Bülow, Adam Heinrich Dietrich von

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Bülow, Adam Heinrich Dietrich von

 

Born 1757; died July 1807. Baron. Prussian military writer. Officer of the guards.

Bülow retired in 1790, participated in an unsuccessful attempt at an uprising in the Netherlands against Austria, migrated to the USA and then to England and France. He was expelled from France in 1804 for republican agitation. Upon his return to Prussia he was persecuted by the police for his sharp criticism of the Prussian Army. In 1806 he published the pamphlet The Campaign of 1805, which contained severe attacks against the command of the Russian Army and which was erroneous in its treatment of the 1805 campaign; upon the request of the Russian government, he was arrested, sent to Riga, and died on the way.

In his works on military theory, Bülow expressed several correct and forward-looking propositions (about the subordination of strategy to politics and of tactics to strategy and about the basis of war). At the same time his theories suffered from their metaphysical nature (fascination with geometrical forms of operations and with an obsolete magazine system) and contained quite a number of contradictions and errors (underestimating the factor of morale, asserting that the aims of war can be attained merely by threatening enemy communications, and so forth). Bülow’s theories were sharply criticized by Napoleon, K. von Clausewitz, A. Jomini, G. A. Leer, and others. Bülow’s works had a considerable influence on the development of theoretical military thought in the Prussian and Austrian armies of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

WORKS

Militärische und vermischte Schriften. Leipzig, 1853.
“Dukh noveishei voennoi sistemy.” In Strategiia v trudakh voennykh klassikov, vol. 2. Moscow, 1926.