Quotes / War Is Hell

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    Anime and Manga 

War is not heroic. War is not exhilarating.
It is dark. It is dreadful. It is a thing of sorrow and gloom.
That is why people fear war. That is why people choose to avoid it.
Izuru Kira, Bleach

In the battlefield, there is no place for hope. What lies there is only cold despair and a sin called victory, built on the pain of the defeated. All those people who met there have wholeheartedly admitted the evil and foolishness of this act called "war." As long as people don't repent and don't regard it as the most evil taboo, then hell would endlessly reappear in the world.
Emiya Kiritsugu, Fate/Zero

This is a war without victory.
The President of the USA, Future War 198X

Since the war started, they were the first to lose their lives. But you were there too, commanding in the midst of fighting. Peasants that were cheerfully delivering milk until yesterday, return all banged up today. Every day. Until the war ends, it will continue day in and day out. Can you really handle that?

Asuna... I... didnít know anything. How horrifying war is... how painful it is to lose... I didnít know anything...
Rika "Lisbeth" Shinozaki, Sword Art Online Context 

    Comic Books 

Listen, you folks at home... Today we won a piece of Sov-Cities' dirt. So what? Three good men died for it—that's what matters. Sometimes war is necessary—but don't ever let creeps like this one tell you it's fun.
War is pointless. War is evil.

Ironfist: He shot him in the head, Perceptor! In the head! This isn't what being a Wrecker's about... saving lives, yes. Dramatic rescues, yes. And having adventures! What's wrong with just having adventures? But that? Back there? With the laughing and the gun and all the... all the viscera? That was not part of the deal.
Topspin: What's with you? First the blackouts, now this! How's you even land this gig, Ironfist? Pyro, Guzzle, Rotorstorm - we voted them in. Not you... we were just told you were coming along! You're a hanger-on! A tourist! This isn't role-play. People die in stupid, pointless ways. Deal with it.

Some have said that war is Hell. War is not Hell... for in Hell, innocence is spared.
Tai Kaliso, Gears of War Expanded Universe comic books.

    Fan Works 

There was a little girl. Maybe, eight years old? I dunno. She'd lost both her legs. Just kept staring at them. Little stumps, cauterized by fire somehow. A little girl, all alone, looking at where her legs were, not understanding anything. Just... staring. Blank little eyes. Staring.

We forge futures out of pain and grief, Commander. The computers and the communications officers and the EVAs and the displays only serve to isolate us so we can be inhuman. We're monsters, son. Cold, mechanical, rational monsters, and the only way we win is by being colder, more mechanical, and more rational than the next monster moving his little pieces on the screen. That's how war has been fought since Stalin rolled into the Allies a century ago. You point, you click, and they die. It's how it works.
Colonel Nick Parker, Tiberium Wars "Chapter XVIII"

    Films — Animation 

Well, this is what looks like when you've actually fought in battle. It's not glorious, it's not beautiful... it's not even heroic! It's merely doing what's right! And doing it again and again, even if someday you look like this.
Ezylryb, a.k.a. Lyze Of Kiel, Legend Of The Guardians The Owls Of Ga Hoole

    Film - Live-Action 

Up at the front you're alive or you're dead, and that's all! You can't fool anybody about that very long. Up there we know we're lost and done for whether we're dead or alive. Three years we've had of it... four years. Every day a year and every night a century. Our bodies are earth and our thoughts are clay, and we sleep and eat with death.
Paul Bäumer, All Quiet on the Western Front (film)

I've been around, y'know. There was a time I could see. And I have seen boys like these—younger than these—their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there is nuthin' like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that.
Frank Slade, Scent of a Woman

Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service. It was a real choice mission, and when it was over, I never wanted another.
Willard, Apocalypse Now

We were in this bar in Saigon and this kid comes up, this kid carrying a shoe-shine box. And he says "Shine, please, shine!" I said no. He kept askin', yeah, and Joey said "Yeah." And I went to get a couple of beers, and the box was wired, and he opened up the box, fucking blew his body all over the place. And he's laying there, he's fucking screaming. There's pieces of him all over me, just... like this, and I'm tryin' to pull him off, you know, my friend that's all over me! I've got blood and everything and I'm tryin' to hold him together! I'm puttin'... the guy's fuckin' insides keep coming out! And nobody would help! Nobody would help! He's saying, sayin' "I wanna go home! I wanna go home!" He keeps calling my name! "I wanna go home, Johnny! I wanna drive my Chevy!" I said "With what? I can't find your fuckin' legs! I can't find your legs!" I can't get it out of my head. A dream of seven years. Everyday I have this. And sometimes I wake up and I don't know where I am. I don't talk to anybody. Sometimes a day - a week. I can't put it out of my mind.
John Rambo, First Blood

