Having barely reached the age of twelve Carl was taken by his father to Potsdam and enlisted in a regiment as a Standartenjunker, that is, flag bearer. That was by no means children’s games. Carl began to take part in battles before he was thirteen years old. He could barely hold the banner in his hands – during marches it was carried by an adult soldier. Then he entered the Russian service but, unable to speak the language, he could not command soldiers, so he fought as a private in the battle of Borodino.
Trained in the difficult science of winning since childhood, the grown-up Clausewitz revolutionized the military science. His essay, On War, expounds a vision of war theory and foundations that was ahead of his time. The brilliant, clearly phrased text has long been the source of aphorisms. Do you wish some? Here you are: “War is the continuation of politics by different means,” “Courage is the most important quality of war.”