On War is one of the most important treatises on political-military analysis and strategy ever written, and it contains most of his larger historical and theoretical writings and represents his theoretical explorations.
On War is a book on war and military strategy by Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz, written mostly after the Napoleonic wars.
5.—Utmost exertion of powers
If we desire to defeat the enemy, we must proportion our efforts to his powers of resistance. This is expressed by the product of two factors which cannot be separated, namely, the sum of available means and the strength of the will. The sum of the available means may be estimated in a measure, as it depends (although not entirely) upon numbers; but the strength of volition, is more difficult to determine, and can only be estimated to a certain extent by the strength of the motives. Granted we have obtained in this way an approximation to the strength of the power to be contended with, we can then take a review of our own means, and either increase them so as to obtain a preponderance, or in case we have not the resources to effect this, then do our best by increasing our means as far as possible. But the adversary does the same; therefore there is a new mutual enhancement, which in pure conception, must create a fresh effort towards an extreme. This is the third case of reciprocal action, and a third extreme with which we meet (third reciprocal action).
- NOTICE BY THE AUTHOR
- THE INTRODUCTION OF THE AUTHOR
- BOOK I—ON THE NATURE OF WAR
- BOOK II—ON THE THEORY OF WAR
- BOOK III—OF STRATEGY IN GENERAL
- BOOK IV—THE COMBAT
- BOOK V—MILITARY FORCES
- BOOK VI—DEFENCE
- BOOK VII—THE ATTACK
- Book VIII—PLAN OF WAR