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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Why the American Military Wins Wars

Some of these quotes came out of an active service Army Ranger's notebook. He says he carries them around to remind him how Americans fight wars.  I added a couple of others I found. On this Memorial Day I pledge these brave guys the full measure of my support.

"The reason the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices it on a daily basis." - from a post-war debriefing of a German General

"One of the serious problems in planning the fight against American doctrine, is that the Americans do not read their manuals, nor do they feel any obligation to follow their doctrine..." - From a Soviet Junior Lt's Notebook

"Never fight the Americans without nuclear weapons." - Indian Army General after the First Gulf War

"I explained to my soldiers that they should not fear the American soldiers. If the Americans wanted to kill us, I said, we would already be dead. The Americans just wanted to take away our ability to fight."  - Iraqi officer after first Gulf War

"I always told my soldiers not to fear the treatment by Americans. Americans are very logical people; if you are good to the Americans, they will be good to you. Americans are very different than Arabs. WE know that the Saudis or the Kuwaitis will beat us and hate us because we are Iraqis."  - Iraqi officer

One of the (Patton's) Third Army's greatest assets was American ingenuity. American soldiers were creating new instruments of war on the spot to overcome new problems encountered day after day.

Third Army had an excellent command structure. Each level of command had a special job and each did the best job they could. The planners who told the soldiers what to do also made every effort to help them do it.  - Charles M. Province

"Liberated a day earlier by American soldiers, he remembers their rage at what they saw. And even if he lives to be a very old man, he will always be grateful to them for that rage, and also for their compassion. Though he did not understand their language, their eyes told him what he needed to know -- that they, too, would remember, and bear witness." - Elie Wiesel

"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." - Isoroku Yamamoto

"Always use a piledriver to crack a nut. The piledriver doesn't take much damage, and the nut stays cracked." -- USMC maxim

" imperfect plan implemented immediately and violently will always succeed better than a perfect plan." -- Gen. George S. Patton

"In my experience, the most useful command that can ever be given by a junior officer is "Carry on Sergant" -- 2 Lt. Andrew Moffatt-Vallance

"Most armies are in fact run by their sergeants -- the officers are there just to give things a bit of tone and prevent warfare becoming a mere lower-class brawl." -- Terry Pratchett

"The Third Army gave a new meaning to fluid warfare. The Third had only one general order from Patton; "Seek out the enemy, trap him, and destroy him." The Germans never knew what to expect from Patton. His methods of operation were very different from British General Montgomery and the more conventional American generals. Patton's Third Army tore open the German lines of defense and trapped thousands of German soldiers. Most of them were either killed or they surrendered. The history of the Third Army is a story of constant attack. They drove on in fair weather or foul, across favorable terrain or across mud, ice, and snow." - Charles M. Province

"U.S. trainers often experience frustration obtaining a decision from an Arab counterpart, not realizing that the Arab officer lacks the authority to make the decision - a frustration amplified by the Arab’s understandable reluctance to admit that he lacks that authority. This author has several times seen decisions that could have been made at the battalion level concerning such matters as class meeting times and locations referred for approval to the ministry of defense. All of which has led American trainers to develop a rule of thumb: a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army has as much authority as a colonel in an Arab army." -- Norvell B. De Atkine 

"We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last 100 years and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in." - Secretary of State Colin Powell
"The United States military is now evolving geometrically as it gains experience from near-constant fighting and grafts new technology daily. Indeed, it seems to be doubling, tripling, and even quadrupling its lethality every few years. And the result is that we are outdistancing not merely the capabilities of our enemies but our allies as well - many of whom who have not fought in decades - at such a dizzying pace that our sheer destructive power makes it hard to work with others in joint operations." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"Marines are about the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat their service as if it were some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves up to look like insane fanatics with haircuts to ungentlemanly lengths, worshipping their Commandant almost as if he were a god, and making weird animal noises like a band of savages. They'll fight like rabid dogs at the drop of a hat just for the sake of a little action, and are the cockest sons of bitches I have ever known. Most have the foulest mouths and drink well beyond man's normal limits, but their high spirits and sense of brotherhood set them apart and, generally speaking, the United States Marines I've come in contact with are the most professional soldiers and the finest men I have ever had the pleasure to meet." -- An Anonymous Canadian Citizen

"There is one tactical principal which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wounds, death and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time." -- General George S. Patton Jr.

"To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." -- George Washington 1790

"We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded." -- Lt. Richard “Dick” Winters, Easy Company 

"You know the world is going to Hell when your last "honorable" enemies were the Nazis" -- Uncle Bob

"To most Iraqis, the Iraqi police and soldiers are now seen as the good guys, and the terrorists as the bad guys. The Americans are a bunch of foreigners who help out the good guys and give out candy to the kids." - Unknown soldier

"It is worth remembering too that in the reconstruction of Japan there were no insurgents, no Japanese roadside bombs killing our soldiers. One reason is that the United States had shown, in the clearest possible terms, our willingness to wage total war against our enemies. Our military strategists in Iraq could learn from those who, sixty years ago, decided to spare no means in bringing the Japanese nation to its knees." -- Dr. Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute 

"The word "martyr" is just another name for "crappy fighter" - Unknown sergeant

"The easy way to tell the true power of an army is to see how much authority and power it gives to its sergeants. The more they are trusted and the more authority they have, the better the army and the more dangerous it will be in war." - US Army officer (name withheld because he wanted to someday be promoted to general)

"The United States started to go downhill when its military changed (ammunition) from a round designed to kill the enemies of America to one designed to piss them off." -- John Ringo

To our soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and other military and veterans, we thank you and honor your sacrifice on our behalf.

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