"The chief reason warfare is still with us is neither a secret death-wish of the human species, nor an irrepressible instinct of aggression, nor, finally and more plausibly, the serious economic and social dangers inherent in disarmament, but the simple fact that no substitute for this final arbiter in international affairs has yet appeared on the political scene."
"From the happy expression on their faces you might have supposed that they welcomed the war. I have met with men who loved stamps, and stones, and snakes, but I could not imagine any man loving war."
"War both needs and generates certain virtues; not the highest, but what may be called the preliminary virtues, as valour, veracity, the spirit of obedience, the habit of discipline. Any of these, and of others like them, when possessed by a nation, and no matter how generated, will give them a military advantage, and make them more likely to stay in the race of nations."
"I really don't think this war will end soon. We are completely aware of the difficulties, no food or fuel, the danger, but we want to be stronger than all that. With each child, we are fighting back with our love of life."
"What armies and how much of war I have seen, what thousands of marching troops, what fields of slain, what prisons, what hospitals, what ruins, what cities in ashes, what hunger and nakedness, what orphanages, what widowhood, what wrongs and what vengeance."
"... this I conceive to be no time to prate of moral influences. Our men's nerves require their accustomed narcotics and a glass of whiskey is a powerful friend in a sunstroke, and these poor fellows fall senseless on their heavy drills."
"My business is stanching blood and feeding fainting men; my post the open field between the bullet and the hospital. I sometimes discuss the application of a compress or a wisp of hay under a broken limb, but not the bearing and merits of a political movement. I make gruel--not speeches; I write letters home for wounded soldiers, not political addresses."
"The bugle-call to arms again sounded in my war-trained ear, the bayonets gleamed, the sabres clashed, and the Prussian helmets and the eagles of France stood face to face on the borders of the Rhine.... I remembered our own armies, my own war-stricken country and its dead, its widows and orphans, and it nerved me to action for which the physical strength had long ceased to exist, and on the borrowed force of love and memory, I strove with might and main."
"I don't have to pound on that thick skull of yours and make big speeches as to what this mission means to us. I think you know. If you do good, it means the lives of several thousand men, so do good."