Clausewitz, Carl Philipp Gottfried von
1780 - Born on June 1st in Burg, near Magdeburg, Prussia. Prussian general whose writings, especially On War, advocated the concept of total war, in which all the enemy's territory, property, and citizens are attacked.
1792 - Born to a poor but middle-class family of professional background, Clausewitz entered the Prussian Army.
1793-1794 - He was commissioned during the Rhine campaign against the French Revolutionary army and spent the next several years on garrison duty, a circumstance that enabled him to devote a large amount of time to educating himself.
1801-1805 - His efforts eventually enabled him to gain admission to the War College in Berlin.
- Clausewitz learned military science under the guidance of his mentor, Gerhard von Scharnhorst, studied philosophy and literature, and developed his basic strategic concepts. Scharnhorst introduced him at court—where he met his future wife, the countess Marie von Brühl—and obtained for him an appointment as aide to Prince August.
1806-1808 - He served in this capacity in the campaign of Jena, was captured by the French at Prenzlau, and returned to Prussia.
1812 - Clausewitz became one of the leaders of Prussian Army reform under Scharnhorst but resigned his commission on the eve of Napoleon's invasion of Russia and, like other German patriots, entered Russian service.
1813–1814 - He returned to Prussian service and served as chief of staff of an army corps during the Waterloo campaign.
1818 - He became a general and was appointed administrative head of the War College.
1819-1829 - Clausewitz used much of the leisure that this position provided in writing his historical studies and his major work on strategy, On War (Vom Kriege).
1830 - Before he completed On War, Clausewitz was transferred to Breslau and then assigned to Prussian forces deployed to observe the Polish revolution.
1831 - Died of cholera on November 16th in Breslau, Silesia.
Page last updated: 11:06am, 20th Jun '07