God is on the side of bigger battalions. Devil is on the side of bigger reserves.
— a Finnish military proverb
"To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss."
— Pol Pot
"Quantity has a Quality of its own."
— Josef Stalin
"In [Gen. Alexander] Haig's presence, [Sec. State Henry] Kissinger referred pointedly to military men as "dumb, stupid animals to be used" as pawns for foreign policy... Once when the Air Force was authorized to resume bombing of North Vietnam, the planes did not fly on certain days because of bad weather. Kissinger assailed Haig. He complained bitterly that the generals had been screaming for the limits to be taken off but that now their pilots were afraid to go up in a little fog."
—Bob Woodward, The Final Days
"He doesn't care about losses. He'll pile his soldiers against your walls, then walk over their corpses to reach you. They'll come and come and come again and wear you down"
— Arutha, A Darkness at Sethanon
Aukon: The guards must hold the tower to the last man.
Guard: We are outnumbered. Unless you aid us we shall all be killed!
Aukon: Then die. That is the purpose of guards.
"There are as many replacements as we want. If we lose them, we can just make new ones."
"What a lovely day, yeah we won the war. May have lost a million men, but we got a million more."
—Portugal The Man, People Say
Fire Nation General: But the 41st is entirely new recruits. How do you expect them to defeat a powerful Earth Kingdom Battalion?
Jerk Ass Fire Nation General: I don't. They'll be used as a distraction while we'll mount an attack from the rear. What better to use as bait than fresh meat?
"Pay no heed to casualties Comrade Commander, for every Conscript that dies in this glorious crusade, there are a thousand more eager to replace him."
—Lt. Sofiya:, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
"Its standing Nod policy that if a Brother or Sister is wounded in battle, we leave them be until we can recover them safely. No heroics. It'll simply cost us more men trying to recover the wounded in battle, and we've got the manpower to replace the injured if they die in the meantime. If there's three things the Brotherhood has in plentiful supply, those are Tiberium, hate, and manpower."
Blackwatch Soldier: Sir, how much longer do we have to put up with these amateurs?
Blackwatch Officer: Since your brain can't fathom why the Marines are here, I'll lay it bare. The old man brought them in for two reasons: they're the shock troops, they move in, take the losses, point out the enemy, and we do the cleanup. Second, they're the public face of this occupation. When the city's burned to the ground, they take the fall.
"Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make."
—Lord Farquadd speaking to his troops in Shrek
"You're to find Volos in his personal office around the council meeting room. And then, when he is attacked, you are to throw yourself at the enemy in a desperate bid for time so that Volos can escape at the insignificant cost of your lives."
— Jin, Big Human On Campus
Officer: We're too far from their gates. Their fire....their archers....hundreds will die!
Stannis Baratheon: Thousands.
—Game of Thrones, 2x09 "Blackwater"
Some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord,
And when you ask them, "How much should we give?"
Ooh, they only answer More! more! more! yoh.
— Fortunate Son
Megatron: Quickstrike, you may lead.
Inferno: Royalty, why was I not chosen?
Megatron: Because, Inferno, when expecting booby traps... (Quickstrike gets smashed by a trap) always send the boob in first.
— Beast Wars, "Cutting Edge"
Lord Slug: Aah! We go through soldiers like copy paper
Here's to the soldiers that march to the wars,
With lovely tin hats, and long woolen drawers
The Colonel says, "Right, lads, over the top,"
Then stands back to watch while the poor buggers drop!
— Alistair Hulett, Buy Us a Drink
Goebbels: Brigadeführer, what can I do for you?
Mohnke: The Russians are mowing down your Volksstrum recruits. They lack experience and suitable weapons.
Goebbels: That is compensated for their fervent belief in the final victory.
Goebbels: I feel no sympathy.
Goebbels: I repeat, I feel no sympathy! The German people chose their fate. That may surprise some people. Don't fool yourself. We didn't force the German people. They gave us the mandate. And now their little throats are being cut. *does an appropriate hand gesture*
—Downfall, demonstrating Hitler's true feelings and consorts of Germany and its people.
"You would have me weigh the continued existence of this planet against the lives of those who defend it? Idiocy! Order them to advance. All of them."
— General Karrus
"What is the greatest weapon that mankind has? The Tank? The Gun? The Fist? No! It is will and will alone that has taken me to this desolate place and it is by my will that this place will be cleansed. It matters not how. If needs must, then we will drown them in our blood. We will crush them beneath the weight of our dead."
— Commander Chenkov, at the Lifting of the Long Night
"For every hero commemorated, a thousand martyrs die unmourned and unremembered."
Imperial Guard Proverb
"What? Don't tell me how many millions we have lost. Tell me what ground we have gained. This is a crucible of attrition, we are forging a new world on the anvil of battle. Send in more men! More Tanks!"
— Lord General Khuranak
"Losses are acceptable, failure is not."
— The Tactica Imperialis
"Statistically, you will almost certainly die when assaulting a well-maintained fortress with a competent commander. You must strive to make your death useful."
— Training Manual, Penal Legion, Suicide Bomb Squads
"Listen: Whatever happens, you will not be missed."
— Imperial Guard Proverb
"There were always more soldiers to be had. That's what the reserves were for."
— General deViers
"It's all a matter of Ratios."
— Savil Fep Lyntor-Sewq, Supreme Commander, Aexe Alliance Forces, on reviewing casualty lists
"The Emperor demands much of his servants in the War eternal. From the Death Korps of Krieg, he demands Sacrifice, to them he has revealed that War is not a struggle waged with gun, aircraft, and tank, it is a battle of wills, with the very soul of humanity as its prize. A battle where one's capacity to fight and willingness to die exceeds that of the enemy is a battle already won - everything else is simply a matter of time and faith. As such, the Death Korps expend lives in battle as carelessly as other armies may expend ammunition or fuel. Theirs is the mortal fuel that continues to feed the fires of the Emperor's will."
— On the teachings of the Cult of Sacrifice
Where is your courage?
Where is your strength?
Where is your conviction?
Forward, dogs, always forward! AVE IMPERATOR! CHARGE!
— Commissar Kowle, at the Battle for Verunhive
"Xarius knew he had the galaxy's ultimate weapon - tens of thousands of soldiers, none of whom the Imperium would greatly miss. What did they matter when there were trillions without number under the aegis of the Imperium? Xarius looked at them, fresh-faced near-recruits and scarred veterans alike. None of them deserved to die in Gravenhold, but a lot of them would. They were the fuel that kept the Imperium going, of course - without their sacrifice, the Empire of Man would fall to ravening aliens, heresy, and worse. But that he should be the one to condemn them all! Him, one man out of all those trillions to have the deaths of so many laid at his door!"
"That was what none of them understood: a single battle was an immense disaster. A capital ship lost in the warp, an outbreak of a plague in a hive city, a reactor breach on a forge-world, none of these compared to the toll in human lives that accompanied any major battle of the Imperial Guard. Even when they won, they lost."
O'Kais: Do the deaths of your soldiers mean so little to you? Are you that mad?
Thule: Do the deaths of yours mean so much to you, alien? Are you that weak?
"A guardsman's life is to die. I take them to a place where they may die. I am not afraid to spend their lives, but I will not waste them." [...] "Now, you may continue with your attempt to kill me, but as I said, I will not waste the lives of my men, and executing you for insubordination would be... wasteful."
— Lord General Castor, Dawn of War 2: Retribution