Door Gunner: Git some! Git some! Git some! Yeah, yeah, yeah! Anyone who runs is a VC. Anyone who stands still is a well-disciplined VC! You should do a story about me sometime!
Private Joker: Why should we do a story about you?
Door Gunner: 'Cause I'm so fucking good! That ain't no shit either! I done got me 157 Gooks killed and fifty water buffalo too! They were all certified.
Private Joker: Any women or children?
Door Gunner: Sometimes!
Private Joker: How can you shoot women and children?
Door Gunner: Easy, you just don't lead 'em so much! Ain't war hell?

I've never seen so many men wasted so badly.

You want to know what it's like to kill a man? Well it's goddamn awful, that's what it is. The only thing worse is getting a medal of valour for killing some poor kid that wanted to "just give up, that's all." Yeah, some scared little gook just like you. I shot him right in the face with that rifle you were holding in there a while ago. There's not a day goes by that I don't think about it. You don't want that on your soul. But I got blood on my hands. I'm soiled.
Walt Kowalski, Gran Torino

Another two inches? Shrapnel zings by; slices my throat. I'll bleed out like a pig in the sand; nobody'll give a shit. I mean my parents? They'll care, but they don't count, man. Who else? I don't even have a son.
Sergeant J.T. Sanborn, The Hurt Locker

Betty has gone too far. Killing is wrong. And bad. There should be a new, stronger word for killing, like "badwrong", or "badong". Yes, killing is badong. From this point forward, I shall stand for the opposite of killing... gnodab.

You know who's going to inherit the Earth? Arms dealers. Because everyone else is too busy killing each other. That's the secret to survival: Never go to war. Especially with yourself.
Yuri Orlov, Lord of War

Here is better than home, eh, sir? I mean at home if you kill someone they arrest you, here they'll give you a gun and show you what to do, sir. I mean, I killed fifteen of those buggers. Now at home they'd hang me, here they'll give me a fucking medal, sir.
Zulu War Soldier, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy, we fought ourselves, and the enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days. As I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called "possesion of my soul." There are times since, I've felt like a child, born of those two fathers. But be that as it may, those of us, who did make it have an obligation to build again. To teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.
Chris Taylor, Platoon

Great warrior? Hah! Wars not make one great!

This great evil. Where does it come from? How'd it steal into the world? What seed, what root did it grow from? Who's doin' this? Who's killin' us? Robbing us of life and light. Mockin' us with the sight of what we might've known. Does our ruin benefit the earth? Does it help the grass to grow, the sun to shine? Is this darkness in you, too? Have you passed through this night?
Private Edward P. Train, The Thin Red Line

I've killed men. I've heard them dying, I've watched them dying, and there's nothing glorious about it! Nothing poetic! You say you're willing to die for love, but you know nothing about dying and you know nothing about love!
Hector to Paris, Troy

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.
JOSHUA, WarGames


This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war.

Kill the enemy... Dress it up however you want, that's what war is about. If there's glory in there somewhere, I must have missed it.
Jake, Animorphs

War makes monsters out of men.
Todd, Chaos Walking

I have marched in many a battle host, but I have also planted seeds and reaped the harvest with my own hands. And I have learned there is greater honor in a field well plowed than in a field steeped in blood.
Adaon, son of Taliesin, Chronicles of Prydain

It was war, you dumb kid. Everybody I liked got killed, and most of the folks I'd just as soon have shot made it out with medals on their chests. It wasn't fair and it sure as hell wasn't any fun.

