Vom Kriege (German Edition)
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All of these factors have certainly had an impact on the translation of Clausewitz, so which edition you get can be important. Werner Hahlweg Bonn: Ferd. Hahlweg researched the history of the text and unscrambled Clausewitz's original wording as much as possible from the interventions of later editors.
Although there are numerous other versions available, we strongly recommend Hahlweg's. A list of Clausewitz's editors and editions of Vom Kriege can be found in our German bibliography. There have been four more-or-less complete and a few partial English translations of On War. These have been published in significantly different forms—eight of which are listed and described below.
Carl von Clausewitz, On War , eds. This is the complete, standard though not the best , modern English translation of On War. This edition grew out of an academic "Clausewitz Project" launched by Paret at Princeton in , but the underlying translation was done by an obscure British foreign service officer named Angus Malcolm. The Paret translation has also been licensed to Knopf's " Everyman's Library " series in an excellent and inexpensive hardcover edition the image at right.
Note, however, that the Everyman's edition is paginated differently from the Princeton edition—therefore, our on-line Word Index will not at present be helpful to those readers who purchase it though the excellent Sumida concordance does include it. Citations to it will not be useful to readers looking for the quotations in the standard Princeton edition. Some Drawbacks: Despite its many qualities, the Paret translation has been criticized for presenting Clausewitz in too dry and rationalistic a tone, and there are a great many places where the wording is oddly casual or shallow, awkward, or otherwise arguable—translating Clausewitz's important extended metaphor of a wrestling match as a "duel," etc.
The translation of the critical " Trinity " section is remarkably imprecise and error-laden. The editors' decision not to be bound by too literal a translation is both a strength and a weakness: it may possibly make for greater readability overall, but it also channels the reader exclusively towards particular interpretations and sometimes eliminates the possibility of other readings.
German-English translation for "kriegen"
Paret is a native German speaker, but he left Germany in his very early teens, whereas Otto Jolles see discussion of his translation, above was an accomplished academic in Germany and a literary specialist on Clausewitz's era before emigrating. Added belatedly in , it covers only the names of individuals and places—hardly what the reader looks for in On War. However, a computer-generated word-index to this translation is available here. Jon Sumida U. Sumida's concordance is available here.
Translator J. Graham British Army Colonel James John Graham was an exceptionally earnest, honest, and self-effacing translator, so there are no particular distortions or biases in his version.
Vom Kriege (German Edition)
Unfortunately, his German was not particularly fluent, his translation was excessively dense and literal, his English was Victorian, and the sources for the background information he offered were weak. His original edition, printed in a single volume the complete text of which is on-line HERE , was not a commercial success. It is now quite obsolete, though it has historical importance. However, the original Graham translation had a conceptual index which, though idiosyncratic, was far superior to any subsequent index especially the useless one provided by Peter Paret in The pure Graham version is not often found outside of special collections, but many later publications are modifications or abridgements of it.
Maude's edition of the Graham translation All subsequent versions of the Graham translation are derived from the 3-volume editing by Colonel F. Maude , which was very successful commercially and was reprinted in , , , , and Most editions retain Graham's useful index. Because of copyright issues rather than its intrinsic merits, it provides the basis for most subsequent condensations and abridgments of On War , e.
Collins, This is a partial translation containing, in addition to pieces of On War , a short essay on patriotism and the value of the state, labeled "I Believe and Profess. Penguin Edition Rapoport was a biologist and musician—indeed, he was something of a renaissance man and later made some interesting contributions to game theory. However, he was outraged by the Vietnam War and extremely hostile to the state system and to the alleged "neo-Clausewitzian," Henry Kissinger.
He severely and misleadingly abridged Clausewitz's own writings, partly, of course, for reasons of space in a small paperback. Other soldiers before this time had written treatises on various military subjects, but none undertook a great philosophical examination of war on the scale of Clausewitz's and Tolstoy 's, both of which were inspired by the events of the Napoleonic Era.
Clausewitz's work is still studied today, demonstrating its continued relevance. Lynn Montross writing on that topic in War Through the Ages said; "This outcome … may be explained by the fact that Jomini produced a system of war, Clausewitz a philosophy. The one has been outdated by new weapons, the other still influences the strategy behind those weapons. Clausewitz introduced systematic philosophical contemplation into Western military thinking, with powerful implications not only for historical and analytical writing but for practical policy, military instruction, and operational planning.
