Solzhenitsyn (see previous post) is not the only Russian novelist to have had something to say about human military plans and their outcomes. The man Solzhenitsyn no doubt had very much in mind when writing August 1914 is also worth remembering in this context. In War and Peace, Tolstoy observed, for example:
“The facts clearly show that Napoleon did not foresee the danger of the advance on Moscow, nor did Alexander and the Russian commanders then think of luring Napoleon on, but quite the contrary. The luring of Napoleon into the depths of the coountry was not the result of any plan, for no one believed it to be possible; it resulted from a most complex interplay of intrigues, aims, and wishes among those who took part in the war and had no perception whatever of the inevitable, or of the one way of saving Russia. Everything cam about fortuitously.”
–Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, Vol. 2, Tr. Louise and Aylmer Maude (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1942), p. 763.