The Evolution of Operational Art, 1740-1813

From Frederick the Great to Napoleon

By Claus Telp

© 2004 – Routledge

240 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415649216
pub: 2014-02-05
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780714657226
pub: 2005-04-21
US Dollars$178.00

About the Book

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 Then, Napoleon had used it with remarkable success against an adversary clinging to outdated modes of warfare and organisation.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

About the Author

Claus Telp obtained a PhD in War Studies at King's College London, and is senior lectuter in war studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

About the Series

Military History and Policy

This series will publish studies on historical and contemporary aspects of land power, spanning the period from the eighteenth century to the present day, and will include national, international and comparative studies. From time to time, the series will publish edited collections of essays and ‘classics’.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Military / Strategy