Best Quotes from Carl von Clausewitz

Pursue one great decisive aim with force and determination.

Carl von Clausewitz

Courage, above all things, is the first quality of a warrior.

Carl von Clausewitz

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.

Carl von Clausewitz

The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy.

Carl von Clausewitz

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.

Carl von Clausewitz

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.

Carl von Clausewitz

Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.

Carl von Clausewitz

Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain.

Carl von Clausewitz

Everything in war is very simple. But the simplest thing is difficult.

Carl von Clausewitz

A conqueror is always a lover of peace.

Carl von Clausewitz

To secure peace is to prepare for war.

Carl von Clausewitz

War is the continuation of politics by other means.

Carl von Clausewitz

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.

Carl von Clausewitz

It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past.

Carl von Clausewitz

Principles and rules are intended to provide a thinking man with a frame of reference.

Carl von Clausewitz

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.

Carl von Clausewitz

War is not an independent phenomenon, but the continuation of politics by different means.

Carl von Clausewitz

The political object is the goal, war is the means of reaching it, and the means can never be considered in isolation from their purposes.

Carl von Clausewitz

War is regarded as nothing but the continuation of state policy with other means.

Carl von Clausewitz

Politics is the womb in which war develops.

Carl von Clausewitz

Never forget that no military leader has ever become great without audacity.

Carl von Clausewitz

The more a general is accustomed to place heavy demands on his soldiers, the more he can depend on their response.

Carl von Clausewitz

War is the domain of physical exertion and suffering.

Carl von Clausewitz

War is the province of danger.

Carl von Clausewitz

War is not an exercise of the will directed at an inanimate matter.

Carl von Clausewitz