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"Clausewitz's history of Napoleon's 1796 campaign in Italy " Topic

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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2018 12:21 p.m. PST

I am excited to announce the impending publication of the first ever English edition of Carl von Clausewitz's "Feldzug von 1796 in Italien" – Napoleon's 1796 campaign in Italy.

The 1796 campaign is the one in which Napoleon first established his glorious reputation, including famous battles such as Lodi, Castiglione, Arcole and Rivoli. Clausewitz is one of the most eminent of military theorists. In his history of the 1796 campaign he does not simply describe its events but analyses them and the generals' decisions according to his strategic principles. The work provides great insight not only into the historical events but also into the evolution of Clausewitz's strategic thinking.

I and Professor Nicholas Murray of the US Naval War College have translated the work into English for the first time and added commentary and maps to create an annotated edition. We are honoured that Professor Dennis Showalter has agreed to write the Foreword. The book will be published in fall 2018 by the University Press of Kansas.

As soon as a catalog entry is available I will post it here. Meanwhile, anyone wishing to be alerted by University Press of Kansas when they are ready to take orders for the book should go to their website and sign up for their e-newsletter:

I have also been creating operational-level, stripped-down BBB* scenarios to accompany the book. These offer another level of insight again. They can be found in the files of the BBB Yahoo group.


Bloody Big BATTLES!

*BBB = the "Bloody Big BATTLES!" wargame ruleset, published by SkirmishCampaigns and available from retailers such as:

Brigade Games < >

On Military Matters < link >

and Caliver Books < >.

von Winterfeldt11 Jan 2018 6:07 a.m. PST

what an big effort, did you find out what sources von Clausewitz did use, I liked especially his forword about sources – enlightening.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2018 6:16 a.m. PST

ok, looking forward to this.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2018 6:16 a.m. PST

And will check out the BBB Yahoo group

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2018 8:46 a.m. PST

Thanks for the kind comments. On sources: Clausewitz complains about the paucity of information on the Austrian side and (implicitly) about the reluctance of the Austrian authorities to let anyone know the truth about their 1796 disasters. He relies a lot on Jomini and on Napoleon's memoirs – and in the same breath criticises Jomini for the poverty of his sources, and Bonaparte for consistent untruthfulness.

But we also used the French 1899 edition by Captain Colin. This is heavily annotated by Colin who provides a lot of corrections / additional detail about precise numbers and locations of troops, from sources Clausewitz didn't use. We've included most of Colin's annotations as well, as they add a lot.


von Winterfeldt11 Jan 2018 1:16 p.m. PST

so it is much more than just a translation of Clausewitz work?

Allan F Mountford11 Jan 2018 1:43 p.m. PST

'Attack in the West', Jackson, W G F (London, 1953) relies on the Clausewitz work (the original), whilst 'The Road to Rivoli', Boycott-Brown, Martin (London, 2001) uses the Colin translation. Both works are essential English language sources; the latter work is very detailed with a very extensive bibliography.

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2018 2:06 p.m. PST

It is much more than a translation. It is an annotated edition. We have included annotations by Colin but also added information from modern sources such as Schneid and Cuccia.

Martin Boycott-Brown's book is a fine read and as Allan says, more detailed than Clausewitz's in many respects. However, it is really just a descriptive history, whereas Clausewitz also provides the exhaustive strategic analysis that is really the main purpose of the book. Colin contributes a lot of comments on this and we have included many of his comments. We have added further commentary of our own on that dimension too.

Finally, we have created a lot of new maps specially for the work that make the course of these fascinating operations clear.


von Winterfeldt11 Jan 2018 2:53 p.m. PST

looking foreward to read the book

Wu Tian12 Jan 2018 8:39 a.m. PST

The link for Colin's translation La campagne de 1796 en Italie.

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP03 May 2018 4:32 a.m. PST

Update: now listed in UPK's catalog with a publication date of October, priced @ $19.95 USD pb / $45 USD hb.

(We are just finishing the index and correcting the proofs.)


Gazzola03 May 2018 4:53 a.m. PST

Amazon have it displayed as being available in October:

Hardback at £32.69 GBPp
Paperback at £14.65 GBPp

So we now have two new titles forthcoming, one covering the 1796 actions and another covering Marengo, 1800. It will be interesting to compare these works to titles that have already covered the same actions and campaigns. Who knows, they may contain something new. LOL

And you can never have enough books.

NickinRI Supporting Member of TMP03 May 2018 12:43 p.m. PST


Here it is.

This is the campaign we (the Navy), the Marines, and the Army all war game.

NickinRI Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2018 7:34 a.m. PST

The book is out, but appears already to have sold out at Amazon in the US. I've not checked the UK.

The publisher has it listed.


NickinRI Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2018 7:49 a.m. PST

I just realised there was a thread on this. Sorry for the double bump.

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