Helmuth von Moltke the Elder

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In the early days all I hoped was to make a living out of what I did best. But, since there's no real market for masturbation I had to fall back on my bass playing abilities.
Les Claypool
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No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.

Field Marshall Helmuth Carl Bernard Graf von Moltke (26 October, 1800- 24 April, 1891) was Chief of Staff of the Prussian General Staff from 1857 to 1871 and then of the Great General Staff (GGS) from 1871 to 1888. He was an architect of Germany's Wars of Unification (1864-71). He is often referred to as Moltke the Elder to distinguish his name from that of his nephew, Helmuth Johann Ludwig von Moltke.


  • First weigh the considerations, then take the risks.
  • No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.
  • War is a matter of expedients.
  • A competent staff officer should work diligently, accomplish much, remain in the background, and be more than he seems.

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