Everybody’s got a plan

For the longest time, and with boring predictability, every time conversation went into the need to make detailed plans, I would quote a phrase seen somewhere, and attributed there to von Clausewitz: “No battle plan ever survived the first encounter with the enemy”.

Recently I was asked about the source of the quote, and went looking for it. Picked up “On War”, and since I wanted to read it for a while now, also picked up “Moltke on Art of War”. Didn’t find the quote in “On War”, but here’s what I found in von Moltke’s writings:

“No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.”

So, with belated apologies to von Moltke the Elder, my quoting will have correct attribution now.

Mike Tyson said the same thing in a more concrete and laconic way: “Everybody’s got a game plan until you’re hit in the mouth.”

Published in: on December 29, 2009 at 8:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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