"This is not a peace. It is an armistice for 20 years."
Ferdinand Foch on the Treaty of Versailles, 1919
"You will lose far more than you gain by giving up one friend to win the favour of another. Most of the British out here are dead set against the renewal of our alliance with Japan and are doing their best to prevent it, not realizing that by doing so they are playing into Germany's hands. If the alliance ends, it is a thousand to one that Germany will step in and form a Japan-Germany alliance. If that happens, there is going to be hell for the world within a few years."
Malcolm Kennedy, British army captain posted to Japan, 1921
"The date of the new European catastrophe will be determined by the time necessary for the arming of Germany. It is not a question of months, but neither is it a question of decades. It will be but a few years before Europe is again plunged into a war, unless Hitler is forestalled in time by the inner forces of Germany".
— Leon Trotsky, What is National Socialism? (November 2, 1933)note
"It is us today. It will be you tomorrow."
— Emperor Haile Selassie to the League of Nations after Italy's annexation of Ethiopia, 1936
"I have only a few statements still to make: I am grateful to Mr Chamberlain for all his efforts. I have assured him that the German people desires nothing else than peace, but I have also told him that I cannot go back behind the limits set to our patience. I have further assured him, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there is for Germany no further territorial problem in Europe. And I have further assured him that at the moment when Czechoslovakia solves her problems, that means when the Czechs have come to terms with their other minorities, and that peaceably and not through oppression, then I have no further interest in the Czech state. And that is guaranteed to him! We want no Czechs [in Germany]! But in the same way I desire to state before the German people that with regard to the problem of the Sudeten Germans my patience is now at an end! I have made Mr Bene an offer which is nothing but the carrying into effect of what he himself has promised. The decision now lies in his hands: Peace or War!"
— German Chancellor and President Adolf Hitler, September 1938 note
"My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."
— British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, September 1938note
"This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final note stating that, unless we heard from them by 11 o'clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany."
— Neville Chamberlain, September 3, 1939
"I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again: your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars."
— President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1940, during his re-election campaign
"The war against Russia is an important chapter in the German nation's struggle for existence. [...] The objective of this battle must be the demolition of present-day Russia and must therefore be conducted with unprecedented severity. Every military action must be guided in planning and execution by an iron resolution to exterminate the enemy remorselessly and totally. In particular, no adherents of the contemporary Russian Bolshevik system are to be spared."
— Franz Halder, German chief of the Army General Staff, May 2, 1941
"Citizens of the Soviet Union! The Soviet Government and its head, Comrade Stalin, have instructed me to make the following announcement:
Today, at 4:00 a.m., without presenting any claims against the Soviet Union or issuing a declaration of war, German troops have attacked our country [...] This perfidious aggression against our country is a treachery without precedent in the history of civilized nations. [...] This war has not been imposed on us by the German people, nor by the German workers, peasants, or intellectuals whose suffering we can well understand, but by the clique of bloodthirsty German leaders who have enslaved the French, the Czechs, the Poles, the Serbs, Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Greece, and other nations. The Government of the Soviet Union expresses its unshakable conviction that our valiant Army and Navy and the daring hawks of the Soviet Air Force will discharge with honour their duties towards the Motherland and the Soviet people and will deal a crushing blow to the aggressor. This is not the first time that our nation has had to deal with an arrogant, aggressive enemy. In its time our nation has risen to the challenge of Napoleon's campaign into Russian in the Patriotic War, and Napoleon suffered defeat and came to his undoing. The same fate will befall the arrogant Hitler, who has proclaimed a new campaign of aggression against our country. The Red Army and our entire nation will once again conduct a victorious Patriotic War for the Motherland, for honour, for freedom. [...] The whole country must now be joined and united as never before. [...]
Our cause is just. The enemy will be defeated. Victory will be ours."
— Vyacheslav Molotov, June 22, 1941
"The city has enough food for two days. After that, nothing. The ice is still thin, and not very strong. But we cannot wait."
— NKVD Officer to the first exploration/supply party to attempt crossing Lake Ladoga, November 1941note
"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. [...] I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire."
