Background Key Concepts of Jomini to Continental Strategy Jomini’s Ideas and their Validation on the Nature of Warfare Contributions in Advancing Strategic. interpreting his contributions to strategy and the art of war: Antoine Henri Jomini ( ) and Carl von Clausewitz (%. ). The purpose of this. Baron Antoine Reuri Jomini is generally recognized as the dominant military strategist tactics and strategy, particularly that of the South, and the inevitable.
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Jomini is generally seen as Clausewitz’s most influential competitor as a military theorist. Unfortunately, the latter translation omits this revealing essay on the state of military theory as Jomini nomini it around A close reading of this essay will reveal both overt sneers at Clausewitz and many adaptations to the arguments Clausewitz made in On War.
Jomini bibliographical info – Jomini graphics. The summary of the art of war, which I submit to the public, was written originally for the instruction of an august prince, and in view of the numerous additions which I have just made to it, I flatter myself that it will be worthy of its destination. To the end of causing its object to be better appreciated, Strategu believe it my duty to precede it by a few lines upon the present state of the theory jkmini war.
I shall be forced to speak a little of myself and my works; I hope I shall be pardoned for it, for it would have been difficult to explain what I think of this theory, and the part which I may have had in it, without saying how I have conceived it myself. As I have said in my chapter of principles, published by itself inthe art stratety war has existed in all time, and strategy especially was the same under Caesar as under Napoleon.
But the art, confined to the understanding of great captain, existed in no written treatise. The books all gave but fragments of systems, born of imagination of their authors, and containing ordinarily details the most minute not to say the most puerile upon the most accessory points of tactics, the only part of war, perhaps, which it is possible to subject to fixed rules.
But those writers had not penetrated very far into the mine which they wished to explore, and in order to form a just idea of the state of the art in the middle of the 18th century, it is necessary to read what Marshal Saxe wrote in the preface to his Reveries.
There are then nothing but usages, the principles of which are unknown to us. And the good Marshal Saxe, instead of piercing those obscurities of which he complained with so much justice, contented himself with writing systems for clothing soldiers in woolen blouses, for forming them upon four ranks, two of which to be armed with pikes; finally for proposing small field pieces which he named amusettes, and which truly merited that title on account of the humorous images with which they were surrounded.
At the end of the Seven Years War, some good works appeared; Frederick himself, not content with being a great king, a great captain, a great philosopher and great historian, made himself also a didactic author by his instructions to his generals.
Guichard, Turpin, Maizeroy, Menil-Durand, sustained controversies upon the tactics of the ancients as well as upon that of their own time, and gave some interesting stragegy upon those matters.
Turpin commented on Montecuculi and Vegetius; the Marquis de Silva in Piedmont, Strahegy Cruz in Spain, had also discussed syrategy parts with success; finally d’Escremeville sketched a history of the art, which was not devoid of merit. But all that by no means dissipated the darkness of which the conqueror of Fontenoy complained.
A little later came Grimoard, Guibert and Lloyd: But although that author has resolved none of those questions straregy manner to make of them a connected system, it is necessary to render him the justice to say that he first pointed out the good route.
Steategy, his narrative of the Seven Years War, of which stratwgy finished but two campaigns, was jpmini instructive for me, at least than all he had written dogmatically. Germany produced, in this interval between the Stratdgy Years War and that of the Revolution, a multitude of writings, more or less extensive, on different secondary branches of the art, which they jommini with a faint light.
Thielke and Faesch published in Saxony, the one, fragments upon castramentation, the attack of camps and positions, the other a collection of maxims upon the accessory parts of the operations of war.
Scharnhorst did as much in Hanover; Warnery published in Prussia a pretty good work on the cavalry; Baron Holzendorf another straategy the tactics of manoeuvres. Count Kevenhuller gave maxims upon field warfare and upon that of sieges. But nothing of all this gave a satisfactory idea of the elevated branches of the science. Finally even Mirabeau who, having returned from Berlin, published an enormous volume upon the Prussian tactics, an arid repetition stratwgy the regulation jominl platoon and line evolutions to which some had the simplicity to attribute the greater part of the successes of Frederick!
