„The tactical result of an engagement forms the base for new strategic decisions because victory or defeat in a battle changes the situation to such a degree that no human acumen is able to see beyond the first battle.“

Kein Operationsplan reicht mit einiger Sicherheit über das erste Zusammentreffen mit der feindlichen Hauptmacht hinaus.
"On Strategy" (1871)/"Über Strategie" (1871), as translated in Moltke on the Art of War: Selected Writings (1993) by Daniel J. Hughes and Harry Bell, p. 92; German collected in: Kriegsgeschichtliche Einzelschriften, H.13 (1890), hier zitiert nach: Militārische Werke, Band 2, Teil 2. Mittler & Sohn Berlin 1900. S. 291 books.google https://books.google.de/books?id=WHgvafaY1UIC&pg=PA291
Paraphrased variants:
No plan survives contact with the enemy.
Paraphrased in The Swordbearers : Studies in Supreme Command in the First World War (1963) by Correlli Barnett, p. 35
No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.
As quoted in Donnybrook : The Battle of Bull Run, 1861 (2005) by David Detzer, p. 233
Kontekst: The tactical result of an engagement forms the base for new strategic decisions because victory or defeat in a battle changes the situation to such a degree that no human acumen is able to see beyond the first battle. In this sense one should understand Napoleon's saying: "I have never had a plan of operations."
Therefore no plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.

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Helmut Karl Bernhard von Moltke Fotografia
Helmut Karl Bernhard von Moltke
niemiecki dowódca wojskowy 1800 - 1891

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