10 of The Coolest Things Ever Said In War – Being Slightly Understated Here….

Hollywood doesn’t own all of the coolest lines in WWII films. The most profound things, and in many cases, understated comments are made by those in the thick of it. Below are just 10 of the most amazing things said in battle.

#1. “Well, buddy, just pull your tank in behind me. I’m the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going!”


The picture above is one of the most famous images in the long, proud history of the 82nd Airborne Division.  Here is the story behind it (taken from the book “All American, All the Way” by Phil Nordyke): It was December 23rd, 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge.

As a tank destroyer from the 7th Armored Division moved west from Salmchateau on the highway toward Fraiture, the commander spotted a lone trooper from the 325th digging a fox hole for an outpost near the road. The commander stopped the vehicle and asked him if this was the frontline.

The trooper, PFC Vernon Haught, with Company F, 325th GIR, looked up and said, “are you looking for a safe place?”
The tank destroyer commander answered, “Yeah.”
Haught then said, “Well, buddy, just pull your vehicle behind me. I’m the 82nd Airborne Division, and this is as far as the bastards are going.”


#2 “I don’t take prisoners, period. I’m not paid to take prisoners. I’m paid to kill them. That’s all there is to it.”

Irreverant, sharp-witted and something of a trouble-maker, Smoky Smith and his deeds that night are the stuff of legend.
In the early hours of October 22, the Seaforth’s right flank came under attack from three Panther tanks of the German 26th Panzer Division. Smith, armed with a PIAT anti-tank weapon, and some distance away, gathered up his team, crossed an open field and took up a position with a colleague in a ditch alongside the road on which the tanks were advancing. The PIAT was a highly effective “tank-stopper”, but only at close range. To be certain of knocking out the tank, Smith knew he had to be as close as possible to his target.

As the Panther advanced, its machine guns raking the position with fire, Smith’s companion was hit and badly wounded. Undaunted, Smith stood up and, at a range of about 30ft, fired his PIAT, stopping the Panther in its tracks. A group of some 10 German soldiers leapt from the tank and attacked Smith’s position with machinegun fire and grenades. Smith immediately broke from the cover of the ditch on to the road, shooting four of the enemy and driving the remainder back. When asked why he had never taken prisoners here answered:

“I don’t take prisoners, period. I’m not paid to take prisoners. I’m paid to kill them. That’s all there is to it.”


#3. “Goddamn it! You’ll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole. Follow me!”


On Jan. 10, 1942, the soldiers and marines fighting in Guadalcanal were given the straightforward mission to attack and destroy the Japanese forces remaining in the area.

As most “simple” wartime orders tend to go, this was far easier said than done. The Japanese army was not exactly a group of boy scouts: they were dug in, giving ground slowly and only after much bloodshed. Members of the 3rd Battalion 8th Marines found this out the hard way, when they were halted by an extensive enemy emplacement, including no less than seven machine-gun nests. Things looked grim, until Captain Henry P. Crowe gathered half a dozen Marines who were taking cover from enemy fire and bellowed:

“Goddamn it! You’ll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole. Follow me!”

#4 “Casualties many; percentage of dead not known; combat efficiency: we are winning.”


Tarawa marked the first time the U.S. faced heavy resistance during an amphibious landing. Granted, the American troops outnumbered the Japanese troops nearly 10-to-1, but as we mentioned above, the well-equipped and fortified Japanese army didn’t really have surrender in their playbook.

The well-prepared Japanese mowed through thousands of soldiers in the span of just 76 hours, and were clearly prepared to fight to the last man. It was the first such scenario the Americans had encountered on the Pacific front. The situation seemed catastrophic — men were dropping like flies, and after days of battle, it looked like there would be no way to win.

It was under such circumstances that Colonel David M. Shoup of the 2nd Marines had to deliver a progress report to his superiors. His report went as follows:

“Casualties many; percentage of dead not known; combat efficiency: we are winning.”


#5 “Sorry we were two and a half minutes late.”

Lord Lovat’s brigade was landed at Sword Beach during the invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944. Lord Lovat reputedly waded ashore donning a white jumper under his battledress, with “Lovat” inscribed into the collar, while armed with a .45-70 Winchester underlever rifle. (The latter claim has not been verified and is disputed; however, in some earlier pictures y/1942 he is seen with a bolt-action .30-06 Winchester M70 sporting rifle).

Lord Lovat instructed his personal piper, Bill Millin, to pipe the commandos ashore, in defiance of specific orders not to allow such an action in battle. When Private Millin demurred, citing the regulations, he recalled later, Lord Lovat replied: “Ah, but that’s the English War Office. You and I are both Scottish, and that doesn’t apply.”

Lovat’s forces swiftly pressed on, Lovat himself advancing with parts of his brigade from Sword Beach to Pegasus Bridge, which had been defiantly defended by men of the 2nd Bn the Ox & Bucks Light Infantry (6th Airborne Division) who had landed in the early hours by glider. Lord Lovat’s commandos arrived at a little past one p.m. at Pegasus Bridge though the rendezvous time as per the plan was noon.

