War

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Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind - John F. Kennedy

War is a conflict involving the organized use of weapons and physical force by states or other large-scale groups. Warring parties usually hold territory, which they can win or lose; and each has a leading person or organization which can surrender, or collapse, thus ending the war. Wars are usually a series of campaigns between two opposing sides involving a dispute over sovereignty, territory, resources, religion, or ideology. A war to liberate an occupied country is called a "war of liberation"; a war between internal factions within a state is a civil war. Until the end of World War II, participants usually issued formal declarations of war.

Sourced

  • 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."
  • 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.
  • There dwell and toil, in the British village of Dumdrudge, usually some five hundred souls. From these…there are successively selected, during the French War, say thirty able-bodied men: Dumdrudge, at her own expense, has suckled and nursed them; she has not without difficulty and sorrow, fed them up to manhood, and trained them to crafts, so that once can weave, another build, another hammer, and the weakest can stand under thirty stone avoirdupois. Nevertheless, amid much weeping and swearing, they are selected; all dressed in red; and shipped away, at the public charges, some two thousand miles, or say only to the south of Spain; and fed there till wanted. And now to that same spot in the south of Spain, are thirty similar French artisans, from a French Dumdrudge, in like manner wending: Till at length, after infinite effort, the two parties come into actual juxtaposition; and Thirty stands fronting Thirty, each with a gun in his hand. Straightway the word "Fire!" is given: and they blow the souls out of one another and in the place of sixty brisk useful craftsmen, the world has sixty dead carcasses, which it must bury, and anew shed tears for. Had these men any quarrel? Busy as the Devil is, not the smallest!... their Governors had fallen out; and, instead of shooting one another, had the cunning to make these poor blockheads shoot. Alas, so it is in Deutschland, and hitherto in all other lands...
    • Thomas Carlyle in "Sartor Resartus", quoted in "In Flanders Fields: The 1917 Campaign" by Leon Wolff (1958)
  • War is something absurd, useless, that nothing can justify.
    • Louis de Cazenave, french veteran of World War I, in [1] BBC News report (2005)]
  • In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Good Will.
  • To jaw-jaw is better than to war-war.
  • 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.


  • 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."
  • 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.
  • Then, Sir, we will give them the bayonet!
    • 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
  • Now the following questions have to be raised: did the occupation of other countries improve our own happiness? Does the individual German get anything out of such conquests? Won't we get into trouble with another powerful nation some place tomorrow or the day after? The differences in interests among the large nations will not be diminished by expanding ourselves.
  • War will not end until all of the violent people are killed.
  • 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.
  • War is a survival among us from savage times and affects now chiefly the boyish and unthinking element of the nation.
  • I hate war. War is terrible.
    • John McCain, stated during his speech at the Republic National Convention
  • Only a fool or a fraud talks tough or romantically about war.
    • John McCain, quoted in Newsweek (23 June 2008), p. 21
  • "Soldier boy, made of clay,
    Now an empty shell,
    Twenty one, only son,
    But he served us well,
    Bred to kill, not to care,
    Do just as we say,
    Finished here, greeting death,
    He's yours to take away."
  • But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.
    • John Stuart Mill in "The Contest in America" Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 24, Issue 143 (April 1862), page 683-684
  • You say it is the good cause that hallows even war? I tell you: it is the good war that hallows every cause.
  • It makes me hate war, but it doesn't make me believe that we're in a world that can live without war yet.
    • Lt. Josh Rushing, Pentagon spokesman, in Control Room (2004), upon viewing footage of dead and wounded American soldiers in Iraq
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • General William Tecumseh Sherman, letter of September 12, 1864, to the Mayor and City Council of Atlanta, responding to their request that Sherman rescind his order to evacuate citizens from Atlanta; quoted in his Memoirs
  • 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...
    • 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.
    • Leon Trotsky "Resolution on the Antiwar Congress of the London Bureau" (July 1936)
  • 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.
  • Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum. (Latin)
  • 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.
  • 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?
    • Gen. Anthony Zinni, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), former CENTCOM Commander-in-Chief, 2004-05-21, television interview on CBS's 60 Minutes
  • 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.

