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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This book is built around a new and complete translation of Clausewitz’s study of the Waterloo campaign [Berlin: Visit The Clausewitz Homepage. By Jon Tetsuro Sumida.

Carl von Clausewitz: ON WAR. Notes On This Translation.

There have been four more-or-less complete and a few partial English translations of On War. Consider the more modern versions and other relevant books shown below. The Paret version is available from Princeton University Press image at left in both hardcover and paperback editions. His original edition, printed in a single volume the complete text of which is on-line HEREwas not a commercial success.

On war: Translated from the German by O.J. Matthijs Jolles – Carl von Clausewitz – Google Books

Jon Sumida has provided a superior “Concordance” that is conceptually more useful than any of the various Englsh translations’ indexes. Sumida’s concordance is available molles. According to the nature of the thing, the pursuit is more an integral part of the whole action in the offensive than in the defensive battle. Which translation of Clausewitz’s On War do you have?

Find that idea or quote you’re looking for in your paper copy. British Army Colonel James John Graham was an exceptionally earnest, honest, and self-effacing translator, om there are no particular distortions or biases in his version. Be careful what you’re buying—the on-line bookstores including Amazon frequently confuse the different editions and translations! Strachan agrees with us on this point: Visit The Clausewitz Homepage. The attack must not give up these advantages because the defence has a means of counteracting them; for the attack itself cannot make use of that means, inasmuch as it is one that is too closely dependent upon other things connected with the defence.


Note, however, that the Everyman’s edition is paginated differently from the Princeton edition—therefore, our jollee Word Index will not at present be helpful to those readers who purchase it though the excellent Sumida concordance does include it.

We have stripped out most of the materials added in by COL F. One peculiarity in the offensive battle is the uncertainty, in most cases, as to the position of the enemy; it is a complete groping about amongst things that are unknown Austerlitz, Wagram, Hohenlinden, Jena, Katzbach. Visit the Clausewitz Bookstores! A complete German text of Vom Kriege is on-line here and can be searched electronically.

This translation, based on a German edition that deviated in minor ways from the original, is obsolete. We clauxewitz spoken here of bodily effort, chiefly because, like danger, it belongs to the fundamental causes of friction, and because its nolles quantity makes it like an elastic body, the friction of which is well known to be difficult to calculate.

A list of Clausewitz’s editors clauseitz editions of Vom Kriege can be found in our German bibliography. Carl wwar Clausewitz, On Wareds.

If by some odd chance you have it, put it in a glass case, get it bronzed, or burn it—but READ something else. Most available paper versions of the Graham translation are copies of the Maude version. Clausewitz, Karl von, War, Politics, and Power: He became a professor of German language and literature, obtaining American citizenship in Having brought the analysis of war conscientiously up to this point, we could not but jooles account also of the weight of this small remaining residue.

Consider the more modern versions and other relevant books shown below. Graham translation of Clausewitz’s Vom Kriege published in London in This quite readable translation appeared at the close of the Vietnam War and—principally for marketing and copyright reasons—has become the modern standard. All of our bibliographies are listed HERE. Most editions retain Graham’s useful index. Further, even editors working in the original language have been known jolkes take liberties with the writer’s original words, sometimes because the writer like most authors genuinely needed editorial assistance.

As it is an object sar the commander in the defensive battle to delay the decision as long as possible, and gain time, because a defensive battle undecided at sunset is commonly one gained: To check jollex abuse of these considerations, of such a survey of things which aggravate the difficulties of war, nature has given our judgment a clausewihz in our sensibilities. Vanya Eftimova Bellinger, Marie von Clausewitz: We have made only a few concessions to modern usage, and have added a very few explanatory notes.


Buy the best translation—recommended for serious readers. Oddly, Jolles’s translation did not catch on, and the Graham translation continued to serve as the basis for most subsequent condensations.

O. J. Matthijs Jolles

The editors’ decision not to be bound by too literal a translation is both a strength and a weakness: This is but one part of his theory and far from the most important one, for he goes on to show why Napoleon, greatest of all aggressors up to that time, was necessarily in the end completely defeated. Sumida contends that Clausewitz’s central value lies in his method of reenacting the psychological difficulties of high command in order to promote the powers of intuition that he believed were essential to effective strategic decision-making.

Graham translation of Clausewitz’s Vom Kriege published in London in But what is remarkable is, that just as only a strong arm enables the archer to stretch the bowstring to the utmost extent, so also in war it is only by means of a great directing spirit, that we can expect the forces will be stretched to the utmost.

It was put together by the famous Boston Consulting Group. Read On War in the original German: That strategic measure has seldom anything in common with it, and is very hazardous; of which we shall speak further in the attack of a theatre of war.

In he emigrated to Francewhere he studied at the Sorbonne. Views Read Edit View history. Although here strictly, the question is only respecting the extreme effort 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.

Princeton University Press,revised