Hellsing - Have you heard yet that the Major loves war? Because he does. Ultimately deconstructed by Integra; according to her, war is only glorious to creatures who can't stand life, and the Major's love of war ultimately amounts to a sixty year long suicide attempt.
Dorothy Catalonia and Treize Khushreneda claim to believe this in Gundam Wing, but it may have been an act.
Treize: There is nothing more beautiful than a warrior with no distractions.
Private Siegfried Von Nibelungen from Sturmtruppen is a clear parody of this trope: all he want is an heroic death on a battlefield facing the sun and giving his life for the home country. He ends up exploding on a friendly mine and being horribly mutilated.
Ares from Marvel believes he should have a better reputation among mortals because of the positive things war brings with it.
Serzhant Shining Armor comes off this way in Shell Shock. Played for horror.
The unnamed protagonist from Welcome To The Brothel mixes this bizarrely with War Is Hell. On one hand, he prefers killing to sex. On the other hand, it's obvious that he's traumatized from his experiences and probably not thinking all to clearly.
Gundam AGE, given the nature of the Veigan and how Kio couldn't even reason with any of them. Shows how sometimes one must use violence to destroy a side of fanatics.
Starship Troopers. The subtext theoretically is otherwise but the text shouts of glorious war. See the article for the tangled reception this film received.
300, in all its sadomasochistic oily pec-ed glory.
The Green Berets, Sergent York, Glory, Patton, Sands of Iwo Jima: Many World War II movies, especially older ones.
Apocalypse Now:Colonel Kilgore wholeheartedly enjoys the war: he does not flinch at bombs and bullets, and is shown heading a helicopter attack to the Ride of the Valkyries. The film itself though, is anti-war.
Black Hawk Down: Generally discussed as a anti-war film, there is a strong positive side. Both the book and film depict the horror of the mission but also the extraordinary success and tenacity of the Americans in completing the raid: less than two hundred men engage in a firefight with several thousand Somalis kill 1,000 of them, even with serious problems in command and control hindering the raid.
The Star Wars films. It's right there in the title. The enemies are dehumanized (faceless stormtroopers or mindless droids) and portrayed as evil. The Rebels are ragtag bunch of heroes and the Empire as an evil oppressive regime. In any case, all battle scenes in the series are played for action and excitement.
Discussed in Buffalo Soldiers, war my be hell, but waiting around as a US soldier on a military base in East Germany with nothing to do is nearly as bad. When one of the soldiers is beaten up for walking on the wrong part of the base he points out how his fathers war friends are the best of friends, how they still meet up every year, even 45 years later (the films is incidentely set against the fall of the wall).
"There was an artist called Michelangelo during the Renaissance. He was asked once how he worked. He simply said, “I take a stone and chip off all the unnecessary bits.” Got it? Beauty is something without unnecessary bits, without any rubbish. In war, there is only life and death, nothing unnecessary. War itself is beauty."
Tennyson's The Charge Of The Light Brigade. Like many works it's not a simple glorification of war. Tennyson notes horrible and worthless war can be, while simultaneously praising the soldiers. He certainly draws attention to the casualties suffered. Compared to his The Charge Of The Heavy Brigade (about another action in the same battle), Light Brigade is downright bitter. Nevertheless Kipling was moved to deconstruct the work in his sequel, The Last of the Light Brigade.
Lays Of Ancient Rome By Sir Thomas Macaulay. For instance:
Thine Roman is the Pilum
Roman the sword is thine
The even trench, the bristling mound
The legion's ordered line
This is a very common trope in older American war stories. It lasted about through 1900 and The Four Feathers, before The Red Badge of Courage became the Trope Codifier for War Is Hell.
Friedrich Nietzsche Inverted, subverted, deconstructed, and then played this trope straight. He was critical of war in one sense, and especially for how it was used and abused by the state for petty reasons, but he regards conflict (in a general sense) as the great mover of history and ideas, and the fount of creativity. He also saw war as a way that a broken society might find renewed purpose, though he notes that a healthy society has no need for war. He admires numerous men who were soldiers and conquerors like Gaius Julius Caesar, Caesre Borgia, Napoleon Bonaparte and Alexander the Great, and frequently invoked war imagery in his writings especially when he was attacking someone (ie. more often than not). He is strongly opposed to pacifism and in Thus Spoke Zarathustra seemed to change his mind about war and praise it, or at least praise warriors. In his insane period he declared that Germany would fall shortly due to its war-making; he was dead on right. In other words- inconclusive.