Vom Kriege On War is a long and intricate investigation of Clausewitz's observations based on his own experience in the Wars of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars and on considerable historical research into those wars and others. It is shaped not only by purely military and political considerations but by Clausewitz's strong interests in art, science, and education. Clausewitz used a dialectical method to construct his argument, leading to frequent modern misinterpretation.
Krieg - Wiktionary
One of the main sources of confusion about Clausewitz's approach lies in his dialectical method of presentation. It is the antithesis in a dialectical argument whose thesis is the point—made earlier in the analysis—that "war is nothing but a duel [or wrestling match, a better translation of the German Zweikampf ] on a larger scale.
This synthesis lies in his "fascinating trinity" [wunderliche Dreifaltigkeit]: a dynamic, inherently unstable interaction of the forces of violent emotion, chance, and rational calculation. Another example of this confusion is the idea that Clausewitz was a proponent of total war as used in the Third Reich's propaganda in the s.
He did not coin the phrase as an ideological ideal—indeed, Clausewitz does not use the term "total war" at all. Rather, he discussed "absolute war" or "ideal war" as the purely logical result of the forces underlying a "pure," Platonic "ideal" of war. In what Clausewitz called a "logical fantasy," war cannot be waged in a limited way: the rules of competition will force participants to use all means at their disposal to achieve victory. But in the real world , such rigid logic is unrealistic and dangerous.
In modern times the reconstruction and hermeneutics of Clausewitzian theory has been a matter of some dispute. Between one of the most prominent was the analysis of Panagiotis Kondylis a Greek-German writer and philosopher who opposed the popular readings of Raymond Aron in "Penser la Guerre, Clausewitz and other liberal writers. In one of his most famous works which was titled Theory of War and first published in German -later translated in Greek by Kondylis himself. In this very influential book Kondylis opposes Raymond Aron's liberal perception of Clausewetzian theory. According to Raymond Aron in Penser La Guerre, Clausewitz, Clausewitz was on of the very first writers condemning the militarism of the military staff and their war-proneness based in the claim "war is a continuation of politics by other means" Kondylis claims that this a reconstruction that is not coherent with Clausewitzian thought.
He claims that Clausewitz was morally indifferent to war and that his advices of political rule over war have nothing to do with pacifistic claims. For Clausewitz war is just a mean to the eternal quest for power of the reason d'etat in an anarchical and unsafe world. Other famous writers studying Clausewitz's texts and have translated them in English are the war specialists Peter Parret Princeton University and Michael Howard and the philosopher, musician and game theorist Anatol Rapoport who has translated the Penguin edition and has comparatively studied Clausewitz and other theories of War such as Tolstoi.
Clausewitz's Christian name is sometimes given in non-German sources as Carl Philipp Gottlieb, Carl Maria, or misspelled Karl due to reliance on mistaken source material, conflations with his wife's name, Marie, or mistaken assumptions about German orthography. Carl Philipp Gottfried appears on Clausewitz's tombstone and is thus most likely to be the correct version.
The tombstone reads:. There is no single "correct" spelling for German names before the early nineteenth century. Vital records were kept by pastors in their parish records.
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Different pastors used different spellings and commonly ignored how their predecessor may have spelled the same name. It appears that pastors recorded names as they heard them and spelled them as they believed they should be spelled. Pastors treated persons of importance or high status such as nobility or civil or military officials more deferentially. For the names of such persons it can make sense to distinguish between such spellings as "Carl" or "Karl" even then.
The situation changed radically in the Napoleonic era when French civil servants introduced greater discipline in keeping vital records in German lands.
Carl von Clausewitz
Spellings of family and given names were "frozen" in whatever state they happened to be in then. It was, however, not unusual for brothers who made their homes in different parishes to have their family names spelled differently. Such variations endure to this day and confound amateur genealogists who are not familiar with the fluidity of German spellings before the Napoleonic reforms. While spellings of names were fluid when Clausewitz was born, they had become firm by the time of his death.