War Quotes

Sourced

  • In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Good Will.
    o Winston Churchill, History of the Second World War

  • You say it is the good cause that hallows even war? I tell you: it is the good war that hallows every cause.
    o Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

  • As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.
    o Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist (1891)

  • To jaw-jaw is better than to war-war.
    o Winston Churchill, The New York Times (June 27, 1954)

  • You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride.
    o General William Tecumseh Sherman, letter to the City of Atlanta, William Tecumseh Sherman

  • I regard the death and mangling of a couple thousand men as a small affair, a kind of morning dash — and it may be well that we become so hardened.
    o General William Tecumseh Sherman, 1864-07, letter to his wife, July 1864

  • Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
    o Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953, a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors

  • Honor? There ain’t no honor in this war. The machine-guns killed it. And if the machine-guns didn’t, then the artillery did. And if the artillery didn’t, then the chlorine gas sure as hell did.
    o A soldier discussing the Great War, Great War: American Front

  • I can give no adequate description of the Horror Camp in which my men and myself were to spend the next month of our lives. It was just a barren wilderness, as bare as a chicken run. Corpses lay everywhere, some in huge piles, sometimes they lay singly or in pairs where they had fallen. It took a little time to get used to seeing men women and childen collapse as you walked by them and to restrain oneself from going to their assistance. One had to get used early to the idea that the individual just did not count. One knew that five hundred a day were dying and that five hundred a day were going on dying for weeks before anything we could do would have the slightest effect. It was, however, not easy to watch a child choking to death from diptheria when you knew a tracheotomy and nursing would save it, one saw women drowning in their own vomit because they were too weak to turn over, and men eating worms as they clutched a half loaf of bread purely because they had to eat worms to live and now could scarcely tell the difference. Piles of corpses, naked and obscene, with a woman too weak to stand proping herself against them as she cooked the food we had given her over an open fire; men and women crouching down just anywhere in the open relieving themselves of the dysentary which was scouring their bowels, a woman standing stark naked washing herself with some issue soap in water from a tank in which the remains of a child floated. It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tatooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.
    o Imperial War Museum (1945), as quoted by Banksy

  • If you wish for peace, understand war.
    o Strategy (1967) by B. H. Liddell Hart

  • If you’re in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at some guys, throw one of those little baby-type pumpkins. Maybe it’ll make everyone think of how crazy war is, and while they’re thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.
    o Jack Handey 12/11/93

  • It makes me hate war, but it doesn’t make me believe that we’re in a world that can live without war yet.
    o Lt. Josh Rushing, Pentagon spokesman, in Control Room (2004), upon viewing footage of dead and wounded American soldiers in Iraq

  • It takes two sides to make war. It only takes one side to make a massacre.
    o attrib. 2ACR, 1991, Al Samawah

  • Let us learn our lessons. […] Never believe any war will be smooth and easy or that anyone who embarks on that strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events… incompetent or arrogant commanders, untrustworthy allies, hostile neutrals, malignant fortune, ugly surprise, awful miscalculations.
    o Winston Churchill; quoted in Fein, Leonard, “This Time It’s Our War”, The Forward, July 25, 2003. URL accessed on 2007-01-13.

  • Look, there is one statement that bothers me more than anything else, and that’s the idea that when the troops are in combat everybody has to shut up. Imagine if we put troops in combat with a faulty rifle, and that rifle was malfunctioning and troops were dying as a result. I can’t think anyone would allow that to happen, that would not speak up. Well, what’s the difference between a faulty plan and strategy that’s getting just as many troops killed?
    o Gen. Anthony Zinni, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), former CENTCOM Commander-in-Chief, 2004-05-21, television interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes”

  • Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out…and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel … and in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for “the universal brotherhood of man” — with his mouth.
  • O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle-be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it-for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
    o Mark Twain, The War Prayer

  • Men, you’re lucky men. Soon you’ll all be fighting for your planet. Many of you will be dying for your planet. A few of you will be forced through a fine mesh screen for your planet. They will be the luckiest of all.”
    o Zapp Brannigan, Futurama: “War is the H-Word”

  • The struggle against war, properly understood and executed, presupposes the uncompromising hostility of the proletariat and its organizations, always and everywhere, toward its own and every other imperialist bourgeoisie…
    o Leon Trotsky “Resolution on the Antiwar Congress of the London Bureau” (July 1936)

  • The struggle against war and its social source, capitalism, presupposes direct, active, unequivocal support to the oppressed colonial peoples in their struggles and wars against imperialism. A ‘neutral’ position is tantamount to support of imperialism.
    o Leon Trotsky “Resolution on the Antiwar Congress of the London Bureau” (July 1936)

