Words of War

Since the beginning of the human race on our planet earth, there have been wars and there will continue to be armed conflict amongst people until the end of time. I have complied some quotes from different people at different periods during their existence on our planet in times of war. The first entry isn't a quote but a speech by one of the most famous American Military Warriors of all time, General George S. Patton. I thank our 240th brother, George Stone, for sending me this speech given by Patton to his troops during World War 2 and I hope visitors to our websites will enjoy this page and gain some insight on the many different opinions and thoughts about the subject of war.

The Allies had been gathering in lower England for many months, setting for the greatest amphibious invasion in the history of the world and warfare. It was June 5, 1944. The invasion of the French coast at Normandy had already been delayed once when General Eisenhower gave the green light for the commencement of "Operation Overlord." On the evening of the 5th, the Allied gliders and parachutists would enter the interior of Normandy, with the multiple missions of disrupting communications, taking out ordnance aimed at the landing beaches, and generally confusing the German enemy.

That night, the main invasion force would also set out, crammed with their gear into near every type of warship available. The next day they would penetrate the Nazi's Atlantic Wall, bravely storming the code-named beaches of Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, and Utah.

A special man was in lower England on June 5: General George S. Patton. He was there stealthily. The Germans were not to know of his whereabouts. That night he addressed his Third Army in what may be one of the most rousing speeches ever given a fighting force.

Following is the text of that speech, a monument in words not only to the spirit of its deliverer, but to the men who fight wars for freedom.

Be seated.
Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bulls***. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle.
You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight.
When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players.
Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser.
Americans despise cowards.
Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.
You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he's not, he's a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are.
The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood. Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base. Americans pride themselves on being He Men and they are He Men.
Remember that the enemy is just as frightened as you are, and probably more so. They are not supermen.
All through your Army careers, you men have bitched about what you call "chicken-s*** drilling." That, like everything else in this Army, has a definite purpose. That purpose is alertness. Alertness must be bred into every soldier. I don't give a f*** for a man who's not always on his toes. You men are veterans or you wouldn't be here. You are ready for what's to come. A man must be alert at all times if he expects to stay alive. If you're not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-ass***-b**** is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sock full of s***!
There are four-hundred neatly marked graves somewhere in Sicily, all because one man went to sleep on the job. But they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before they did.
An Army is a team. It lives, sleeps, eats, and fights as a team.
This individual heroic stuff is pure horse s***. The bilious bastards who write that kind of stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don't know any more about real fighting under fire than they know about f***ing!"
"We have the finest food, the finest equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity those poor sons-of-bitches we're going up against. By God, I do.
My men don't surrender, and I don't want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he has been hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight back That's not just bulls*** either. The kind of man that I want in my command is just like the lieutenant in Libya, who, with a Luger against his chest, jerked off his helmet, swept the gun aside with one hand, and busted the hell out of the Kraut with his helmet. Then he jumped on the gun and went out and killed another German before they knew what the hell was coming off. And, all of that time, this man had a bullet through a lung. There was a real man!
All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain.
What if every truck driver suddenly decided that he didn't like the whine of those shells overhead, turned yellow, and jumped headlong into a ditch? The cowardly bastard could say, "Hell, they won't miss me, just one man in thousands." But, what if every man thought that way? Where in the hell would we be now? What would our country, our loved ones, our homes, even the world, be like?
No, Goddamnit, Americans don't think like that. Every man does his job. Every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important in the vast scheme of this war.
The ordnance men are needed to supply the guns and machinery of war to keep us rolling. The Quartermaster is needed to bring up food and clothes because where we are going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last man on K.P. has a job to do, even the one who heats our water to keep us from getting the "G.I. S***s."
Each man must not think only of himself, but also of his buddy fighting beside him. We don't want yellow cowards in this Army. They should be killed off like rats. If not, they will go home after this war and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men.
Kill off the Goddamned cowards and we will have a nation of brave men.
One of the bravest men that I ever saw was a fellow on top of a telegraph pole in the midst of a furious fire fight in Tunisia. I stopped and asked what the hell he was doing up there at a time like that. He answered, "Fixing the wire, Sir." I asked, "Isn't that a little unhealthy right about now?" He answered, "Yes Sir, but the Goddamned wire has to be fixed." I asked, "Don't those planes strafing the road bother you?" And he answered, "No, Sir, but you sure as hell do!" Now, there was a real man. A real soldier. There was a man who devoted all he had to his duty, no matter how seemingly insignificant his duty might appear at the time, no matter how great the odds.
And you should have seen those trucks on the rode to Tunisia. Those drivers were magnificent. All day and all night they rolled over those son-of-a-b****ing roads, never stopping, never faltering from their course, with shells bursting all around them all of the time. We got through on good old American guts. Many of those men drove for over forty consecutive hours. These men weren't combat men, but they were soldiers with a job to do. They did it, and in one hell of a way they did it. They were part of a team. Without team effort, without them, the fight would have been lost. All of the links in the chain pulled together and the chain became unbreakable.
Don't forget, you men don't know that I'm here. No mention of that fact is to be made in any letters. The world is not supposed to know what the hell happened to me. I'm not supposed to be commanding this Army. I'm not even supposed to be here in England. Let the first bastards to find out be the Goddamned Germans. Some day I want to see them raise up on their piss-soaked hind legs and howl, "Jesus Christ, it's the Goddamned Third Army again and that son-of-a-f***ing-b**** Patton."
We want to get the hell over there. The quicker we clean up this Goddamned mess, the quicker we can take a little jaunt against the purple-pissing Japs and clean out their nest, too — before the Goddamned Marines get all of the credit.
Sure, we want to go home. We want this war over with. The quickest way to get it over with is to go get the bastards who started it. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we can go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin and Tokyo. And when we get to Berlin I am personally going to shoot that paper hanging son-of-a-b**** Hitler.
Just like I'd shoot a snake!
When a man is lying in a shell hole, if he just stays there all day, a German will get to him eventually. The hell with that idea. The hell with taking it. My men don't dig foxholes. I don't want them to.
Foxholes only slow up an offensive. Keep moving. And don't give the enemy time to dig one either. We'll win this war, but we'll win it only by fighting and by showing the Germans that we've got more guts than they have;
or ever will have.
We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-b****es, we're going to rip out their living Goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun c*** suckers by the bushel-f***ing-basket. War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts. When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt off your face and realize that instead of dirt it's the blood and guts of what once was your best friend beside you,
you'll know what to do!
I don't want to get any messages saying, "I am holding my position." We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's b***s. We are going to twist his b***s and kick the living s*** out of him all of the time.
Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like crap through a goose;
like s*** through a tin horn!
From time to time there will be some complaints that we are pushing our people too hard. I don't give a good Goddamn about such complaints. I believe in the old and sound rule that an ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood. The harder we push, the more Germans we will kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed. Pushing means fewer casualties. I want you all to remember that.
There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you won't have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, "Well, your Granddaddy shoveled s*** in Louisiana." No, Sir.
You can look him straight in the eye and say,
"Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-B**** named Georgie Patton!"
That is all.

