Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE ( (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. 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: 25 February 2021

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