Carl von Clausewitz

Quotes: Carl von Clausewitz

Quotes 1 till 15 of 59.

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  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    A general who allows himself to be decisively defeated in an extended mountain position deserves to be court-martialled.
    Source: On War (1832) Ch. 17
  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    A prince or general can best demonstrate his genius by managing a campaign exactly to suit his objectives and his resources, doing neither too much nor too little.
    Source: On War (1832)
  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    Action in war is like movement in a resistant element. Just as the simplest and most natural of movements, walking, cannot easily be performed in water, so in war it is difficult for normal efforts to achieve even moderate results.
    Source: On War (1832) Ch. 7, as translated by Michael Howard and Peter P
  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    All action takes place, so to speak, in a kind of twilight, which like a fog or moonlight, often tends to make things seem grotesque and larger than they really are.
    Source: On War (1832)
  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.
    Source: On War (1832)
  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    An intellectual instinct which extracts the essence from the phenomena of life, as a bee sucks honey from a flower. In addition to study and reflections, life itself serves as a source.
    Source: On War (1832)
  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    Any complex activity, if it is to be carried on with any degree of virtuosity, calls for appropriate gifts of intellect and temperament. If they are outstanding and reveal themselves in exceptional achievements, their possessor is called a 'genius'.
    Source: On War (1832)
  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    Any move made in a state of tension will be of more important, and will have more results, than it would have made in a state of eqilibrium. In times of maximum tension this importance will rise to an infinite degree.
    Source: On War (1832)
  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    Architects and painters know precisely what they are about as long as they deal with material phenomena.... But when they come to the aesthetics of their work, when they aim at a particular effect on the mind or on the senses, the rules dissolve into nothing but vague ideas.
    Source: On War (1832)
  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    As man under pressure tends to give in to physical and intellectual weakness, only great strength of will can lead to the objective.
    Source: On War (1832)
  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    Beauty cannot be defined by abscissas and ordinates; neither are circles and ellipses created by their geometrical formulas.
    Source: On War (1832)
  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    Boldness will be at a disadvantage only in an encounter with deliberate caution, which may be considered bold in its own right, and is certainly just as powerful and effective; but such cases are rare.
    Source: On War (1832)
  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    Great things alone can make a great mind, and petty things will make a petty mind unless a man rejects them as completely alien.
    Source: On War (1832)
  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    If defense is the stronger form of war, yet has a negative object, it follows that it should be used only so long as weakness compels, and be abandoned as soon as we are strong enough to pursue a positive object.
    Source: On War (1832)
  • Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
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    If the leader is filled with high ambition and if he pursues his aims with audacity and strength of will, he will reach them in spite of all obstacles.
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