Three courses of action

Helmuth von Moltke the Elder

Image via Wikipedia

Can anyone help me trace a quotation? One of my favourite ones is the dictum of Field Marshall Count Helmuth von Moltke: “In war you will generally find that the enemy has at any time three courses of action open to him. Of those three, he will invariably choose the fourth.” When and where did he write this?

A Google search in English shows that the observation is routinely deployed by smart officers in the US defence community and in wargamers’ forums. A search in German reveals that von Moltke wrote in staggering quantities, and I do not have enough German to go through it all with any chance of success. So, can someone please show me where the great man originally wrote it and point me to the actual text and citation in German?

In great anticipation, thank you.

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About rimboval

Writer, thinker and proud grandfather
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