If such books have been able to contribute to the propagation of this error, it must be owned however that they contributed also to perfecting the regulations of on manoeuvres, the only result which it was possible to expect from them. The latter especially made a certain sensation in Europe by his Spirit of the System of Modern Warfarethe work of a man of jomii, but which was merely sketched, and which added nothing to the first notions given by Lloyd.
At the same time appeared also strrategy Germany, under modest title of an introduction to the study of the military art, a valuable work by M. I fell back then, upon works of military history in order to seek, in the strategyy of the great captains, a solution which those systems of the writers did not give me.
Already had the narratives of Frederick stratdgy Great commenced to initiate me in the secret which had caused him to gain the miraculous victory of Leuthen Lissa. I perceived that this secret consisted in the very simple manoeuvre of carrying the bulk of his forces upon a single wing of the hostile army; and Lloyd soon came to fortify me in this conviction. I could not jommini this truth in reading again, subsequently, the campaigns of Turenne, of Marlborough, of Eugene of Savoy, and in comparing them with those of Frederick, which Tempelhoff had just published with details so full of interest, although somewhat heavy and by far too much repeated.
I comprehended then that Marshal de Saxe had been quite right in saying that in there were no principles laid down upon the art of war, but that many of his readers had also very ztrategy interpreted his preface in concluding therefrom that he had thought that those principles did not exist. Convinced that I had seized the true point of view under which it was necessary to regard the theory of war in order to discover its veritable rules, and strrategy quit the always so uncertain field of personal systems, I set myself to the work with all the ardor of a neophyte.
I wrote in the course of the yeara volume which I presented, at first, to M. My first essay was a didactic treatise upon the orders of battle, strategic marches and lines of operations; it was arid from its nature and quite interspersed with historical citations which, grouped by species, had the inconvenience of presenting jomiini, in the same chapter, events often separated by a whole century; Lloyd especially convinced me that the critical and argumentative relation of the whole of a war had the advantage of preserving connection and unity in the recital and in the events, without detriment to the exposition of maxims, since a series of ten campaigns is jomnii sufficient for presenting the application of all the possible maxims of war.
I burned then my first work, and re-commenced, with the project of giving the sequel of the seven years war which Lloyd had not finished. This mode suited me all the better, as I was but twenty-four years old and had but little experience, whilst I was about to attack many prejudices and great reputations somewhat usurped, so that there was necessary to me the powerful support of the events which I should allow to speak, as it were, for themselves.
I resolved then upon this last plan, which appeared moreover, more suitable to all classes of readers. Doubtless a didactic treatise would have been preferable, either for a public course, or for retracing with more ensemble the combinations of the science somewhat scattered in the narration of those campaigns; but, as for myself, I confess I have profited much more from the attentive reading of a discussed campaign, than from all the dogmatic works put together; and my book, published inwas designed for officers of a superior grade, and not for schoolboys.
The war with Austria supervening the same year, did not permit me to give the work all the care desirable, and I was able to execute but a part of my project.
Some years afterwards, the Arch Duke [Charles of Austria] gave an introduction to his fine work by a folio volume on grand warfare, in which the genius of the master already showed itself. About the same time appeared a strqtegy pamphlet on strategy by Major Wagner, then in the service of Austria; this essay, full of wise views, promised that the dtrategy would one day give something more complete, which has been realized quite recently.
In Prussia, General Scharnhorst commenced also to sound those questions with success. Finally, ten years after my first treatise on grand operations, appeared the important work of the Arch Duke Charles, which united the two kinds, didactic and historic; this prince having at first given a small volume of strategic maxims, then four volumes of critical history on the campaigns of andfor developing their practical application.
The fall of Napoleon, by giving up many studious officers to the leisures of peace, became the signal for the apparition of a host of military writings of all kinds.
The Present Theory of War and Its Utility
uomini General Rogniat gave matter for controversy in wishing to bring back the jomuni of the legions, or of the divisions of the republic, and in attacking the somewhat adventurous system of Napoleon. Germany was especially fertile in dogmatic works; Xilander in Bavaria, Theobald and Muller of Whrttemberg, Wagner, Decker, Hoyer and Valintini in Prussia, published different books, which presented substantially but the repetition of the maxims of the Arch Duke Charles and mine, with other developments of application.