  • Then, Sir, we will give them the bayonet!
    o General Stonewall Jackson, 1861-07, in reply to Colonel B.E. Bee when he reported that the enemy were beating them back, first battle of Bull Run

  • War does not end strife – it sows it. War does not end hatred – it feeds it. For those who argue war is a necessary evil, I say you are half right. War is evil (where strife, there every evil work: Bible, James 3:16). But it is not necessary. War cannot be a necessary evil, because non-violence is a necessary good. The two cannot co-exist.
    o US Congressman John Lewis, [1]

  • War is fought by human beings.
    o On War by Carl von Clausewitz

  • War is a continuation of politics by other means.
    o On War’ by Carl von Clausewitz

  • War is not a pathology that, with proper hygiene and treatment, can be wholly prevented. War is a natural condition of the State, which was organized in order to be an effective instrument of violence on behalf of society. Wars are like deaths, which, while they can be postponed, will come when they will come and cannot be finally avoided.
    o The Shield of Achilles by Philip Bobbitt

  • War is too damn expensive these days to ever be justified as a solution
    o Clint Borgen,

  • If theres a hole, it’s a mans job to thrust into it!
    o Ryoma Nagare, Getter Robo

  • Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
    Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
    Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
    o In an interview with Gilbert in Göring’s jail cell during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (18 April 1946), [2]

  • War is a survival among us from savage times and affects now chiefly the the boyish and unthinking element of the nation.
    o Percival Lowell, Mars and its Canals (1906), Chapter XXXII, Conclusion

  • War! Its fantastic!
    o Major Harbinger, Hot Shots! Part Duex, after sabotaging an Iraqi mortar team

  • This is what I hate about war. No matter who starts it it always comes to this.
    o Alvin H. Davenport, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War

  • Let us make war, since evidently, you have found peace intolerable.
    o Publius Scipio Africanus to Hannibal before the battle of Zama

  • Don’t rejoice in his defeat, you men. Although the world stood up and stopped the Bastard, the Bitch that bore him is in heat again.
    o Bertolt Brecht, May 5, 1945

  • I have not come to you except for the purpose of restoring your rights from the hands of the oppressors…
    o Napoleon Bonaparte’s motivation for invading Egypt in 1798

  • It is fun to be in the same decade with you.
    o Franklin D. Roosevelt to Sir Winston Churchill during World War II

  • Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum. (Latin)
    o Translation: Therefore, whoever wishes for peace, let him prepare for war.
    o Vegetius in De Re Militari

  • War will not end until all of the violent people are killed.
    o Roger Langbecker, Czarmangis

  • It is a tribute to the humanity of ordinary people that horrible acts must be camouflaged in a thicket of deceptive words like “security,” “peace,” “freedom,” “democracy,” the “national interest” in order to justify them.
    o Howard Zinn, On War

  • 100,000 soldiers are reported to have died in the Iraqi war. If you count 100 relatives of each soldier, it means that practically there are millions of people who now have antagonism toward the white people of America. These Arab people will remember this country whose main religion is Christianity, who came and destroyed all Iraqi facilities and industry. They won’t easily forget this.
  • o Sun Myung Moon Reverend Sun Myung Moon Speaks on New Heaven and New Earth Centering On Our Pledge 1991-03-03

  • You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.
    o Leon Trotsky

    Unsourced

  • You must never start a war, but when you start it you must never stop.
    o Unknown

  • Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.
    o Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

  • War. The hell where youth and laughter go.
    o Siegfred Sassoon

  • War is a joke played by old men on the young.
    o Unknown

  • War is more important than peace. We can have war without peace but not peace without war.
    o Unknown

  • Religion and Ideology have been the only causes of war, and always will be.
    o Zac Gane

  • I am sick and tired of war. It’s glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.
    o General William Tecumseh Sherman

  • War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is the sooner it’s over.
    o General William Tecumseh Sherman

  • Man has no right to kill his brother. It is no excuse that he does so in uniform: he only adds the infamy of servitude to the crime of murder.
    o Percy Bysshe Shelley

  • A nice war is a war where everybody who is heroic is a hero, and everybody more or less is a hero in a nice war. Now this war [World War II] is not at all a nice war.
    o Gertrude Stein

  • A pre-emptive war in ‘defense’ of freedom would surely destroy freedom, because one simply cannot engage in barbarous action without becoming a barbarian, because one cannot defend human values by calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal damage to the values one is trying to defend.
    o J. William Fulbright

  • A really great people, proud and high-spirited, would face all the disasters of war rather than purchase that base prosperity which is bought at the price of national honor.
    o Theodore Roosevelt

