Quotes / The Spartan Way

Non Fiction

You cannot make a good soldier until you have trained him to the point he can take some pride in merely surviving it.
Old military maxim

Train hard, fight easy.
Alexander Suvorov

Pain is weakness leaving the body.
US Marine Corps recruiting slogan

...here are a few more pictures of Spetsnaz training, which, as far as I can tell, is basically just a bunch of big, gigantic, frighteningly-jacked Russian dudes beating the unholy shitburgers out of each other with pipes, chains, and dead cats, all of which may or may not currently be on fire.

For no man ever proves himself a good man in war
unless he can endure to face the blood and the slaughter,
go close against the enemy and fight with his hands.
Tyrtaeus of Sparta

'...learn to love death's ink-black shadow as much as you love the light of dawn.
Tyrtaeus of Sparta

Their drills are bloodless battles and their battles are bloody drills!
Flavius Josephus

"Alexander, son of Philip, and all the Greeks except the Lacedaemonians...".
— Oath taken by Alexander at the head of the Corinthian League before the Invasion of Persia. Sparta (whose capital was Laceadaemon) had pointedly declined to join him.

"We can very well imagine
that they were utterly indifferent in Sparta
to this inscription. "Except the Lacedaemonians",
but naturally. The Spartans were not
to be led and ordered about
as precious servants. Besides
a panhellenic campaign without
a Spartan king as a leader
would not have appeared very important.
O, of course "except the Lacedaemonians."
And out of the remarkable panhellenic campaign,
victorious, brilliant,
celebrated, glorious
as no other had ever been glorified,
the incomparable: we emerged;
a great new Greek world.
Talk about Lacedaimonians after that!"
C. P. Cavafy, In 200 B. C.


Gwendolyn: Faith, do you know who the Spartans were?
Faith: Wild stab: a bunch of guys from Spart?
Gwendolyn: They were the fiercest warriors known to Ancient Greece. And they lived in quarters very much like these. Do you know why? Because a true fighter needs nothing else.

Your life shall be a series of trials, one after the other until you attain the glory that is your due at the right side of the Emperor. You shall face the hardest first, so that we know we are not wasting our time.
Chaplain Sighelm, of the Celestial Lions, Warhammer 40,000

Each of the Legions has now nominated aspirants seeking to throw themselves upon our mercy in the vain hope that we may deem them worthy to join our ranks. Those loyal to the shrunken corpse on Terra still cling to their own processes by which perhaps one in a hundred neophytes may survive to become a battle brother. The methods I have developed over the last millennia are more stringent, for we must be pure in our hatred and hard of heart, body and soul. Fewer than one in every thousand survive, and I strive each day to lengthen these odds still further.
Fabius Bile, Lieutenant Commander of the Emperor's Children, Warhammer 40,000

"More madness," said Arstan, when he heard. "How can any man possibly remember a new name every day?"
"Those who cannot are culled in training, along with those who cannot run all day in full pack, scale a mountain in the black of night, walk across a bed of coals, or slay an infant."
Dany's mouth surely twisted at that. Did he see, or is he blind as well as cruel? She turned away quickly, trying to keep her face a mask until she heard the translation. Only then did she allow herself to say, "Whose infants do they slay?"
"To win his spiked cap, an Unsullied must go to the slave marts with a silver mark, find some wailing newborn, and kill it before its mother's eyes. In this way, we make certain that there is no weakness left in them."
She was feeling faint. The heat, she tried to tell herself. "You take a babe from its mother's arms, kill it as she watches, and pay for her pain with a silver coin?"
When the translation was made for him, Kraznys mo Nakloz laughed aloud. "What a soft mewling fool this one is. Tell the whore of Westeros that the mark is for the child's owner, not the mother. The Unsullied are not permitted to steal." He tapped his whip against his leg. "Tell her that few ever fail that test. The dogs are harder for them, it must be said. We give each boy a puppy on the day that he is cut. At the end of the first year, he is required to strangle it. Any who cannot are killed, and fed to the surviving dogs. It makes for a good strong lesson, we find."

He held his arm too stiffly, and so was thrown back repeatedly, until at last I seized his forearm and snapped it back against itself. His training suffered while the arm healed, of course, but I felt this was a lesson he must learn early, and well.

Lets get down to business
To defeat the Huns
Did they give me daughters
when I asked for sons?
You're the saddest lot I ever knew, but you can bet, before we're through
Mister, I'll make a man out of you

When a mother gives birth in our fortress, the guards come and take the child away. The mother may protest, but the child no longer belongs to her, but the fortress.
The child is placed alone in a pit filled with crazed animals, along with food and drink fit for a king. Every few years, the "Invigorator" is powered, and searing flames purge their bodies of all weakness. Only the truly worthy live through the trials.
At the dawn of the 12th year that the child has been in the chamber, the gates are opened, and a single, burnt, sociopathic, killing machine is released into the fortress. They are lead to their private barracks where they take their rightful place as an elite warrior of fable.
Weapons fit for the gods themselves are forged in their name.
Armor is not necessary, for no weapon can pierce their skin.
They are the first, and last line of defense.
They are the Children Of Armok.

He turned to Hauptfeldwebel Hoffman. "Two hours special drill in the river. Anyone who kills a comrade gets three weeks leave. Every tenth cartridge and every twentieth grenade will be live. I want to see at least one broken arm. Otherwise, four hours extra drill."
Then began one of Mike's usual exercises. We hated him because of them, but they made us hard and inhuman. If you are to be a good soldier, you have to be able to hate. You have to kill a man as if he were a louse.
Monte Cassino, by Sven Hassel.

As you may have noticed, we have no compunctions about winnowing out the weak among you. How many of you lost packmates, not to the enemy, but to those of the Sabbat? All of you raise your hands. Do you realize what a compliment to your natures that we bothered to separate you from the chaff? You are wheat, each and every one of you. Were you not, you would not be sitting here tonight. We take only the best and we keep only the best of the best. Only those of you who have proved yourselves trustworthy have survived to learn our secrets. Now, little ones, do you realize the magnitude of what lies before you - and the depths of the abyss over which you have just crossed?
Vampire: The Masquerade - Clanbook: Lasombra