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

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Who was August Otto Ruhle von Liliestern?

Introduction August Otto Rühle von Lilienstern (1780 to 1847) was a Prussian officer, who joined Scharnhorst’s Academy for Officers in the same class as Carl von Clausewitz. Later, they both taught at the Prussian General War School, which would become the Prussian War Academy, and Rühle became Clausewitz’ second successor as its director. Background Rühle… 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

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

What is Just War Theory?

Introduction Just war theory (Latin: jus bellum justum) is a doctrine, also referred to as a tradition, of military ethics studied by military leaders, theologians, ethicists and policy makers. The purpose of the doctrine is to ensure war is morally justifiable through a series of criteria, all of which must be met for a war… Read More

Personal Leadership…

“Our means of studying war have increased as much as have our tools for waging it, but it is an open question whether this increase in means has not perhaps obscured or obliterated one essential detail, namely, the necessity for personal leadership.” Lieutenant General George S. Patton Jr (1885 to 1945), speaking as a Major… Read More

A Commander Should…

“A commander should have a profound understanding of human nature, the knack of smoothing out troubles, the power of winning affection while communicating energy, and the capacity for ruthless determination where require[d] by circumstances. He needs to generate an electrifying current, and to keep a cool head in applying it.” Captain Sir Basil Liddell Hart… Read More