— President Roosevelt, 1941
"Under proper guidance, in the course of the final solution the Jews are to be allocated for appropriate labor in the East. Able-bodied Jews, separated according to sex, will be taken in large work columns to these areas for work on roads, in the course of which action doubtless a large portion will be eliminated by natural causes. The possible final remnant will, since it will undoubtedly consist of the most resistant portion, have to be treated accordingly, because it is the product of natural selection and would, if released, act as the seed of a new Jewish revival"
— Reinhard Heydrich at the Wannsee Conference, January 20, 1942
"The President of the United States ordered me to break through the Japanese lines and proceed from Corregidor to Australia for the purpose, as I understand it, of organizing the American offensive against Japan, a primary objective of which is the relief of the Philippines.
I came through and I shall return."
— Douglas MacArthur, March 30, 1942
"Do not count days; do not count miles. Count only the number of Germans you have killed. Kill the German - this is your old mother's prayer. Kill the German - this is what your children beseech you to do. Kill the German - this is the cry of your Russian earth. Do not waver. Do not let up. Kill."
— Ilya Ehrenburg, Soviet newspaper writer, 1942
"The number of incidents of the use of human flesh in cooking decreased this month to 56."
— NKVD (Police) Archive for the Leningrad District, June 1942 - ninth month of the 900-day Siege of Leningradnote
"I ask you: Do you want total war? If necessary, do you want a war more total and radical than anything that we can even imagine today?"
— Joseph Goebbels, 1943
"It is difficult to go anywhere in London without having the feeling that Britain is now Occupied Territory."
— George Orwell, 1943
"Believe me, Lang, the first twenty-four hours of the invasion will be decisive...the fate of Germany depends on the outcome...for the Allies, as well as Germany, it will be the longest day."
— Erwin Rommel, to his aide, April 22, 1944
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!
I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle.
We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
— Dwight D. Eisenhower, message to the troops prior to the D-Day landings, June 1944
"People of the Philippines, I have returned!
By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil.... Rally to me!"
— Douglas MacArthur, October 20, 1944
"Finished badly, scoundrel! It is a pity that we didn't took him alive."
— Joseph Stalin, upon being informed of Hitler's suicide.
The mission of this Allied force was fulfilled at 0241 hours, local time, May 7, 1945.
— Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1945 reporting on German surrender
This is your victory! It is the victory of the cause of freedom in every land. In all our long history we have never seen a greater day than this. Everyone, man or woman, has done their best. Everyone has tried. Neither the long years, nor the dangers, nor the fierce attacks of the enemy, have in any way weakened the independent resolve of the British nation. God bless you all.
— Winston Churchill, Victory Speech (May 8, 1945)
When I saw a very strong light, a flash, I put my arms over my face unconsciously.... The whole city was destroyed and burning. There was no place to go.
— Michiko Yamaoka, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima (August 6, 1945)
"Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima and destroyed its usefulness to the enemy. [...] It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East. [...] We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. [...] If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth."
—Harry Truman, announcing the bombing of Hiroshima.
"Would it not be wondrous for this our nation to be annihilated, that it should become as a shattered jewel?" note
— Japanese War Minister General Anami, at a meeting of Japan's Supreme Council for the Direction of the War (August 9, 1945)
By now, we have been at war for nearly 4 years. Despite the gallantry of our forces, the diligence and assiduity of our civil servants and the public devotion and service of our entire people, the situation has not wholly developed to Japan's advantage. Indeed, the general trends of the entire world now work against us. Moreover, the enemy presently possesses a new and most terrible weapon; the loss of innocent life and sheer devastation its use entails is beyond all comprehension. Continued fighting would not only mean the utter annihilation of our people, but the destruction of human civilisation itself. [...] The dead, the wounded, the displaced, the impoverished and the aggrieved all are all the subjects of our profoundest solicitude. From henceforth, our Empire must endure excruciating hardships. We are keenly aware of the feelings of our subjects, but in accordance with the dictates of fate We are willing to endure the unendurable and tolerate the intolerable, that this peace may last a thousand generations. [...] Keeping in mind the heavy burden that befalls us, we must focus completely upon the reconstruction of our nation and look to the long road ahead, that the future might be one of yet greater glory and prosperity for this our Imperial State, that we may never again fall behind the evolution of the world. It is our most profound hope that our subjects shall thus understand our intent and reasoning [in surrendering].
— Emperor Hirohito, the Jewel Voice Broadcast, (August 15, 1945)
"Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won. The skies no longer rain death... men everywhere walk upright in sunlight. The entire world lies quietly at peace. The holy mission has been completed. And in reporting this to you, the people, I speak for the thousands of silent lips, forever stilled among the jungles and the beaches and in the deep waters of the Pacific which marked the way....