Unknown authorship

  • I am the strongest, I am the bravest.
I am the most powerful, I am the greatest.
I am even the smartest and the wisest, that i know for i can predict who will win;
and that is you, fore you are the one who is willing to kill me. Ref: Alexander Justice
    • Ref: Alexander Justice
  • 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.
  • War! Its fantastic!
    • Major Harbinger, in 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.
    • Alvin H. Davenport, in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • War is good for business.
    • 34th Rule of Acquisition Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - "Destiny"
  • Peace is good for business.
    • 35th Rule of Acquisition

Unsourced


  • War is a terrible thing, but I can think of many things worse than war
  • You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.
  • Only trough war a man can achieve absolute fullness. And only a soldier that risks his life willingly will be able to experience the ultimate illumination that comes with war. Living on the edge, giving in to the bestial instincts that haunt the back of each man’s head, leaving your body on the way between the enemy and your family, friends and nation – with a clear conscience that supports the moral backbone of each warrior.
  • Let us make war, since evidently, you have found peace intolerable.
  • War is too damn expensive these days to ever be justified as a solution
  • 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.
  • I have not come to you except for the purpose of restoring your rights from the hands of the oppressors...
  • I want war. To me all means will be right. My motto is not "Don't, whatever you do, annoy the enemy." My motto is "Destroy him by all and any means." I am the one who will wage the war!
  • Originally war was nothing but a struggle for pasture grounds. To-day war is nothing but a struggle for the riches of nature. By virtue of an inherent law, these riches belong to him who conquers them.
  • I shall give a propagandist reason for starting the war, no matter whether it is plausible or not. The victor will not be asked afterwards, whether he told the truth or not. When starting and waging war it is not right that matters but victory. Close your hearts to pity. Act brutally, eighty million people must obtain what is their right. Their existence must be made secure. The strongest man is right.
  • The god of war has gone over to the other side.
  • Generals think war should be waged like the tourneys of the Middle Ages. I have no use for knights. I need revolutionaries.
  • I wondered whether you had become disgusted with us war criminals - particularly me, the so-called archcriminal of them all.
  • Germany could not win this war because it was in league with the devil. This war would not have ended without revolution.
  • Ethical obligation has to subordinate itself to the totalitarian nature of war.
  • I'm iron. I lasted through ten years of war, and now I can last through this. It's true, it's not good for the nerves.
  • Do you think it's so nice to sit in prison after ten years of war for the Fatherland? If I would be God, I would do it differently!
  • We shall meet again. I have believed in God. I obeyed the laws of war and was loyal to my flag.
  • It was sad. It's war. Many others died, too. It's war.
  • I am skeptical about preventing wars. I doubt if they can be prevented. There will always be wars. Judging by past experiences, working for peace now would be as ineffective as ever. It's a law of nature.
  • It is the curse of propaganda during war that one works only with black and white.
  • The colossus of World War II seemed to be like a pyramid turned upside down...
  • The war we are fighting until victory or the bitter end is in its deepest sense and war between Christ and Marx.
  • Enormous masses of ammunition, such as the human mind had never imagined before the war, were hurled upon the bodies of men who passed a miserable existence scattered about in mud-filled shell-holes.
  • War is possible only if you have a lot of enemies. If all the enemies get together and form one front - if you cut down the number of enemies - there would be no war.
  • We have lost a battle, but I assure to you that we will not lose the war!
  • 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.
  • Well, it was war - I could not have carried on as an administrative officer if I had let myself be swayed emotionally by my feelings.
  • War is inevitable, and this time, it will be truly world wide. It will unravel everywhere and there will be no limit to its battlefields.
  • My knowledge of pain, learned with the sabre, taught me not to be afraid. And just as in dueling when you must concentrate on your enemy's cheek, so, too, in war. You cannot waste time on feinting and sidestepping. You must decide on your target and go in.
  • We are in no position to withstand a prolonged static war. Wherever the allies concentrate their forces they will break through. For us there can be no question of military victory or of winning the war. Our only hope is to hold on long enough to allow some development on the political front...
  • In the burning and devastated cities, we daily experienced the direct impact of war. It spurred us to do our utmost...the bombing and the hardships that resulted from them did not weaken the morale of the populace.
  • The memory of war weighs undiminished upon the people's minds. That is because deeper than material wounds, moral wounds are smarting, inflicted by the so-called peace treaties. ... Material loss can be made up through renewed labor, but the moral wrong which has been inflicted upon the conquered peoples, in the peace dictates, leaves a burning scar on the people's conscience.
  • Since I am an immature and wicked man, war and unrest appeal to me more than good bourgeois order. Brutality is respected, the people need wholesome fear. They want to fear someone. They want someone to frighten them and make them shudderingly submissive.
  • 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.
  • War never ends, it only pales, reddens, blackens, and lightens again.
  • 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.
  • It takes two sides to make war. It only takes one side to make a massacre.
    • attrib. 2ACR, 1991, Al Samawah
  • 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.
  • War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is the sooner it's over.
  • 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.
  • Those who do war work, while refusing to fight, put the "fist" in "pacifist".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Аfter each war there is a little less democracy to save.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.
  • I have concluded, there is no war, in the history of man, that could not have been avoided by 15 minutes of honest diplomacy.
  • 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.
  • I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If soldiers were to begin to think, not one of them would remain in the army.
  • If we give up all future wars we must give up our empires and all hope of empire.
  • In war there is no prize for the runner-up.
  • In war, there is no such thing as a cheap shot.
    • Rubedo, the Crystal Blood; Written to portray the nature of war in a game
  • In wartime truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.
  • 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
  • It is well that war is so terrible — lest we should grow too fond of it.
  • 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.
  • Patriots always talk of dying for their country, and never of killing for their country.
  • Peace cannot be achieved by force, only by understanding.
  • Quand les riches se font la guerre, ce sont les pauvres qui meurent.
  • Sweat saves blood, blood saves lives, brain save both.
  • The most persistent sound which reverberates through man's history is the beating of war drums.
  • The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his.
    • General George S. Patton
  • The purpose of war is to push back the unrighteous enemy, not to exterminate the human race.
  • "There are no atheists in foxholes" isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes.
  • There can only be peace when they will start to love their children more than they hate us.
  • There is no war crime, war is a crime.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • War begins with one man's lack of soul, intellect and reasoning.
  • 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.
  • War is harmful, not only to the conquered but to the conqueror.
  • War is sweet to those who have never experienced it.
  • War kills men, and men deplore the loss; but war also crushes bad principles and tyrants, and so saves societies.
  • 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.
  • War should be made a crime, and those who instigate it should be punished as criminals.
  • Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.
  • We make war that we may live in peace.
  • 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?
  • What is War Crimes when war in itself is a crime?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You can't say civilization don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way.
  • 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?'
  • What a state we are in now. Peace has broken out.
    • Napoleon
  • Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.

