Best 49 quotes in «ww1 quotes» category

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    Alfred is taken past this broom, and enters this room; which can only be described as 'piecemeal'. It is full of pieces of fish-market paraphernalia, pieces of military-regalia; and pieces of rusted-steel. It is full of these spiky-hooks, fishmongery-books; and saline-scalers. These bayonet-blades, grenades; and dusty loud-halers.

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    Bărbații fiind duși, traiul nu mai avea cele două înțelesuri: goana după spor și avuție și goana după dragoste. Rămăsese nevoia de a exista.

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    As Ramses did the same for his mother, he saw that her eyes were fixed on him. She had been unusually silent. She had not needed his father's tactless comment to understand the full implications of Farouk's death. As he met her unblinking gaze he was reminded of one of Nefret's more vivid descriptions. 'When she's angry, her eyes look like polished steel balls.' That's done it, he thought. She's made up her mind to get David and me out of this if she has to take on every German and Turkish agent in the Middle East.

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    A vertical battled pitted the Italians against the Austrians, who were starving up in the mountains. The Italians also sent men to the firing squad “to set an example”. I couldn’t make up my mind which was more appalling: the mining war or the mountain war. And between an Italian general and a French one, I wouldn’t’ve known which one to shoot first.

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    And the Great Adventure - the real life equivalent of all the adventure stories they'd devoured as boys - consisted of crouching in a dugout, waiting to be killed. The war that had promised so much in the way of 'manly' activity had actually delivered 'feminine' passivity, and on a scale that their mothers and sisters had hardly known. No wonder they broke down.

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    Bells Screamed all off key, wrangling together as they collided in midair, horns and whistles mingled shrilly with cries of human distress; sulphur-colored light ex-ploded through the black windowpane and flashed away in darkness. Miranda waking from a dreamless sleep asked without expecting an answer, “What is happening?” for there was a bustle of voices and footsteps in the corridor, and a sharpness in the air; the far clamour went on, a furious exasperated shrieking like a mob in revolt. The light came on, and Miss Tanner said in a furry voice, “Hear that? They’re celebrating . It’s the Armistice. The war is over, my dear.” Her hands trembled. She rattled a spoon in a cup, stopped to listen, held the cup out to Miranda. From the ward for old bedridden women down the hall floated a ragged chorus of cracked voices singing, “My country, ’tis of thee…” Sweet land… oh terrible land of this bitter world where the sound of rejoicing was a clamour of pain, where ragged tuneless old women, sitting up waiting for their evening bowl of cocoa, were singing, “Sweet land of Liberty-” “Oh, say, can you see?” their hopeless voices were asking next, the hammer strokes of metal tongues drowning them out. “The war is over,” said Miss Tanner, her underlap held firmly, her eyes blurred. Miranda said, “Please open the window, please, I smell death in here.

  • By Anonym

    By the next war, the message will have got through. There will never be another war. There will always be wars. Men couldn't be so stupid, John! After all this? Isn't the only real purpose of our being here to teach them that lesson - how bloody useless and pointless the whole thing is? Men are naturally stupid and they do not learn from experience.

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    But this anti-war protest, is far from a success; it is just a placebo for the people. These peacemakers feel so satisfied, gratified; gay-gallant-and-gleeful. But they do not achieve anything acceptable, perceptible; or peaceful.

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    Emerson abandoned irony for blunt and passionate speech. 'This war has been a monumental blunder from the start! Britain is not solely responsible, but by God, gentlemen, she must share the blame, and she will pay a heavy price: the best of her young men, future scholars and scientists and statesmen, and ordinary, decent men who might have led ordinary, decent lives. And how will it end, when you tire of your game of soldiers? A few boundaries redrawn, a few transitory political advantages, in exchange for an entire continent laid waste and a million graves! What I do may be of minor importance in the total accumulation of knowledge, but at least I don't have blood on my hands.

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    Her soul died that night under a radiant silver moon in the spring of 1918 on the side of a blood-spattered trench. Around her lay the mangled dead and the dying. Her body was untouched, her heart beat calmly, the blood coursed as ever through her veins. But looking deep into those emotionless eyes one wondered if they had suffered much before the soul had left them. Her face held an expression of resignation, as though she had ceased to hope that the end might come.

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    God is British to the bone, and every fellow here knows it. You can't exploit him to save yourself, you blaspheming cadaverous-prig; you disgusting shambles of porcelain-skin, unwholesome-fat and puny-bones. Your blatant disregard for God's word shan't earn you any favours here!

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    Her unique observations are about how the war impacted people—from the thrill-seekers going to battlefields for fun, to the nurses working among the wounded in darkness, and London society women venturing into foreign lands to work near dangerous enemy lines.

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    He shot everything that moved in a blind fury. It was as if he were floating outside his body, his flesh acting on pure animal instinct. To kill or be killed. It was exhilarating.

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    It doesn't matter now that they lived and died, but rather did they make a difference?

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    Hitler derived several things from his experience and achievements in World War I, without which his rise to power in 1933 would have been at the least problematical, and at the most inconceivable. Hitler survived the war as a combat soldier—a rifle carrier—in a frontline infantry regiment. The achievement was an extraordinary one based on some combination of near-miraculous luck and combat skill. The interpretive fussing over whether or not Hitler was a combat soldier because he spent most of the war in the part of the regiment described as regimental headquarters can be laid to rest as follows: Any soldier in an infantry regiment on an active front in the west in World War I must be considered to have been a combat soldier. Hitler’s authorized regimental weapon was the Mauser boltaction, magazine-fed rifle. This gives a basic idea of what Hitler could be called upon to do in his assignment at the front. As a regimental runner, he carried messages to the battalions and line companies of the regiment, and the more important ones had to be delivered under outrageously dangerous circumstances involving movement through artillery fire and, particularly later in the war, poison gas and the omnipresent rifle fire of the skilled British sniper detachments. --Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny, p. 96

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    If war was once a chivalrous duel, it is now a dastardly slaughter.

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    In 1917 I was only beginning to learn that life, for the majority of the population, is an unlovely struggle against unfair odds, culminating in a cheap funeral.

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    I thought it would be a good thing to follow John Redmond’s words. I thought for my mother’s sake, her gentle soul, for the sake of my own children, I might go out and fight for to save Europe so that we might have the Home Rule in Ireland in the upshot. I came out to fight for a country that doesn’t exist, and now, Willie, mark my words, it never will.

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    It’s finding out where we came from that helps guide us to where we are going.

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    No thanky-you; you can't overcome hatred with more hatred. Force can kill the liar but not the lie, the hater but not the hate, and the violent but not the violence. Hate begets hate, violence begets violence, and war begets war.

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    She did not respond, only clung harder to my embrace, and I held her with all the afflictions of a man torn by love. What a miracle she was, what a truly exquisite paragon of beauty and virtue so incredibly combined. And all perhaps wrenched from my grasp because of a war I had no real interest in nor knowledge of. In that moment I did not care who won, if only it would end and I could be with her. I would accept the whole responsibility of defeat if I had to, if only it meant a life with her by my side. I just wanted her. Needed her. As simply and clearly as one needs food and oxygen and light, I needed her in my life. And above us, flittering tranquilly in the trees above, the finches and skylarks continued to sing peacefully into the fading sun.

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    Shut your mouth - there's a bus coming.

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    Sometimes time can play tricks. One moment it idles by, an hour can seem a lifetime, such as when sitting by the river at dusk watching the bats snatching insects above the limpid waters; the breaching fish causing ringed ripples and a satisfying plop. Other times, time flashes by in an immodest fashion. So it is with the start of war. First time quivers with the last strum of a wonderful peace, the note holding in the air, mysterious and haunting, filling the listener with awe. Then, with a rising crescendo the terror starts with uncouth haste; with a boom the listener is shaken from their reverie and delivered into the servitude, of an ear-shattering cacophony.

  • By Anonym

    Surely, though, I must have stolen into the future and landed in an H.G. Wells-style world - a horrific, fantastic society in which people's faces contained only eyes, millions of healthy young adults and children dropped dead from the flu, boys got transported out of the country to be blown to bits, and the government arrested citizens for speaking the wrong words. Such a place couldn't be real. And it couldn't be the United States of America, "the land of the free and the home of the brave." But it was. I was on a train in my own country, in a year the devil designed. 1918.

  • By Anonym

    The Allied governments, for example, with the British as executors, maintained in place the food blockade of Germany that had been in effect since 1917. A British authority would note that “in the last two years of the war, nearly 800,000 noncombatants died in Germany from starvation or diseases attributed to undernourishment. The biggest mortality was among children between the ages of 5 and 1 5, where the death rate increased by 55 percent. . . a whole generation [the one which had been born and lived during Hitler’s rise to power] grew up in an epoch of undernourishment and misery such as we [British] have never in this country experienced.”3 A distinguished American authority on United States foreign policy in the first half of the twentieth century, Stanford University professor Thomas A. Bailey, noted that “the Allied slow starvation of Germany’s civilian population was quiet, unspectacular, and censored.”4 The Englishman Gilbert Murray, writing in 1933, noted that future historians would probably regard the establishment and continuation of the blockade as one of those many acts of almost incredible inhumanity which made World War I conspicuous in history. -- Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny, p. 122

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    His jaw is on the floor. Here is someone who doesn't think that anybody does anything better than America and he is getting a lesson in what the best army in the world looks like.

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    Hitler initially served in the List Regiment engaged in a violent four-day battle near Ypres, in Belgian Flanders, with elite British professional soldiers of the initial elements of the British Expeditionary Force. Hitler thereby served as a combat infantryman in one of the most intense engagements of the opening phase of World War I. The List Regiment was temporarily destroyed as an offensive force by suffering such severe casualty rates (killed, wounded, missing, and captured) that it lost approximately 70 percent of its initial strength of around 3,600 men. A bullet tore off Hitler’s right sleeve in the first day of combat, and in the “batch” of men with which he originally advanced, every one fell dead or wounded, leaving him to survive as if through a miracle. On November 9, 1914, about a week after the ending of the great battle, Hitler was reassigned as a dispatch runner to regimental headquarters. Shortly thereafter, he was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class. On about November 14, 1914, the new regimental commander, Lieutenant Colonel Philipp Engelhardt, accompanied by Hitler and another dispatch runner, moved forward into terrain of uncertain ownership. Engelhardt hoped to see for himself the regiment’s tactical situation. When Engelhardt came under aimed enemy smallarms fire, Hitler and the unnamed comrade placed their bodies between their commander and the enemy fire, determined to keep him alive. The two enlisted men, who were veterans of the earlier great four-day battle around Ypres, were doubtlessly affected by the death of the regiment’s first commander in that fight and were dedicated to keeping his replacement alive. Engelhardt was suitably impressed and proposed Hitler for the Iron Cross Second Class, which he was awarded on December 2. Hitler’s performance was exemplary, and he began to fit into the world around him and establish the image of a combat soldier tough enough to demand the respect of anyone in right wing, Freikorps-style politics after the war. -- Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny, p. 88

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    If you are not a Conchie, what are you man?' demanded the Major. After some moments' thought, Francis said, 'I am a human being who does not believe in killing my fellow man for insufficient reason.

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    I had him in my cab once. Who? Neville asked Rupert Brooke. He was good, him. "There's some corner of a foreign field/ That is forever England". That would be the bit with my nose under it; just fucking drive, will you?

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    I have always been considerably addicted to my own company.

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    I have lived now for over a century, yet I can still say with complete confidence that no one can claim to have plumbed the depths of human misery who has not shared the fore-ends of a submarine with a camel.

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    It is not enough to say, simply, the motherland called and we fought; woe to the dead, and to the living goes their glory.

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    It would be well to realize that the talk of ‘humane methods of warfare’, of the ‘rules of civilized warfare’, and all such homage to the finer sentiments of the race are hypocritical and unreal, and only intended for the consumption of stay-at-homes. There are no humane methods of warfare, there is no such thing as civilized warfare; all warfare is inhuman, all warfare is barbaric; the first blast of the bugles of war ever sounds for the time being the funeral knell of human progress… What lover of humanity can view with anything but horror the prospect of this ruthless destruction of human life. Yet this is war: war for which all the jingoes are howling, war to which all the hopes of the world are being sacrificed, war to which a mad ruling class would plunge a mad world.

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    Marvelous, isn’t it, how these Germans can shoot back at us even when they’re fucking dead.

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    Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom .... These are the beginnings of sorrows.

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    No lack of time, strength or money shall prevent me from doing anything that I want to do,” was Sarah Macnaughtan’s lifelong motto, first uttered in her younger years. A compassionate and daring woman ahead of her time who stood barely over 5 feet tall, Sarah let no obstacles become roadblocks in her life.

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    That as he climbs out of the trench with the rest of the lads he feels lifted up as if by angels.

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    The great rich nation had made triumphant war, suffered enough for poignancy but not enough for bitterness - hence the carnival, the feasting, the triumph.

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    They'd said that whatever drug they'd slipped into his veins would make the journey comfortable. They'd said that he wouldn't even be aware of the trip, that he'd wake up in London and be on the mend. They'd said that rest was all he needed. They'd lied.

  • By Anonym

    The leave zipped right by. We were so terrifically glad to be back to our own little section of the trench, with all its happy memories, that we wouldn’t have traded places with anybody. The lazy bastard who’d filled in while we were away hadn’t managed to nibble away so much as an inch of garden soil in the direction of Berlin. We found out that Brugnon hadn’t come back from leave. He’d hanged himself in the stairwell of his building, on rue des Gâtines. He left a note to say he couldn’t take it any more and asked us to count him out. We accepted it… Who were we to judge?

