Skip to comments.The 25 Best Quotes From American Soldiers
Posted on 05/28/2012 9:43:05 PM PDT by Kaslin
25) "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!" -- William Prescott at the Battle Of Bunker Hill
24) "To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace." -- George Washington
23) "When this war is over, the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell!" -- Admiral Bill Halsey on December 7, 1941
22) "Nuts." -- The response of General Anthony MacAuliffe, when asked to surrender during the Battle of the Bulge, 1944
21) "I tremble for my country when I hear of confidence expressed in me. I know too well my weakness, that our only hope is in God." -- Robert E. Lee
20) "War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." -- Gen William T. Sherman
19) "Of the Marines on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue." -- Chester W. Nimitz
18) "They've got us surrounded again, the poor b@stards." -- Creighton W. Abrams, Battle of the Bulge
17) "Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here" -- Captain John Parker, 1775
16) "We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and weve done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to seek our own lives in peace." -- Colin Powell
15) "We have met the enemy and they are ours!" -- Oliver Hazard Perry
14) "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 campus 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 protester to burn the flag." -- Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC
13) "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way." -- John Paul Jones
12) "Damn the torpedoes, Full speed ahead!" -- Admiral David Glasgow Farragut
11) "I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." -- Clifton B. Cates, Belleau Wood, July 1918
10) "Yonder are the Hessians. They were bought for seven pounds and tenpence a man. Are you worth more? Prove it. Tonight the American flag floats from yonder hill or Molly Stark sleeps a widow!" -- John Stark at the Battle of Bennington in 1777
9) "Godd@m it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!" -- Henry P. Crowe
8) "Victory was never in doubt. Its cost was...What was in doubt, in all our minds, was whether there would be any of us left to dedicate our cemetery at the end, or whether the last Marine would die knocking out the last Japanese gun and gunner." -- Major General Graves B. Erskin in reference to the Battle Of Iwo Jima
7) "Come on, you sons of b!tches! Do you want to live forever?" -- Dan Daly, WWI
6) "Don't you forget that you're First Marines! Not all the communists in Hell can overrun you!" -- Lieutenant General Lewis "Chesty" Puller when surrounded by eight enemy divisions
5) "Get there first with the most." -- Nathan Bedford Forrest
4) "It is fatal to enter a war without the will to win it." -- Douglas MacArthur
3) "I am besieged by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continued bombardment for twenty-four hours and have not lost a man. The enemy have demanded a surrender... otherwise the garrison is to be put to the sword if the place is taken. I have answered the summons with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat." -- William B. Travis, Alamo
2) If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting. -- Curtis LeMay
1) "No b@stard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb b@stard die for his country." -- George Patton
Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army
Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army
“We have discovered the enemy and he is us.” pogo
“They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance”
Last words of Gen. John Sedgwick just before a sniper shot him.
In my opinion, this is the best Marine Corps quote ever. It came from a Marine facing the enemy in what was arguably, as any, as grim and desperate fight of the war. They all knew survival was unlikely but they ran at the enemy anyway. Nothing defines leading from the front any better.
Sergeant Jim “Mush” Burdick, one of 12 of 22 surviving sergeants in his 2nd Joint Assault Signal Company, V Amphibious Corps, 2nd Marine Division, Saipan, June, 1944, orders to his remaining Marines as they prepared to counterattack the largest “banzai” attack of WWII:
“Don’t get in front of me.”
Thanks for posting the full version of the Sullivan Ballou letter. Ken Burns had an abridged version in his mini-series on the Civil War, and left out some of the best lines.
Sadly that statement has become the reality. :(
Wiz, those were different times. No general would ever use such vulgar language in public that he really used. The word “Nuts” was only symbolic. No one would have expected to hear the general in that audio to say, “EFF You”.
I don’t know how old you are. Vulgarities like that would never be used by a general for public consumption. Even Patton’s vulgarities were never publicized to any great extent until after his death.
I prefer to believe the words from the man himself.
I just think the list is missing one-—advice from Sgt Fowler: “Be prepared, be alert, be polite, be professional-—but be prepared to kill the next person you meet”——it’s how I live my life-——Semper Fi
At one time, I had quite a crush on Lazarus Long.
I think that quote has been attributed to several people but you’re obviously a racist for bringing it up /sarc
To #46: My father-in-law, still alive, was at Saipan with the 75th JASCO, Tinian, Bikini Atoll, and then Iwo Jima (the only Army assault company in the Marines’ 3rd assault wave).Took casualties up to 75% of the company. Still driving at 92.
My son’s company’s slogan/flag during OIF was/is “First Forward” and they were, on March 21, 2003.
Left out of the quotes, at least from the movie “Patton” was his comments to the Germans at one tank battle: “You bastards. I read the same book.” (or closely paraphrased)
Patton sure had a way with words, didn’t he. I wish we could clone him today. Colin Powell definitely needs a good cloning.
Words only a few soldiers/people ever heard, from Mike Benge (former USMC; AID officer, Central Highlands, S. Vietnam) while he was a prisoner in the Hanoi Hilton during our Christmas bombings in 1972: Yelling in Vietnamese, he told the guards that they were going to die and that they could go to hell, as the bombs fell on them. As relayed by cellmate Larry Stark, civilian POW.
Mike also had a way with words, and still does. I owe him a pizza.
Sighted sub, Sank same
Scratch one Flattop!
Fire when Ready, Gridley
Damn the Torpedoes! Full Speed Ahead
I have not yet begun to Fight!
The best one I heard directly came from our USAF drill sergeant, after we had messed up a simple laundry detail.
“You dummies could f*** up a steel ball with a rubber mallet.”
I stood at attention with tears running down my face, trying my damnedest NOT to laugh.
“There's nothing wrong with you but your headspace and timing.”
For those that don't know the .50 Cal had to be set using a headspace and timing gage.