A: Acerba – Saint Augustine – Military Quotes and Quotations
“Strength lies not in defense but in attack.”
– Marquis de Acerba
“Battles are sometimes won by generals; wars are nearly always won by sergeants and privates.”
– F.E. Adcock, British classical scholar
“Go, therefore, to meet the foe with two objects before you, either victory or death. For men animated by such a spirit must always overcome their adversaries, since they go into battle ready to throw away their lives.”
– Scipio Africanus 202 BC
Roman general (the conqueror of Hannibal in the Punic Wars), in an address to the Roman Army before the battle of Zama.
“It were better to be a soldier’s widow than a coward’s wife.”
– Thomas B. Aldrich, 1836-1907
“There is nothing inevitable about military victory, even for forces of apparently overwhelming strength. The Greeks at Marathon, Alexander against the Persian Empire, the success of the colonists against the British in the American Revolution, Napoleon over the Austrians in Italy… all offer dramatic evidence to the contrary. In the absence of inspired military leadership… the more powerful side wears down the weaker.”
– Bevin Alexander
“I do not fear an army of lions, if they are led by a lamb.
I do fear an army of sheep, if they are led by a lion.”
– Alexander the Great
“The human race is in the best condition when it has the greatest degree of liberty.”
– Dante Aligheri
Bullets cannot be recalled. They cannot be un-invented. But they can be taken out of the gun.
– Martin Amis
“Choose your friends carefully. Your enemies will choose you.”
– Yassir Arafat
“We trained very hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form into teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn in this life that we tend to meet any situation by reorganizing. And a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.”
– Wrongly attributed to Petronius Arbiter, Roman hedonist, about 60 A.D.
It is not found anywhere in his works. The earliest known occurrence seems to be in the British occupation force in Germany after WWII. The quote is believed to be a fabrication from this time.
“Courage! Do not fall back; in a little the place will be yours. Watch! When the wind blows my banner against the bulwark, you shall take it”
– Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc). 1429
In the assault on the bridge at Orleans
“In god’s name! Let us go bravely!”
– Joan of Arc, 1429
In the assault on the English fortress of the Augustines.
“He, general or mere captain, who employs every one in the storming of a position can be sure of seeing it retaken by an organized counterattack of four men and a corporal”
– Colonel Ardant du Picq (Charles-Jean-Jacques-Joseph)
French Military Theorist (1821-1870)
“Frederick liked to say that three men behind the enemy were worth fifty in front of him.”
– Colonel Ardant du Picq
“The instruments of battle are valuable only if one knows how to use them.”
– Colonel Ardant du Picq
“The wise learn many things from their enemies.”
– Aristophanes, Greek writer of comedy, c. 448 B.C.–c. 388 B.C.
“We make war that we may live in peace.”
“He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled.”
– Aristotle, Politics
“Dalton’s records, carefully preserved for a century, were destroyed during the World War II bombing of Manchester. It is not only the living who are killed in war”
– Isaac Asimov
“The purpose of all war is peace.”
– Saint Augustine, 354-430
I can’t guarantee that these quotations are correct or true, but I have tried to verify as many of the quotes as possible. Please contact me if you find any errors in the quotes, have some additional information about the quotes or if you know any more quotations that are not listed here.
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