16 June 2015
CLAUSEWITZ, Carl von (1780-1831). Vom Kriege, in Hinterlassene Werke über Krieg und Kriegführung. Berlin: by Trowibsch and son for Ferdinand Dümmler, 1832-1837.
10 volumes, 8º (202 x 120mm). Two folding engraved maps and one folding table. (Some light spotting mainly to the edges, faint dampstain in the margin of vol. 3, short tears at map folds.) Contemporary green quarter calf, flat spines ruled in gilt and blind, lettered and numbered directly in gilt (spines lightly faded).
THE SCARCE FIRST EDITION OF CLAUSEWITZ'S WRITINGS ON WARFARE: A COMPLETE SET WITH ALL 10 VOLUMES PUBLISHED IN BERLIN FROM 1832 TO 1837. THE FIRST THREE VOLUMES INCLUDE THE CELEBRATED VOM KRIEGE.
A Prussian general, Clausewitz was actively involved in all of the continental campaigns between 1793 and 1815. From 1818, he served as head of the Berlin military academy. Vom Kriege ‘is less a manual of strategy and tactics… than a general inquiry into the interdependence of politics and warfare and the principles governing either or both. War, Clausewitz maintained, must always be regarded 'as a political instrument'; for war, his most famous aphorism runs, ‘is nothing but politics continued by different means'. His basic concept, that military decisions must always be subordinate to political considerations, is buttressed by the emphasis laid on morals and morale as the decisive factors in war. He therefore condemns all rigid blue-prints for campaigns and battles, defines strategy as 'a perpetual alternation and combination of attack and defence', and implies the then startling proposition that there are no bad soldiers but only bad officers’ (PMM 297).
A fine set in a contemporary binding.
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