Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2013. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 March 2019

Helmuth von Moltke 1800–91
Prussian military commander 

  1. No plan of operations reaches with any certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy's main force.
    Kriegsgechichtliche Einzelschriften (1880); often quoted as, ‘No plan survives first contact with the enemy’
  2. Strategy is a system of expedients; it is more than a mere scholarly discipline.
    D. J. Hughes (ed.) Moltke on the Art of War (1993) ch. 3
  3. War is a necessary part of God's arrangement of the world…Without war the world would deteriorate into materialism.
    letter to Dr J. K. Bluntschli, 11 December 1880