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Clauswitz Vs Jominis Essay

2349 words - 10 pages

MARITIME STRATEGIST

2006
Maritime Strategist

I. Introduction
The world of maritime strategist has been around for decades. It is shaped and colored by wars and conflicts between nations and groups. From these occurrences, numerous strategic experts appeared and gave their contribution to the science of maritime strategy. Within this paper, we are comparing the work of Carl Philip Gottfried Von Clausewitz and A.H Jomini and how they independently contribute to the field of maritime strategy.

II. Discussions
II.1. Clausewitz and Jomini: the Persons
II.1.1 Clausewitz
Carl Von Clausewitz was a professional soldier who lived from 1780 to 1831. He had been a soldier when ...view middle of the document...

The man joined the French army in 1798, but returned to business after the peace of Amiens in 1802. Then he started to write on military subjects for a couple of years, generating the famous ‘Traite de Grande Tactique’ which was published in 1803. In 1804, the man returned to the army and served many campaigns including the Austerlitz and Prussian campaign. He joined the Russian army in late 1813 and spent most of his career in the Russian service (Elting, 1964).
The man was not close to other soldiers as he was not popular to his superiors. However, no one can deny his presence as the best known military commentator of his day. Like Clausewitz, Jomini had written a book especially on the request of a royal prince. Among other acts, he advised Czar Nicholas during the Crimean War and Napoleon III during his Italian campaign. Nevertheless, despite of his popularity, many officers still viewed Jomini with strong skepticism (Elting, 1964).
However, although the works of Antoine-Henri Jomini influenced military thinking within the 19th and 20th centuries, there are still many misunderstandings of Jomini's thought due to the obscurity of Jomini’s publishing history (Alter, 1975).

II.2. Clausewitz and Jomini, Their Works
II.2.1 Clausewitz’s Work
Clauzewitz written several famous books during his life, but none is as famous as the ‘Vom Kriege’, or translated as ‘On War’. It was considered one of the most important single works ever written on theories of warfare and strategy. Many believed that the principal importance of Clausewitz’s approach to strategic theory is its realism. The book displays profound realistic in that it describes the complex and uncertain manner of the world we occupy. Clausewit’s theory takes account of both the frailties of human nature and the complexity of both the physical and psychological world (Clausewitz, 1973).
His ideas contain the argument that ‘war is merely a continuation of politics’. Many considered this as the core of Clausewitz philosophy; however, it is only the tip of the ice burg for the theory itself. Some of his ideas are: the strategic and operational center of gravity, the culminating point of the offensive, the culminating point of theory, the dialectic approach to military analysis, the fascinating trinity of war, the methods pf critical analysis, etc (Clausewitz, 1973).

II.2.2. Jomini’s Work
Jomini’s work is often compared to those of Clausewitz. This is logical because many consider that they are the opposite yet connected in nature. If Clausewitz’s work was philosophical and harder to comprehend, Jomini’s military writings are simpler and more readable for commoners. Marketers indicated that while Clausewitz’s theory was complicated and harder to understand, Jominis seems to put more effort in attracting readers towards their work. He also dealt with a number of practical subjects like logistic and sea power (Brinton, 1944).

II.3. Clausewitz and Jomini: the Differences and...

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