Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz ( /ˈklaʊzəvɪts/; June 1, 1780 – November 16, 1831) was a Prussian soldier and German military theorist who stressed the moral and political aspects of war. His most notable work, Vom Kriege (On War), was unfinished at his death.
Clausewitz espoused a romantic conception of warfare, though he also had at least one foot planted firmly in the more rationalist ideas of the European Enlightenment. He stressed the dialectic of how opposite factors interact, and noting how unexpected new developments unfolding under the "fog of war" called for rapid decisions by alert commanders. Clausewitz saw history as a complex check on abstractions that did not accord with experience. In opposition to Antoine-Henri Jomini he argued war could not be quantified or graphed or reduced to mapwork and graphs. Clausewitz had many aphorisms, of which the most famous is, "War is the continuation of policy by other means," a description of war which has won wide acceptance.
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: