War quotes are phrases and sayings that talk about warfare. The significance of war quotes is to challenge and encourage people during difficult times. Some of the quotes were said during combat, while others discuss the plight of war in general.
War quotes are as old as war itself. Many legends, philosophers, and even writers have documented the plight of war. Some of these sayings are funny, while others are a motivation to soldiers on the battlefield.
General quotes about war
The phrases and terms used to describe the environment of a battlefield are known as war quotes. Some of these sayings depict the nature of conflict and motivate those who are going through difficult times. The following are some inspirational and historical war quotes.
- The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.
- Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.
- In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons.
- It is well that war is so terrible; otherwise, we should grow too fond of it.
- You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
- War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
- When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die.
- The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other b*stard die for his.
- If we don't end the war, war will end us.
- We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
- To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.
- Never think that war, no matter how necessary nor how justified, is not a crime.
- There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.
- You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war.
- In wartime, truth is so precious that a bodyguard of lies should always attend her.
- War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.
- An unjust peace is better than a just war.
- War is fear cloaked in courage.
- In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason.
- The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy.
- We are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it.
- The direct use of force is a poor solution to any problem; it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.
- There is nothing that war has ever achieved that we could not better achieve without it.
- War would end if the dead could return.
- I know not with what weapons will fight weapons in World War III, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
- 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 first casualty when war comes is truth.
- Conquered, we conquer.
- Ten soldiers wisely led will beat a hundred without a head.
- The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.
Sun Tzu Art of War quotes
During the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China, lived a great general, Sun Tzu. He was a military strategist, writer, and philosopher. Among his great works is the book, The Art of War, an influential work of military strategy that has influenced Western and East Asian philosophy in military thinking.
So what was Sun Tzu's take on war? Well, he had several quotes about fights that describe his understanding of disputes. Here are The Art of War quotes;
- Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
- If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.
- He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
- The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
- If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight, even though the ruler forbids it; if fighting does not result in success, then you must not fight even at the ruler's bidding.
- Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.
- Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.
- Invincibility lies in the defence, the possibility of victory in the attack.
- Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.
- Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and you know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may complete your success.
- The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.
- Know your enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.
- The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.
- The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the enemy himself provides the chance of defeating the enemy.
- If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are sure to be in peril.
- If your opponent is of choleric temper, irritate him.
- If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.
- Secret operations are essential in war; upon them, the army relies on making its every move.
- Balk the enemy's power; force him to reveal himself.
- A good commander is benevolent and unconcerned with fame.
- When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths, it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce.
- There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited.
- The enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution.
- Victory usually goes to the army that has better-trained officers and men.
- In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good.
- He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
- Only the enlightened ruler and the wise general will use the highest intelligence of the army for spying, thereby achieving outstanding results.
- If we know that our men are in a condition to attack but are unaware that the enemy is not open to attack, we have gone only halfway towards victory.
- To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
- All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but none can see the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
Best military quotes
Why it's so important never to forget those who gave us our independence and freedom is illustrated in the following war quotes. These statements come from true patriots some of who have died serving their nations.
- The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him but because he loves what is behind him.
- The only easy day was yesterday.
- It is a proud privilege to be a soldier – a good soldier with discipline, self-respect, pride in his unit and country, a high sense of duty and obligation to comrades and his superiors, and self-confidence born of demonstrated ability.
- We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.
- For the first time in a long time, I felt like I had a purpose in the Navy. It wasn't about money and rank or prestige. It was about raising the flag. We do what we do because no one else can or will do it. We fight so others can sleep at night. And I had forgotten that.
- Heroism doesn't always happen in a burst of glory. Sometimes small triumphs and large hearts change the course of history.
- You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
- This country has not seen and probably will never know the actual level of sacrifice of our veterans. As a civilian, I owe an unpayable debt to all our military. From now on, let's not send our servicemen and women off to war or conflict zones unless it is overwhelmingly justifiable and on moral high ground.
- War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all, but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.
- Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword never encountered automatic weapons.
- It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Instead, we should thank God that such men lived.
- War is the greatest evil Satan has invented to corrupt our hearts and souls. We should honour our soldiers, but we should never keep war.
- The songs at a wedding procession always remind me of the music of soldiers going into battle.
- There is no honour in sending men to die for something you won't even fight for yourself.
- I'm fed up to the ears with older men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.
- Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Commitment to the government when it deserves it.
- A safe army is better than a safe border.
- I am concerned for the security of our great nation. Not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.
- We live in a world with walls, and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns.
- The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.
- Civilians are like beans; you buy them as needed for any job which merely requires skill and savvy. But you can't purchase fighting spirit.
- If I charge, follow me. If I retreat, kill me. If I die, revenge me.
- War is too important to be left to the generals.
- To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less.
- The soldier is the army, and no army is better than its soldiers. The soldier is also a citizen. The highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one's country.
- I don't know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they terrify me.
- Never give in, 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.
- Who dares wins. Who sweats wins. Who plans wins.
- Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.
- Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid.
