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Military Quotations from around the world.

There are few recorded quotations of Australian or New Zealand military men. 

Aussies & Kiwis have never had large standing professional armies with lots of senior officers with time on their hands. Ergo; few quotes. 

  • Our fighting men tend to leave the "speechifying" to the politicians. 

The navies, armies & air forces we have raised tend to be so busy winning battles that they don't have time to write fancy prose. 

Therefore these are drawn from all over the world.

  • This is one of the most famous Australia quotations. It was a written order issued by Lt. F P Bethune. He had been ordered to hold his machine-gun position at all costs. His order read:

    Special Order of No 1 Section 13/3/1918.

    • This position will be held and the Section will remain here until relieved.
    • The enemy cannot be allowed to interfere with this programme.
    • If the Section cannot remain here alive it will remain here dead, but in any case it will remain here.
    • Should any man, through shell shock or any other cause, attempt to surrender he will remain here dead.
    • Should all guns be blown out the Section will use Mills bombs and other novelties.
    • Finally, the position as stated, will be held.
  • Bethune and his Section survived there for 18 days and was relieved. He died peacefully in Tasmania in 1942.
  • People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. George Orwell

Go back and tell your Commandant, "Australia's here to stay". Maj H G Moor, South Africa, 1900 on being asked to surrender.
I cannot surrender. I am in command of Australians who would cut my throat if I did. Colonel C Hore, Elands River, South Africa
Surrender? Don't be bloody silly, we're Australian. Anonymous
I was asked recently if I ever saw any discrimination in the Army. I replied that the Australian Army could never be accused of discrimination. They treat everyone like shit. Former soldier (initials KJ)
Cry "Havoc" and let slip the Dogs of War. William Shakespeare ("Julius Caesar")
Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. General George Patton
The proof of a man is the danger test, It shows him up at his worst, or his best. Edgar A Guest
No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair. George S. Patton 
Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free. Dwight D. Eisenhower 
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. George S. Patton 
Come on you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?"
Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly, USMC 4 June 1918, France.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing Edmund Burke
What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog. Dwight D. Eisenhower 
When placed in command - take charge. General  "Stormin' Norman" Schwarzkopf
Burn my Flag and I will shoot you........but I'll shoot you with a lot of love, like a good American Johnny Cash, country music singer
The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave Patrick Henry
Victory belongs to the most persevering. Napoleon Bonaparte
From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots. Thomas Jefferson
We have met the enemy and they are ours! Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, 1813
They are a damn site better than the U.S. Army, at least we know that they will be there in the morning. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
when a journalist asked him about being surrounded by 22 enemy divisions
Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won't be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race! Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC
Veni, Vedi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered) Julius Caesar
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 and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. John Stewart Mill
War is cruelty. There's no use trying to reform it, the crueler it is the sooner it will be over. William Tecumseh Sherman
We're surrounded. That simplifies the problem.   Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC Version 1
All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of
us, they're behind us...they can't get away this time
Version 2
They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked on both sides by an enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can't get away from us now!  Version 3
Freedom isn't free. Anonymous
Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. Winston Churchill
If it moves, salute it; if it doesn't move, pick it up; and if you can't pick it up, paint it. Anonymous
The 'eathen in 'is blindness must end where 'e began. But the backbone of the Army is the non-commissioned man! Rudyard Kipling
Soldiers are men...most apt for all manner of services and best able to support and endure the infinite toils and continual hazards of war. Henry Knyvett
A soldier is he whose blood makes the glory of the general. Adapted from Henry G. Bohn
Army: A body of men assembled to rectify the mistakes of the diplomats. Josephus Daniels
Two armies are two bodies which meet and try to frighten each other. Napoleon I
Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines don't have that problem. Ronald Reagan
A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living. John F. Kennedy
Take me to the Brig. I want to see the "real Marines". Major General Chesty Puller, USMC - while on a Battalion inspection.
Neither a wise nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him. Dwight D. Eisenhower 
A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons. Admiral David D. Porter, USN
The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his. George Patton
You do not lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Diplomats are just as essential in starting a war as soldiers are in finishing it. Will Rogers
"Si vis pacem, para bellum" ("If you want peace, prepare for war!") Flavius Vegetius Renatus (ca 390 AD)
Don't forget that you're First Marines! Not all the Communists in hell can overrun you! Chesty Puller motivating his men at Chosin Reservoir
Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. Therefore do not take lightly the perils of war. Thucydides
Soldiers usually win the battles and generals get the credit for them. Napoleon Bonaparte
We make war that we may live in peace. Aristotle
Battles are sometimes won by generals; wars are nearly always won by sergeants and privates. F.E. Adcock
We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship. Omar Nelson Bradley 
In war there is no substitute for victory. General Douglas MacArthur
Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war. Ernest Miller Hemmingway
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. Colin Powell 
The number of medals on an officer's breast varies in inverse proportion to the square of the distance of his duties from the front line. Charles Edward Montague
The mail service has been excellent out here, and in my opinion this is all that the Air Force has accomplished during the war. Chesty Puller in a letter to his wife while in Korea
Always forgive your enemies--nothing annoys them so much. Oscar Wilde
Live for something rather than die for nothing. George Patton 
Being in the army is like being in the Boy Scouts, except that the Boy Scouts have adult supervision. Blake Clark
There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear. George S. Patton
Discipline is simply the art of making the soldiers fear their officers more than the enemy. Helvetius
You don't hurt 'em if you don't hit 'em. Lieutenant-General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller USMC
Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier. Samuel Johnson
Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. Dwight Eisenhower 
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. George Orwell
Now I recall the Recon Marines ragged, filthy cammie shirted young men in green paint who move silent like the fog with deadly purpose in their eyes. Swift, Silent, Deadly. I smile. GYSGT Correll, USMC, Retired, Recon Marine
There is no victory at bargain basement prices. Dwight D. Eisenhower
To dilute the will to win is to destroy the purpose of the game. There is no substitute for victory. Douglas MacArthur 
The God of War hates those who hesitate. Euripides, 480-406 BC.
Paper-work will ruin any military force Lt-Gen Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller USMC
Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking. Ferdinand Foch, at the Battle of the Marne
When a US Army captain asked him for the direction of the line of retreat, Col Puller called his Tank Commander, gave them the Army position, and ordered: 'If they start to pull back from that line, even one foot, I want you to open fire on them'. Turning to the captain, he replied "Does that answer your question? We're here to fight". Chesty Puller  USMC; At Koto-ri in Korea
"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion." General Norman Schwartzkopf.
"A land without memories is a people without liberty." (CSA) General Robert E Lee, the only man in history to be offered the command of BOTH sides of a war.


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