If they want new boots or a warmer cloak or maybe a rusted iron halfhelm, they need to take them from a corpse, and before long they are stealing from the living too, from the smallfolk whose lands theyíre fighting in, men very like the men they used to be. They slaughter their sheep and steal their chickens, and from there itís just a short step to carrying off their daughters too. And one day they look around and realize all their friends and kin are gone, that they are fighting beside strangers beneath a banner that they hardly recognize. They donít know where they are or how to get back home and the lord theyíre fighting for does not know their names, yet here he comes, shouting for them to form up, to make a line with their spears and scythes and sharpened hoes, to stand their ground. And the knights come down on them, faceless men clad all in steel, and the iron thunder of their charge seems to fill the world...
And the man breaks.
He turns and runs, or crawls off afterward over the corpses of the slain, or steals away in the black of night, and he finds someplace to hide. All thought of home is gone by then, and kings and lords and gods mean less to him than a haunch of spoiled meat that will let him live another day, or a skin of bad wine that might drown his fear for a few hours. The broken man lives from day to day, from meal to meal, more beast than man. Lady Brienne is not wrong. In times like these, the traveler must beware of broken men, and fear them... but he should pity them as well.
Septon Meribald, A Feast for Crows

You must remember that I have at my internal demand every expertise known to our history. This is the fund of energy I draw upon when I address the mentality of war. If you have not heard the moaning cries of the wounded and dying, you do not know about war. I have heard those cries in such numbers that they haunt me. I have cried out myself in the aftermath of battle. I have suffered wounds from fist and club and rock, from shell-studded limb and bronze sword, from the mace and the cannon, from arrows and lasguns and the silent working of slow poisons... and more I will not recount! I have seen and felt them all. To those who dare ask why I behave as I do, I say: With my memories, I can do nothing else. I am not a coward. And once... I was human.
Leto Attredes II, God-Emperor of Dune

I think Peeta was onto something about us destroying one another and letting some decent species take over. Because something is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifices its children's lives to settle its differences. You can spin it any way you like. Snow thought the Hunger Games were an efficient means of control. Coin thought the parachutes would expedite the war. But in the end, who does it benefit? No one. The truth is, no one benefits in a world where these things happen.
Katniss, The Hunger Games

So did all those kids die thinking of democracy and freedom and liberty and honor and the safety of the home and the stars and stripes forever? You're goddamn right they didn't. They died crying in their minds like little babies. They forgot the thing they were fighting for the things they were dying for. They thought about things a man can understand. They died yearning for the face of a friend. They died whimpering for the voice of a mother, a father, a wife, a child. They died with their hearts sick for one more look at the place where they were born, please god just one more look. They died moaning and sighing for life. They knew what was important. They knew that life was everything and they died with screams and sobs. They died with only one thought in their minds and that was "I want to live I want to live I want to live."
Dalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His Gun

    Live-Action TV 

"Do you know how Grant defeated Lee? He had more men, that's all. And he was willing to let them die. It was butchery, not strategy, that won the war."
Frank Underwood, House of Cards (US)

Mr. Rocastle: I warn you, the school is armed.
Baines: All your little tin soldiers. But tell me, sir, will they thank you?
Mr. Rocastle: I don't understand.
Baines: What do you know of "History," sir? What do you know of next year?!
Mr. Rocastle: You're not making sense, Baines...
Baines: 1914, sir. Because the Family has traveled far and wide looking for "Mister Smith", and oh, the things we have seen. War is coming. In foreign fields, war of the whole wide world, with all your boys falling down in the mud. Do you think they will thank the man who taught them it was glorious?

Bonnie: You don't understand. You will never understand.
The Doctor: I don't understand? Are you kidding? Me? Of course I understand. I mean, do you call this a war, this funny little thing? This is not a war. I fought in a bigger war than you will ever know! I did worse things than you could ever imagine! And when I close my eyes... I hear more screams than anyone could ever be able to count! And you know what you do with all that pain? Shall I tell you where you put it? You hold it tight, til it burns your hand! And you say this: no one else will ever have to live like this! No one else will ever have to feel this pain! Not on my watch!

