Quotes - Soldiers (page 5)

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It is to greatly regretted that the lower orders of the people in some of the towns where the military are quartered, often quarrel with the soldiers; and it is still more so, that the fault is generally, most unjustly, thrown upon the latter. - The Military Sketch-Book, Reminiscences of Seventeen Years in the Service at Home and Abroad, by an Officer of the Line, 1827, Vol I


The ranks are never hardened by death in their midst. Losses are never a help, and unless they are incidental to action which has a clear and military purpose, they are weakening to the confidence of troops. - S.L.A. Marshall, MEN against FIRE, 1947


He was taught the three arts of war, so much more necessary than musketry, field engineering or tactics. Or were they, perhaps, part of tactics? Wangling, Scrounging, and Winning. ... Wangling was the art of obtaining one's just due by unfair means. For instance, every officer and man of the B.E.F. had his allotted daily rations, his camp or billet, his turn for leave. In practice, to get these necessities, it was well to know the man who provided them and do him some small service-a bottle of whiskey, the loan of transport (if you had any) or of a fatigue party. Wangling extended to the lowest ranks. Men wangled from the N.C.O.s the better sorts of jam and extra turns off duty. ... Scrounging could be defined as obtaining that which one had not a shadow of a claim by unfair means. It was more insidious that as the Wangle, but just as necessary-men scrounged the best dug-outs off one another, or off neighbouring sections. N.C.O.s scrounged rum by keeping a thumb in the dipper while doling it out, Officers scrounged the best horse lines from other units. Colonials scrounged telephone wire to snare rabbits ... the Art of Winning. It may be defined as Stealing. More fully, it was the Art of obtaining that which one had no right to, for the sake of obtaining it, for the joy of possession. ... Some say it was simply the primeval joy of loot, ... - R.H. Morrison; quoted in Guy Chapman, OBE, MC (Ed), Vain Glory; A miscellany of the Great War 1914-1918, 1937/1968


Military History is a flesh-and-blood affair, and not a matter of diagrams and formulas or of rules; not a conflict of machines but of men. In the lecture hall of a French Infantry School which I once attended was written the following from Ardant du Picq: "The man is the first weapon of battle: let us then study the soldier in battle, for it is he who brings reality to it. Only the study of the past can give us a sense of reality, and show us how the soldier will fight in battle." When you study Military History, don't read Outlines on strategy or the principles of war. Read biographies, memoirs historical novels...Get at the flesh and blood of it; not the skeleton. - "Generals and Generalship", Field Marshal Wavell.


At a time when the soldier is supplied with an accurate firearm, and when the well-aimed fire of individual men must have more result than ill aimed volleys; when the soldier, in order to fire well and with good effect, must lie comfortably on the ground instead of standing in a close crowded line; when he is, moreover, no longer a mere portion of a stiff machine, since each man can use his weapon with intelligence; when the infantry have ceased to be only food for powder, and have become a combination of single units working independently, at such a time the careful training of the individual soldier must decide the issue of battle. - Prince Kraft zu Hohenlohe Ingelfingen, Letters on Infantry, translated by Lieut.-Col. N.L. Walford, R.A., 1905


The man is the first weapon of battle. Let us study the soldier for it is he who gives a reality to it - Colonel Charles Ardant du Picq


In this matter of Discipline, the Commandant observed there has been a tendency to cry discipline down. the argument has been used that the modern soldier is more intelligent, and that strict discipline is therefore less necessary. Lt.-Col. Simonds, however, said that discipline has little to do with intelligence. Discipline is related to the human instinct of self-preservation and the human tendency to take the line of least resistance. It is well to beware of novel methods, and to remember that the British have been saved time and time again by the discipline of their troops; DUNKIRK, 1940, supplies a recent example. The rigid discipline of the Guards has been derided - but in this campaign the Guards did not flinch when others went to pieces, and observers remarked that every guardsman brought his rifle back with him from Dunkirk. - Address by Lt.-Col. Simonds, Commandant, Canadian Junior War Staff Course, 12 April 1941 (as related by Major C.P Stacey, Historical Officer, C.M.H.Q.)


The Canadians who landed in Normandy and the Canadians who fought through Buron and Authie, Verriers Ridge and the Falaise Gap deserve to be remembered by their country. They were not all saints, they were not all heroes. But there were saints and heroes among them, as they fought in the dust and hest of Normandy that summer of 1944. Remember them and remember their achievements. - J.L. Granatstein and Desmond Morton, Bloody Victory; Canadians and the D-Day campaign 1944, 1984


When the military man approaches, the world locks up its spoons and packs off its womankind. - George Bernard Shaw


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