What Are Some Quotes by George S. Patton?


Quick Answer

George S. Patton's most famous quote is perhaps the French "Audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace!" (Audacity, audacity, always audacity!), a statement that reflects his offensively oriented military philosophy. Other relevant quotes include "Wars are not won by defensive tactics," "In case of doubt, attack" and "We must have a superiority complex; always attack, never surrender."

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Full Answer

As a leader, Patton valued behaviors through which a commander demonstrated parity with his soldiers, and through which he led by example. For instance, Patton insisted that as an officer, you must "do everything you ask of those you command," and you must "do more than is required of you." Similarly, Patton believed in strength of character and human courage as primary virtues, saying "It is the unconquerable soul of man, not the weapons he uses, that insures victory."

Being one of the first great theorists of armored warfare, Patton recognized the potential importance of the tank in particular, stating simply that it was "certainly as valuable as the airplane." Trained as a cavalryman, Patton also recognized the changing historical reality of that arm of service, relenting that "The obvious thing for the cavalryman to do is to accept the fighting machine as a partner, and prepare to meet more fully the demands of future warfare." Finally, as one of the great students of military history, Patton could not help but requote Napoleon in saying that "The only right way of learning the science of war is to read and reread the campaigns of the great captains."

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