Carl von Clausewitz
NOTE: This version of Carl von Clausewitz's famous treatise On War is the only complete (i.e., it contains all eight books, etc.) on-line posting of the long-obsolete J.J. Graham translation published by Nicholas Trübner in London in 1873. It is derived from the German original, Clausewitz's Vom Kriege (Berlin: Dümmlers Verlag, 1832). The 1976/84 Howard/Paret translation from Princeton University Press is the standard English translation today; for the most accurate text one should always consult the Otto Jolles translation, originally done in 1943 at the University of Chicago. For more information on the original German text and on all of the available English translations, click HERE. Please take a look at the relevant books shown below. For a general discussion of the various versions of Vom Kriege/On War available, see Clausewitz.com, "Which Translation of Clausewitz's On War do you have?" For an advanced and rather complex discussion of some important specific problems with the English translations (including Jolles'), see Christopher Bassford, "Clausewitz's Categories of War and the Supersession of 'Absolute War.'"
Carl von Clausewitz and Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington, On Waterloo: Clausewitz, Wellington, and the Campaign of 1815. Ed./trans. Christopher Bassford, Daniel Moran, and Gregory W. Pedlow (Clausewitz.com, 2010). ISBN: 1453701508. This book is built around a new and complete translation of Clausewitz's study of the Waterloo campaign (Berlin: 1835), which is a strategic analysis of the entire campaign (not just the Battle of Waterloo), and the Duke of Wellington's detailed 1842 response to it. Clausewitz's Der Felzug von 1815 was written late in his life and its findings were never incorporated into On War, so most readers will find it new material.
Buy the best translation—recommended for serious readers. The Book of War (The Modern Library, February 2000). ISBN: 0375754776. Clausewitz's On War and Sun Tzu's Art of War in one volume. The translation of Clausewitz's On War is the 1943 version done by German literary scholar O.J. Matthijs Jolles at the University of Chicago during World War II—not today's standard translation, but certainly the most accurate. Sun Tzu is presented in the modern translation by Roger Ames, based on complete ancient texts found by archaeologists.
Buy the standard English translation of Clausewitz's On War, by Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton University Press, 1976/84). ISBN: 0691018545 (paperback). Kindle edition. This quite readable translation appeared at the close of the Vietnam War and—principally for marketing and copyright reasons—has become the modern standard.
Decoding Clausewitz: A New Approach to On War (University Press of Kansas, 2008). By Jon Tetsuro Sumida. ISBN: 9780700616169. *This is perhaps the most important recent book for anyone seeking to understand Clausewitz's thinking. Sumida contends that Clausewitz's central value lies in his method of reenacting the psychological difficulties of high command in order to promote the powers of intuition that he believed were essential to effective strategic decision-making. Sumida also correctly notes Clausewitz's argument that the defense is a stronger form of war, and goes on to explore the implications of that fact.
Clausewitz, On War
trans. COL James John Graham (London: N. Trübner, 1873)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
and His Works." A contemporary introduction by Christopher Bassford
• Preface to the First Edition by Marie von Clausewitz
BOOK I: ON THE NATURE OF WAR
BOOK II: ON THE THEORY OF WAR
BOOK III: OF STRATEGY IN GENERAL
BOOK IV: THE COMBAT
BOOK V: MILITARY FORCES
• 9. Camps
BOOK VI: DEFENCE
SKETCHES FOR BOOK VII: THE ATTACK
SKETCHES FOR BOOK VIII: PLAN OF WAR
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