This book sets out to shed new light on the origins and nature of modern military thinking. The ideas of Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831), which remain at the heart of strategic analysis today, have hitherto been examined in isolation from their cultural and philosophical roots in the 18th century. In this study, the author examines the extent to which culture affects military theory. He relates a series of military thinkers to their cultural background, and contrasts the worldview of the Enlightenment with that of the German Movement. He provides a critique of Clausewitz's classic work "On War" and demonstrates how the major currents of modern military thought have evolved from the cultural frameworks and historical outlooks of the German movement and the Enlightenment. In the process, the book offers an insight into a great period of European culture and into warfare during the Napoleonic Age.
`admirably lucid study of modern military thought.'
Times Literary Supplement
Brian Bond, King's College London, Journal of Strategic Studies
`excellent monograph ... he has undoubtedly provided useful guidance to the reading of On War, and the book as a whole merits careful study and reflection.'
Brian Bond, Journal of Strategic Studies
`the book has great merit in that it charts the development of Clausewitz's theoretical conceptions clearly and concisely, and relates them to their proper cultural and historical background. As such, it is the best book on the subject now available in the English language.'
'This scholarly, clearly organized and succinct work is a fundamental contribution to Clausewitzian studies.'
Hew Strachan, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, EHR, Oct '92
Introduction: Machiavelli and the classical notion of the lessons of history in the study of war; PART I. THE MILITARY SCHOOL OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: Montecuccoli: The impact of proto-science on military theory; The military thinkers of the French enlightenment: The quest for a general theory of war; The Military thinkers of the German Aufklärung: The military Aufkläres: Lloyd: His international career, intellectual scope, and the campaigns of the
Seven Years war: Bülow: Between a geometrical science of strategy and the revolution in war; Through the Napoleonic Age: Archduke Charles and the Austrian military school: Jomini: Synthesizing the legacy of the
enlightenment with Napoleonic warfare; PART II. THE GERMAN MOVEMENT: CLAUSEWITZ AND THE ORIGINS OF THE GERMAN MILITARY SCHOOL: The reaction against the enlightenment: New perspectives on military theory: The emergence of a new climate of ideas: Berenhorst: Counter-enlightenment and the criticism of the Frederickian system; Clausewitz: Demolishing and rebuilding the theoretical ideal: Scharnhorst's place and legacy: Reformulating military theory in terms of a new intellectual paradigm: How to
form a universal theory of war?: Clausewitz: The nature of war: Military decisiveness and political greatness: Reflecting the Napoleonic model: Politics and war: The Ambiguous transformation clarified;