Following the success of the war poetry thread....

I thought i'd start another....

....Military Quotes.

Now these are quotations, made by famous people in a Military or  war context, i.e;

"No leader should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no leader should fight a battle simply out of pique. But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life. Hence the enlightened leader is heedful, and the good leader full of caution."
-Sun Tzu

Quotes can be from recognised sources, or, from things you've heard ,"Alligators" springs to mind - lol

Please, no short stories, Lamp-swinging or "amusing anecdotes". Just make it short and sweet, and the type of quote you might want to put in your next Powerpoint presentation  ;D

To start :

The Americans will always do the right thing... After they've exhausted all the alternatives.
Winston Churchill

and ....

"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier."

- - Napoleon Bonaparte
The 'eathen in 'is blindness must end where 'e began. But the backbone of the Army is the non-commissioned man!
--Rudyard Kipling--


Sedgwick, John "Uncle John," General (1813-1864)
     "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist--."
     General John Sedgwick was a corps commander in the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.  At the battle of the Wilderness, while inspecting his troops, he approached a parapet and peered out over the surrounding countryside.  His officers and men urged him to take cover from small arms fire, but Sedgwick scoffed at their concerns, "What! What men! This will never do, dodging from single bullets!"   As the general spoke his last words, he was shot in the head by a Confederate sharpshooter.


Fighting for peace is like ******* for virginity.

A bloke I once talked to in a pub.
Compare and contrast I think....

"Infantry is the nerve of an army"
Francis Bacon, 1625.

"I have a very mean opinion of the infantry in general.  I know their discipline to be bad and their valours precarious.  They are easily put into disorder and hard to recover out of it; they frequently kill their Officers thro' fear and murder one another in their confusion."
General James Wolfe 1755.

And perhaps more pertinent today,

"The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten."
Coolidge 1920.

"It is well war is so terrible - we would grow fond of it."
Gen Robert E Lee 1862.
Found these lying around too:

“Be systematically ascetic or heroic in little unnecessary points.  Do every day something for no other reason than you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh it may not find you unnerved and untrained to stand the test.”

William James

“It is not the critic who counts nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who knows great enthusiasm, great devotion, and the triumph of achievement, and who at worst, if he fails at least fails whilst daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with the odd and timid souls who know either victory nor defeat. You’ve never lived until you’ve almost died.  For those who have had to fight for it life truly has a flavour the protected shall never know.”


War Hero
Of Slim,

"I tell you... as officers and Senior NCOs, that you will neither eat, nor drink, nor smoke, nor sit down, nor lean against a tree until you have personally seen that your men have first had a chance to do these things.  If you will do this for them, they will follow you to the ends of the earth, and if you do not I will bust you in front of your regiments."

Recalled on his death, NY Times, 15 Dec, 1970


Kill them all.  God will recognize his own.

The Bishop of Citeaux (allegedly), neatly sidestepping any friendly fire issues during the massacre of Beziers in the Albigensian Crusade.
Letter from The Duke of Wellington
August 1812


Whilst marching from Portugal to a position which commands the approach to
Madrid and the French forces, my Officers have been diligently complying
with your requests which have been sent by HM Ship from London to Lisbon and
thence by dispatch rider to our headquarters.

We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents and tent poles and all manner
of sundry items for which His Majesty's Government holds me accountable. I
have dispatched reports on the character, wit and spleen of every Officer.
Each item and every farthing has been accounted for, with two regrettable
exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.

Unfortunately the sum of one shilling and ninepence remains unaccounted for
in one infantry battalion's petty cash and there has been a hideous
confusion as to the number of jars of raspberry jam issued to one cavalry
regiment during a sandstorm in western Spain. This reprehensible
carelessness may by related to the pressure of circumstance, since we are at
war with France, a fact which may come as a surprise to you
gentlemen in Whitehall.

This brings me to my present purpose, which is to request elucidation of my
instructions for His Majesty's Government so that I may better understand
why I am dragging an army over these barren plains. I construe that perforce
it must be one of two alternative duties, as given below. I shall pursue
either one with the best of my ability but I cannot do both:

1. To train an army of uniformed British clerks in Spain for the benefit of
the accountants and copy-boys in London or, perchance.

2. To see to it that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain.

Your most obedient servant, Wellington
Letter from The Duke of Wellington
To Lord Bradford, Secretary of State
For War, written in Spain circa 1810.

My Lord,
If I attempted to answer the mass of futile correspondence that surrounds me I should be debarred from all serious business of campaigning. I must remind your Lordship, for the last time, that so long as I retain an independent position, I shall see that no officer under my command is debarred, by attending to the futile drivelling of mere quill driving in your Lordship’s office, from attending to his first duty which is, and always has been, so to train the private men under his command that they may, without question, beat any force opposed to them in the field.
I am, my lord,
                       Your obedient servant

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling that thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature indeed and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

John Stuart Mill

Bad CO

To any civil servant he met....
Tell me what have you done to retard the war effort today

'Bomber' Harris, WWII

Not bad for a crab!


used by every OC at least once
I'don't Know what they do to the enemy But By god they frighten me :twisted:
The duke of wellington


'It is on the Good Grace of God, and the Royal Navy, that the Safety of the Realm depends.' Original pre-amble to the Articles of War.
Seen as PTP asked nicely, I will repeat the "Alligators" quote that has made one certain AAC SSM famous.

Op Granby, entire squadron lined up, certain intellectually challenged SSM having a go at the troops

"I have heard that some of you have been making allegations about me, I am going to turn round and when I turn back, I want all of the Alligators to have taken one step forward"


during weapons training

"i want you to dismatle those weapons, then go over there and remantle them next to the fence"

Hence the 4 regt AAC zap sticker

"Desert Alligators, we can remantle Kuwait" :D