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IMPORTANT QUOTATIONS FROM WORLD HISTORY



(NOTE: WE DO NOT NECESSARILY AGREE WITH ALL ASPECTS OR INTERPRETATIONS OF EVERY QUOTE

 BUT BELIEVE MANY OF THESE QUOTES TO BE OF CRITICAL IMPORTANCE IN UNDERSTANDING HISTORY.)


THE NEED FOR A TOTAL COMMITMENT TO VICTORY

Hegel Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without a fanatical commitment to victory.

Clausewitz The conduct of war resembles the workings of an intricate machine with tremendous friction, so that combinations which are easily planned on paper can be executed only with great effort.

Many assume that half efforts can be effective.  A small jump is easier than a large one, but no one wishing to jump across a deep canyon would want to stop halfway across in midair.

Next to victory, the art of pursuit is the most important in war.

Napoleon A man who has lost courage lacks decision because he faces alternatives that are all very dangerous. And the worst thing in our enterprises is indecision. The essential quality of a general is resolution, the ability to make decisions.

If you wage war, do it energetically and with severity. This is the only way to make it shorter, and consequently less inhuman.

In war three quarters turns on personal character and relations. The balance of manpower and materials counts for only one quarter.

THE VITAL NEED TO CONCENTRATE POWER ON KEY GOALS
AND THE DEADLY CONSEQUENCES OF BEING OVEREXTENDED

Frederick the Great It is better to lose a province than split the forces with which one seeks victory.

Liddell Hart The principles of war could, for brevity, be condensed into a single word - "Concentration."

Julius Caesar Divide and conquer.

Clausewitz Keep the forces concentrated in an overpowering mass... The greatest possible number of troops should be brought into action at the decisive point... Where absolute superiority is not attainable, you must produce a relative one at the decisive point by making skillful use of what you have.

Napoleon.  The art of war consists, with a numerically inferior army, in always having larger forces than the enemy at the point which is to be attacked or defended. But this art can be learned neither from books nor from practice: it is an intuitive way of acting which properly constitutes the genius of war.

COMMENTS ON THE VITAL IMPORTANCE OF BEING ON THE ATTACK

Napoleon One should always be the first to attack.

Clausewitz The statesman who, seeing war inevitable, hesitates to strike first is guilty of a crime against his country.

Frederick the Great Always have as your goal to transform the war into an offensive on your part as soon as the occasion presents itself. All your maneuvers must lead toward this end.

COMMENTS ON THE NEED TO GIVE ONE LEADER
THE ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY TO MAKE DECISIONS

Napoleon Nothing is so important in war as an undivided command. There should be only one army conducted by one chief.

Homer (The Iliad) The rule of many kings is the road to disaster. There must be one king with absolute authority.

THE DISASTROUS CONSEQUENCES OF RULE BY COMMITTEE

Napoleon The same consequences which have uniformly attended long discussions and councils of war will follow at all times. They will terminate in the adoption of the worst course, which in war is always the most timid, or, if you will, the most prudent. The only true wisdom in a general is determined courage.

COMMENTS ON THE NEED FOR TERROR

Frederick the Great.  Soldiers should fear their officers more than the enemy.

Napoleon At home as abroad, I reign only through the fear I inspire.

Robespierre.  Justice without terror is useless.

Stalin.  It is more dangerous for a soldier to desert the Red Army than to serve in combat.

Machiavelli It is more important for a leader to be feared than loved.