The Evolution of Operational Art, 1740-1813 From Frederick the Great to Napoleon
Operational art emerged from the campaigns of Frederick the Great to the end of the Napoleonic Wars. It was the result of three dynamic interrelationships: between military and non-military factors such as social, economic and political developments; between military theory and practice; and between developments in military theory and practice in France and Prussia.
In the period 1740-1815 a major change in the complexity of warfare took place. This was reflected by an increase in the complexity of the analysis of warfare via the introduction of the operational level between the strategic and tactical levels.The evolution of operational art, driven by these three dialectical processes, evolved in stages. In the first stage, Revolutionary France had experimented with operational art though with limited success. Then, Napoleon had used it with remarkable success against an adversary clinging to outdated modes of warfare and organisation. In the final stage, Napoleon's operational art was successfully challenged by the Prussian brand.
"...this work gives us a revealing look at how the practice of war grew from the age of Frederick to that of Napoleon...This is a very important read for anyone interested in the “French Wars” or in the evolution of the operational art." - The NYMAS Review