Clausewitz on the Nature of War (Video #4)

This is the first of thirteen videos in a series dedicated to Karl von Clausewitz, the West’s most famous (and least read) philosopher of war. If you like Sun Tzu, then you’ll love learning about Clausewitz.

In this video, you’ll hear:

  • The Franco-Prussian War (1870) sets the stage for Clausewitz. Moltke the Elder does to France in one year what the Union ultimately did to the Confederacy in over four years of the US Civil War.
  • How did it happen? Whose ideas did Moltke use? Karl von Clausewitz. The world now takes note of the Prussian intellectual whose ideas helped sink France’s reputation of military invincibility (Thanks to Napoleon’s legacy).
  • His book, On War, is a stark contrast to Jomini’s, Art of War. Jomini provides a practical playbook that was used worldwide. Clausewitz, in contrast, provides a heavy, philosophical approach on “thinking” about warfare.

Next: To better understand Clausewitz and his influential ideas, we will look at the two major factors which influenced his writings: Napoleon (the general) and Romanticism (the philosophy). Stay tuned for Video #2: Two Factors Influencing Clausewitz.