The Art of War, Antoine Henri (Baron) de Jomini

The Art of War, Antoine Henri (Baron) de Jomini

For a long time Jomini's Art of War was the standard text for any student of military theory, and was the most influential work of military theory for most of the nineteenth century, competing with Clausewitz. It may have lost that status, but it remains a very valuable work for anyone with a serious interest in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Jomini saw extensive military service during the Napoleonic Wars, and he illustrates his theories with extensive examples from a wide range of campaigns.

Jomini is also relevant for anyone with an interest in the major wars of the nineteenth century, at least up to the Franco-Prussian War, for most commanding officers in most armies in Europe and American read Jomini and many attempted to follow his rules. He was still the dominant military thinker as late as the American Civil War.

Jomini covered a wide range of topics, split into forty-seven articles in seven main chapters. This edition also includes a later supplement that covers the events of the Crimean War, and a rather bizarre summary of all Naval history from the Ancient Greeks to the 1860s.  

This can be quite a difficult read – Jomini was writing for his fellow military professions, and was attempting to produce a series of theories that could guide future military operations. As a result some sections are very academic in tone, and in one or two cases nobody has ever been entirely sure what he meant!

This is a good quality edition, with clear modern type and good reproductions of the forty or so maps and diagrams that punctuate the text.

Chapters (subdivided into multiple Articles
Introduction: Notice of the Present Theory of War and of its Utility
Definition of the Art of War
1: Statesmanship in its Relation to War
2: Military Policy
3: Strategy
4: Grand Tactics and Battles
5: Of Several Mixed Operations, Which Are In Character Partly Strategical and Partly Tactical
6: Logistics; or The Practical Art of Moving Armies
7: Of the Formation of Troops for Battle and the Separate Use or Combined Use of the Three Arms
Appendix: Note Upon the Means of Acquiring a good strategic Coup-d'Oeil
Second Appendix: On the Formation of Troops for Battle
Sketch of the Principal Maritime Expeditions

Author: Antoine Henri de Jomini
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 296
Publisher: Legacy Books Press Classics
Year: 2009 reissue

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