Ferdinand Foch

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The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.

Ferdinand Foch OM GCB (1851-10-021929-03-20) was a French soldier and writer. During the final months of the First World War he was the supreme commander of Allied forces.

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  • Mon centre cède, ma droite recule, situation excellente, j'attaque.
    • My centre is giving way, my right is retreating, situation excellent, I am attacking.
    • Quoted in Raymond Recouly Foch: Le Vainqueur de la Guerre (1919), chap. 6.
    • Spoken during the First Battle of the Marne, September 1914.
  • The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.
    • As quoted in The 32d Infantry Division in World War II (1957) by Harold Whittle Blakeley, p. 3
  • I am conscious of having served England as I served my own country.
    • As engraved on the statue of Ferdinand Foch on Grosvenor Square, London.
  • A radish will never stand in the way of victory.
    • As quoted in M*A*S*H season 3 episode 1, "The General Flipped At Dawn"
  • This is not a peace. It is an armistice for 20 years.
  • In tactics, action is the governing rule of war.
    • Precepts and Judgments, 1919
  • One does simply what one can in order to apply what one knows.
    • The Principles of War, 1913
  • The laurels of victory are at the point of the enemy bayonets. They must be plucked there; they must be carried by a hand-to-hand fight if one really means to conquer.
    • Precepts and Judgments, 1919
  • A beaten general is disgraced forever.
    • Precepts and Judgments, 1919
  • There is but one means to extenuate the effects of enemy fire: it is to develop a more violent fire oneself.
    • Precepts and Judgments, 1919
  • None but a coward dares to boast that he has never known fear.
    • Encarta Book of Quotations - Page 338 by Bill Swainson, Anne H. Soukhanov - Reference - 2000
  • The will to conquer is the first condition of victory.
    • The Book of Positive Quotations - Page 370 by John Cook, Steve Deger, Leslie Ann Gibson - Self-Help - 2007
  • Les avions sont des jouets intéressants mais n'ont aucune utilité militaire
    • Airplanes are interesting toys, but of no military value.
    • Said in 1911 and referenced in "Time: A Traveler's Guide - Page 249 by Clifford A. Pickover - Science - 1998

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