  • Аfter each war there is a little less democracy to save.
    o Brooks Atkinson

  • Each war is another lost world.
    o Leonid S. Sukhorukov

  • All wars are wars among thieves who are too cowardly to fight and therefore induce the young manhood of the whole world to do the fighting for them.
    o Emma Goldman

  • All wars are civil wars because all men are brothers.
    o François Fenelon

  • Don’t fear a man with an arsenal of bombs – Fear the man who only wants one.
  • Don’t talk to me about atrocities; all war is an atrocity.
    o Field-Marshall Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener

  • History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak, or the timid.
    o Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • How good music and bad reasons sound when one marches against an enemy!
    o Friedrich Nietzsche

  • I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they’d never expect it.
    o Jack Handey

  • I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.
    o Dwight David Eisenhower

  • I have concluded, there is no war, in the history of man, that could not have been avoided by 15 minutes of honest diplomacy.
    o Andrew Mutton

  • I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.
    o Franklin Delano Roosevelt

  • I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
    o Albert Einstein

  • I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes.
    o Douglas MacArthur

  • I went into the British Army believing that if you want peace you must prepare for war. I believe now that if you prepare for war, you get war.
    o Major-General Frederick B. Maurice

  • If people would just demand that war be an absolute last plan of action, to be used after, and only after, all peaceful attempts have failed, this world would see far less bloodshed and fewer birthdays missed and more New Years spent together with loved ones and more summer fishing trips.
    o Rachel L. Adams

  • If soldiers were to begin to think, not one of them would remain in the army.
    o Frederick the Great

  • If we don’t end war, war will end us.
    o H. G. Wells

  • If we give up all future wars we must give up our empires and all hope of empire.
    o Georges Clemenceau

  • In war, the morale is to the material as three is to one.
    o Napoleon Bonaparte

  • In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.
    o Jose Narosky

  • In war there is no prize for the runner-up.
    o General Omar Bradley

  • In war, there is no such thing as a cheap shot.
    o Rubedo, the Crystal Blood; Written to portray the nature of war in a game

  • In war, truth is the first casualty.
    o Aeschylus Aeschylus

  • In war, with its enormous friction, even the mediocre is quite an achievement.
    o Helmuth Johann Ludwig von Moltke

  • In wartime truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.
    o Winston Churchill

  • It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.
    o General Douglas MacArthur

  • It is missing the point to think that the martial art is solely in cutting a man down; it is in killing evil. It is in the strategem of killing the evil of one man and giving life to ten thousand
    o Yagyu Munemori

  • It is well that war is so terrible — lest we should grow too fond of it.
    o Robert E. Lee

  • Let no one ever, from henceforth say one word in any way countenancing war. It is dangerous even to speak of how here and there the individual may gain some hardship of soul by it. For war is hell, and those who institute it are criminals. Were there even anything to say for it, it should not be said; for its spiritual disasters far outweigh any of its advantages.
    o Robert Nichols

  • Men changed war, war changed men.
  • Might doesn’t make right, it makes fact.
    o Elimelech Packouz

  • Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
    o Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Only the dead have seen the end of war.
    o Plato Attributed to Plato by Douglas MacArthur

  • Patriots always talk of dying for their country, and never of killing for their country.
    o Bertrand Russell

  • Peace cannot be achieved by force, only by understanding.
    o Albert Einstein

  • Quand les riches se font la guerre, ce sont les pauvres qui meurent.
    o Translation: When the rich make war, it’s the poor that die.
    o Jean-Paul Sartre

  • So long as there are men there will be wars.
    o Albert Einstein

  • Sometimes I think war is God’s way of teaching us geography.
    o Paul Rodrigues

  • Sweat saves blood, blood saves lives, brain save both.
    o Erwin Rommel

  • The most persistent sound which reverberates through man’s history is the beating of war drums.
    o Arthur Koestler

  • The object of war is a more perfect peace.
    o General William Tecumseh Sherman

  • The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his.
    o General George S. Patton

  • The only good part of a war is its ending.
    o Abraham Lincoln

  • The purpose of all war is ultimately peace.
    o Saint Augustine

  • The purpose of war is to push back the unrighteous enemy, not to exterminate the human race.
    o Marshal Daun of Austria.

  • “There are no atheists in foxholes” isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes.
    o James Morrow

  • There can only be peace when they will start to love their children more than they hate us.
    o Golda Meir

  • There is no war crime, war is a crime.
    o D.R.I.

