The Military Maxims of Napoleon


Compiled by General Burnod
First published in 1827

1. The frontiers of nations are either large rivers, or chains of mountains, or deserts. Of all these obstacles to the march of an army, deserts are the most difficult to surmount; mountains come next, and large rivers hold only the third rank.

2. A plan of the campaign should anticipate everything which the enemy can do, and contain within itself the means of thwarting him. Plans of the campaign may be infinitely modified according to the circumstances, the genius of the commander, the quality of the troops and the topography of the theater of war.