War quotes to read

Inspirational war quotes

“This is a war to end all wars.” ~ Woodrow Wilson

“Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.” ~ Ernest Hemingway, 1946

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” ~ George Santayana

“Two armies that fight each other is like one large army that commits suicide.” ~ Henri Barbusse, 1916

“The cries of the wounded had much diminished now, and as we staggered down the road, the reason was only too apparent, for the water was right over the tops of the shell-holes.”  ~ Captain Edwin Vaughan, 1917

“However the world pretends to divide itself, there are only two divisions in the world today – human beings and Germans.” ~ Rudyard Kipling, 1915

“The First World War was a horror of gas, industrialized slaughter fear and appalling human suffering.” ~ Nick Harkaway, 2012

We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. Winston Churchill

The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one. Albert Einstein

Yesterday, December seventh, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. We will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God. Franklin D. Roosevelt

It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.~ Albert Einstein

There was never a good war, or a bad peace. ~ Benjamin Franklin

One of the greatest casualties of the war in Vietnam is the Great Society… shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the postive affirmation of peace. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. Albert Einstein

Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows. Martin Luther King, Jr.

War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man.~ Napoleon Hill

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. Voltaire

Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war.~ Ernest Hemingway

Wars are caused by undefended wealth. Ernest Hemingway

There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter. Ernest Hemingway

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. Dwight D. Eisenhower

If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War. George Washington

In war, you win or lose, live or die – and the difference is just an eyelash. Douglas MacArthur

The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war. Norman Schwarzkopf

war quotes short

War never takes a wicked man by chance, the good man always. Sophocles

War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over. William Tecumseh Sherman

If we don’t end war, war will end us. H. G. Wells

War makes thieves and peace hangs them. George Herbert

War remains the decisive human failure. John Kenneth Galbraith

War is a series of catastrophes which result in victory. Albert Pike

To win this war, we need a commander in chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern. Sarah Palin

War is the unfolding of miscalculations. Barbara W. Tuchman

The power to wage war is the power to wage war successfully. Charles Evans Hughes

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war. Donald Trump

Where the stakes are the highest, in the war on terror, we cannot possibly succeed without extraordinary international cooperation. Effective international police actions require the highest degree of intelligence sharing, planning and collaborative enforcement. Barack Obama

The United States is not, and never will be, at war with Islam. Barack Obama

An asteroid or a supervolcano could certainly destroy us, but we also face risks the dinosaurs never saw: An engineered virus, nuclear war, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us. Elon Musk

When I first went to places where people were suffering from war and persecution, I felt ashamed of my feelings of sadness. I could see more possibilities in my life. Angelina Jolie

We can, for example, be fairly confident that either there will be a world without war or there won’t be a world – at least, a world inhabited by creatures other than bacteria and beetles, with some scattering of others. Noam Chomsky

war quotes from generals

A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him. Winston Churchill

War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can’t smile, grin. If you can’t grin, keep out of the way till you can. Winston Churchill

I am never going to have anything more to do with politics or politicians. When this war is over I shall confine myself entirely to writing and painting. Winston Churchill

Politics are very much like war. We may even have to use poison gas at times. Winston Churchill

In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might. Winston Churchill

Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion,and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose – and you allow him to make war at pleasure. Abraham Lincoln

I do not believe that civilization will be wiped out in a war fought with the atomic bomb. Perhaps two-thirds of the people of the earth will be killed. Albert Einstein

I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war. Albert Einstein

History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap. Ronald Reagan

There is always inequality in life. Some men are killed in a war and some men are wounded and some men never leave the country. Life is unfair. John F. Kennedy

I can not believe that war is the best solution. No one won the last war, and no one will win the next war. Eleanor Roosevelt

If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children. Mahatma Gandhi

When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader. Plato

War has always been the grand sagacity of every spirit which has grown too inward and too profound; its curative power lies even in the wounds one receives. Friedrich Nietzsche

Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it… You take diplomacy out of war, and the thing would fall flat in a week. Will Rogers

If there is not the war, you don’t get the great general; if there is not a great occasion, you don’t get a great statesman; if Lincoln had lived in a time of peace, no one would have known his name. Theodore Roosevelt

Germany has reduced savagery to a science, and this great war for the victorious peace of justice must go on until the German cancer is cut clean out of the world body. Theodore Roosevelt