  • This is the field where the battle did not happen, where the unknown soldier did not die. This is the field where grass joined hands, where no monument stands, and the only heroic thing is the sky.
    o William Stafford

  • This war, like the next war, is a war to end war.
    o David Lloyd George

  • Three cheers for war in general.
    o Benito Mussolini

  • War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and imposes the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to make it.
    o Benito Mussolini

  • War begins with one man’s lack of soul, intellect and reasoning.
    o William Cameron

  • War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.
    o Bertrand Russell

  • War in our time has become an anachronism. Whatever the case in the past, war in the future can serve no useful purpose. A war which became general, as any limited action might, would only result in the virtual destruction of mankind.
    o General of the Army Dwight David Eisenhower

  • War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which 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, and has no chance of being free unless made or kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
    o John Stuart Mill

  • War is delightful to those who have not experienced it.
    o Desiderius Erasmus

  • War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.
    o Ambrose Bierce

  • War is harmful, not only to the conquered but to the conqueror.
    o Ludwig von Mises

  • War is just one more big government program.
    o Joseph Sobran

  • War is not nice.
    o Barbara Bush

  • War is over, if you want it.
    o John Lennon

  • War is sweet to those who have never experienced it.
    o Pindar

  • War is too serious a matter to entrust to military men.
    o Georges Clemenceau

  • War kills men, and men deplore the loss; but war also crushes bad principles and tyrants, and so saves societies.
    o Charles Caleb Colton

  • War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.
    o Jimmy Carter

  • War should be made a crime, and those who instigate it should be punished as criminals.
    o Charles Evans Hughes

  • War would end if the dead could return.
    o Stanley Baldwin

  • Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.
    o Herbert Hoover

  • We have seen the enemy and he is us.
    o Walt Kelly

  • We make war that we may live in peace.
    o Aristotle

  • We’ll fight them until Hell freezes over and then we’ll fight them on ice
  • What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?
    o Mohandas Gandhi

  • What is War Crimes when war in itself is a crime?
    o Calvin Austin

  • When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. War settles nothing.
    o Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.
    o Plato

  • When your mother and father are having a fight, do you want them to kill each other? Or do you just want them to stop fighting?
    o Farewell to Manzanar Ko Wakatsuki

  • You can’t say civilization don’t advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way.
    o Will Rogers

  • We should not ask ‘Why does an event like the Great War occur?’ But rather, given our nature, ‘Why does it not occur more often?’
    o Jorge Luis Borges

  • What a state we are in now. Peace has broken out.
    o Napoleon

  • Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.
    o John F. Kennedy

    War quotations in fiction

  • I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. The enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days. As I’m sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called “possession of my soul.” There are times since, I’ve felt like a child, born of those two fathers. But be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again. To teach to others what we know, and to try with what’s left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.
    o Chris Taylor Platoon by Oliver Stone

  • We who have seen war, will never stop seeing it. In the silence of the night, we will always hear the screams. So this is our story, for we were soldiers once, and young.
    o Joe Galloway in We Were Soldiers

  • Welcome to the Suck
    o Troy in Jarhead

  • Every war is different, every war is the same.
    o Anthony Swofford in Jarhead

  • A story. A man fires a rifle for many years. and he goes to war. And afterwards he comes home, and he sees that whatever else he may do with his life – build a house, love a woman, change his son’s diaper – he will always remain a jarhead. And all the jarheads killing and dying, they will always be me. We are still in the desert.
    o Anthony Swofford in Jarhead

  • If might is right, then love has no place in the world. It may be so, it may be so. But I don’t have the strength to live in a world like that, Rodrigo.
    o Father Gabriel in The Mission

  • Any man with a collection like this is a man who’s never set foot on a battlefield. To him a minié ball from Shiloh is just an artifact. But to a combat vet, it’s a hunk of metal that caused some poor bastard a world of pain.
    o General Eugene Irwin in The Last Castle

  • Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish you can spend them fighting for a lost cause. But I think that you know, you’ve already lost.
    o Command & Conquer Kane

  • Anyone who clings to the historically untrue — and thoroughly immoral — doctrine that ‘violence never settles anything’ I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence settled their fates quite nicely. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.
    o Mr. Dubois in Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein

  • Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war.
    o Julius Caesar William Shakespeare

  • We few, we happy few, we band of brothers: for he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.
    o King Henry, in King Henry V, act 4 scene 3, William Shakespeare

  • Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; or close the wall up with our English dead! In peace, there’s nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage.
    o King Henry, in King Henry V, act 3 scene 1, by William Shakespeare

  • in God’s name, march: True hope is swift, and flies with swallow’s wings: Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.
    o Richard III, act 5 scene 2, by William Shakespeare