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.
  • “[...] the war, the true war, has never been one waged by droids, or warships, or soldiers. They are but crude matter, obstacles against which we test ourselves. The true war is waged in the hearts of all living things, against our own natures, light or dark. That is what shapes and binds this galaxy, not these creations of man. You are the battleground."
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • We few, we happy few, we band of brothers: for he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.
  • 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.
  • in God's name, march: True hope is swift, and flies with swallow's wings: Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.
  • 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?
  • Every sabre has a curving smile.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Make love; not war!
    • 1960's saying
  • War. War never changes.
  • 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.
  • War is much more fun when you're winning!!
    • Martok (A Klingon)
  • We're Klingons. We don't embrace other cultures, we conquer them.
    • Martok (A Klingon)
  • There is always an enemy to fight. Sometimes it's boredom, but not today.
    • Maltz (A Klingon)
  • "You, you, and you... Panic. The rest of you, come with me."
    • Sergeant Major Jonas Blane (The Unit)
  • "There are more planes in the ocean than submarines in the sky."
    • 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."
    • Lt. William Holt, Medal of Honor European Assault
  • Battles are fought on the battlegrounds, but are won in War Rooms.
    • Ashish Kerkar

Unknown authorship

  • 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.
  • Chaos. Panic. Disorder. My work here is done.
    • Unknown
  • Today is a good day to Die!
    • Worf (A Klingon)
  • When an opposing commander leads a large force onto the battlefield, the only respectable thing, indeed, the only plausible thing to do is to meet his force with one of equal or superior firepower.
    • Unnamed Gamer on Xbox Live playing Tom Clancy's: ENDWAR
  • Guns, check. Combat armor, check. Grenades, check. Teammates, check. Looks like we're all set. Oh yeah, before I forget. Anyone got any spare ammunition, I'm out?
    • Unnamed Gamer on Xbox Live playing Tom Clancy's: Rainbow Six VEGAS


See also

Wikipedia
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