chapter  III
132 Pages

Clausewitz Misperceived

The wars of the French Revolution and Napoleon changed the form, substance, and scope of military operations, unleashed new sources of national energy, and transformed many social and political institutions. A sudden surge of nationalism made possible conscription and even the levee en masse, thus causing Clausewitz to think of war in terms of the absolute and forcing Jomini, his formidable rival for the attention of thoughtful soldiers everywhere, at least to acknowledge the dangers inherent in 'attacking an excited nation'. Jomini probably spoke for most professional soldiers when he confessed that as a military man he preferred 'loyal and chivalric war to organized assassination', which may help to explain why he focused his attention on the more traditional aspects of the art of war - strategy, grand tactics, and logistics.1