FREDERICK THE GREAT (1713–1786) AND NAPOLEON (1769–1821)
This chapter differs from those that follow in that it largely comprises aphorisms. The intent was to make it short, but still give the major ideas of Frederick and Napoleon, to whom the commanders in the chapters that follow owe a debt.
Among purveyors of wisdom on the art of war, Frederick the Great and Napoleon have surely had the most influence over the past 200 years. For whatever reasons, their pronouncements are strikingly similar on many subjects. Thus it seems reasonable to devote a single chapter to them and their thoughts.
The future Frederick II of Prussia had a miserable boyhood because his soldier-father, Frederick-William I (1688–1740), ...