  • By Anonym

    The last time I saw Collin was in 1917, at the foot of Mort-Homme. Before the great slaughter, Collin’d been an avid angler. On that day, he was standing at the hole, watching maggots swarm among blow flies on two boys that we couldn’t retrieve for burial without putting our own lives at risk. And there, at the loop hole, he thought of his bamboo rods, his flies and the new reel he hadn’t even tried out yet. Collin was imaging himself on the riverbank, wine cooling in the current his stash of worms in a little metal box and a maggot on his hook, writhing like… Holy shit. Were the corpses getting to him? Collin. The poor guy didn’t even have time to sort out his thoughts. In that split second, he was turned into a slab of bloody meat. A white hot hook drilled right through him and churned through his guts, which spilled out of a hole in his belly. He was cleared out of the first aid station. The major did triage. Stomach wounds weren’t worth the trouble. There were all going to die anyway, and besides, he wasn’t equipped to deal with them. Behind the aid station, next to a pile of wood crosses, there was a heap of body parts and shapeless, oozing human debris laid out on stretchers, stirred only be passing rats and clusters of large white maggots. But on their last run, the stretcher bearers carried him out after all… Old Collin was still alive. From the aid station to the ambulance and from the ambulance to the hospital, all he could remember was his fall into that pit, with maggots swarming over the open wound he had become from head to toe… Come to think of it, where was his head? And what about his feet? In the ambulance, the bumps were so awful and the pain so intense that it would have been a relief to pass out. But he didn’t. He was still alive, writhing on his hook. They carved up old Collin good. They fixed him as best they could, but his hands and legs were gone. So much for fishing. Later, they pinned a medal on him, right there in that putrid recovery room. And later still, they explained to him about gangrene and bandages packed with larvae that feed on death tissue. He owed them his life. From one amputation and operation to the next – thirty-eight in all – the docs finally got him “back on his feet”. But by then, the war was long over.

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    The old men were still running the country. The politicians who had caused millions of deaths were now celebrating, as if they had done something wonderful.

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    They went chasing round and round. Round and round the mulberry bush. The Hun could fly. This must be one of Richthofen's young men.

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    This is what is called dying for your country, but it is actually selling your soul to a few profiteers for a shilling, and being massacred to satisfy their selfish purposes. And they call it WAR--and a legitimate thing at that. -Private Arthur Wrench, Headquarters, 154th Brigade, 51st Division

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    This is a story about understanding overcoming compulsion, love overcoming revulsion; and oneness overcoming abuse. About the rare sort of kind-geniality, and brave-morality; which we all possess but seldom use. A story about detractors who will be defeated, challenges which will be completed; and principles which will be proclaimed. About acts of persecution, and threats of execution; which will all be constrained. This is the beginning of Alfred Freeman's story, the beginning of a life full of glory; and the beginning of Alfred himself. Because Alfred is being born, in his human form; with peaceful-eyes and perfect-health.

  • By Anonym

    This new lot...they too would go down. They were 'troops' who were about to be 'thrown in,' 'men' in some general's larger plan, 're-enforcements ' and would soon be 'casualties'. They were also Spud, Snow, Skeeter, Blue, Tommo.

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    You can't win because of the guns," said Adam with a sigh. "Machine guns, mortars, field guns, howitzers: it doesn't matter how much courage soldiers have, how much will; flesh and blood can't pass through bullets and shells, or at least not in sufficient numbers to have any effect. The guns win in the end and they always will. Not us, not the Germans - the guns.

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    This was the moment when the 20th century really began, in all its viciousness and bloody-mindedness. Me, I had imagination in spades, though. I saw myself as a corpse, swept into this stream of fools against my will along with thousands, millions of other corpses, and I didn’t like it one little bit. The other guys, still waiting on the platform at the Gare de l’Est, already saw themselves throwing back a well-earned beer on Alexanderplatz. Only the mothers really knew. They knew the babies in their arms were tomorrow’s war orphans, and the cattle cars (8 horses, 40 men) were nothing but rail-mounted coffins joined end to end and headed for military cemeteries.

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    When they writes up the history of this war,’ said Nell’s mother. ‘I hope they tells about the wives and the children starving to death!’. ‘They won’t,’ said Nell, gloomy socialist. ‘It’ll be all “Our Boys”, and everyone enlisting and people doing without chauffeurs to help the war effort.