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A Speech By
General George S. Patton, Jr.

General George Patton
General George S. Patton, Jr.
November 11, 1885 - December 23, 1945

General Patton Quotations:

If I do my full duty, the rest will take care of itself
Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men
Live for something rather than die for nothing
You’re never beaten until you admit it
It’s the unconquerable soul of man, not the nature of the weapon he uses, that insures victory.
Often I have encountered in life that great disappointments have proved to be the road to future successes
Perpetual peace is a futile dream
A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood
A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later
Fixed fortifications are monuments to man's stupidity
Do everything you ask of those you command
Do more than is required of you
Do not fear failure
Do not make excuses, whether it's your fault or not
Give credit where it's due
In case of doubt, attack
Lack of orders is no excuse for inaction
I am a soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight
  If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking 
Make your plans to fit the circumstance.
Say what you mean and mean what you say
Take calculated risks

There is only one tactical principle 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

You shouldn't underestimate an enemy, but it is just as fatal to overestimate him
It is only by doing things others have not that one can advance
Anyone in any walk of life who is content with mediocrity is untrue to himself and the American way
God deliverus from our friends, we can handle the enemy
Give an army of West Point grads and I win a battle, give me a handful of Texas Aggies and I'll win a war
I'm going to Berlin to personally shoot that paper hanging son of a bitch
Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!!!
As I walk thorugh the valley of death I fear no one, for I am the meanest mother ****** in the valley!
I always believe in being prepared, even when I'm dressed in white tie and tails
A leader is a man who can adapt principles to circumstances
Success demands a high level of logistical and organizational competance
There is only one type of discipline, perfect discipline
Always take the offensive...Never Dig in

And Now, The Speech:

To the United States Third Army - May 31, 1944:

Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country

Men, this stuff we hear about America wanting to stay out of the war, not wanting to fight, is a lot of bullshit. Americans love to fight - traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the big-league ballplayers, the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win - all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost, nor ever will lose, a war. The very thought of losing is hateful to an American.

You are not all going to die. Only 2 percent of you here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Every man is frightened at first in battle. If he says he isn't, he's a goddamn liar. Some men are cowards, yes! But they fight just the same, or get the hell shamed out of them watching men who do fight who are just as scared. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some get over their fright in a minute under fire, some take an hour. For some it takes days. But the real man never lets fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to this country, and his innate manhood.

All through your Army career you have bitched about "chickenshit drill." That is all for a purpose. Drilling and discipline must be maintained in any army if for only one reason - instant obedience to orders and to create constant alertness. I don't give a damn for a man who is not always on his toes. You men are veterans or you wouldn't be here. You are ready. A man to continue breathing must be alert at all times. If not, some time a German son-of-a-bitch will sneak up behind him and beat him to death with a sock full of shit.

There are 400 neatly marked graves somewhere in Sicily because one man went to sleep on his job. But they were German graves, for we caught the bastard asleep before his officers did.

An Army is a team - lives, sleeps, eats, fights as a team. This individual heroic stuff is a lot of crap. The bilious bastards who write that kind of stuff for The Saturday Evening Post don't know any more about real fighting, under fire, than they do about fornicating. We have the best food, the finest equipment, the best spirit, and the best fighting men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity these poor sons-of-bitches we are going up against. By God, I do!

My men don't surrender. I don't want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he is hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight. That's not just bullshit, either. The kind of man I want under me is like the lieutenant in Libya who, with a Lugar against his chest, jerked off his helmet, swept the gun aside with one hand, and busted the hell out of the German with the helmet. Then he jumped on the gun and went out and killed another German: All this with a bullet through his lung. That's a man for you.

All real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every man in the Army plays a vital part. Every little job is essential. Don't ever let down, thinking your role is unimportant. Every man has a job to do. Every man is a link in the great chain. What if every truck driver decided he didn't like the whine of the shells overhead, turned yellow, and jumped headlong into the ditch? He could say to himself, "They won't miss me - just one in thousands." What if every man said that? Where in hell would we be now?

No, thank God, Americans don't say that! Every man does his job; every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important to the vast scheme of things. The Ordnance men are needed to supply the guns, the Quartermaster to bring up the food and clothes to us - for where we're going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last man in the mess hall, even the one who heats the water to keep us from getting the GIs, has a job to do. Even the chaplain is important, for if we get killed and if he is not there to bury us, we'd all go to hell.

Each man must not only think of himself but of his buddy fighting beside him. We don't want yellow cowards in this Army. They should all be killed off like flies. If not, they will go back home after the war and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed brave men. Kill off the goddamn cowards and we'll have a nation of brave men.

One of the bravest men I ever saw in the African campaign was on top of a telegraph pole in the midst of furious fire while we were plowing toward Tunis. I stopped and asked what the hell he was doing up there at that time. He answered, "Fixing the wire, sir." "Isn't it a little unhealthy right now?" I asked. "Yes sir, but this goddamn wire's got to be fixed." There was a real soldier. There was a man who devoted all he had to his duty, no matter how great the odds, no matter how seemingly insignificant his duty might appear at the time.

You should have seen those trucks on the road to Gabes. The drivers were magnificent. All day and all night they rolled over those son-of-a-bitching roads - never stopping, never faltering from their course, with shells bursting around them all the time. We got through on good old American guts. Many of those men drove over 40 consecutive hours. Those weren't combat men. But they were soldiers with a job to do. They did it - and in a whale of a way. They were part of a team. Without them the fight would have been lost. All the links in the chain pulled together and that chain became unbreakable.

Don't forget, you don't know I'm here. No word of the fact is to be mentioned in any letters. The world is not supposed to know what the hell became of me. I'm not supposed to be commanding this Army. I'm not even supposed to be in England. Let the first bastards to find out be the goddamn Germans. Someday I want them to raise up on their hind legs and howl, "Ach, it's the goddamn Third Army and that son-of-a-bitch Patton again."

We want to get the hell over there. We want to get over there and clear the goddamn thing up. You can't win a war lying down. The quicker we clean up this goddamn mess, the quicker we can take a jaunt against the Japs and clean their nest out too, before the Marines get all the goddamn credit.

Sure, we all want to be home. We want this thing over with. The quickest way to get it over is to get the bastards. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin. When a man is lying in a shell hole, if he just stays there all day, a German will get him eventually, and the hell with that idea. The hell with taking it. My men don't dig foxholes. I don't want them to. Foxholes only slow up an offensive. Keep moving. And don't give the enemy time to dig one. We'll win this war but we'll win it only by fighting and by showing the Germans we've got more guts than they do.

There is one great thing you men will all be able to say when you go home. You may thank God for it, thank God that at least 30 years from now - when you're sitting around the fireside with your grandson on your knees, and he asks you what you did in the great war - you won't have to cough and say, "I shoveled shit in Louisiana."

Alright now, you sons of bitches, you know how I feel.  I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere. That's all.

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