XIV ...In mountain warfare, the assailant has always the disadvantage; even in offensive warfare in the open field, the great secret consists in defensive combats, and in obliging the enemy to attack.
XIX. The transition from the defensive to the offensive is one of the most delicate operations in war.
XXIX. When you have resolved to fight a battle, collect your whole force. Dispense with nothing. A single battalion sometimes decides the day.
NB: Use everything
LVIII. The first qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only the second; hardship, poverty, and want are the best school for the soldier.
LXIV. Nothing is so important in war as an undivided command; for this reason, when war is carried on against a single power, there should be only one army, acting upon one base, and conducted by one chief.
LXXIII. The first qualification in a general-in-chief is a cool head -- that is, a head which receives just impressions, and estimates things and objects at their real value. He must not allow himself to be elated by good news, or depressed by bad.
The impressions he receives either successively or simultaneously in the course of the day should be so classed as to take up only the exact place in his mind which they deserve to occupy; since it is upon a just comparison and consideration of the weight due to different impressions that the power of reasoning and of right judgment depends.
LXXVII ...Gustavus Adolphus, Turenne, and Frederick, as well as Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar have all acted upon the same principles. These have been -- to keep their forces united; to leave no weak part unguarded; to seize with rapidity on important points.
NY: Ediciones La Calavera, 1998
(page 1) General rule: never a social revolution without terror.
(5) After a lost battle, the difference between the vanquished and the victor is very little.
(6) The art of war has unchanging principles which have as their principal objective, the guaranteeing of armies against the error of their leaders concerning the strength of the enemy; an error which, more or less, always takes place.
(9) Never hold a council of war, but take the advice of each in private.
(10) One must be slow in deliberations and quick in execution.
(11) Courage is required to fight against strength, even more is sometimes required to admit one’s weakness.
…. The art of war is to dispose one’s troops in such a way that they are everywhere at once. The art of the placement of troops is the great art of war. Always place your troops in such a manner that, whatever the enemy may do, you may always within a few days find yourself assembled.
(12) In order not to be surprised by obtaining victories, one has only to think about defeats.
(19) Reputation of arms in war is everything and is equivalent to real forces.
…What are the conditions for superiority in an army? 1st its organization; 2nd the habit of war in officer and in soldier; 3rd the confidence of all in themselves; that is to say, bravura, patience and everything that the idea of self gives in the way of moral resources.
(27) The mania for guarding all points in a difficult moment exposes one to great misfortunes.
(32) One must never think of any sort of siege before there has even been a battle.
(34) When an army has experienced defeats, the manner of assembling its detachments or its relief troops is the most delicate operation of war, the one that requires most of all, on the part of the general, the deep knowledge of the principles of the art; it is then above all that their violation brings a defeat and produces a catastrophe.
Half of the art of war consists in the art of rapidly regrouping one’s army, of sparing useless movements and, as a consequence, the health of the soldier.
(35) The entire art of war consists of a well reasoned, extremely circumspect defense, and of an audacious and rapid offense.
(42) In war it is shoes that are always lacking.
It is a principle of war that when one can make use of thunder, one must prefer it to the cannon.
(45) As for moral courage, that of two o’cock in the morning is extremely rare; that is to say, the spontaneous courage that, in spite of the most sudden events, nonetheless leaves intact freedom of mind, of judgment and of decision.
In all battles, a moment always arrives when the bravest soldiers after having made the greatest efforts feel themselves disposed to flight. This terror comes from a lack of confidence in their courage; it takes only a trivial incident, a pretext to give them back this courage: the great art is of giving birth to these.
(48) Experience proves that the greatest failure in general administration is to want to do too much; this leads to not having what one needs.
(50) The direction of military affairs is only half the work of a general; to establish and to secure his communications is one of the most important objectives. Secure your communications very quickly indeed.
… It is not the troops who fail you, it is the manner of assembling them and of acting with vigor.
(51) In war, one sees one’s own ills and not those of the enemy; one must show confidence.
(52) The loss of time is irreparable in war; the reasons that one may allege are all bad, for operations fail only through delays.
… The only loss that you cannot repair is the dead.
(56) The fate of a battle is the result of an instant, of a thought; one approaches with diverse combinations, one becomes involved, one fights a certain length of time, the decisive moment presents itself, a moral spark makes its pronouncements and the smallest reserve realizes its ultimate end.
(57) One must engage in battle only when one has no new opportinuties for which to hope, since by its nature the fate of a battle is always doubtful, but once it has been resolved upon, one must conquer or perish.
When one is within range of striking to the quick, one must not allow onself to be led astray by contrary maneuvers.
(61) Prisoners know only their corps, commanders make quite unreliable reports; this has brought about the adoption of one axiom that remedies all: that an army should every day, every night, every hour, be ready to offer all the resistance of which it is capable.
(65) The praises of enemies are suspect, they can only flatter a man of honor when they are given after the cessation of hostilities.
… Pillage annihilates everything, even the army that practices it.
(67) As long as you have made no examples you will not be master. To any conquered people a revolt is necessary, and I would regard a revolt as the father of a family sees smallpox in his children: provided it does not weaken the patient too much, it is a healthy crisis.
(69) Nothing is more salutary than terrible examples timely made.
… It is in flattering peoples that one abases them.