Quotes by Karl 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.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
Courage, above all things, is the first quality of a warrior.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
Everything is very simple in war, but the simplest thing is difficult. These difficulties accumulate and produce a friction which no man can imagine exactly who has not seen war.
– Karl 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.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
Never forget that no military leader has ever become great without audacity.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
Politics is the womb in which war develops.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
Principles and rules are intended to provide a thinking man with a frame of reference.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
The difficulty of accurate recognition constitutes one of the most serious sources of friction in war... War has a way of masking the stage with scenery crudely daubed with fearsome appartions.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
The more a general is accustomed to place heavy demands on his soldiers, the more he can depend on their response.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
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.
– Karl 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.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
War is not an exercise of the will directed at an inanimate matter.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
War is the domain of physical exertion and suffering.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
War is the province of danger.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
What this task requires in the way of higher intellectual gifts is a sense of unity and a power of judgement, raised to a marvelous pitch of vision, which easily grasps and dismisses a thousand remote possibilities an ordinary mind would labor to identify, and wear itself out in doing so.
– Karl Von Clausewitz
War is regarded as nothing but the continuation of state policy with other means.
– Karl Von Clausewitz