Famous war quotes
These quotes are from famous people, including presidents, generals, philosophers, and many more. The quotations of war take into account the input these men and women had in regards to war. The war quotes are as follows:
- "Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste death but once." – William Shakespeare.
- "What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight—it's the size of the fight in the dog."- President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
- "I am not afraid of an army of lions lead by a sheep; I am afraid of sheep lead by a lion." – Alexander the Great.
- "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." – Albert Einstein.
- "The Army is the true nobility of our country." – Napoleon Bonaparte.
- "Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." – Benjamin Franklin.
- "Word to the Nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard." – John F. Kennedy.
- "The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men." — Minot J. Savage.
- "If there is not the war, you don't get the great general; if there is not a great occasion, you don't get a great statesman; if Lincoln had lived in a time of peace, no one would have known his name." – Theodore Roosevelt.
- "Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: 'I served in the United States Navy."- John F. Kennedy.
- "From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots. ― Thomas Jefferson.
- "Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak and esteem to all. ― George Washington.
- "Sometimes you have to pick the gun up to put the Gun down."- Malcolm X.
- "The military might of a country represents its national strength. Only when it builds up its military might in every way can it develop into a thriving country." – Kim Jong-un.
- "We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us." – Winston S. Churchill.
- "It would be a joke if the conduct of the victor had to be justified to the vanquished." – Napoléon Bonaparte.
- "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure." ― Colin Powell.
- "If you wage war, do it energetically and with severity. This is the only way to make it shorter and consequently less inhuman." – Napoléon Bonaparte.
- "I respect every soldier, from every country, who serves beside us in the hard work of history. America is grateful, and America will not forget." –George W. Bush.
- "The hand of the aggressor is stayed by strength — and strength alone." – Dwight D. Eisenhower.
- "In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable." – President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
- "A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace." – President Theodore Roosevelt.
- "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." – Winston Churchill
- "Soldiers win battles and generals get the medals." – Napoleon Bonaparte.
- "Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never peril." – Sun Tzu.
- "We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender." – Winston Churchill.
- "We make war that we may live in peace." – Aristotle.
- "If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat." – Sun Tzu.
- "The army teaches boys to think like men." – Elvis Presley.
- "If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live." – Martin Luther King Jr.
Funny war quotes
Even though war is a devastating thing, sometimes joking is found amidst all the chaos. Below are some of the funniest war quotes to have ever existed.
- "When I lost my rifle, the army charged me 85 dollars. That is why in the Navy the Captain goes down with the ship."— D*ck Gregory.
- "The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other b*stard die for his."— General George S. Patton.
- "It will be a great day when our schools have all the money they need, and our air force has to have a bake-sale to buy a bomber."— Robert Fulghum.
- "I am not fond of speaking about politics because I don't have in my possession an army of 200,000 soldiers."— Frank Liszt.
- "My fellow Americans. I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."— President Reagan.
- "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."— Napoleon Bonaparte.
- "War is God's way of teaching Americans geography."— Ambrose Bierce.
- "Our bombs are smarter than the average high school student. At least they can find Kuwait."— A. Whitney Brown.
- "Gentlemen, we are being killed on the beaches. Lets go inland and be killed."— General Norman Cota.
- "We are not retreating—we are advancing in another direction."— General Douglas MacArthur.
- "War is much too serious a matter to be entrusted to the military."— Georges Clemenceau.
- "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!"—U.S. Navy chaplain.
- "The best tank terrain is that without anti-tank weapons.—" Russian military doctrine
- The best armour is staying out of gun-shot.—Italian proverb
- "My rule is: If you meet the weakest vessel, attack. If it is a vessel equal to yours, attack. And if it is stronger than yours, also attack."— Stepan O. Makarov.
- "Onward we stagger, and if the tanks come, may God help the tanks."— Col. William O. Darby.
- "You don't have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight."— Barry Goldwater.
- "You really can't blame the military for wanting to go to war [in Iraq]. They've got all these new toys and they want to know whether they work or not."— Andy Rooney
- "Before a war, military science seems a real science, like astronomy; but after a war, it seems more like astrology."— Rebecca West.
- "If you go on with this nuclear arms race, all you are going to do is make the rubble bounce."— Winston Churchill.
- "The entire world will be in nuclear war, and only the Swiss will be going, 'Vhat's that noise?'"— Robin Williams
- If the enemy is in range, so are you. - Unknown
- "Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive." —Elbert Hubbard.
- "It will be a great day when our schools have all the money they need, and our air force has to have a bake-sale to buy a bomber."— Robert Fulghum.
- "Mankind has a perfect record in aviation; we never left one up there." —Air Force saying.
- "To ensure perfect aim, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target."—Unknown.
- "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!"— John Parker.
- "The problem with being a leader is that you're never sure if you're being followed or chased."― Claire A. Murray.
- "I don't lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word."― Jim Mattis.
- "Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do."―Unknown.
War quotes are phrases and sayings that talk about warfare. If you are facing a challenging situation, then these quotes will boost morale and inspire you. War quotes are significant because they both challenge and encourage people during difficult times.
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