War Quotes

The horrors of war have often been recorded by poets and writers. Here is a collection of war quotes from authors, poets and other notables.

"At school nobody ever taught us how to light a cigarette in a storm of rain, nor how a fire could be made with wet wood-nor that it is best to stick a bayonet in the belly because there it doesn't get jammed, as it does in the ribs." - All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque


"Ironically enough, the only people who can hold up indefinitely under the stress of modern war are psychotics. Individual insanity is immune to the consequences of collective insanity." - Brave New World - Aldous Huxley


"Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!" - Julius Caesar - William Shakespeare


"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead! In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility: But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger." - Henry V - William Shakespeare


"What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises—no matter the mood! Mood's a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It's not for fighting." - Dune - Frank Herbert


"War doesn't negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace." - The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini


"As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular." - The Critic as Artist - Oscar Wilde




"The most noble fate a man can endure is to place his own mortal body between his loved home and the war's desolation." - Starship Troopers - Robert Heinlein


"War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose." - Sergeant Charles Zim, Starship Troopers - Robert Heinlein


"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." - The Art of War - Sun Tzu


"For it can never be that war shall preserve life, and peace destroy it." - Leviathan - Thomas Hobbes


"Advances in medicine and agriculture have saved vastly more lives than have been lost in all the wars in history." - Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark - Carl Sagan


"War is a bad thing, but peace can be a living horror." - The Illustrated Man - Ray Bradbury


"When you think about it, department stores are kind of like museums where images of mass advertising and popular culture that everyone can recognize are a form of art." (source) - Andy Warhol


"Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime." - Ernest Hemingway


"War is wretched beyond description, and only a fool or a fraud could sentimentalize its cruel reality." - John McCain


"It is not an army that we must train for war; it is a nation." - Woodrow Wilson


"But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could." - CBS Evening News - Walter Cronkite


"War is a grim, cruel business, a business justified only as a means of sustaining the forces of good against those of evil." (source) - Dwight D. Eisenhower


Here are some additional war quote resources:
You may also enjoy our collection of war poems