100 Quotes by George S. Patton

George S. Patton, a prominent United States Army general during World War II, is recognized for his exceptional leadership, strategic brilliance, and unyielding determination on the battlefield. Known for his flamboyant personality and iconic ivory-handled revolvers, Patton was an inspiring figure who motivated his troops to achieve extraordinary feats. His innovative approach to armored warfare contributed to the success of major campaigns in North Africa and Europe. Patton's emphasis on aggressive tactics and his emphasis on keeping the initiative helped turn the tide of battle against Axis forces. Despite his military prowess, Patton's career was not without controversy, as his outspoken nature and occasional disregard for conventional norms sometimes brought him into conflict with superiors. However, his strategic genius and unwavering commitment to victory remain a testament to his impact as a military leader and his role in shaping the outcome of World War II.

George S. Patton Quotes

The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

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If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.

I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.

To me it seems certain that the fatalistic teachings of Muhammad and the utter degradation of women is the outstanding cause for the arrested development of the Arab. He is exactly as he was around the year 700, while we have kept on developing.

Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired. When you were younger the mind could make you dance all night, and the body was never tired. You've always got to make the mind take over and keep going.

May God have mercy for my enemies because I won't.

I am a Soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.

Give me an Army of West Point graduates and I'll win a battle... Give me a handful of Texas Aggies and I'll win a war.

Achievers are resolute in their goals and driven by determination. Discouragement is temporary, obstacles are overcome, and doubt is defeated, yielding to personal victory. You need to overcome the tug of people against you as you reach for high goals. Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.

A leader is a man who can adapt principles to circumstances.

The more I see of Arabs the less I think of them. By having studied them a good deal I have found out the trouble. They are the mixture of all the bad races on earth, and they get worse from west to east, because the eastern ones have had more crosses.

When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can't run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn't fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag. As for the types of comments I make, sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence.

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Better to fight for something than live for nothing.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.

Fear kills more people than death.

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is bearing arms.

You cannot be disciplined in great things and undisciplined in small things.

I have studied the enemy all my life. I have read the memoirs of his generals and his leaders. I have even read his philosophers and listened to his music. I have studied in detail the account of every damned one of his battles. I know exactly how he will react under any given set of circumstances. And he hasn't the slightest idea of what I'm going to do. So when the time comes, I'm going to whip the hell out of him.

There is a great deal of talk about loyalty from the bottom to the top. Loyalty from the top down is even more necessary and much less prevalent. One of the most frequently noted characteristics of great men who have remained great is loyalty to their subordinates.

If you tell people where to go, but not how to get there, you'll be amazed at the results.

Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.

A man must know his destiny. If he does not recognize it, then he is lost. By this I mean, once, twice, or at the very most, three times, fate will reach out and tap a man on the shoulder… if he has the imagination, he will turn around and fate will point out to him what fork in the road he should take, if he has the guts, he will take it.

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No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.

The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.

Do not try to make circumstances fit your plans. Make plans that fit the circumstances.

Make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up.

When in doubt, observe and ask questions. When certain, observe at length and ask many more questions.

Always do more than is required of you.

Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man.

An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body.

The soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country

Keep going, someone must be on top, why not you?

Good tactics can save even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy.

The supreme measure of a man, is what he would risk his life for.

Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.

All men are timid on entering any fight. Whether it is the first or the last fight, all of us are timid. Cowards are those who let their timidity get the better of their manhood.

Do your damnedest in an ostentatious manner all the time.

Pressure makes diamonds.

There are three ways that men get what they want; by planning, by working, and by praying. Any great military operation takes careful planning, or thinking. Then you must have well-trained troops to carry it out: that's working. But between the plan and the operation there is always an unknown. That unknown spells defeat or victory, success or failure. It is the reaction of the actors to the ordeal when it actually comes. Some people call that getting the breaks; I call it God. God has His part, or margin in everything, That's where prayer comes in.

Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching.

When there is fear of failure, there will be failure.

If a man does his best, what else is there?

A civil servant is sometimes like a broken cannon - it won't work and you can't fire it.

Plans must be simple and flexible. They must be made by the people who execute them.

You need to overcome the tug of people against you as you reach for high goals.

The most difficult thing about being humble is not being able to brag about it.

Often I have encountered in life that great disappointments have proved to be the road to future successes.

In case of doubt, push on just a little further and then keep on pushing.

You're never beaten until you admit it

Never let the enemy pick the battle site.

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 wound, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time.

Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.

You must be single minded. Drive for the one thing on which you have decided.

In case of doubt, attack.

Between the plan and the operation, there is always an unknown. That unknown spells victory or defeat. ... Some people call it getting the breaks. I call it God. God has His part in everything. That's where prayer comes in.

Wars are not won by fighting battles; wars are won by choosing battles

There are three ways that men get what they want: by planning, by working, and by praying.

Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men

There is no such thing as a successful defense.

Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

Be willing to make decisions. That's the most important quality in a good leader.