“I went into the army worth a million and a half dollars, and came out a beggar.”
--Nathan Bedford Forrest, who used much of his wealth to help his men acquire supplies during America's Civil War.

"When war is declared, Truth is the first casualty."
Arthur Ponsonby, MP England's House of Commons 1908

To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
Sun Tzu (c. 500 BC - ????) Chinese military strategist

Sunday, December the 16th 1944. Everything is quiet and the people of the Ardennes have their mind set on the first Christmas since the liberation of Belgium. Suddenly hell breaks loose. Hundreds of German artillery weapons try to take with an unseen destructive power the American positions in the Belgian Ardennes. A total of 250.000 soldiers, accompanied by a 1.000 tanks try to march through the Ardennes. Their goal : first take Bastogne, head for the Meuse river and then push to the north of Belgium to take Antwerp and its strategic harbor. Bastogne was bombed by the German troops from the 18th December onwards and encircled since the 20th of December. The town was defended by the 101st Airborn Division under the command of General A.C. McAuliffe. During a total of six days Bastogne underwent a terrible siege. In the neighbouring villages of Neffe, Marvie and Champs terrible battles take place during which numerous soldiers from both armies fell in the cold snowed-under hills of the Ardennes. At 11.30 am on December the 22nd, the Germans ask Bastogne to surrender.
The answer of General McAuliffe is short : NUTS

"War is a series of catastrophes that results in a victory."
--Georges Clemenceau Pronounced As: zh˘rzh klamńNso ,
1841-1929, French political figure, twice premier (1906-9, 1917-20), called "the Tiger.

