"War is the continuation of policy by other means."
"Never forget that no military leader has ever become great without
audacity. If the leader is filled with high ambition and if he pursues his aims
with audacity and strength of will, he will reach them in spite of all
"The majority of people are timid by nature, and that is why they
constantly exaggerate danger. All influences on the military leader, therefore,
combine to give him a false impression of his opponent's strength, and from this
arises a new source of indecision."
"We must, therefore, be confident that the general measures we have
adopted will produce the results we expect. Most important in this connection is
the trust which we must have in our lieutenants. Consequently, it is important
to choose men on whom we can rely and to put aside all other considerations. If
we have made appropriate preparations, taking into account all possible
misfortunes, so that we shall not be lost immediately if they occur, we must
boldly advance into the shadows of uncertainty."
"After we have thought out everything carefully in advance and have
sought and found without prejudice the most plausible plan, we must not be ready
to abandon it at the slightest provocation. Should this certainty be lacking, we
must tell ourselves that nothing is accomplished in warfare without daring; that
the nature of war certainly does not let us see at all times where we are going;
that what is probable will always be probable though at the moment it may not
seem so; and finally, that we cannot be readily ruined by a single error, if we
have made reasonable preparations."
"The first and most important rule to observe...is to use our entire
forces with the utmost energy. The second rule is to concentrate our power as
much as possible against that section where the chief blows are to be delivered
and to incur disadvantages elsewhere, so that our chances of success may
increase at the decisive point. The third rule is never to waste time. Unless
important advantages are to be gained from hesitation, it is necessary to set to
work at once. By this speed a hundred enemy measures are nipped in the bud, and
public opinion is won most rapidly. Finally, the fourth rule is to follow up our
successes with the utmost energy. Only pursuit of the beaten enemy gives the
fruits of victory."
"War is the province of chance. In no other sphere of human activity
must such a margin be left for this intruder. It increases the uncertainty of
every circumstance and deranges the course of events."
"The best form of defense is attack."
"The conqueror is always a lover of peace; he would prefer to take over
our country unopposed."
"War is a conflict of great interests which is settled by bloodshed, and
only in that is it different from others."
"In war the will is directed at an animate object that reacts."
"There is only one decisive victory: the last."
"a certain grasp of military affairs is vital for those in charge of
"The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgment that the
statesman and commander have to make is to establish . . . the kind of war on
which they are embarking."
"no one starts a war-or rather, no one in his senses ought to do
so-without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war
and how he intends to conduct it."
If the leader is filled with high ambition and if he pursues his aims with
audacity and strength of will, he will reach them in spite of all obstacles.
"Pursue one great decisive aim with force and determination."
"The bloody solution of the crisis, the effort for the destruction of
the enemy's forces, is the first-born son of war."
"Only great and general battles can produce great results"
"Blood is the price of victory"
"If the enemy is to be coerced, you must put him in a situation that
is even more unpleasant than the sacrifice you call on him to make. The
hardships of the situation must not be merely transient - at least not in
appearance. Otherwise, the enemy would not give in, but would wait for things