Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.
Principles and rules are intended to provide a thinking man with a frame of reference.
Everything in war is very simple. But the simplest thing is difficult.
War is the province of chance. In no other sphere of human activity must such a margin be left for this intruder. It increases the uncertainty of every circumstance and deranges the course of events.
It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past.
War is not merely a political act but a real political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse, a carrying out of the same by other means.
War is not an independent phenomenon, but the continuation of politics by different means.
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.
The more a general is accustomed to place heavy demands on his soldiers, the more he can depend on their response.
The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy.
A conqueror is always a lover of peace.
Two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.
Let us not hear of generals who conquer without bloodshed. If a bloody slaughter is a horrible sight, then that is a ground for paying more respect to war but not for making the sword we wear blunter and blunter by degrees from feelings of humanity, until someone steps in with one that is sharp and lops off the arm from our body.
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.
I shall proceed from the simple to the complex. But in war more than in any other subject we must begin by looking at the nature of the whole; for here more than elsewhere the part and the whole must always be thought of together.
In war the will is directed at an animate object that reacts.
The political object is the goal, war is the means of reaching it, and the means can never be considered in isolation form their purposes.
Courage, above all things, is the first quality of a warrior.
War is regarded as nothing but the continuation of state policy with other means.
War is not an exercise of the will directed at an inanimate matter.
Politics is the womb in which war develops.
War is the domain of physical exertion and suffering.
To secure peace is to prepare for war.
Never forget that no military leader has ever become great without audacity.
Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain.
War is the province of danger.
Pursue one great decisive aim with force and determination.
More Karl Von Clausewitz Quotations (Based on Topics)
War & Peace - Politics - Courage - Obstacles - Will & Determination - Truth - Leading & Managing - Suffering - Goals - Karl von Clausewitz Quotes on Sense & Perception - Principle - Actions - Past - Love - Karl von Clausewitz Quotes on Uncertainty - Thought & Thinking - Karl von Clausewitz Quotes on Humanity - Soldiers - Danger & Risk - View All Karl Von Clausewitz Quotations
Marcus Aurelius - Xenophon - Walter Reed - Robert E. Lee - Quintus Tullius Cicero - Paul von Hindenburg - Oliver North - George C. Marshall - Daniel Waters - Chester W. Nimitz