Our knowledge of circumstances has increased, but our uncertainty, instead of having diminished, has only increased. The reason of this is, that we do not gain all our experience at once, but by degrees; so our determinations continue to be assailed incessantly by fresh experience; and the mind, if we may use the expression, must always be under arms.
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.
Never forget that no military leader has ever become great without audacity.
The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy.
Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.
A conqueror is always a lover of peace.
War is regarded as nothing but the continuation of state policy with other means.
War is the continuation of politics by other means.
War is not an independent phenomenon, but the continuation of politics by different means.
War is not merely a political act but a real political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse, a carrying out of the same by other means.
Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain.
Two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.
Pursue one great decisive aim with force and determination.
Politics is the womb in which war develops.
War is the domain of physical exertion and suffering.
I shall proceed from the simple to the complex. But in war more than in any other subject we must begin by looking at the nature of the whole; for here more than elsewhere the part and the whole must always be thought of together.
It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past.
All action takes place, so to speak, in a kind of twilight, which like a fog or moonlight, often tends to make things seem grotesque and larger than they really are.
War is not an exercise of the will directed at an inanimate matter.
The political object is the goal, war is the means of reaching it, and the means can never be considered in isolation from their purposes.