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1779, Mar 61798-18691869, Mar 24
a Swiss officer who served as a general in the French and later in the Russian service, and one of the most celebrated writers on the Napoleonic art of war. According to the historian John Shy, Jomini "deserves the dubious title of founder of modern strategy." Jomini's ideas were a staple at military academies. The senior generals of the American Civil War -- those who had attended West Point -- were well versed in Jomini's theories.
 Quotes (9) • View in Quotations
A cherished cause and a general who inspires confidence by previous success are powerful means of electrifying an army.
A state attacked by another which renews an old claim rarely yields it without a war: it prefers to defend its territory, as is always more honorable. But it may be advantageous to take the offensive, instead of awaiting the attack on the frontiers.
As the excited passions of hostile people are of themselves a powerful enemy, both the general and his government should use their best efforts to allay them.
But it is almost impossible to communicate with them [one's spies in the enemy camp] and receive the information they possess ... Even when the general receives from his spies information of movements, he still knows nothing of those which may since have taken place, nor of what the enemy is going finally to attempt.
It is certainly of great importance for a general to keep his plans secret; and Frederick the Great was right when he said that if his night-cap knew what was in his head he would throw it into the fire. That kind of secrecy was practicable in Frederick's time when his whole army was kept closely about him; but when maneuvers of the vastness of Napoleon's are executed, and war is waged as in our day, what concert of action can be expected from generals who are utterly ignorant of what is going on around them?
Logistics comprises the means and arrangements which work out the plans of strategy and tactics. Strategy decides where to act; logistics brings the troops to this point.
One of the surest ways of forming good combinations in war would be to order movements only after obtaining perfect information of the enemy's proceedings. In fact, how can any man say what he should do himself; if he is ignorant what his adversary is about?
The surprise of an army is now next to an impossibility. ... Prearranged surprises are rare and difficult because in order to plan one it becomes necessary to have an accurate knowledge of the enemy's camp.
This [a surprise attack] is an operation by no means to be despised in war, although it is rare, and less brilliant than a great strategic combination which renders victory certain even before the battle is fought.
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Antoine-Henri Jomini1779, Mar 61798
 
18691869, Mar 24

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