The problems we face now – poverty and violence at home, war and destruction abroad – will last only as long as we continue relying on the same politicians who created them in the first place. Donald Trump

The British soldier can stand up to anything except the British War Office. George Bernard Shaw

war quotes ww2

I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes. Ernest Hemingway

They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason. Ernest Hemingway

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses. Thomas Jefferson

I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another. Thomas Jefferson

The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind. Thomas Jefferson

War is the business of barbarians. Napoleon Bonaparte

I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. Barack Obama

As we speak, Iran has rolled back its nuclear program, shipped out its uranium stockpile, and the world has avoided another war. Barack Obama

Anyone who’s traveled with me to Afghanistan knows why I love this book: ‘War,’ by Sebastian Junger. Joe Biden

War is war. The only good human being is a dead one. George Orwell

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting. George Orwell

Most people are basically a victim of the circumstances of their life. They have things like 9/11, they have terrorism threats, they have new war threats, they have economy problems, and they think, ‘What can I do? I’m basically a victim.’ Stephen Covey

Serious sport is war minus the shooting. George Orwell

There is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no difference who wins. Nearly always one side stands more or less for progress, the other side more or less for reaction. George Orwell

War is a way of shattering to pieces… materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable and… too intelligent. George Orwell

War is evil, but it is often the lesser evil. George Orwell

When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. Dwight D. Eisenhower

If men can develop weapons that are so terrifying as to make the thought of global war include almost a sentence for suicide, you would think that man’s intelligence and his comprehension… would include also his ability to find a peaceful solution. Dwight D. Eisenhower

To establish any mode to abolish war, however advantageous it might be to Nations, would be to take from such Government the most lucrative of its branches. Thomas Paine

War involves in its progress such a train of unforeseen circumstances that no human wisdom can calculate the end; it has but one thing certain, and that is to increase taxes. Thomas Paine

The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure. George Washington

War is the greatest plague that can afflict humanity, it destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it. Martin Luther

I can testify to what UNICEF means to children because I was among those who received food and medical relief right after World War II. Audrey Hepburn

We have practiced diplomacy since the very beginning of the nation. Sometimes it has not worked, and we’ve had to go to war. I always believe you should try to find peace and reconciliation before conflict. That has been the approach I’ve taken. Colin Powell

Fortune, which has a great deal of power in other matters but especially in war, can bring about great changes in a situation through very slight forces. Julius Caesar

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn’t every war fought between men, between brothers? Victor Hugo

A society that admits misery, a humanity that admits war, seem to me an inferior society and a debased humanity; it is a higher society and a more elevated humanity at which I am aiming – a society without kings, a humanity without barriers. Victor Hugo

I understand how every healthy child, every new road, puts a country on a better path, but instability and war will arise from time to time, and I’m not an expert on how you get out of those things. Bill Gates

The misconception that aid falls straight into the hands of dictators largely stems from the Cold War era. Bill Gates

Lots of people who complained about us receiving the MBE received theirs for heroism in the war – for killing people. We received ours for entertaining other people. I’d say we deserve ours more. John Lennon

Our country is now geared to an arms economy bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and an incessant propaganda of fear. Douglas MacArthu

I think war is so incredibly backward, and I don’t think it’s intelligent, and it’s not sane. So why would you want to support it? Alice Walker

War on the other hand is such a terrible thing, that no man, especially a Christian man, has the right to assume the responsibility of starting it. Leo Tolstoy

War is so unjust and ugly that all who wage it must try to stifle the voice of conscience within themselves. Leo Tolstoy

In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful. Leo Tolstoy

We can best help you to prevent war not by repeating your words and following your methods but by finding new words and creating new methods. Virginia Woolf

This is an important book, the critic assumes, because it deals with war. This is an insignificant book because it deals with the feelings of women in a drawing-room. Virginia Woolf

If we help an educated man’s daughter to go to Cambridge are we not forcing her to think not about education but about war? – not how she can learn, but how she can fight in order that she might win the same advantages as her brothers? Virginia Woolf

A war is a horrible thing, but it’s also a unifier of countries. Clint Eastwood

I was drafted during the Korean War. None of us wanted to go… It was only a couple of years after World War II had ended. We said, ‘Wait a second? Didn’t we just get through with that?’ Clint Eastwood

The guys who won World War II and that whole generation have disappeared, and now we have a bunch of teenage twits. Clint Eastwood

