Wednesday, 5 October 2022 — Big Serge Thoughts
Putin and Clausewitz
Carl von Clausewitz
With the sole possible exception of the great Sun Tzu and his “Art of War”, no military theorist has had such an enduring philosophical impact as the Prussian General Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz. A participant in the Napoleonic Wars, Clausewitz in his later years dedicated himself to the work that would become his iconic achievement – a dense tome titled simply “Vom Kriege” – On War. The book is a meditation on both military strategy and the socio-political phenomenon of war, which is heavily laced with philosophical rumination. Though On War has had an enduring and indelible impact on the study of military arts, the book itself is at times a rather difficult thing to read – a fact that stems from the great tragedy that Clausewitz was never actually able to finish it. He died in 1831 at the age of only 51 with his manuscript in an unedited disorder; and it fell upon his wife to attempt to organize and publish his papers.