Although several of these authors have combatted my chapter on central lines of operations with more subtlety than real success, and others have been, at times, too precise in their calculations, we could not refuse to their writings the testimonials of esteem which they merit, for they all contain more or less excellent views. In Russia, General Okounief treated of the important article of iomini combined or partial employment of the three arms, which makes the basis of the theory of combats, and rendered thereby a real service to young officers.
Antoine-Henri Jomini – Wikipedia
Under these circumstances, I was assured by my own experience, that there was wanting, to my first treatise, a collection of maxims like that which preceded the work of the Arch Duke; which induced me to publish, inthe first sketch of this analytical compendium, adding to it two interesting articles upon the military policy of States.
I profited of this occasion to defend the principles of my chapter on lines of operations, which several writers had badly comprehended, and this polemic brought about at least more rational definitions, at the same time maintaining the real advantages of central operations. A year after the publication of this analytical table, the Prussian General Clausewitz died, leaving to his widow the care of publishing posthumous works which were presented as unfinished sketches.
This work made a great sensation in Germany, and for my part I regret that it was written before the author was acquainted with my Summary of the Art of Warpersuaded that he would have rendered to it some justice. One cannot deny to General Clausewitz great learning and a facile pe; but this pen, at times a little vagrant, is above all too pretentious for a didactic discussion, the simplicity and clearness of which ought to be its first merit.
Besides that, the author shows himself by far too skeptical in point of military science; his first volume is but a declamation against all theory of war, whilst the two succeeding volumes, full of theoretic maxims, proves that the author believes in the efficacy of his own doctrines, if he does not believe in those of others.
It will be objected perhaps that, in the greater part of the articles of this summary, I myself acknowledge that there are few absolute rules to give on the divers subjects of which they treat; I agree in good faith to this truth, but is that saying there is no theory?
If, out of forty-five articles, some have ten positive maxims, others one or two only, are not or rules sufficient to form a respectable body of strategic or tactical doctrines? And if to those you add the multitude of precepts which suffer more or less exceptions, will you not have more dogmas than necessary for fixing your opinions upon all the operations of war? At the same epoch when Clausewitz seemed thus to apply himself to sapping the basis of the science, a work of a totally opposite nature appeared in France, that of the Marquis de Ternay, a French emigre in the service of England.
This book is without contradiction, the most complete that exists on the tactics of battles, and if it falls sometimes into an excess contrary to that of the Prussian general, by prescribing, in doctrines details of execution often impracticable in war, he cannot be denied a truly remarkable merit, and one of the first grades among tacticians.
I have made mention in this sketch only of general treatises, and not of particular works on the special arms. The books of Montalembert, of Saint-Paul, Bousmard, of Carnot, of Aster, and of Blesson, have caused progress to be made in the art of sieges and of fortification. The writings of Laroche-Aymon, Muller and Bismark, have also thrown light upon many questions regarding the cavalry.
In a journal with which, unfortunately, I was not acquainted until six years after its publication, the latter has believed it his duty to attack me and my works, because I had said, on the faith of an illustrious general, that the Prussians had reproached him with having copied, in his last pamphlet, the unpublished instructions of the government to its generals of cavalry.
In censuring my works, General Bismark has availed himself of his rights, not only in virtue of his claim to reprisals, but because every book is made to be judged and controverted. Meanwhile, instead of replying to the reproach, and of giving utterance to a single grievance, he has found it more simple to retaliate by injuries, to which a military man will never reply in books, which should have another object than collecting personalities.
It is extraordinary enough to accuse me of having said that the art of war did not exist before me, when in the chapter of Principles, published inof which I have before spoken, and which had a certain success in the military world, the first phrase commenced with these words: I have said that I was the first to attempt that demonstration, which others improved ten years after me, without, however, it being yet complete. Those who would deny this truth would not be candid. As for the rest, I have never soiled my pen by attacking personally studious men who devote themselves to science, and if I have not shared their dogmas, I have expressed as much with moderation and impartiality: Let us return to our subject.
