Famous WW2 quotes needed



  • Hey everyone,

    I need some help finding great quotes from different WW2 commanders. I have room on each national card in my upcoming custom card deck accessory, and I’ve decided to use that space for inspirational quotes… the problem is that I can’t find many good ones. I have a few already that should give you an idea of what I’m looking for…

    On the Germany card:

    “Don’t fight a battle if you gain nothing by winning”

    • Erwin Rommel

    On the Russia card:

    “If we come to a minefield, our infantry must attack exactly as if it were not there”

    • Georgy Zhukov

    On the United Kingdom card:

    “If we lose the war in the air, we lose the war altogether… and we lose it quickly”

    • Bernard L. Montgomery

    On the United States card:

    “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week”

    • George S. Patton

    Request Summary

    …There is a common thread I’m trying to follow here… I want quotes that were meant to offer strategic insight, or increase moral amongst their forces… and I’m looking for quotes from officers and commanders that saw battle, rather than from supreme commanders that just make speeches.

    • I need something for the ANZAC card but everything I find was said in WW1
    • I need something for the Italy card but most of what’s documented came from Mussolini
    • I want something from Yamamoto for the Japan card, but most of his quotes seem pessimistic toward the Japanese situation

    I don’t need anything for the China card, and if there are suggestions for better quotes I already have on national cards, I’m open to those as well.

    Thank you, I appreciate any help I can get in this project.

    Cheers,

    YG.


  • '16

    Some quotes attributed to Isoroku Yamamoto:

    “The fiercest serpent may be overcome by a swarm of ants.”

    The fate of the Empire rests on this enterprise. Every man must devote himself totally to the task at hand."

    Some quotes for the ANZACs:

    “At present, the prime necessity is to ensure the defence of Australia itself. But it would be wrong to assume that throughout the duration of the war, our duty would continue to be as circumscribed as that.” - Prime Minister Robert Menzies, September 1939

    “This is the gravest hour of our history. We have a heavy responsibility. I ask every Australian, man and woman, to go about their allotted tasks with full vigour and courage.” - Prime Minister John Curtin, December 1941

    Force intact. Still fighting. Badly need boots, money, quinine, tommy gun, ammunition. - Message transmitted from Portuguese Timor to Darwin, April 1942

    Some quotes for the Italians:

    “The German soldier has astonished the world; the Italian Bersagliere has astonished the German soldier.” - Erwin Rommel, epitaph to the Italian soldier

    Until face to face with the enemy, who inexorably advanced well protected toward sure prey, they cried with the last spark of life, “Long Live Italy!” - Gen. Rodolfo Graziani

    The Graziani quote is probably too dark. You may have to go hunting in a university library for better quotes on the Italians. I suggest a small book, Hitler’s Italian Allies. Much of the material you are likely to find, if not from Mussolini, will come from Ciano, who was something of a dry wit as a diarist and therefore isn’t likely to give you anything very stirring.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    This is going to be a fun request to work on, which I’ll do in more detail later today, but for starters here are a couple that immediately come to mind.

    “My men can eat their belts, but my tanks need gas!”

    • George S. Patton

    “He either fears his fate too much, or his deserts are small, that dares not put it to the touch to win or lose it all.”

    • Bernard L. Montgomery, quoting James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose

    “You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.”

    • Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    “In the Red Army, it takes a very brave man to be a coward.”

    • Georgi Zhukov

    “The first twenty-four hours of the invasion will be decisive.  For the Allies, as well as Germany, it will be the longest day.”

    • Erwin Rommel

    “In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory.”

    • Isoroku Yamamoto 
      (It sounds suitably upbeat when you leave out the second part of what he said, which was “After that, I can guarantee nothing.”

    Just as a side note, by the way: General George S. Patton and Admiral William F. Halsey (who very quite similar in temperament and vocabulary) were known for their morale-raising one-liners, but unfortunately these tended to be unprintable.  One of the more famous Halsey ones contains terminology that the forum’s software would automatically censor.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    " Before we’re through with them,  Japanese language will be spoken only in hell."

    Admiral Halsey

    " In case opportunity for destruction of a major portion of the enemy fleet is offered, or can be created, such destruction becomes the primary task."

    Admiral Nimitz



  • @Trenacker:

    Some quotes attributed to Isoroku Yamamoto:

    The fate of the Empire rests on this enterprise. Every man must devote himself totally to the task at hand."

    This one is the front runner for a Yamamoto quote…

    Some quotes for the ANZACs:

    I believe the ANZAC quote search will be the most difficult…

    Some quotes for the Italians:

    Until face to face with the enemy, who inexorably advanced well protected toward sure prey, they cried with the last spark of life, “Long Live Italy!” - Gen. Rodolfo Graziani

    This seems to be the best quote (not from Mussolini) so far for the Italians…



  • @CWO:

    “My men can eat their belts, but my tanks need gas!”

