Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Martin van Creveld

Why the best teacher of war is war

Although experts often highlight history’s military geniuses, these notable commanders are—by definition—outliers. Despite their successes, the majority of military officers will not join the ranks of Alexander, Caesar, and Frederick the Great. How then can today’s officers become effective leaders? Historian Martin van Creveld reasons that, similarly to playing an instrument, military officers need to practice war in order to understand how to successfully command and strategize in the line of duty.

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