You weren't there. In the final days of the war. You never saw what was born. But if the Time Lock's broken then everything's coming through, not just the Daleks, but the Skaro Degregations. The Horde of Travesties. The Nightmare Child. The Could-Have-Been-King with his army of Meanwhiles and Never-weres. The war turned into hell! And that's what you opened. Right above the Earth. HELL IS DESCENDING!
The Doctor, Doctor Who, "The End of Time"

"I was a soldier once. All my superiors thought I was brave. I wasn't. I mean, I never ran from a fight, but only because I was afraid all my friends would see I was afraid! That's all I was: a coward, who followed orders. No matter the orders. Burn that village? Fine, I'm your arsonist. Steal that farmer's crops? Good, I'm your thief. Kill those young lads so they won't take up arms against us... I'm your murderer. I remember once, a woman, screaming at us, calling us animals as we dragged her son from their hut. We weren't animals. Animals are true to their nature, and we had betrayed ours. I cut that young boy's throat myself, as his mother screamed, and my friends held her back. That night, I felt shame. Shame was so heavy on me I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. All I could do was stare in that dark sky and listen to that mother screaming her sons's name. I've heard her screaming the rest of my life. Now, I know I can never bring that lad back, all I can do with the time I got left, is bring a little goodness into the world. It's all any of us can do, isn't? Never too late to stop robbing people, to stop killing people, to start helping people. Never too late to come back. And it's not about waiting for the gods to answer your prayers, it's not even about the gods. It's about you, learning you have to answer your prayers yourself."
— The sermon of Septon Ray, Game of Thrones

Hawkeye: War isn't Hell. War is war, and Hell is Hell, and of the two, war is a lot worse.
Father Mulcahy: How do you figure, Hawkeye?
Hawkeye: Easy, Father. Tell me, who goes to Hell?
Father Mulcahy: Sinners, I believe.
Hawkeye: Exactly. There are no innocent bystanders in Hell. War is chock full of them: little kids, cripples, old ladies. In fact, except for some of the brass, almost everybody involved is an innocent bystander.
M*A*S*H, "The General's Practitioner"

Battle is not a simulation. It's blood and screams and funerals.
Philippa Georgiou, to Michael Burnham, Star Trek: Discovery

"Death, destruction, disease, horror. That's what war is all about, Anan. That's what makes it a thing to be avoided."
Capt. James T. Kirk, Star Trek: The Original Series, "A Taste of Armageddon"

President Bartlet: Why a wet team?
General Fitzwallace: ...Excuse me, sir?
Bartlet: Why the CIA Wet Team? We're not near water.
Fitzwalllace: No, sir, it's called... (ahem) They call it a wet team because it's bloody.
Bartlet: I had to ask.
The West Wing, "Red Haven's On Fire"

When I was eighteen, I, uh... I went to Vietnam. I wasn't drafted, Mulder. I enlisted in the Marine Corps the day of my eighteenth birthday. I did it on a blind faith. I did it because I believed it was the right thing to do. I don't know, maybe I still do. Three weeks into my tour, a ten-year-old North Vietnamese boy walked into camp covered with grenades and I, uh... I blew his head off from a distance of ten yards. I lost my faith. Not in my country or in myself, but in everything. There was just no point to anything anymore.
Walter Skinner, The X-Files, "One Breath"


A Hero of War,
Is that what they see?
Just medals and scars,
So damn proud of me.
And I brought home that flag,
Now it gathers dust,
But it's a flag that I love,
The only flag that I trust.
Rise Against, "Hero of War"

How well I remember that terrible day,
When our blood stained the sand and the water,
And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay,
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.
Johnny Turk, he was ready, he'd primed himself well,
He rained us with bullets, and showered us with shell,
And in five minutes flat, he blew us to hell,
Nearly blew us right back to Australia.
And the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
As we all stopped to bury the slain,
We buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs,
Then it started all over again.
Eric Bogle, "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda"

The sun, how it shines on the green fields of France
There's a warm summer breeze, makes the red poppies dance
The trenches have vanished, long under the plow,
There's no gas, no barbed wire, there's no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard, it's still no-man's-land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To Man's blind indifference to his fellow man,
To a whole generation that were butchered and damned!
Eric Bogle, "No Man's Land" (often known as "Green Fields of France" or "Willie McBride")

Where to begin? Let's start with the end
This black and white photo don't capture the skin
When metal is churned. And bodies are burned
Victory earned
Carbon Leaf, "The War Was In Color"

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I've witnessed your suffering
As the battle raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me, my brothers in arms

As the train pulled in the station and the families gathered 'round
You could hear the first car echo with a loud triumphant sound
But the last car it was silent, they listened close but they couldn't hear
It was laden down with coffins, that didn't speak and couldn't cheer
Tell their wives that "they fought bravely" as they lay them in their graves...
Dropkick Murphys, "Broken Hymns"

Rivers flow with blood
There's nowhere left to hide
It's hard to comprehend
There's anyone left alive

Sick of all the killing
And the reek of death
Will God tell me
What religion is to man
Iron Maiden, "Mother Of Mercy"

A score and seven soldiers, bloody, hacked and lame,
Returning to the village from their warriors' game,
Once more the drums are beating in the village square,
They tell of those who'll never be returning there...
The captain is dead and all the banners are bloody and torn,
Only these return, there'll be no more to come,
The pipes are keening for the soldiers dead and gone,
Behind them, mothers follow sadly weeping-oh.
Andy Irvine, "Blood and Gold"

I can't remember anything
Can't tell if this is true or dream
Deep down inside I feel to scream
This terrible silence stops me
Now that the war is through with me
I'm waking up, I cannot see
That there is not much left of me
Nothing is real but pain now

Hold my breath as I wish for death
Oh please God, wake me
Metallica, "One"

Over the deep and the deadly sweep
The fire and the bursting shell
While the very air is a mad despair
The throes of a living hell
Phil Ochs, "The Men Behind The Guns"

The war is a taste of hellfire
The war is the downfall of man
The war is the trade of the liar
The war again and again
Running Wild, "The War"

You're dying in war, but you even can't live in peace.
Running Wild, "War and Peace"

Hear the sound of the machine gun
Hear it echo in the night
Mortars firing, rains the scene
Scars the fields that once were green
It's a stalemate at the frontline
Where the soldiers rest in mud
Roads and houses, all is gone
There's no glory to be won
Know that many men will suffer
know that many men will die

Half a million lives at stake
past the fields of Passchendaele
And as the night falls, the general calls
And the battle carries on
And on
What is the purpose of it all?
What's the price of a mile?
Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army on the march
Long way from home, paying the price in young men's lives
Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army in despair
Knee-deep in mud, stuck in the trench with no way out
Young men are dying!
O how they suffer!
So tell me, What is the price of a mile?
Sabaton, "The Price Of A Mile"

Good God, y'all!
What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!
Edwin Starr, "War"

They were crying when their sons left
All young men must go
He's come so far to find the truth
He's never going home
System of a Down, "Soldier Side"

End this war... bring them homes... bring them back... alive
Take control... force the end... overwhelm them... with might
The onslaught... the carnage... will scar them... for life
Their innocence... their youth... was lost... forever
Immolation, "A Thunderous Consequence"

Wi' yer drums 'n' guns, and guns 'n' drums, the enemy nearly slew ye
Oh, darlin', dear, ye look so queer, Johnny, I hardly knew ye
— "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye," traditional Irish folk song

You were all that we had, your mommy and me,
When you marched head erect, you were proud as could be;
But it killed your poor ma and it's slowly killing me,
Since you were blown to kingdom come on the shores of Gallipoli.
— "The Shores of Gallipoli"

And when the battle is over, what about the pain
Of knowing that I'll never see my little boy again
His duty has been done at last, despite my growing fears
That knowing as a parent, I've wasted all these years
How could they do this?
How could they kill my son?
Legend, "Song for a Soldier"

Look at your young men fighting
Look at your women crying
Look at your young men dying
The way they've always done before

Look at the hate we're breeding
Look at the fear we're feeding
Look at the lives we're leading
The way we've always done before

My hands are tied
The billions shift from side to side
And the wars go on with brainwashed pride
For the love of God and our human rights
And all these things are swept aside
By bloody hands time can't deny
And are washed away by your genocide
And history hides the lies of our civil wars.
Guns N' Roses, "Civil War"

    Newspaper Comics 

Hobbes: How come we play "War" and not "Peace?"
Calvin: Too few role models. I'll be the fearless American defender of liberty and democracy... and you can be the loathsome godless communist oppressor. We're at war, so if you get hit with a dart, you're dead and the other side wins, OK?
Hobbes: Gotcha.
Calvin: GO!
(both shoot each other with sucker guns)
Calvin: Kind of a stupid game, isn't it?


A wise hero must realize
how terrible it will be,
when all the wealth of this world
lies wasted,
as now in various places
throughout this world
walls stand,
blown by the wind,
covered with frost,
storm-swept the buildings.
The halls decay,
their lords lie
deprived of joy,
the whole troop has fallen,
the proud ones, by the wall.
The Wanderer, Trans to Modern English (Sean Miller).

I have eaten your bread and salt.
I have drunk your water and wine.
The deaths ye died I have watched beside,
And the lives ye led were mine.

Was there aught that I did not share
In vigil or toil or ease,
One joy or woe that I did not know,
Dear hearts across the seas?

I have written the tale of our life
For a sheltered people's mirth,
In jesting guise - but ye are wise,
And ye know what the jest is worth.
Rudyard Kipling, "Prelude"

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,Ė
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.note 
Wilfred Owen, "Dulce Et Decorum Est"

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby's scheme). I died in hell -
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duckboards: so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.
Siegfried Sassoon, "Memorial Tablet"

And when he gets to heaven
to St. Peter he will tell:
"One more marine reporting, sir!
I've served my time in hell!"
— "The Soldier's Poem"

    Professional Wrestling 

Hey! ...War is dumb.


"Oh that is typical. They're always firing shells at us. I hate this."
"It's horrible here - really horrible."
"I know it is."
"It's muddy and smelly and just really dangerous. I hate the way everyone gets killed."

    Tabletop Games 

Firestorms. Mass eviscerations. Assaults from live-stone monsters. Curtains made from living skin. Consors and ghouls locked in mass warfare. Castles blown to shards. Towns burned, their people drained of blood. Dragons set loose in the Carpathian hills. Innards ripped magically from within living skin. And torture - so much torture that even our medieval cousins were horrified. In later years, Hermetic mages would refer to the First Massassa war as our Vietnam. No side truly won, both were devastated, and neither would ever be the same. This March raged for over a century. When we finally limped off claiming victory, our Order stood at less than 100 Awakened members combined. The Tremere, we hoped, had suffered similar losses. But vampires breed more quickly than mages Awaken...
Mage: The Ascension - Tradition Book: Order Of Hermes (Revised)

To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be re-learned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods.

    Video Games 

There's no mercy in war. People live and people die - that's all there is to it.
Solo Wing Pixy, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War

Well, Fitzroy. You... you got a little cunning in ya, if nothing else. Dropped a couple grizzly traps 'round the lines up here. Idea was to bleed one of your couriers till he gave you up. 'Cept, of course... you're using kids now. Now I got this... tiny Injun boy, eyeballing me. Had to take his leg off. Damn thing's just... lying here between us. I sure wish he'd cry or something.
Preston E. Downs, Bioshock Infinite

War never changes.
Since the dawn of humankind, when our ancestors first discovered the killing power of rock and bone, blood has been spilled in the name of everything, from God, to justice, to simple psychotic rage.
In the year 2077, after millenia of armed conflict, the destructive nature of man could sustain itself no longer. The world was plunged into an abyss of nuclear fire and radiation.
But it was not, as some had predicted, the end of the world. Instead, the apocalypse was simply the prologue to another bloody chapter of human history. For man had succeeded in destroying the world...
But war...
War never changes.

Captain's report, February 4th, 2531.
Five years, five long years. That's how long it took us to get Harvest back... At first it was going well. Then setback after setback... Loss after loss... Made what was going to be a quick and decisive win..Into five years of Hell... Of course that's all Harvest is today... It's hell down there... But it's ours again.
Captain James Cutter, Halo Wars

War is an atrocity committed in the name of survival. A lesson I wish I had never learned.
Javik, Prothean Avatar of Vengeance, Mass Effect 3

I was a fool. I wanted to be a soldier. But war is ugly... There's nothing glamorous about it.
Meryl Silverburgh, Metal Gear Solid

War is never really won by anyone who participates in it. War simply rearranges the way things were and steals the promise of tomorrow from each side. To succeed at war you have to lose a part of your humanity. After you win enough wars, you have no humanity left because you lost a piece of it each time you killed someone.
Major Leon James, Kell Hounds, MechWarrior 2

Five years ago, I lost 30,000 men in the blink of an eye, and the world just fucking watched. Tomorrow there will be no shortage of volunteers, no shortage of patriots. I know you understand.
General Shepherd, Modern Warfare 2

In a recent battle Player X completely destroyed Player Y's ship. The moment Player Y tried to flee he was vaporized by Player X's shots.
War Is Hell.
GNN, Pardus

"Give me a projection on Marine casualties."
"1,000 to 2,500, sir."
"No, sir. Per week."

War is not a joke. Find someone else to bother!

Make no mistake. War is coming. With all its glory. And with all its horror.
Arcturus Mengsk, Starcraft II

I hear trench warfare is as bad as it gets. Cowering in a dirty hole, hoping a bombardment doesn't hit too close, or penned in with dozens of others desperately fighting with nowhere to go...
Mako's comment on seeing the Republic trenches on Balmorra, Star Wars: The Old Republic

My first day as a member of the 501st... It was hot, it was sandy, chaotic. Nothing at all like the simulations on Kamino. Of course that's pretty much the way it was for all of us, wasn't it? All that breeding, all those years of training... it doesn't really prepare you for the all the screaming or the blood, does it? Frankly I'm still amazed we ever made it through the first hour, nevermind the first day.
501st Legion Clone Trooper Diary, Star Wars: Battlefront II

What follows is frontline combat. You are not expected to survive.

None of this is good, Vector. That's why it's called "war".
Knuckles, Sonic Forces

    Web Original 
I know that there are horrible, awful, monstrous things going on in Syria, and that the "good" thing to do is to bring our planes and our guns over there and put an end to it. But I have always hoped (a hope that engineers of war love to exploit) that whatever war we're fighting will be our last, that all this war was waged for the purpose of there being no more wars left to fight.

That's hopelessly naive on my end, of course. War will never end. There won't be some utopian Star Trek World Council that one day rules the planet with a gentle hand. The main selling point of war is that it will solve problems, but that is its greatest deceit. Bloodshed begets another generation of bloodshed, of held grudges and oaths of vengeance.
Drew Magary, Make It Stop

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 

War is stupid.

No such thing as a good war, kiddo.
Greg Universe, Steven Universe

    Real Life 

You people of the South don't know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don't know what you're talking about. War is a terrible thing! You mistake, too, the people of the North. They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too. They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it Ö Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them? The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth ó right at your doors. You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with. At first you will make headway, but as your limited resources begin to fail, shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be, your cause will begin to wane. If your people will but stop and think, they must see in the end that you will surely fail.
William Tecumseh Sherman, speaking to a friend that was an eager secessionist and quite accurately describing the narrative of the American Civil War to come.

Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war.

Since my youth I have wielded arms for the fatherland and grew grey therin; I have seen death in his most terrible form and still see him before my eyes daily; I have seen hovels smoke and their inhabitants leave naked and bare, and I could not help. Such are the doings and ragings of men in their passionate state. But the better man yearns to leave that wild press, and I bless the hour when I can remove myself with good, true brothers to those higher regions where a clear, bright light shines upon us. Holy therefore is freemasonry to me, to her I shall adhere unto death, and every brother shall be dear and worthy to my heart.
General Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, speech delivered at the lodge in Bautzen, 18 September 1813

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children.
Jimmy Carter, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, December 10, 2002

We read of killing one hundred thousand men in a day. We read about it and we rejoiced in it - if it was the other fellows who were killed. We were fed on flesh and drank blood. Even down to the prattling babe. I need not tell you how many upright, honorable young boys have come into this court charged with murder, some saved and some sent to their death, boys who fought in this war and learned to place a cheap value on human life. You know it and I know it. These boys were brought up in it. The tales of death were in their homes, their playgrounds, their schools; they were in the newspapers that they read; it was a part of the common frenzy - what was a life? It was nothing. It was the least sacred thing in existence and these boys were trained to this cruelty.
Clarence Darrow

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.

They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.

Now arms, however beautiful, are instruments of evil omen, hateful, it may be said, to all creatures. Therefore they who have the Tao do not like to employ them.
The superior man ordinarily considers the left hand the most honourable place, but in time of war the right hand. Those sharp weapons are instruments of evil omen, and not the instruments of the superior man; he uses them only on the compulsion of necessity. Calm and repose are what he prizes; victory (by force of arms) is to him undesirable. To consider this desirable would be to delight in the slaughter of men; and he who delights in the slaughter of men cannot get his will in the kingdom.
On occasions of festivity to be on the left hand is the prized position; on occasions of mourning, the right hand. The second in command of the army has his place on the left; the general commanding in chief has his on the right; his place, that is, is assigned to him as in the rites of mourning. He who has killed multitudes of men should weep for them with the bitterest grief; and the victor in battle has his place (rightly) according to those rites.

