Field Marshal Slim quote required

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by brettarider, Nov 29, 2006.

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  1. On my MPC course on 1 of the first slides there was a quote by FM Slim about your men looking at you when cold or wet I think it's inscribed on something at Sandhurst anyone know what it is?

  2. This one?

    "There are no bad regiments, there are only bad officers."
    --Field Marshall Lord Slim


  3. Don't know about cold and wet, but he certainly suggested that the British Army always seems to fight its battles going uphill and at map-joins.

  4. Must have been last soldier to go from Private to Field Marshal.
  5. Another that doesn't match the query:

    "The dominant feeling of the battlefield is loneliness"
    - Field Marshall Viscount Slim of Burma, June 1941.
  6. Not quite, the Last Field Marshall in the British Army, Field Marshall The Lord Inge KG GCB PC DL Joined 1st Battalion The Green Howards as as National Service Private Soldier and was commissioned into the Regiment in 1956.

    Coincidentally enough, I remember the lectures on leadership he gave on my JNCOs cadre when he commanded the Regiment in Chester in 1974 were all concerned with that of General Slim whom he greatly admired.

    Regards and best wishes
  7. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    Bill Slim top man, pushedt his officers to the limit.

    It was said he kept his HQ Staff on half rations to know what the fighting men were putting up with.
  8. 8. Field Marshall Lord Slim - 1957

    "The real test of leadership is not if your men will follow you in success but if they will stick by you in defeat and hardship. They will not do that unless they believe you to be honest and to have care for them.

    I once had under me a battalion that had not done well in a fight. I went to see why. I found the men in the jungle, tired and hungry, dirty, jumpy, some of them wounded, sitting about miserably, doing nothing.

    I looked for the commanding officer, any officer; but none could be seen. Then, as I rounded the bush, I realized why the battalion had failed. Collected under a tree were the officers, eating a meal while the men went hungry. Those officers had forgotten the tradition of the Service, that they look after their men's wants before their own. I was compelled to remind them.

    I hope they never again forget the integrity and unselfishness that always permeates good leadership. I have never known men to fail to respond to them.

    The raw material of leadership is there in Australian workers. Properly led they are as good as any and more intelligent than most. But the words 'properly led' are vital. Australian industry deserves and will need leaders, not just efficient managers.

    In industry you will never have to ask people to do the stark things demanded of soldiers; but the people you employ are the same people. Instead of rifles they handle tools; instead of guns they serve machines. They have changed their khaki and jungle-green for workshop overalls and civil suits. But they are the same people and they will respond to leadership of the right kind just as they have always done.

    Infuse your management with leadership. Then they will show their mettle in the workshop as they have on the battlefield. Like me, they would rather be led than managed. Wouldn't you?

    People can improve their powers of leadership by a little thought and practice."
  9. KO Iolis, I stand corrected.
    Last wartime soldier to go from Private to Field Marshal.
    And Yes Leaders not managers.
    I am told/have read somewhere that Moltka after his victory over the Frog at Sedan, on being complemented as a Great Captain with nothing more to learn said words to effect that 'He had never had to command a great retreat'
    Slims command and recovery from Burma 42 must be one of histories most outstanding military events. How Churchill never sacked him says much for Bill Slim.
  10. The CBI theater had some very interesting commanders.

    Slim was certainly amazing. Another thing that says much in his favor is that even US General Joe Stilwell (infamous for his sometimes blunt criticism of "limey officers", often with the same complaints that Slim expresses in the qoute above) considered him a reliable comrade and a personal friend.

    Anyway, I think I've heard the quote in question, it's something like "nothing pleases the men more than to see a cold and wet officer now and then" Not sure what the specific wording is though
  11. He did say "Nothing is so good for the morale of the troops as occasionally to see a dead general".

    I had the honour of meeting Slim (1891-1970).

    Not sure if this helps, but he did tell the story of trying to cheer up his staff at a difficult stage of the campaign with the comment "Never mind, it could be raining" and of course, half an hour later, it was.
  12. I am sure he once said...'Oi you Nippon git, get the fcuk out of Borneo...', or words to that effect...probably.
  13. When he was Gov Gen of Australia, he once inspected the motor cycle policemen who had escorted him. He told them their uniforms were so dirty, he would have supposed they had been using them to clean their motor cycles - had he not also seen their motor cycles, which obviously hadn't been cleaned with anything at all.
  14. Brettarider - have it somewhere but off top of the head, it is something like "There will come a time when your men, cold, tired and wet, will look to you for leadership, and you will never have felt more alone". Will let you know if I find it
  15. He did say ' We often talk of fighting to the last round and the last man - the Japanese were the only ones that did'. :wink: