Carl von Clausewitz
NOTE: This version of Carl von Clausewitz's On War is the long-obsolete J.J. Graham translation of Clausewitz's Vom Kriege (1832) published in London in 1873. The 1976/84 Howard/Paret version is the standard translation today; for the most accurate text one should always consult the 1943 Jolles translation. Consider the more modern versions and other relevant books shown below.
This is the 19th German edition published by Dümmlers, Clausewitz's original publisher. It was edited by the esteemed German scholar Werner Hahlweg and is considered the standard and most accurate edition.
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.
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.
Vanya Eftimova Bellinger, Marie von Clausewitz: The Woman Behind the Making of On War (Oxford University Press, 2015), ISBN: 0190225432. A rich biography of Countess Marie von Clausewitz that also sheds enormous light on the life, ideas, influences upon, and character of the great military thinker himself.
BOOK 7 • CHAPTER 21
ALMOST all that we have to say on this subject consists in an explanation of the term. We find the expression very frequently used by modern authors and also that they pretend to denote by it something particular.Guerre d'invasion occurs perpetually in French authors. They use it as a term for every attack which enters deep into the enemy's country, and perhaps sometimes mean to apply it as the antithesis to methodical attack, that is, one which only nibbles at the frontier. But this is a very unphilosophical confusion of language. Whether an attack is to be confined to the frontier or to be carried into the heart of the country, whether it shall make the seizure of the enemy's strong places the chief object, or seek out the core of the enemy's power, and pursue it unremittingly, is the result of circumstances, and not dependent on a system. In some cases, to push forward may be more methodical, and at the same time more prudent than to tarry on the frontier, but in most cases it is nothing else than just the fortunate result of a vigorous attack, and consequently does not differ from it in any respect.
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