Parodied in the third chapter of Voltaire's Candide:
Nothing could have been more splendid, brilliant, smart or orderly than the two armies. The trumpets, fifes, oboes, drums and cannons produced a harmony whose equal was never heard in hell. First the cannons laid low about six thousand men on each side, then rifle fire removed from the best of worlds about nine or ten thousand scoundrels who had been infesting its surface. The bayonet was also the sufficient reason for the death of several thousand men. The total may well have risen to thirty thousand souls. Candide, trembling like a philosopher, hid himself as best he could during this heroic carnage.
Starship Troopers, as written by Heinlein. Unlike in the film version, Heinlein's pro-military message isn't undercut with any Robocop-style over-the-top TV commercials.
Live Action Television
Pretty much every one-off bad guy ever ( and most of the recurring ones) on Xena: Warrior Princess, and Xena herself before her redemption.
The Shadows from Babylon 5 believe this is true as part of their philosophy that growth is driven by conflict. They use agents like Morden to tempt people into making deals after asking them "What do you want?" that ultimately lead to war.
In the Doctor Who episode "The Family of Blood", one of the Family mocks the headmaster for instilling patriotic fervor in his students, knowing that a terrible war will occur in the near future. He asks the headmaster whether his students will be grateful to him for teaching them that War Is Glorious while they are dying in the mud. The headmaster angrily retorts that he knows War Is Hell, being a veteran himself, but he's still willing to fight for King and Country.
Every other song by Manowar (just look at the band's name). Look at "Call to Arms":
Fight for the kingdom bound for glory Armed with a heart of steel I swear by the brothers who stand before me To no man shall I kneel Their blood is upon my steel
Similarly, Hammerfall is just Manowar with even MORE fantastical elements. While Manowar has a 'low fantasy' barbarian theme Hammerfall has a clankyKnight Templar Sword Brethren theme. Chorus linked above for instance:
Here we stand Mighty, Glorious At the end of the Rainbow With gold in our haa~aaa~aaands and next we have (note that there's also a minor inversion earlier on, as well, but primarily they're on the glory side) Riders of the storm one with the wind, defenders of creation Riders of the storm aligned with the sun Speak the word of Nemesis Call for thunder call for rain Let us meet our Genesis Save us from the unholy pain
Every other song by Bal-Sagoth. Look at "The Splendour of a Thousand Swords Gleaming Beneath the Blazon of the Hyperborean Empire":
Hearken, the clarion is upon the winds, now the call to arms is upon us all. The glory of battle is nigh at last. Our banner shall fly this day in victory! My warriors, a legacy shall this day be wrought by our blades. Decreed by the gods, blessed by the blood of vanquished foes. Our destiny beckons...
Many songs by Rhapsody.
March of Cambeadth is probably one of the most jovial sounding. (On the album, it's bracketed by a sad ballad about leaving your sweetheart for battle and a lament of Pyrrhic Victory, but as "Cambreadth" is by far Alexander's most famous work, this escapes most people's notice.)
Satirically invoked and played for all the laughs the trope is worth by Tom Lehrer whenever deemed in/appropriate.
Death is the winner in any war Nothing noble in dying for your religion For your country For ideology, for faith For another man? Yes. ... I see all those emptycradles and wonder if mankind will ever change.note Song Of Myself
On the battlefield we fight with all our might Valour and honour is our right The bloody battlefield where men and sons have tried To stand for what is good and what is right Only the steel will win the day Cold sword of the brave (Cold is the blade) Pure hearts bring us to truth Is it the heart of the brave Or the cold of the blade and for the second
Upon reaching altitude earth seems so small below Silent, invisible black death from above Laser guided, automated, precise computer control The enemy blind and unprotected Pinpoint accuracy certain death sent down below No mercy, no regret for the unknowing foe
"This Is War" from the 2009 album of the same name by Thirty Seconds To Mars. It is a very upbeat song giving it an enthusiastic feeling though the lyrics aren't perfectly clear one way or the other.
