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Clausewitz, Carl von

Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz (1780–1831) was a Prussian army officer and military educator, historian, and theorist. Clausewitz was born on June 1, 1780, the fifth of six children of a Prussian tax official, Friedrich Gabriel Clausewitz, who had served as an army officer during the Seven Years’ War. Although Clausewitz’s father claimed aristocratic status (i.e., the right to use the term von before his surname), official recognition of the family’s membership in the nobility did not occur until 1827. Clausewitz’s two older brothers, Friedrich and Wilhelm, enjoyed distinguished army careers. In 1810, Clausewitz married Marie von Brühl, the daughter of a count who had served as military tutor to the Prussian crown prince, the future King Frederick William III, Clausewitz’s sovereign. Clausewitz died of ...

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