Everybody has a job to do. There are people in Iraq on both sides of this war who do what they do for religious reasons, and they feel with God on their side. Some people are good at annihilating people. Maybe that’s their gift. Denzel Washington

My dad was a big admirer of Sergeant York stories from the First World War. Clint Eastwood

First of all, Saddam did not win the war, even though he says he did, I mean, you know, that’s a joke and everybody in the world knows it. Norman Schwarzkopf

All you have to do is hold your first soldier who is dying in your arms, and have that terribly futile feeling that I can’t do anything about it… Then you understand the horror of war. Norman Schwarzkopf

If every small nation with a border dispute believes they can go ahead and launch a pre-emptive war and that it will be approved by the greatest power, that is a very dangerous thing. Walter Cronkite

The military people don’t like it; the government probably doesn’t like it, but the people should know what they’re sending their young people into when they permit their governments to declare war and engage in war. Walter Cronkite

I think the whole policy of pre-emptive war is a serious, serious mistake. Walter Cronkite

During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that conditions called war; and such a war, as if of every man, against every man. Thomas Hobbes

Before the Civil War, the Southern states were selling a lot of cotton to England and didn’t seem to mind British occupation. By and large, the Revolutionary War wasn’t at all great for business. Henry Rollins

War is never a lasting solution for any problem. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

The moment I said I’d finished a book, I knew what would happen. There would be a bidding war, and I would end up with someone who’d got the fattest wallet, who had bought it because I’d written Harry Potter. That would have been why. J. K. Rowling

No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now. Richard M. Nixon

The Cold War isn’t thawing; it is burning with a deadly heat. Communism isn’t sleeping; it is, as always, plotting, scheming, working, fighting. Richard M. Nixon

There’s many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory but it is all hell. William Tecumseh Sherman

Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster. William Tecumseh Sherman

If the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not popularity seeking. William Tecumseh Sherman

He belonged to that army known as invincible in peace, invisible in war. William Tecumseh Sherman

War contains so much folly, as well as wickedness, that much is to be hoped from the progress of reason. James Madison

War should only be declared by the authority of the people, whose toils and treasures are to support its burdens, instead of the government which is to reap its fruits. James Madison

If… many influential people have failed to understand, or have just forgotten, what we were up against in the Cold War and how we overcame it, they are not going to be capable of securing, let alone enlarging, the gains that liberty has made. Margaret Thatcher

War can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun. Mao Zedong

Love and war are the same thing, and stratagems and policy are as allowable in the one as in the other. Miguel de Cervantes

A man who says that no patriot should attack the war until it is over… is saying no good son should warn his mother of a cliff until she has fallen. Gilbert K. Chesterton

I grew up knowing only war, so for me, it was the way things were. It wasn’t pleasant by any means. Julie Andrews

In remembering the appalling suffering of war on both sides, we recognise how precious is the peace we have built in Europe since 1945. Queen Elizabeth II

Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war. Otto von Bismarck

Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness. Otto von Bismarck

During World War II, the pilot losses were staggering. In some bombing raids, as many as 80% of the planes that left did not return. Simon Sinek

In the 1980s America reacted to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. We supported a war that left a nation torn to pieces. And as the last Soviet tank left the country, so did we. Simon Sinek

The divorce rate in 1946 was higher than it ever had been and as high as it ever would be until the ’70s. The reason was that prior relationships had not endured the strain of war. P. J. O’Rourke

I find capitalism repugnant. It is filthy, it is gross, it is alienating… because it causes war, hypocrisy and competition. Fidel Castro

Cuba never had advisors in Vietnam. The military there knew very well how to conduct their war. Fidel Castro

Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism. Noam Chomsky

Concentration of executive power, unless it’s very temporary and for specific circumstances, let’s say fighting world war two, it’s an assault on democracy. Noam Chomsky

Britain kept its position as the dominant world power well into the 20th century despite steady decline. By the end of World War II, dominance had shifted decisively into the hands of the upstart across the sea, the United States, by far the most powerful and wealthy society in world history. Noam Chomsky

There has been a huge attack against private sector unions. Actually, that’s been going on since the Second World War. Noam Chomsky

As international support for Obama’s decision to attack Syria has collapsed, along with the credibility of government claims, the administration has fallen back on a standard pretext for war crimes when all else fails: the credibility of the threats of the self-designated policeman of the world. Noam Chomsky