    • George S. Patton

    “He either fears his fate too much, or his deserts are small, that dares not put it to the touch to win or lose it all.”

    • Bernard L. Montgomery, quoting James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose

    Good suggestions, really like that Patton quote although a little demoralizing to count in the cheerleader category… I like the ones I have so far in regards to UK and USA.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Young:

    @Trenacker:

    Some quotes attributed to Isoroku Yamamoto:

    The fate of the Empire rests on this enterprise. Every man must devote himself totally to the task at hand."

    This one is the front runner for a Yamamoto quote…

    Regretably, it’s not a Yamamoto quote.  It’s the Z-flag signal which Admiral Togo hoisted at the Battle of Tsushima in 1905 (at which Yamamoto was present as a junior officer).  The signal was duplicated by Admiral Nagumo just before he launched his air strike at Pearl Harbor.



  • @CWO:

    “In the Red Army, it takes a very brave man to be a coward.”

    • Georgi Zhukov

    This one has definitely replaced my earlier Zhukov quote…



  • @CWO:

    @Young:

    @Trenacker:

    Some quotes attributed to Isoroku Yamamoto:

    The fate of the Empire rests on this enterprise. Every man must devote himself totally to the task at hand."

    This one is the front runner for a Yamamoto quote…

    Regretably, it’s not a Yamamoto quote.�  It’s the Z-flag signal which Admiral Togo hoisted at the Battle of Tsushima in 1905 (at which Yamamoto was present as a junior officer).�  The signal was duplicated by Admiral Nagumo just before he launched his air strike at Pearl Harbor.

    Did Yamamoto really say that he was looking forward to dictating peace with America at the White House in Washington… or was that just US propaganda?


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Young:

    Did Yamamoto really say that he was looking forward to dictating peace with America at the White House in Washington… or was that just US propaganda?

    Actually, it’s neither.  Yamamoto once wrote a letter in which he argued that defeating the US was not going to be easy; in it, he said that if Japan was going to go to war against the US it had better be prepared to fight a war that could only be won if Japan got all the way to Washington and dictated peace terms in the White House.  Yamamoto’s enemies in the Japanese Army quoted his letter out of context to give the impression that Yamamoto was planning to dictate peace terms in the White House.  The Americans grabbed onto the Army’s version of the text and used it in their propaganda, apparently unaware that Yamamoto was being misquoted by his own fellow Japanese officers.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    " Until face to face with the enemy, who inexorably advanced well protected toward sure prey, they cried with the last spark of life, ‘Long Live Italy!’ "

    • Marshal Rodolfo Graziani


  • OK, thanks… The Yamamoto quote provided by Trenacker seems to be the best, and that Italian quote seems to be the best Non-Mussolini quote. Anything, good from ANZAC… all the really good ones seem to be from WW1.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    “We’re not here to take it, we’re here to give it.”

    • Lieutenant General Sir Leslie James Morshead, commander of the 9th Australian Division at Tobruk, after hearing of a British propaganda article entitled “Tobruk can take it!”

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    “This time the Kraut’s stuck his head in the meat grinder, and I’ve got hold of the handle.”

    • George S. Patton, during the Battle of the Bulge


  • @CWO:

    “We’re not here to take it, we’re here to give it.”

    • Lieutenant General Sir Leslie James Morshead, commander of the 9th Australian Division at Tobruk, after hearing of a British propaganda article entitled “Tobruk can take it!”

    That’s the one… but DAM, the name is longer than the quote itself  :lol:

    …Although a few rude boys drinking beers around the game table might taught the ANZAC player

    “Ohhh, you like to give it do ya?”



  • @CWO:

    “This time the �����’s stuck his head in the meat grinder, and I’ve got hold of the handle.”

    • George S. Patton, during the Battle of the Bulge

    That’s good… but I still like the first one from Patton for what I’m trying to achieve.

    “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week” - George S. Patton

    It’s got a great fortune cookie vibe to it  :lol:


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I gave Morshead’s full name and title because he’s not as famous as officers like Patton and Montgomery.  An even more extreme quote-to-name ratio can be found in Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe’s one-worder “Nuts!”  (There was a somewhat fictionalized version of this historical event in a movie in which McAuliffe delivers his famous statement verbally to some German envoys, who look at each other in puzzlement, then turn back to McAuliffe; one of them says, “What is this ‘Nuts’?  I do not understand.”  McAuliffe retorts, “Do you understand ‘Go to hell’, son?” The German nods and answers, “Ja, that I understand.”)



