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Helmuth von Moltke

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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

Helmuth von Moltke

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No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. Not when the enemy is me.

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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."
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