Summaru And Analysis Of Reading Clausewitz By Beatrice Heuser Essay


The whole article talks about how a person’s perspective can affect one’s principle. The world we are in has a lot of happenings that may lead us wondering what we should do or what should have been done to make things different when something bad happens. When someone somehow was able to give us light and listened to his/her advice that was surprisingly worked with that situation we look to that particular person and thought of how wise he/she may be that he may have all the answers you are looking for and that it may always work.In this case, it focuses more on Clausewitz’s works describing how he handled wars and what his views about what his views of strategy on war and how he handled situations based on what he believed in.

According to my Instructor in History of Military Thoughts, to achieve victory, Clausewitz believes that in order to defeat any all-out attack must be engage by inserting all the efforts required or direct confrontation. In making prediction regarding wars, he did not ignored the external or uncontrollable factors, like “fog” can create immaculate hindrances during the war and his opinion about wars, to be victorious by engaging complete annihilation against the enemy. These are the views of Clausewitz on war based on his experiences, ideas and actions. Clausewitz is a teacher about war but they are many and have different insights. His works was also compared to other great names when it comes to war tackled how they see things may be different from one another and how some principles they believe in are the same. They are also great teachers whose understanding of their times and some of its problems impresses others as particularly insightful, as containing truths which others has not discovered. So many would imply a person based on his actions and one example given is Defiance wherein interpreted by the government as rebellion and another is conspiracy, involving two or more persons with bad intentions against another person is planning to commit a crime. We cannot say what really is what a person wants because we do not know the truth behind it.

Every general explanation, every prophecy is the product of reflection on the particular circumstances of the times in which it is created. Most of what Clausewitz mentioned in his book has based on his experiences in war and he wrote what he saw. He brings his knowledge of the war that can help in the future so ideas have been formed that will solve our problem. There is a general consensus that Clausewitz had original insights of great wisdom, but all of these were developed by him on the basis of the particular experiences of his own times. Therefore, those insights are not only based on his personal experiences but also he get some information from someone else. Meaning, many more are better than him and all of this comes from those people who had earlier written about the war and at times, Clausewitz is better known than them. Some ideas which continue to be very stimulating and which are usually attributed to Clausewitz had been articulated by others before him.

Many ideas written and described by Clausewitz in favour of the defensive but all of them just based on readings from Raimond de Beccarie de Pavie, Baron de Fourqeuvaux, in his Instructions on the Waging of War (1548), Count Guibert, whose General Essay on Tactics (1772) which read and paraphrased by Clausewitz in On War, Machiavelli in his Discourses on Livy (1531) and Bertrand de Loque in his Two Treatises on War and on Duelling (1589). Even so, there are so many people who support his writings. Clausewitz did in fact hit on the fact that not all wars are fought for the end of absolute victory, or the absolute crushing the enemy. All people have desires that want to achieve. To achieve victory in battle, aim first to win in war. There are things might change in a country after achieving victory. People fought in war does not end only for victory, but they have purpose in gaining it. Don’t think of Clausewitz as infallible prophet of Mars, or fount of timeless truths. As what the authors’ say, we do not just rely to one “great master” and there are many thinkers wiser than Clausewitz. There are insights which may not be applicable in any circumstances but it might help us as much as possible. Aside from that, it is better if we used our own insights, judgment, perspective and values as we confront with the situation in knowing the truth. Maybe it might give us more reflections better than other’s ideas.


The writer, Beatrice Heuser did not want to criticize the work of Clausewitz but rather make her own point to compare it with other prophets who also have insights in writing about war. The author presented his ideas fairly since there was enough citations and resources mentioned, though somehow it felt like it was disadvantaging Clausewitz’s work since it was being compared thathis ideas and reflections may be similar to other prominent man before him. The strength of the content of this work in which the ideas presented by Heuser are merely applicable in reminding us where all these ideas come from and the truth behind those works. She was able to express her thoughts that not everyone you look up to may always be correct. You may have accepted their beliefs and their perceptions but application of these still varies depending on what situation you are in. The content of work shows that Clausewitz may have useful insights and great wisdom from where he gained based on experiences. However, the weakness of the content of this work mentioned here that those insights and wisdom may or may not be applicable to any circumstance. What the writer wants to tell us is that we cannot just base on someone’s ideas but learn to recognize the other’s work of the great writers in war. Adding more of Clausewitz’s work may have completed the whole compare and contrast in the whole article. It is highly relevant since we learned something new behind his book On War.


There are so many great people in this world and some of them have great contributions in the field of art, science, mathematics and also in the field of war like Alexander the great and Napoleon Bonaparte.I consider this work was a good choice for me to read because I found out that Clausewitz’s reflections are also based to what he had learned from others he had worked with and also from what he experienced as an officer during his time. I like the reading because I was enlightened by the fact that more writers about war are better than Clausewitz. Just like the names mentioned by the author of the reading including Machiavelli who justified that there were arguments for and against taking a defensive or an offensive stance, Bertrand de Loque who was first to make a discovery to identify one’s war aims before going to war and other great teachers/prophets/philosophers who were successfully expressed their thoughts by writing. For me, it is surprising because a lot of information coming from the author’s thought that might affect the persons’ perception but eventually enlightened us in knowing the truth. I was angered of knowing the truth that people seek mentors or prophets who can somehow give light to them when they can’t think of an explanation to something. When convinced about the new information they make it as principle which affects the perception and the person who convince them about this new idea become their mentor or as to what the journal say “infallible prophet” and defend the new belief instilled to them which affects a person’s perception of truth in situations. In reality, not all of this facts maybe applicable in every situation.

Conclusion/ application

Humans have their own perspective and different perception about explaining everything that might truly helpful for the people to learn something. People gathered important information and not simply rely on just one ideas but rather make an actions to gather more from their teachers who might help them to know their studies and can justify everything that is questionable. We rely on others information that will help us in the future where we can get enlightenment and answers to our questions. Sometimes we compare the ideas of other people and there we get the best answers. The important lessons can we learn from the article/ author is that no one is perfect, we should always be open to changes because even a smart and capable man can make the wrong choices and make the wrong impression of things. There are a lot of unexplainable things happening in the world and explaining these situation or events may have lapses also as written from the journal, every explanation, prophecy and philosophy are products of mere reflections based from personal experiences on that specific circumstances. We must being open to all ideas around. Use your own judgement when it comes to decision-making and we must be firm on what we think is right and applicable based on the situation. These are the lesson’s learned in this reading that I think will help us in making good decisions and even creating good writings.

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