an act of war, he must either be positively disarmed or placed in such a position that he is threatened with it according to probability. From this it follows that the disarming or overthrow of the enemy, whichever we call it, must always be the aim of warfare. Now war is always the shock of two hostile bodies in collision, not the action of a living power upon an inanimate mass, because an absolute state of endurance would not be making war; therefore what we have just said as to the aim of action in war applies to both parties. Here then is another case of reciprocal action. As long as the enemy is not defeated, I have to apprehend that he may defeat me, then I shall be no longer my own master, but he will dictate the law to me as I did to him. This is the second reciprocal action and leads to a second extreme (second reciprocal action).”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“donde las cosas están bien ordenadas no debería haber más que un mando supremo en un mismo teatro bélico,”
Carl von Clausewitz, De La Guerra
“steam boiler, delivering so and so many pounds of steam to its engines as long as the envelope can contain the pressure; but let a breach in its continuity arise—relieving the boiling water of all restraint—and in a moment the whole mass flashes into vapour, developing a power no work of man can oppose.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
“Von der Goltz in excuse for the action of the late President Kruger in 1899: "The Statesman who, knowing his instrument to be ready, and seeing War inevitable, hesitates to strike first is guilty of a crime against his country.”
Carl von Clausewitz, On War