“Sorry we were two and a half minutes late.”

#6 “We’ll start the war from right here!”

Roosevelt was the only general on D-Day to land by sea with the first wave of troops. At 56, he was the oldest man in the invasion[citation needed] and the only one whose son also landed that day; Captain Quentin Roosevelt II was among the first wave of soldiers at Omaha beach.

Roosevelt was one of the first soldiers, along with Captain Leonard T. Schroeder Jr., off his landing craft as he led the U.S. 4th Infantry Division’s 8th Infantry Regiment and 70th Tank Battalion landing at Utah Beach. Roosevelt was soon informed that the landing craft had drifted more than a mile south of their objective, and the first wave of men was a mile off course. Walking with the aid of a cane and carrying a pistol, he personally made a reconnaissance of the area immediately to the rear of the beach to locate the causeways that were to be used for the advance inland. He returned to the point of landing and contacted the commanders of the two battalions, Lieutenant Colonels Conrad C. Simmons and Carlton O. MacNeely, and coordinated the attack on the enemy positions confronting them. Roosevelt’s famous words in these circumstances were, “We’ll start the war from right here!”

#7 “Come and fight a Gurkha!” he yelled,

“I had to fight because there was no other way. I felt I was going to die anyway, so I might as well die standing on my feet. All I knew was that I had to go on and hold them back. I am glad that helped the other soldiers in my platoon, but they would have all done the same thing.”

On 12/13 May 1945 at Taungdaw, Burma [now Myanmar], Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung was manning the most forward post of his platoon which bore the brunt of an attack by at least 200 of the Japanese enemy. Twice he hurled back grenades which had fallen on his trench, but the third exploded in his right hand, blowing off his fingers, shattering his arm and severely wounding him in the face, body and right leg. His two comrades were also badly wounded but the rifleman, now alone and disregarding his wounds, loaded and fired his rifle with his left hand for four hours, calmly waiting for each attack which he met with fire at point blank range.

Afterwards, when the casualties were counted, it is reported that there were 31 dead Japanese around his position which he had killed, with only one arm.Gurung ignored his many wounds and carried on firing with his left hand – a considerable feat, as the bolt-action rifles of the day were made for right-handed use. “Come and fight a Gurkha!” he yelled, as wave after wave of Japanese troops tried for four hours to overrun the position. They failed. The 4th/8th Gurkhas held out for another 48 hours until relieved on 15 May.

#8 “Sir, are we going to fight them or f*** them?”

Sergeant Hollis, age 31, was one of the most experienced soldiers from the British Army, with active battles like those of Dunkirk, El Alamein or Sicily. As a leader, Hollis had given his fellow soldiers an example: without fear. The fight from D-Day turned out to be an extremely bloody military conflict in the history of the world. Sergeant Stanley Hollis along with other soldiers from the Green Howard regiment were on Gold Beach, the exact center of the Normandy invasion. His actions from that day would bring him the supreme gratitude of the people and the Victory Cross, the highest military award any soldier received that day.

On June 6th 1944, the landing in Normandy brought terror in the hearts of many Allied soldiers who were about to face the Nazis. Moments before reaching shore, the British soldiers received a weird accessory, at least for a battlefield. Each of them received a condom, which gave birth to much amusement in such harsh moments.

Among the surprised soldiers was Sergeant Stanley Hollis. “Sir, are we going to fight them or f*** them?”, asked the Englishman and everyone laughed. This fun moment cheered many young soldiers, most of them dead or seriously injured only minutes later.

150,000 troops landed on the beaches of Normandy that day, of which 12,000 were wounded or killed. Hollis was one of the soldiers who survived, and the actions from that day brought him a worthy nickname, as “the soldier that the Nazis could not kill”. The story of this British soldier remained in history, his courage and dedication surprising everyone.


#9 ‘Landed. Killed Germans. F***ed off.’

Lassen, dubbed the ‘Robin Hood commando’ by locals in rural Dorset, where he trained in the summer of 1942 in preparation for a furtive assault on the occupied Channel Islands.

Indeed, one of the themes of this absorbing tale is the constant battle not just between the Allies and the Nazis, but also between the regular army and Churchill’s licensed buccaneers.  In Italy in 1945, one regular officer told Lassen that he and his wild bunch were a disgrace. What, he thundered, would the enemy think of them, if they were found not just dead, but unshaven? It is certainly true he was no respecter of bureaucratic authority. After every raid, he and other key commanders were supposed to file an operational report. But he detested all such paperwork and his reports famously consisted of no more than five words:‘Landed. Killed Germans. F***ed off.’

We can’t leave this post without a quote from Chest Puller……

#10 “They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked on both sides by an enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can’t get away from us now!”