Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz, 1780 - 1831

portrait of Carl von Clausewitz
In Prussian uniform, by Karl Wilhelm Wach, 1830

Born: 1 June 1780, Burg bei Magdeburg, Prussia
Died: 16 November 1831, Breslau, Silesia

von Clausewitz, the son of a Prussian tax officer who had served in the army, joined the Prussian army at age twelve, and saw action against France during the French Revolution. When Napoleon crushed Prussian forces at Jena and Auerstedt in 1806, Clausewitz was held prisoner for over a year, returning to help reform the Prussian army. When Napoleon coerced an alliance with Prussia, Clausewitz and many other Prussian officers formed the Russo-German Legion in the service of Russia. That unit rejoined Prussia in time for the Waterloo campaign that ended the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. Clausewitz returned to the Kriegsakademie, the German war college at Berlin, and became it's director in 1818. It was there that he wrote Vom Kriege (On War), arguably the most influential treatise on warfare and the source of most of these quotes.

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Carl von Clausewitz quotes:

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