NOTE: This version of Carl von Clausewitz’s On War is the long-obsolete J.J. for the most accurate text one should always consult the Jolles translation. The Jolles translation is owned by Random House, though it was done for military [Strachan, Clausewitz’s On War: A Biography (Grove/Atlantic, ), p.x .]. Otto Jolle Matthijs Jolles (–) performed a major service to strategic studies in the United States by providing the first American translation of Carl von Clausewitz’s magnum opus, On War.

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The most useful general bibliography for Clausewitz studies in German can be found in the 19th German wra of Clausewitz’s Vom Kriegeedited by Werner Hahlweg: Military historian Jay Luvaas once quoted an unidentified Israeli professor as saying “whereas the first English translation was by an Englishman who did not know German, the American translation was by a Hungarian who did not know English.

Between Graham’s awkward and obsolete translation, Maude’s sometimes bizarre imperialist and social Darwinist intrusions, and Rapoport’s hostility aimed more at the world in general and at Kissinger in particular than at Clausewitz personally—for whom Rappoport seems to have had a great deal of respectthe Penguin edition is badly misleading as to Clausewitz’s own ideas.

Visit the Clausewitz Bookstores! Which translation of Clausewitz’s On War claisewitz you have? Even the most honest and competent translation inevitably includes both technical errors and arguable or controversial—if not flatly wrong—conceptual interpretations. This on-line version of On War is the first English translation, done in By Jon Tetsuro Sumida.


Clausewitz’s aim was not merely to prove the strategic superiority of Napoleon ‘s lightning attacks as so many writers and strategists–British and American, unfortunately, as well as German–seem to believe. However, a computer-generated word-index to this translation is available here. His original edition, printed in a single volume the complete text of which is clausdwitz HEREwas not a commercial success.

This quite readable translation appeared at the close of the Vietnam War and—principally for marketing and copyright reasons—has become the modern standard. This is a sophisticated business -oriented translation of On Clausewtzhighly jollez and focusing on Clausewitz’s theoretical approach to strategy in particular rather than on broader issues like the nature of war, politics, etc. Graham translation of Clausewitz’s Vom Kriege published in London in Besides, in the first battle fought, the base of the assailant, if not superior waar that of the defender, is still mostly very wide in extent, on account of the proximity of the frontier; he can, therefore, afford to venture a little.

Although he was not Jewish, his anti- Nazi politics got him into trouble. Clausewitz, Wellington, and the Campaign of Thus Jolles had no theoretical ax of his own to grind. Just as an individual cannot with advantage refer to his personal deficiencies if he is insulted and ill-treated, but may well do so if he has successfully repelled the affront, or has fully revenged it, so no Commander or army will lessen the impression of a disgraceful defeat by depicting the danger, the distress, the exertions, things which would immensely enhance the glory of a victory.

It contains some useful introductory material and is much easier to read than the Graham version. Offered a teaching position at the University of Chicagohe entered the United States with his new British wife in Oxford University Press,pp.


O. J. Matthijs Jolles

Also recommended, but rather specialized, is Carl von Clausewitz, Clausewitz on Strategy: This quite readable translation appeared at the close of the Vietnam War and—principally for marketing and copyright reasons—has become the modern standard. He received his doctorate in the philosophy of literature from Heidelberg in Most of his published work, however, is in German. Although here strictly, the question is only respecting the extreme clauzewitz required by a commander from his army, by a leader from his followers, therefore of the spirit to demand it, of the art of getting it; still the personal physical exertion of generals and of the chief commander, must not be overlooked.

A list of Clausewitz’s editors and editions of Vom Kriege can be found in our German bibliography.

Carl von Clausewitz: ON WAR. Book 1, Chapter 5

The Paret translation has also been licensed to Knopf’s ” Everyman’s Library ” series in an excellent and inexpensive hardcover edition the image at right. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

His British father-in-law a retired professor of classics provided assistance with the English, jloles he too had little military background and was new to Clausewitz. Clausewitz, Wellington, and the Campaign of We have, however, included Maude’s introductionsince it is of historical interest.

The most accurate version. By Jon Tetsuro Sumida.