"On our side, the war should be defensive… we are now in a [dangerous] position. Declining an engagement to flight may throw discouragement over the minds of many, but when the fate of America may be at Stake, we should continue the war as long as possible" This quote was written by George Washington in 1776. His purpose for saying this was to tell the Congress that the only way that the small Continental Army could win was to fight defensively, and to attack only when victory was certain

It is wise to forgive your enemies, but wiser toremember their names.

Should I become President...I will not risk American lives...by permitting any other nation to drag us into the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time through an unwise commitment that is unwise militarily, unnecessary to our security and unsupported by our allies.
John F. Kennedy, speech, New York Times, October 13, 1960.

Once upon a time our traditional goal in war--and can anyone doubt that we are at war?--was victory. Once upon a time we were proud of our strength, our military power. Now we seem ashamed of it. Once upon a time the rest of the world looked to us for leadership. Now they look to us for a quick handout and a fence-straddling international posture.
Barry M. Goldwater, Why Not Victory?, 1962

"The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders are no more. I AM NOT A VIRGINIAN, BUT AN AMERICAN!"
This quote was said by Patrick Henry in 1774 right after the Boston Tea Party had taken place. His purpose for saying this was to keep self-interest from destroying the common effort of some Americans. The effect it had was that it made American colonists work together and it angered the British.

It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.
- Douglas Mac Arthur (1880-1964), general, U.S. Army

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
- Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell was a pacifist and was born in Trelleck, Gwent in 1872. Unlike most pacifists, he defended the use of violence because he believed that violence was morally acceptable if it removed "bad systems of government, to put an end to wars and despotism, and bring liberty to the oppressed."

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.
- Jonathan Kozol
Jonathan Kozol is an author.

You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.
- Trotsky
Trotsky, Leon (1879-1940), Russian Marxist, who organized the revolution that brought the Bolsheviks (later Communists) to power in Russia in October 1917. An outstanding administrator and an eloquent theorist, Trotsky held a number of important posts in the government of Soviet Russia and then that of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) until he was ousted for his opposition to Communist Party leader Joseph Stalin in 1925. Following one assassination attempt in May 1940, Trotsky was murdered on Stalin's orders in August of that year by Ramon Mercader, a Spanish-born agent for the Soviet secret police.

Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. (Thich Nhat Hanh)
Thich Nhat Hanh (pronounced Tick-Naught-Han) is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk. During the war in Vietnam, he worked tirelessly for reconciliation between North and South Vietnam. His lifelong efforts to generate peace moved Martin Luther King, Jr. to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. He lives in exile in a small community in France where he teaches, writes, gardens, and works to help refugees worldwide. He has conducted many mindfulness retreats in Europe and North America helping veterans, children, environmentalists, psychotherapists, artists and many thousands of individuals seeking peace in their hearts, and in their world.

War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it. (Desiderius Erasmus)
Erasmus, Desiderius (1466?-1536), Dutch writer, scholar, and humanist, the chief interpreter to northern Europe of the intellectual currents of the Italian Renaissance.

"If I can't go back with my self-repect, I won't go back at all."
-Captain Theodore Harris, US Air Force-
(After serving in solitary confienment for 14 months as a POW in Korea)

"Be an example to your men, in your duty and in private life. Never spar yourself and let your troops see that you don't in your endurance of fatique and privation. Always be tactful and well-mannered. Avoid excessive sharpness or harshness of voice, which usually indicates the man who has shortcomings of his own to hide."
-German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

"Sir, I am doing wrong. Practicing to kill people is against my religion." York, speaking of target practice at human silhouettes.
"This uniform ain't for sale." York, on demands for his endorsement.
"It's over; let's just forget about it." York's modesty about the the event that brought him the Medal of Honor.
Alvin C. York, Medal of Honor Recipient from World War I, born in Pall Mall, Tennessee.

I was living peaceably when people began to speak bad of me.
You never caught me while I was shooting.
Photographers always chose the dramatic warlike pose for Geronimo. This would allow them to achieve their own personal motives. War is far more newsworthy than religion. In reality, Geronimo was a trusting, gentle, caring person. He was a Holy Man and Leader but never a Chief. Usen had bestowed The Power upon him. The Power protected him from death by his enemies. No one could kill him. In defense of his people, Geronimo was a fearless and fierce Warrior who fought many battles. For survival, all Apaches were taught to be Warriors in defense of the band. The Apache culture was a true democracy. Everyone had an equal say in the affairs of the band. No individual Apache was forced to do what she or he did not want to do. The Chief was never allowed to force his will on the band. Individual leaders would be chosen for a specific purpose, as the need arose.