Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Military Theory V.


This is coolbert:

Jomini was a Swiss national who served in the army of Napoleon, rising to high rank.

Was a contemporary and rival of Clausewitz.

Wrote "The Art of War" based upon his observations of the methods of Napoleon.

Described by Du Puy as:

"undeniably a man of great analytical ability, highly intelligent, even brilliant".

But:

"saw the trees, but not the forest."

DID NOT, and has not been seen, as achieving the intellectual brilliance of Clausewitz. WAS NOT a philosopher as was his rival.

"The Art of War" is written as a how-to, cook-book guide for military commanders. Replete with diagrams, algebraic equations, geometrics, etc. At the time of the American Civil War, this would have been THE book carried around by senior commanders. It is reputed the Chief Of Staff of the Union Army, General Halleck, carried the "The Art of War" with him at all times.

Consider, however, this comment of Grant on such cook-book methods to warfare:

"If men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail."

Also consider this from a web site that describes the U.S. Army of the modern era to be a "Jominian institution"??!!

Again, the writings of Jomini are a hard read. Written in an obtuse style that is difficult for moderns to understand. Here also an annotated version is desirable??!!

coolbert.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous frogboy said...

I would say General Grant is right. If somone follows the tactics exactly as is given in such a book, and you know that, shouldn't you be able to defeat them?

8:45 AM

 

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