Carl von Clausewitz: Biography

Carl von Clausewitz

Carl Philip Gottfried von Clausewitz (1 June 1780 - 16 November 1831) was a Prussian general and military theorist who focused on the moral (i.e. psychological) and political aspect of war.
Among all his work his prime piece “On War” was unfinished till his death which was later published by his widow Marie von Bruhl in 1832.

Jomini: Offensive-Defensive




Jomini defined both the offensive and defensive war and proposed that offensive war for a single operation is somewhat taking an initiative and nearly always it is advantageous
Before reading this article i would recomend you to read → Jomini Biography as it would give an insight how he evolved as a strategist.



Jomini was a great proponent of offensive warfare. As in (ARTICLE XVI.(OF STRATEGIC COMBINATIONShe clearly defined both the offensive and defensive war and proposed that offensive war for a single operation is somewhat taking an initiative and nearly always it is advantageous
"it carries the war upon foreign soil, saves the assailant’s country from devastation, increases his resources and diminishes those of his enemy, elevates the morale of his army, and generally depresses the adversary."

JOMINI: Art of War

Antoine Henri Jomini
Antoine Henri Jomini
Jomini’s major contribution to the Art of War concern’s the tangible i.e. physical aspect of warfare. Under all his theories on the subject lies the fundamental principle which defined in the below four maxims (Chapter 3: Section: THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF WA

(1) To throw by strategic movements the mass of an army successively, upon the decisive points of a theater of war, and also upon the communications of the enemy as much as possible without compromising one's own.

Jomini : Biography

The 18th and 19th century were centuries full of conflict for Europe. Napolean's war raged between France and series of 3 coalitions of European Countries from 1792-1815. These conflict also produced few greatest military thinkers of all time.Napolean who often regarded as a great military strategist left no written records of his concepts and his military applications but mostly penned mostly novellas, essays, etc.
But thanks to 2 men for recording analyzing and interpreting his strategy and contributions:
  1. Antoine-Henri, Baron Jomini (6 March 1779 – 24 March 1869)
  2. Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz[1] (1 June 1780 – 16 November 1831)

Antoine Henri Jomini
Antoine Henri Jomini
Antoine-Henri, Baron Jomini was the first among the military thinkers who analyzed Napoleon’s warfare tactics. Swiss by birth Jomini joined the French Army. He was working backend i.e as a staff officer throughout his career.

In 1806 after publishing his views on the current war with Prussia and his exceptional knowledge of Fredrick the Great's campaign made Napolean appoint him at his headquarters. Later he was offered to join Russian Armed service which he did after the consent of both countries. But was caught in a flux when the war between the France and Russia started which he tackled by engaging as non-combatant in the communications area.

In his later life, he started Military Academy of St Petersburg (1826) in Russia and then retired in France where he advised Napoleon III for the Italian campaign (1859) and died on 22 March 1869, in Paris at the age of 90.

The famous quote for Jomini was “Devin de Napoléon” or the man who guessed what Napoleon was about.

He along with Clausewitz had done for Defence Studies what Adam Smith had done for Economics.

Yalta Agreement

The Yalta Conference, Crimea, February 1945
The Yalta Conference, Crimea, February 1945
11 Feb 1945

The leaders of the three Great Powers-the Soviet Union, the United States of America and Great Britain-have agreed that in two or three months after Germany has surrendered and the war in Europe has terminated the Soviet Union shall enter into the war against Japan on the side of the Allies on condition that :

Munich Pact

Munich Pact
1938 New York Times
reporting Munich Pact

On 30th September 1938 Munich Pact was signed between
  1. Great Britain
  2. Italy
  3. Germany
  4. France
What Munich Pact really showed was Europe's Policy of appeasement towards Hitler's expansionist desires. The pact was aimed to prevent war in Europe by allowing small territories desired by Hitler to calm his appetite.

