There is one certain means by which I can be sure never to see my country’s ruin: I will die in the last ditch.
— William of Orange
When all the projections of intent and strategy twist and turn back on you, tracking team blood, “Sorry” just won’t cover it. There’s nothing so embarrassing as when things go wrong in war.
— Michael Herr. Dispatches
What of the hunting, hunter bold?
Brother, the watch was long and cold
What of the quarry you went to kill?
Brother, he crops in the jungle still.
Where is the power that made your pride?
Brother, it ebbs from my flank and side.
Where is the haste that ye hurry by?
Brother, I go to my lair — to die.
— Rudyard Kipling. The Jungle Book
Victory has a hundred fathers, defeat is an orphan.
— John F Kennedy
Nations which have never lost a war, peoples who have never known invasion, could not understand why German soldiers went on fighting; Skorzeny himself hardly knew what drove him on as he tried to reassemble the remnants of his task forces to prepare their last stand against a world in arms.
— Charles Foley. Commando Extraordinaty Otto Skorzeny
Hurrah, boys, we’ve got them!
— George Armstrong Custer at the the Battle of Little Big Horn.
Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget – lest we forget!
— From Rudyard Kipling’s Recessional
Advantages are sometimes all that stand between you and defeat. Never give up anything.
— Eric Van Lustbader. Black Heart
The snow lies thick on Valley Forge,
The ice on the Delaware,
But the poor dead soldiers of King George
They neither know nor care.
— From Rudyard Kipling’s The American Rebellion