To be a successful soldier, you must know history.

Discipline can only be obtained when all the officers are imbued with the sense of their awful obligation to their men and to their country that they cannot tolerate negligence. Officers who fail to correct errors or to praise excellence are valueless in peace and dangerous misfits in war.

The most vital quality a soldier can possess is self-confidence.

Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight.

Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.

Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.

If I could have three wishes, one would be to take an '88 and shove that barrel up Hitler's ass so that cocksucker can cry like the little god-damned girl he is. And hell, after that, I wouldn't need two more wishes.

Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.

No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

From time to time there will be some complaints that we are pushing our people too hard. I don't give a good Goddamn about such complaints. I believe in the old and sound rule that an ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood. The harder we push, the more Germans we will kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed. Pushing means fewer casualties. I want you all to remember that.

A man must know his destiny. if he does not recognize it, then he is lost.

Always advance. Never dig in.

Perpetual peace is a futile dream.

Duty is the essence of manhood.

Human beings are made up of flesh and blood, and a miracle fiber called courage.

In war nothing is impossible, provided you use audacity.

Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge.

Anyone in any walk of life who is content with mediocrity is untrue to himself and to American tradition.

You shouldn't underestimate an enemy, but it is just as fatal to overestimate him.

You fight like you train.

War is simple, direct, and ruthless.

Never draw a gun on a man unless you intend to kill him. And believe me, if you do intend to kill him he will already know it. Then he will feel the cold breath of the tomb.

Always do everything you ask of those you command.

There is no such thing as luck, merely opportunity meeting preparedness. George S. Patton Jr.

We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.

All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters either. Every single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don t ever let up. Don t ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain.

The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That's the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead!

Officers must be made to care for their men. That is the sole duty of all officers.

A pint of sweat, saves a gallon of blood.

I'd rather have a German Division in front of me than a French one behind.

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 either.

Let us not mourn that such men died, but rejoice that such men lived.

Remember praise is more valuable than blame.

We entered a synagogue which was packed with the greatest stinking bunch of humanity I have ever seen. Either these Displaced Persons never had any sense of decency or else they lost it all during their period of internment by the Germans. My personal opinion is that no people could have sunk to the level of degradation these have reached in the short space of four years.

A man is not measured by how much he can take and stand but by how fast he regains once fallen.

It is only by doing things others have not that one can advance.

In war the only sure defense is offense, and the efficiency of the offense depends on the warlike souls of those conducting it.

If I do my full duty, the rest will take care of itself.

Don't fall victim to what I call the ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome. You must be willing to fire.

Success demands a high level of logistical and organizational competence.

When in doubt, ATTACK!

Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men.

There is only one sort of discipline, perfect discipline.

When a decision has to be made, make it. There is no totally right time for anything.

When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead!

America loves a winner, and will not tolerate a loser, this is why America has never, and will never, lose a war.

There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear.

Do not make excuses, whether it's your fault or not.

The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared.

Lack of orders is no excuse for inaction.

Live for something rather than die for nothing.

When everyone agrees, someone is not thinking.

Let's keep our boots polished, bayonets sharpened, and present a picture of force and strength to the Red Army. This is the only language they understand and respect.

By perseverance, study, and eternal desire, any man can become great.

I never take counsel of my fears.

Those who live in fear die a thousand deaths.

If everybody's thinking the same thing, then nobody's thinking.

A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.

The duties of an officer are the safety, honor, and welfare of your country first; the honor, welfare, and comfort of the men in your command second; and the officer s own ease, comfort, and safety last.

Discipline must be a habit so ingrained that it is stronger than the excitement of battle.

The courageous man is the man who forces himself, in spite of his fear, to carry on.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Most battles are won before they are ever fought.

A real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood.

Audacity, audacity, always audacity.

I don’t fear failure. I only fear the slowing up of the engine inside of me which is saying, ‘Keep going, someone must be on top, why not you?

All very successful commanders are prima donnas and must be so treated.

My men don't surrender. I don't want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he has been hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight back.

Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory. Always do more than is required of you. If a man has done his best, what else is there?

Do your duty as you see it, and damn the consequences.

The leader must be an actor.

To be a successful soldier you must know history. What you must know is how man reacts. Weapons change but man who uses them changes not at all. To win battles you do not beat weapons - you beat the soul of man of the enemy man.

Staff officers of inharmonious disposition, irrespective of their ability, must be removed. A staff cannot function unless it is a united family.

We must guard against becoming so engrossed in the specific nature of the roots and bark of the trees of knowledge as to miss the meaning and grandeur of the forest they compose.

The god of war hates those who hesitate.

Why is it that all battles are fought in the middle of the night, in downpouring rain, and at the corners of four different maps?

The reason there are so many tree-lined boulevards in Paris is so the German army can march in the shade.

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

I am convinced that much more emphasis should be placed on history. The purpose of history is to learn how human beings react when exposed to the danger of wounds or death.

― George S. Patton Quotes

Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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