P: Packenham – Pyrrhus Military Quotes and Quotations
“Nothing concentrates the military mind so much as the discovery that you have walked into an ambush.”
– Thomas Packenham, British historian
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.”
– Thomas Paine (“The American Crisis”)
“Good logistics is combat power”
– Lieutenant-General William G. Pagonis
Director of Logistics during the Gulf War of 1991
Intuition is often crucial in combat, and survivors learn not to ignore it.
– Col F.F. Parry, USMC (Ret.)
Part of the happiness of life consists not in fighting battles, but in avoiding them. A masterly retreat is in itself a victory.
– Norman Vincent Peale
“We cannot stop playing this music.”
– General Beni Peled
Commander of the Israel Air Force during the 1973 war,
meaning that despite of heavy casualties taken in the war the IAF must continue to for fill its duties.
“No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself.”
– William Penn
“We have met the enemy and they are ours!”
(We have met the enemy, and he is ours)
– Message from Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry
commander of the naval forces at the Battle of Lake Erie in the War
Sept. 10, 1813 , addressed to the American land armies.
“Soldiers’ bellies are not satisfied with empty promises and hopes.”
– Peter the Great
In the moment of action remember the value of silence and order.
– Phormio of Athens
“I don’t care how they dress so long as they mind their fighting.”
– Sir Thomas Picton, British general killed at Waterloo, 1815,
when questioned about the slovenly appearance of his troops
“A force engaged is out of the hand of its commander”
– Colonel Charles Ardant du Picq, “Battle studies” 1880
“I am surrounded by fearful odds that will overcome me and my valiant men; but I am pleased to die fighting for my beloved country.”
– Gen. Gregorio H. Del Pilar(1875-1899), hero of Tirad Pass in the Philippine-American war.
If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country I never would lay down my arms, never! Never! Never!
– William Pitt, 1708-1778
“Only the dead have seen the end of war”
– Plato. Philosopher in Classical Greece. also a mathematician
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
– Attributed to Edmund Burke (1729-1797), British statesman and philosopher
But may originally have been said by Plato
A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons.
– Admiral David D. Porter, USN
“Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.”
– Collin Powell
(when asked about U.S. empire building by the archbishop of Canterbury)
“It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.”
– Charles M. Province
“Don’t one of you fire until you see the whites of their eyes”
– Israel Putnam, at the Battle of Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill, June 1775
The rest of the quote, according to Putnam’s lower-ranking officers was:
“Powder is scarce and must not be wasted. Fire low!
You are all marksmen and could kill a squirrel at a hundred yards.
Reserve your fire and the enemy will all be destroyed.”
The quote has also been (wrongfully) attributed to the commanding officer Colonel William Prescott
“The concentration of troops can be done fast and easy, on paper.”
– Radomir Putnik, Serbian field marshal, 1912-17
“You pick out the big men! I’ll make them brave!”
– Pyrrhus (319-272 BC), Molossian king of Epirus, to his recruiters.
Quoted in Frontinus “Stratagems” ca 90 AD.
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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