I do believe in the light Raise your hands into the sky The fight is done, the war is won Lift your hands toward the sun
The Clans in BattleTech hold this view, at least in regards to ritualized combat. Their entire society is based around stomping around, shooting each other in Humongous Mecha in organized battles. However, they do not extend the attitude to actual war, which they are not very good at, as being a good warrior (and thus, in charge), doesn't necessarily make a good commander, strategist, or make one good at logistics. Further, their peace-time conflicts are heavily ritualized, with plenty of Honor Before Reason. Applying their standards of ritual combat to actual war tends to turn out badly for them when up against more pragmatic foes.
Also a common attitude found in the Draconis Combine, which isn't a big surprise since they're basically SamuraiIN SPACE!!! with a traditional belief in their manifest destiny to eventually conquer everybody else.
The Metal Gear series is notable in that while its creators clearly do not have this outlook, many of its characters do which often leads to many Do Not Do This Cool Thing moments.
The Mandalorians in Star Wars view wars this way. The rest of the galaxy would disagree. Ironic, since they were the ones who lost the Mandalorian Wars.
The Shadow-Mirrors in Super Robot Wars Advance and Original Generation held this philosophy proudly, as in their world, the lack of war causes humans to become lazy and non-progressive thus they decided to have as much war as possible, because therein lies human evolution and progress.
The Thraddash in Star Control II are a parody of this trope (among other things ), what with them considering never-ending fighting a viable social scheme and seeing no problem with their species having blasted themselves back to Stone Age several times over.
"This doesn't really count as news, Teacher but War is truly magnificent, isn't it? The gut wrenching sight of molten warships! The boiling blood of depressurized soldiers! I just love it!... Don't you?
The K'tang Kattori in Star Control III tricked into attacking THEMSELVESFor the Evulz and enjoying every minute of it. (But they'll still be pissed at you afterwards, because you took them away from their primary goal of attacking you.) They're also prone to bouts of malapropisms and Bushisms as they were uplifted from barbarian battlers with napoleon complexes (They were the smallest things on their planet but they still killed the crap out of everything with acceptable losses here and there. Their power armour is just for show, they're really the size of Daleks without it. It is implied they were on the verge of extinction because their wars were growing so consuming, when the Ploxis came and taught them how to use spaceships. Now they are in no danger of of extinction (or running out of things to shoot at) because look at all those muthabucking targets out in space man!!! They are by far one of the funnest alien races to speak with in the game. On another amusing note to any Dynasty Warriors fans, they tend to sound a little bit like Meng Huo, especially when flustered.
Reconstructed in Starcraft II. As Raynor says, some things are just worth fighting for,
In Dragon Age: Origins most sensible characters view war very negatively, however King Cailan is eager to fight the Darkspawn because he's heard all the stories of the Grey Wardens' glorious victories... he dies fairly ignobly in the first few hours of the game, himself and his entire army betrayed by his own general Loghain.
The entire nation of North Korea has been so focused preparing for an invasion against South Korea that it's hard to imagine if the nation can survive peacefully.
The dominating belief in Europe throughout the Middle Ages, probably because war was a near-constant occurrence and wasn't nearly as bad as dying from illness or any other such cause that was common at the time. If a warrior ever found himself in a time of peace it was common for them to still fight in tournaments, which were often as bloody as a real battle, just to give them the illusion of fighting a war. There were, of course, subversions, condemnations of it from monks and historians.
The nature of society and warfare at the time also lent itself to this. For the elites who played a large role in shaping societal culture, armor and ransoms created a semblance (justified to a degree) of invincibility. Lack of literacy meant the infantry who made up the majority of soldiers could not record the horrors they experienced, and lack of effective medical treatment meant most of the maimed (and losers) would not live to tell their tale. Furthermore, elite young people had far more power than they do today, as birth had far more weight relative to experience than it now does, causing a bias toward action, and a lack of wisdom and experience in peaceful resolutions.
Some may argue that the purpose of physical sports (Gladiator fights, races, jousts, football, you name it) is to simulate the glory of war without all the horror.
Churchill: Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."
Certain members of the Republican Party think this way, especially with regards to the recent War On Terror.
Basically, if you WIN, then its glorious. Otherwise War Is Hell.