An Overview of Absolute War

Introduction The concept of absolute war was a theoretical construct developed by the Prussian military theorist General Carl von Clausewitz in his famous but unfinished philosophical exploration of war, Vom Kriege (in English, On War, 1832). It is discussed only in the first half of Book VIII (there are only a couple of references to… Read More


Who was J.F.C. Fuller?

Introduction Major General John Frederick Charles “Boney” Fuller CB CBE DSO (01 September 1878 to 10 February 1966) was a senior British Army officer, military historian, and strategist, notable as an early theorist of modern armoured warfare, including categorising principles of warfare. With 45 books and many articles, he was a highly prolific author whose… Read More

Who was Carl von Clausewitz?

Introduction Carl Philipp Gottfried (or Gottlieb) von Clausewitz (01 June 1780 to 16 November 1831) was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the “moral” (meaning, in modern terms, psychological) and political aspects of war. His most notable work, Vom Kriege (On War), was unfinished at his death. Clausewitz was a realist in many… Read More

Who was B.H. Liddell Hart?

Introduction Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart (31 October 1895 to 29 January 1970), commonly known throughout most of his career as Captain B.H. Liddell Hart, was a British soldier, military historian and military theorist. He wrote a series of military histories that proved influential among strategists. He argued that frontal assault was a strategy that… Read More

What is Military Theory?

Introduction Military theory is the analysis of normative behaviour and trends in military affairs and military history, beyond simply describing events in war. Outline Theories and conceptions of warfare have varied in different places throughout human history. The Chinese Sun Tzu is recognised by scholars to be one of the earliest military theorists. His now-iconic… Read More

I Presuppose…

“Leadership presupposes two things:‐‐ A leader, and men capable of being led. A stag cannot lead an army of lions; a lion cannot persuade an army of stags to follow. What then is required? A lion leading lions. In other words, the qualities of leader and led are very similar.The chief of these qualities are:‐‐(1)… Read More

Who was Jan Gotlib Bloch?

Introduction Jan Gotlib (Bogumił) Bloch (Russian: Иван Станиславович Блиох or Блох) (24 July 1836, Radom to 25 December 1901/1902, Warsaw) was a Polish banker and railway financier who devoted his private life to the study of modern industrial warfare. Born Jewish and a convert to Calvinism, he spent considerable effort to opposing the prevalent Antisemitic… Read More