The artillery, since Gribeauval and d’Urtubie has had its Aide-Memoire, and a mass of particular works, in the number of which are distinguished those of Decker, Paixhans, Dedon, Hoyer, Ravichio and Bouvroy.
The discussions of several authors, among others those of the Marquis de Chambray and of General Okounieff upon the fire of infantry. Finally, the dissertations of a host of officer, recorded in the interesting military journals of Vienna, of Berlin, of Munich, of Stutgard and of Paris, have contributed also to the successive progress of the parts which they have discussed.
Some essays have been attempted towards a history of the art, from the ancients down to our time. Tranchant Laverne has done so with spirit and sagacity, but incompletely. Cario Nisas, too verbose with regard to the ancients, mediocre for the epoch from the revival to that of the Seven Years War, has completely failed on the modern system.
Roquancourt has treated the same subjects with more success. The Prussian Major Ciriaci and his continuator have done still better. Finally, Captain Blanch, a Neapolitan officer, has made an interesting analysis of the different periods of the art as written and practiced.
After this long list of modern writers, it will be judged that Marshal de Saxe, if he were to return among us, would be much surprised at the present wealth of our military literature, and would no longer complain of the darkness which shrouds the science. Henceforth good books will not be wanting to those who shall wish to study, for at this day we have principles, whereas, they had in the 18th century only methods and systems. Meanwhile, it must be owned, to render theory as complete as possible, there is an important work wanting, which, according to all appearances, will be wanting yet a long time; it is a thoroughly profound examination of the four different systems followed within a century past: From this investigation it would be necessary to deduce a mixed system, proper for regular wars, which should participate of the methods of Frederick and of those of Napoleon; or, more properly speaking, it would be necessary to develop a double system for ordinary wars of power against power, and for grand invasions.
I have sketched a view of this important labor, in article 24, chapter III: In shrategy meantime, I will terminate this rapid sketch by a profession of faith upon the polemics of which this compendium and my first treatise have been the subject. In weighing all that has been said for or against, in comparing the immense progress made in the science for the last thirty years, with the incredulity of M.
Clausewitz, I believe I am correct in concluding strategh the ensemble of my principles and of the maxims which are derived from them, has been badly comprehended by several writers; that some have made the most erroneous application of nomini that others have drawn from them exaggerated consequences which have never been able to enter my head, for a general officer, after having assisted in a dozen campaigns, ought to know that war is a great drama, in which a thousand physical or moral causes operate more or less powerfully, and which cannot be reduced to mathematical calculations.
But, I ought equally to avow without circumlocution, that twenty years of experience have but fortified me in the following convictions:. I hope, that after these avowals, I could not be accused of wishing to make of this art a mechanism of determined wheelworks, nor of pretending on the sttrategy that the reading of a single chapter of principles is able to give, all at once, the talent of conducting an army.
In all the arts, as in all the situations of life, knowledge and skill are two altogether different things, and if one often succeed through the latter alone, it is never but the union of the two that constitutes a superior man and assures complete success. Meanwhile, in order not to be accused of pedantry, I hasten to avow that, by knowledge, I do not mean a vast erudition; it is not the question to know a great deal but to know well; to know especially what relates to the mission appointed us.
I pray that my readers, well penetrated with these truths, may receive with kindness this new summary, which may now, I believe, be offered as the book most suitable for the instruction of a prince or statesman. Joomini have not thought it my duty to iomini mention, in the above notice, of the military historical works which have signalized our epoch, because they do not in reality enter into the subject which I have to treat.
strateegy However, as those of our epoch have also contributed to the progress of the science, in seeking to explain causes of success, I shall be permitted to say a few words on them. Purely military history is of a thankless and difficult kind, for, in order to be useful to men of the art, it requires details not less dry than minute, but necessary in order to cause positions and movements to be judged accurately.
Therefore, until the imperfect sketch of the Seven Years War which Lloyd has given, none of the military writers had come out of sgrategy beaten track of official narratives or of panegyrics more or less fatiguing.