Christopher Bassford

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Christopher Bassford
Occupation Military Historian
Professor of Strategy
Language English
Nationality  United States

Christopher Bassford (born 1953)[1] is an American military historian, best known for his works on the Prussian military philosopher Carl von Clausewitz. Bassford graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in history and honors for his dissertation on tactical nuclear weapons and completed his MA in American diplomatic history at Ohio University. Subsequent to receiving his MA, he served five years on active duty as a U.S. Army field artillery officer, with tours in Korea and Germany. He completed a Ph.D. in modern European history at Purdue University and became director of studies in the theory and nature of war at the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Command and Staff College, then associate professor of National Policy Issues at the U.S. Army War College. He was Professor of Strategy at the National War College (NWC), in Washington, D.C., from 1999 until 2012, when he joined the faculty of the College of International Security Affairs (CISA) as part of the JSOMA program supporting U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). He is the webeditor of The Clausewitz Homepage, a large educational website that has been on-line since 1995.


Bassford has written scholarly studies, military doctrine, and articles for the popular press. He is the author of several books, including Clausewitz in English: The Reception of Clausewitz in Britain and America, 1815-1945[2] and The Spit-Shine Syndrome: Organizational Irrationality in the American Field Army.[3] He is one of the editors of the Boston Consulting Group's business-oriented Clausewitz On Strategy: Inspiration and Insight from a Master Strategist[4] and Carl von Clausewitz and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, On Waterloo: Clausewitz, Wellington, and the Campaign of 1815, ed./trans. Christopher Bassford, Daniel Moran, and Gregory W. Pedlow (, 2010). From 1995 to 1999 he was involved in the writing of USMC doctrine, authoring MCDP 1-1, Strategy; MCDP 1-2, Campaigning; "MCWP 5-1, Marine Corps Planning" (Draft); MCWP 2-15.3, Ground Reconnaissance Operations; and MCWP 3-2, Aviation Operations, as well as participating in the writing of several other USMC and Joint concepts and doctrinal publications.

His academic articles include:

His on-line books include:

The Clausewitz Homepage[edit]

Bassford is the editor of The Clausewitz Homepage, an educational website that focuses on the German military philosopher Carl von Clausewitz. Bassford's own work on Clausewitz concentrates on the evolution of Clausewitz's reception, reputation, and impact in the English-speaking world. He is interested in the relationship between Clausewitzian theory, concepts from the field of nonlinear science, and modern evolutionary theory.


  1. ^ "Christopher Bassford". Contemporary Authors Online. Gale. 2006. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Oxford University Press, 1994
  3. ^ Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1988
  4. ^ New York: Wiley, 2001

External links[edit]