  • @CWO:

    I gave Morshead’s full name and title because he’s not as famous as officers like Patton and Montgomery.�  An even more extreme quote-to-name ratio can be found in Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe’s one-worder "Nuts!"�  (There was a somewhat fictionalized version of this historical event in a movie in which McAuliffe delivers his famous statement verbally to some German envoys, who look at each other in puzzlement, then turn back to McAuliffe; one of them says, "What is this ‘Nuts’?�  I do not understand."�  McAuliffe retorts, “Do you understand ‘Go to hell’, son?” The German nods and answers, “Ja, that I understand.”)

    How is Lieutenant General abbreviated, and was he Sir during the war… or was he knighted afterwards?

    The best ANZAC quotes are from WW1…

    “I can’t surrender, I’m in command of Australians… and they would cut my throat if I dared”

    • Unknown

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Young:

    How is Lieutenant General abbreviated, and was he Sir during the war… or was he knighted afterwards?

    You may not need to include everything; it depends on what consistent practice you’ll be using for the other people you’re quoting.  Bernard L. Montgomery, for example, was known in full as Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein – and that’s even leaving out his KG, GCB, DSO and PC designations.  A good standard form to use for everyone would be simply rank + commonly used form of name (including initials as just initials), without any knighthoods.



  • @CWO:

    @Young:

    How is Lieutenant General abbreviated, and was he Sir during the war… or was he knighted afterwards?

    You may not need to include everything; it depends on what consistent practice you’ll be using for the other people you’re quoting.  Bernard L. Montgomery, for example, was known in full as Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein – and that’s even leaving out his KG, GCB, DSO and PC designations.  A good standard form to use for everyone would be simply rank + commonly used form of name (including initials as just initials), without any knighthoods.

    Than I might need help with the ranks once I lock down all the quotes.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    These are the US Army abbreviations…

    2LT 1LT CPT MAJ LTC COL BG MG LTG GEN GA

    …for these ranks:

    Second  Lieutenant
    First Lieutenant
    Captain
    Major
    Lieutenant Colonel
    Colonel
    Brigadier General
    Major General
    Lieutenant General
    General
    General of the Army

    These are the US Navy abbreviations…

    ENS LTJG LT LCDR CDR CAPT RDML RADM VADM ADM FADM

    …for these ranks:

    Ensign
    Lieutenant (junior grade)
    Lieutenant
    Lieutenant Commander
    Commander
    Captain
    Rear Admiral (lower half)
    Rear Admiral
    Vice Admiral
    Admiral
    Fleet Admiral



  • slightly off topic, but if you search for 15 quotes from Gen. Mad Dog Mattis, slayer of bodies, some of them are pretty funny


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    As YG has noted, there are plenty of rousing Italian military phrases available for the WWII period if we go by Mussolini alone (I once read an amusing one-liner that said “If slogans could win a war by themselves, Italy will be a world power”), but apparently not much if we look in the direction of generals and admirals.  One compromise solution might be to quote General Giulio Douhet, one of his era’s greatest experts on aerial warfare in general and strategic bombing in particular.  I’ve copied below various quotes from him; I particularly like the first one, which sounds like something Clausewitz might have said.  From the point of view of YG’s project requirements, however, there’s the potential problem that Douhet was mainly a theorist and that he died in 1930.  On the other hand, if nothing better can be found, he might do.

    Victory smiles upon those who anticipate the change in the character of war, not upon those who wait to adapt themselves after the changes occur.

    • Giulio Douhet

    To conquer the command of the air means victory; to be beaten in the air means defeat and acceptance of whatever terms the enemy may be pleased to impose.

    • Giulio Douhet

    The one effective method of defending one’s own territory from an offensive by air is to destroy the enemy’s air power with the greatest possible speed.

    • Giulio Douhet

    Тhe battlefield in the air will be the decisive one

    • Giulio Douhet

    Because of its independence of surface limitations and its superior speed the airplane is the offensive weapon par excellence.

    • Giulio Douhet

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    For ANZAC, you may want to consider a few quotes from Australia’s wartime prime minister John Curtin, for example:

    “The game is not lost - or won - until the last bell goes.”

    “Is not Anzac day a day that breathes the very soul of freedom?”

    (and there’s more to be found)

    While you specifically mention not needing anything for China (and how about France btw?), here are a few good ones from Chiang-Kai Shek:

    “War is not only a matter of equipment, artillery, group troops or air force; it is largely a matter of spirit, or morale.”

    and, especially applicable to A&A:

    “Give me fifty DC-3’s and the Japanese can have the Burma Road.”


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