I've seen many men die right in front of me - so many in fact that I've become almost hardened to it. Having seen the worst that human beings can do to each other, the results of torture, mutilation and seeing someone blown to pieces by a bomb, you develop a kind of shell. But you had to. You had to. Otherwise we would never have won.

It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
General Robert E. Lee

Every senator in this chamber is partly responsible for sending 50,000 young Americans to an early grave. This chamber reeks of blood. Every senator here is partly responsible for that human wreckage at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval and all across our land - young men without legs, or arms, or genitals, or faces or hopes.

There are not very many of these blasted and broken boys who think this war is a glorious adventure. Do not talk to them about bugging out, or national honor or courage. It does not take any courage at all for a congressman, or a senator, or a president to wrap himself in the flag and say we are staying in Vietnam, because it is not our blood that is being shed. But we are responsible for those young men and their lives and their hopes. And if we do not end this damnable war those young men will some day curse us for our pitiful willingness to let the Executive carry the burden that the Constitution places on us.
George McGovern

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.
Jose Narosky

Reason dictates we should hate this man. But it's hard to get angry at Josephus. What, after all, did he do? A few soldiers were tricked into suicide. Some demoralizing claptrap was shouted at a beleaguered army. A wife was distressed. (She survived, incidentally, and Josephus divorced her for a Roman heiress.) And sundry other crimes were committed, all of which pale by comparison to what the good men did. For it was the loyal, the idealistic and the brave who did the real damage. The devout and patriotic leaders of Jerusalem sacrificed tens of thousands of lives to the cause of freedom. Vespasian and Titus sacrificed tens of thousands more to the cause of civil order. Even Agrippa II, the Roman client king of Judea who did all he could to prevent the war, ended by supervising the destruction of half a dozen of his cities and the sale of their inhabitants into slavery. How much better for everyone if all the principal figures of the region had been slithering filth like Josephus.
P.J. O'Rourke, "The Two-Thousand-Year-Old Middle East Policy Expert" from Give War A Chance

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

Only the dead have seen the end of war.
George Santayana, Soliloquy #25, "Tipperary" note 

Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.
William Tecumseh Sherman

You donít know the horrible aspects of war. Iíve been through two wars and I know. Iíve seen cities and homes in ashes. Iíve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is Hell!
William Tecumseh Sherman, speech to the Michigan Military Academy class of 1874

O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle - be Thou near them! With them - in spirit - we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it - for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

He did write one novel after the war; it was not published. He told an interviewer that he would rather be a good interviewer than a bad novelist. This was meant to be the ultimate put-down. But I thought it was not quite up to our old savage standards. Like several of our contemporaries who saw heavy combat in the infantry, Bingham came back with - how to describe it? A broken ego? For him, some sense of self was lost for good in France.
Gore Vidal, Palimpsest

"We demonize the enemy so that our opponent is no longer human. We view ourselves, our people, as the embodiment of absolute goodness. Our enemies invert our view of the world to justify their own cruelty. In most mythic wars this is the case. Each side reduces the other objects—eventually in the form of corpses."
Chris Hedges, War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning

Nothing but a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
— A bumper sticker

Glory is just memory putting a brave face on horror.
— Anonymous veteran of The Napoleonic Wars

I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen two hundred limping exhausted men come out of line-the survivors of a regiment of one thousand that went forward forty-eight hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.

As far as casualties were concerned I think there were more casualties in the first attack on Tokyo with incendiaries than there were with the first use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The fact that it's done instantaneously, maybe that's more humane than incendiary attacks, if you can call any war act humane. I don't, particularly, so to me there wasn't much difference. A weapon is a weapon and it really doesn't make much difference how you kill a man. If you have to kill him, well, that's the evil to start with and how you do it becomes pretty secondary. I think your choice should be which weapon is the most efficient and most likely to get the whole mess over with as early as possible.
Curtis "Bombs Away" LeMay