As I look back on the long, tortuous trail from those grim days of Bataan and Corregidor, when an entire world lived in fear, when democracy was on the defensive everywhere, when modern civilization trembled in the balance, I thank a merciful God that He has given us the faith, the courage, and the power from which to mold victory. We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exaltation of triumph, and from both we have learned there can be no turning back. We must go forward to preserve in peace what we won in war."
— Douglas MacArthur, radio address on V-J Day after accepting Japanese surrender, September 2, 1945
"Alright, let me explain: A guy with mustache like Charlie Chaplin by name of Adolf Hitler took over the country of Germany thanks to the support of a group called the Nazis. (Or Narzis if you're Churchill. Or drunk. Or both.)
After hosting the Olympics to mess with future ignorant protesters, the Nazis started their plan to take over all of Europe, thanks to various mad scientist plots, the Red Skull, and artillery shells that didn't work made by Ras's Al Ghul, who trained his protégé Christian Bale to be a Hitler Youth by day and a swing kid dressed like a Bat by night.
Hitler's ambitious plans to win victory using the Ark of the Covenant was thwarted by Indiana Jones, succeeding only in drawing Hellboy to Earth. Wonder Woman and The Rocketeer tried to stop him, but soon, Hitler's forces took over most of Europe along with the Italians, whom they were allies with because Germany drew the short straw.
America stayed out of it because of Edith Keeler, but some drunk asshole ran her over, so in 1941, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor despite Cuba Gooding Jr.'s best efforts, the United States decided that that was an act of war, and not a reason to just impotently shake our first at the sky."
Franklin D. Roosevelt: The only thing we have to fear is Batman.
"They were almost stopped by Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen and their time-traveling aircraft carrier, but were themselves stopped by all the time travelers arriving to kill Hitler ripping a hole in the space-time continuum. So all that happened was that Kurt Vonnegut had this crazy idea for a story.
So, as Rosie the Riveter built a bunch of tanks back home, we sent Patton over to Europe to tell a bunch of people to "make those sons 'o bitches die for their country", but mostly just to show off his awesome giant flag. He fought in North Africa so we could have a place for Cpt. Yossarian to launch his airstrikes from, until he got upset by his buddy Snowden getting taken out (not realizing that he's actually hiding out in Russia now.)
Arthur Lowe was put in charge of defending England while Steve McQueen tried to escape from a POW camp, but stopped just short of the Swiss border because the Von Trapps had gotten there first, and Richard Attenborough only succeeded in a plan to house cloned dinosaurs — all while Colonel Klink patted himself on the back.
A girl named Anne Frank comes into this somewhere, but I think she was rescued by a boy who had control over magnetism with his mind.
Then they started the D-Day invasion, once a group of twelve angry men led by Lee Marvin are told not to shower and to invade first so that we can send Forrest Gump to go looking for Matt Damon. While that's going on, Robert Conrad shot down Japanese planes in the Pacific, so to pay them back, the Japanese made Obi-Wan Kenobi build a bridge.
As the end draws near, Hitler had dead Nazis turned into zombies, but still Germany itself was invaded and in the end, he hid in his bunker until the pranks of Fegelein got to be too much and he blew his own brains out.
And Oppenheimer built a big bomb to blow up Japan, and after it was sent, the Japanese blew up the boat and sent sharks to eat all the sailors, so Slim Pickens dropped the bomb on them, and they gave up, aaannd.... somewhere in there in a submarine, I don't know what it does though. Anyway, that's what I got off Ask.com, so it's got to be true."
— SFDebris, "The Killing Game Pt. 2"
In front of the barracks, In front of the main gate,
Stood a lamppost, It still stands out front,
We want to see each other there again,
We want to stand by the lamppost, As before, Lili Marleen,
As before, Lili Marleen.
Abe: I didn't think it would come to this when I fought in the First World War.
Lenny: "First World War"? Why do you keep calling it that?
Abe: Oh, you'll see!
— The Simpsons, "Treehouse of Horror XVII: The Day The Earth Looked Stupid"
"Well, you know, he was a painter and a vegetarian, so I suppose he must've said, 'I can't get the damn trees... OH FUCK IT I'M GOING TO KILL EVERYONE IN THE WORLD!'."
—Eddie Izzard, Dress To Kill