The Art of War by Martin van Creveld

Good intro to military thought, especially for high-schoolers, lots of pictures and maps with battle analysis included.... Before you scream, read the last quote below.

During the time that the Chinese classical military writings were produced, chariots were giving way to cavalry.
Chapter 1, note for prefatory picture
Perhaps a combination of the support costs of horses and speed differential (flat-out, turning, and reaction)?
This method (used by Sun-Tzu et al.) is still often used in China today. To make your case, don't stress your originality, as many a modern Westerner would do; but, on the contrary, attribute what you are saying to somebody who lived long ago and whose fame is greater than yours.
Chapter 1, Chinese Military Thought
Thus the basic idea of Tao, which underlines every one of these texts, breaks though once again. Governed by necessity, the best-disciplined army is so good that it requies neigher rewards nor punishments. Behaving as if it were a single personality, it will follow its commander of its own accord; although, as the remaining texts make clear, this is an ideal that is rarely if ever attained.
Chapter 1, Chinese Military Thought
In Clausewitz's view, 'the maximum employment of force in no way rules out the use of intelligence (brains)'. Not so according to the Chinese commander sages, who, following the fundamental world-view laid down by Lao Tzu, look at the two as opposites, and always seek to minimize the first by relying on the second. Force is to be used in carefully measured doses... "Throw stones at eggs" is how Sun-Tzu puts it...
Chapter 1, Chinese Military Thought
(that) which distinguishes Montecuccoli from previous writers, is that he looks at war as something made by states rather than by peoples (as in classical Greek and Republican Rome) or rulers (as in China, Imperial Rome, Byzantium, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance)...
The age of trinitarian warfare -- government against government, regular army against regular army, with the people reduced to a passive role -- had dawned...
Much like his predecessors, Montecuccoli still failed to distinguish between strategy, the operational level and tactics.
Chapter 3, From 1500 to 1763
First (of Comte de Guibert's recommendations), to overcome the feebleness so characteristic of Frances conduct of the recent conflict, future war should be waged not merely with teh aid of the standing army but on the basis of the united forces of the entire nation. Second, to make such participation possible, general conscription was to be introduced. Thired, to enable the huge resulting armies to survive without ruining the treasury, the existing logistic system was to be reformed and war made to feed war. Fourth, those same huge armies were not move not in a single block -- as had been standard practice from time immemorial to that of Frederick the Great -- but in independent formations of all arms.
Chapter 4, Guibert to Clausewitz
The credit for putting together the earliest treatise on strategy belongs to a Prussian officer and writer, Adam Heinrich Dietrich von Buelow, whose Geist des neuern Kriegssystems appeared in 1799.
Chapter 4, Guibert to Clausewitz
Buelow's point of departure was the much improved maps which were becoming available...
Spanish commanders marching their forces from northern Italy to the Netherlands in the latter half of the sixteenth century had relied on mere sketches to show them the way; even Vauban, as great an expert on military geography as has ever lived, at various times produced estimates of the surface of France which differed from each other by as much as 30 per cent. However, by the time Buelow wrote, the first map of a large country (France) to be based on triangulation rather than guesswork had just been completed.
Chapter 4, Guibert to Clausewitz
so much for geometry...
his (Buelow's) prediction that the art of strategy would work in favor of large states and lead to political consolidation proved correct. To this day, even those who have never heard of him use the concepts which he pioneered -- base, objective, lines of operations -- and what is more, look at strategy in a manner which was largely his making (map it out!).
Chapter 4, Guibert to Clausewitz
The practice of always using blue for friendly and red for hostile originated with Helmut von Moltke (Prussian General)
Chapter 4, Guibert to Clausewitz
... outside the US (which, however, produced no military theoretical writings of any importance), nobody was more closely associated with their (railways) use for war and conquest than the Prussian chief of staff, Helmut von Moltke...
Extremely detailed plans were drawn up for using the railways in order to carry out mobilization and deployment; rehearsed in 1859 and 1864, in 1866 they took the world's breath away as the Prussian army mobilized with an efficiency and at a speed which had previously been considered unattainable.
Chapter 5, The Nineteenth Century
Mahan's work (Alfred Mahan, first chief instructor of the US Naval War College, author of The influence of Seapower upon History) represents one long diatribe against commerce-raiding ... and in favour of navies made up of the most powerful capital ships which can be built. Needless to say, this also entailed massive investments in other components of naval infrastructure such as qualified manpower, ports, depots, dry docks, shipyards, ..., and communications like the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal and the Kiel Canal.
Chapter 6, Naval Warfar
Not too mention those ports have to be spread around the planet, like Manila, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands.
(Giulio Douhet's Il Commando del Aereo written in 1921) Once command of the air had been attained -- meaning that the enemy, his bases destroyed, was no longer able to interfere with operations -- the attackers should switch from military objectives to civilian ones, knocking them out one by one. Industrial plant as well as population centres ought to be attacked; the attackers' principal weapon should be gas, the aim not merely to kill but to demoralize.
Chapter 7, The Interwar Period
Welcome to the 20th century...
A coherent theory of guerrilla warfare was, perhaps, put together for the first time by Lawrence of Arabia in The Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1926)...
the guerrillas ought to operate 'like a cloud of gas'...
Logistically speaking they were to be sustained partly from the countryside and partly by taking arms an dequipment away from the enemy, thus making it unnecesary to have permanent, and vulnerable, bases.
Chapter 8, From 1945 to the Present
As Plato wrote long ago, the only people who will no longer see war are the dead.
Chapter 8, From 1945 to the Present