  • If we be conquered, let men conquer us, and not these bastard Bretons; whom our fathers have in their own land beaten, bobb’d, and thump’d, and in record, left them the heirs of shame. Shall these enjoy our lands? lie with our wives? Ravish our daughters?
    o Richard III, act 5 scene 3, by William Shakespeare

  • Every sabre has a curving smile.
    o All About Everything by Leonid Sukhorukov

  • It’s all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Yet we stand here in the middle of no man’s land.
    o Sergeant Steiner considers the causes of WW2’s eastern front as he releases a young Russian soldier, Cross of Iron

  • Look, all I know is what they taught me at Command School. There are certain rules about a war. Rule #1 is young men die. And Rule #2 is doctors can’t change Rule #1.
    o Henry Blake M
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  • Make love; not war!
    o 1960’s saying

  • On the frontlines, there is but one commandment: Thou Shalt Kill.
    o tagline of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War

  • In war, there is poetry; in death, release.
    o Harlequin of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War

  • The purpose of war is to support your government’s decisions by force.
    o Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

  • There are always casualties in war, gentlemen- otherwise it wouldn’t be war. It’d just be a rather nasty argument with lots of pushing-and-shoving.
    o Arnold Rimmer in Red Dwarf: Meltdown

  • They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say “Shit, it’s raining!”
    o Ruby in Cold Mountain 2003

  • War is good for business.
    o 34th Rule of Acquisition (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – ‘Destiny’)

  • Peace is good for business.
    o 35th Rule of Acquisition

  • WAR IS PEACE.
    o The Party in 1984 by George Orwell

  • The silence spreads. I talk and must talk. So I speak to him and say to him: “Comrade, I did not want to kill you. If you jumped in here again, I would not do it, if you would be sensible too. But you were only an idea to me before, an abstraction that lived in my mind and called forth its appropriate response. It was that abstraction I stabbed. But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony–forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy? If we threw away these rifles and this uniform you could be my brother, just like Kat and Albert. Take twenty years of my life, comrade, and stand up–take more, for I do not know what I can even attempt to do with it now.”
    o – Paul Bäumer All Quiet on the Western Front

  • War. War never changes.
    o From the introductions of the computer games Fallout and Fallout 2

  • You do not want a war. You have seen violence, you have suffered loss. But you have seen nothing of war. War is not just the business of death. It is the antithesis of life. Hope tortured and flayed, reason dismembered, grinning at its limbs in its lap. Decency raped to death.
    o Urrkon of the D’avvrus, Joss Whedon’s Fray

  • War is much more fun when you’re winning!!
    o Martok (A Klingon)

  • We’re Klingons. We don’t embrace other cultures, we conquer them.
    o Martok (A Klingon)

  • “You, you, and you… Panic. The rest of you, come with me.”
    o Sergeant Major Jonas Blane (The Unit)

  • “There are more planes in the ocean than submarines in the sky.”
    o U.S.N. sailor

  • “When people ask me what I did in the war, I tell them I did the same thing we all did. We fought for what was right. I’ve come to realize, there’s nothing good about war… But there is good in why you fight wars. And we were all fighting for the same thing.”
    o Lt. William Holt, Medal of Honor European Assault

  • Chaos. Panic. Disorder. My work here is done.
    o Unknown

  • You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace. But you cannot have peace and a division of our country. If the United States submits to a division now, it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is eternal war. The United States does and must assert its authority, wherever it once had power; for, if it relaxes one bit to pressure, it is gone, and I believe that such is the national feeling. This feeling assumes various shapes, but always comes back to that of Union. Once admit the Union, once more acknowledge the authority of the national Government, and, instead of devoting your houses and streets and roads to the dread uses of war, I and this army become at once your protectors and supporters, shielding you from danger, let it come from what quarter it may. I know that a few individuals cannot resist a torrent of error and passion, such as swept the South into rebellion, but you can point out, so that we may know those who desire a government, and those who insist on war and its desolation.
    o Unknown

  • Now he conducted her through his armouries where he kept his weapons and weapons for his fighting men and all panoply of war. There he showed her swords and spears, maces and axes and daggers, orfreyed and damascened and inlaid with jewels; byrnies and baldricks and shields; blades so keen, a hair blown against them in a wind should be parted in twain; charmed helms on which no ordinary sword would bite. And Juss said unto the Queen, “Madam, what thinkest thou of these swords and spears? For know well that these be the ladder’s rungs that we of Demonland climbed up by to that signiory and principality which now we hold over the four corners of the world.” She answered, “O my lord, I think nobly of them. For an ill part it were while we joy in the harvest, to contemn the tools that prepared the land for it and reaped it.”
    o E. R. Eddison, The Worm Ouroboros, page 499.

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