Sun Tzu : Strategy in Art of War


In thirteen chapters, Sun Tzu wrote a remarkable concise work that defines a sophisticated science in a deliberative manner. We can summarize its content in three strategies
    Sun Tzu : Strategy in Art of War
  • Positional strategy, the methods for mapping the relative strengths and weakness of competitive positions
  • Expansion strategy, which identifies and explores opportunities to advance and build up positions.
  • Situation response, which specifies the responses required to address a specific competitive situation.

Britain Strategy: WW2

In 1938, Prime Minister Chamberlain regarded Munich Pact as “peace in our time”.
PM Neville Chamberlain
arriving at Heston airport
with the non-aggression pact in hand
In 1938, Prime Minister Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler thereby handing Czechoslovakia to Germany and regarded this peace in our time”. In September 1939 with Hitler’s invasion of Poland that peace was shattered. Chamberlain declared war against Germany but proved ill-equipped in providing protection to Europe from Nazi invasion. After British forces failed to deter Nazi forces from taking over Norway in April 1940 and Hitler’s invasion of Holland, Belgium & Netherland. Chamberlain lost confidence and Churchill came into power.

Neville Chamberlain "Peace in our Time"


After the summit, the British prime minister Chamberlain returned to the UK where he declared that the Munich agreement meant "peace for our time"

In 1938, Prime Minister Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler thereby handing Czechoslovakia to Germany and regarded this “peace in our time”.
It is regarded as a biggest irony before the world war 2 as in September 1939 with Hitler’s invasion of Poland that peace was shattered.



Churchill's Address to Joint Session of US Congress, 1941

Following is the transcript of Churchill's Address to Joint Session of US Congress, 1941 :

Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives of the United States, I feel greatly honored that you should have thus invited me to enter the United States Senate Chamber and address the representatives of both branches of Congress. The fact that my American forebears have for so many generations played their part in the life of the United States, and that here I am, an Englishman, welcomed in your midst, makes this experience one of the most moving and thrilling in my life, which is already long and has not been entirely uneventful. 

US Color Coded War Plans

The United States Color Coded War Plans were the realistic response designed for the domestic and international affairs
Chicago Daily reporting
on FDR's War Plan
CThe United States Color Coded War Plans were the realistic response designed for the domestic and international affairs.These plans were based on real and practical world alliances and developments that were taking place in the early 1900s.The basic aim of these plans was to address the strategic problems which could arise in case of a conflict with a particular country.                

Secondly, the existence of these plans was because of Monroe Doctrine for the contingencies for or against the very nations in the Western Hemisphere.

Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat

Winston Churchill Speech in the British Parliament, on May 13, 1940
Following is the transcript of the Winston Churchill Speech in the British Parliament, on May 13, 1940:

On Friday evening last I received from His Majesty the mission to form a new administration. It was the evident will of' Parliament and the nation that this should be conceived on the broadest possible basis and that it should include all parties.

American Strategy: WW2

American Strategy
 Members of the
War Department General Staff
and the War Plans Division,
November 1941
On September 1, 1939, the day when the WW2 broke out with Hitler’s invasion of Poland. The US (country along with armed forces) was pretty much divided on the possible course of action suitable for the US.It was
  • Creating isolation and unilateral defense of entire North America if it was attacked either by 1 or all of the AXIS forces. 
  • Shift of US defense concentrations in the Western Pacific to protect its interests (esp. Philippines)
  • Unilateral defense of the entire Western Hemisphere. This was because of the Monroe Doctrine in which it stated that “any efforts by European nations to take control of an independent state in North or South America would be viewed as "the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States “. It also resulted in the Organization of American States 

Grand Alliance



Grand alliance or THE BIG THREE was the strategic military alliance between United States, Soviet Union and Great Britain
The Yalta Conference, Crimea, February 1945
Grand alliance or THE BIG THREE was the strategic military alliance between United States (Greatest capitalist country), Soviet Union (Greatest communist country) and Great Britain (Greatest colonist country).

Allies Strategy : WW2


Grand Alliance
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American Strategy: WW2

Also Read
  • Rainbow Plan
  • US Color Coded War Plans
  • Monroe Doctrine
  • How all the branches of US armed forces come to the conclusion to Rainbow 5
  • Organisation of America