You can do everything with bayonets... (question)

May 18th, 2004  

Topic: You can do everything with bayonets... (question)

"You can do everything with bayonets, but you are not able to sit on them"
-Otto Van Bismark.

I am aware this quote is on the site, that is where I found it. I have a question about it. What exactly did Otto Van Bismark mean by this? I've been thinking about it a lot lately. Did he mean you cannot use bayonets defensively, and you must be offensive with a bayonet, or did he mean you cannot use them as chairs?

May 18th, 2004  
Ur thinking too much Future. Imagine this: a sharp pointy object. Now imagine doing everything u can with a sharp pointy object. Next try sitting on the sharp pointy object's tip. Finnally picture yourself jumping ten feet in the air, while yelling in pain and holding your buttocks. 8) :P
June 1st, 2004  
I believe that the original quote was made by Talleyrand, Bonaparte’s Foreign Minister and that it ran: "... My Lord, you can do anything you like with bayonets, except sit on them... ". Indicating that the arms of the French Empire could not remain idle and still serve Bonaparte’s goals. That is, he had to move forward or die.
June 1st, 2004  
Ah thank you that's kinda what I thought.
January 20th, 2007  
Team Infidel
April 28th, 2015  
There is some dispute about who said it. I'd say Talleyrand leads with Hardy behind.

There is no dispute re what it means.

It means that you can conquer real estate with military force but you cannot rule by military force.

Is it correct? Well, many military dictators have lasted until they went out feet first, so it was not correct from their point of view.

Military dictatorships, not so much. Force is a basis for government that comes with built in flaws that, over time, make the government grossly inefficient. Such governments are brittle. They shatter where a government based on consensus would bend and bounce back.