See Article History Alternative Titles: Antoine-Henri, baron de Jomini Henri, baron de Jomini, in full Antoine-Henri, baron de Jomini, born March 6, , Payerne, Switzerland—died March 24, , Passy, France , French general , military critic, and historian whose systematic attempt to define the principles of warfare made him one of the founders of modern military thought. Jomini began his military career by offering his services as a volunteer staff member in the French army in Rejoining the army in as a volunteer, he was appointed staff colonel in by Napoleon, who had read his book. His attempted resignation from the French army induced Napoleon to make him general of brigade. In he became chief of staff to Ney, who commanded the most important corps in the army.
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This particular translation, in fact, was made at West Point in , as America was in the second year of the Civil War, and other renditions of Jomini had been studied by West Pointers before that time.
A curious mixture of dated material and what are likely timeless truths much like Mahan. As Jomini himself notes, technology and tactics change; people, politics, and strategy tend not to. Being an translation, the language is perhaps a little more florid than a modern translator would make it; but this is very much the kind of translation that had a direct effect on American military thought.
The French Revolution changed all that; armies became national. Revolutionary France became a "nation in arms" to defend their Revolution against the kings of Europe.
Read the "Art of War" for class. If you have half-a-brain, you can draw these conclusions yourself from the translated sources material. Half poetry, half military tactical manual. Overall however, the book was a challenge to read due to what seemed to be an older writer style. But that only makes the book more appealing to myself, it is fascinating to learn what phrases used to have equal meaning to simpler terms we use today.
I suggest anyone who has not read this book to do so. Thought it was too non-specific and hand-wavy, unlike Clausewitz. Yet, there are a few things in which the swissman shines, mainly for what concerns the tactical and operational level of war.
A must-read for historical and military buffs.
Antoine Henri Jomini
Baron Antoine Henri Jomini rose in the ranks of the Swiss army, eventually serving under Marshall Michel Ney as chief of staff and becoming a baron in Civil War. His parents, of Italian descent, were of modest means and gave their son a good education. Unable to afford a commission in the Swiss Watteville regiment then under the command of the French, at age 14 he was sent to business school in Aarau with the intent that he train for a career. In April of he moved to Basle where he found a clerical position at the banking house of Monsieurs Preiswerk. Moving to Paris in , Jomini worked as a bank clerk for Monsieurs Mosselmann before leaving to become a stockbroker in partnership with another young man. His first published study of military operations were that of Frederick II.
Henri, baron de Jomini
Russian Biographical Dictionary Overtures had been made to him, as early as , to enter the Russian service, but Napoleon, hearing of his intention to leave the French army, compelled him to remain in the service with the rank of general of brigade. For some years thereafter, Jomini held both a French and a Russian commission, with the consent of both sovereigns. However, when war between France and Russia broke out, he was in a difficult position, which he dealt with by taking a noncombat command on the line of communication. That was tantamount to deserting to the enemy and so it was regarded by many in the French army, and by not a few of his new comrades. More importantly, a point that Napoleon commented upon, was the fact that he was a Swiss citizen, not a Frenchman.