Macarthur Quote



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Following are some of the most recognized of Douglas MacArthur's quotes about war:

  • "In war there is no substitute for victory." Farewell address to Joint Session of Congress; April 19, 1951
  • "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." Upon arrival in Australia after having been ordered to evacuate the Philippines; March 21, 1942
  • "Nine times of ten an army has been destroyed because its supply lines have been severed." August 1950 to the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • "In war, you win or lose, live or die - and the difference can be an eyelash." West Point; 1962
  • "I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!" Korea; September 21,1950
  • "A general is just as good or just as bad as the troops under his command make him." Event unknown
  • "I have known war as few men now living know it. It's very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes." Event unknown
  • "It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it." Farewell speech to Congress, 1954

General MacArthur quotes also contain his observations about life and humanity:

  • "It is my earnest hope - indeed the hope of all mankind - that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past, a world found upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice." Upon accepting the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II; September 2, 1945
  • "There is no security in this life. There is only opportunity." To the Joint Chiefs of Staff; August 1950
  • "By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder -- infinitely prouder -- to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentiality of death; the other embodies creation and life. And while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still. It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle field but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, 'Our Father Who Art in Heaven.'" A Father's Blessing (written for his son, Arthur)
  • "The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself." Event unknown

Another well-known MacArthur quote refers to dealing with people, whether within a group of friends or in a country anywhere on earth. It is:

  • "Beware not the enemy from 'without' but the enemy from 'within'."

General Douglas MacArthur's quotes have been a popular source for speakers both in the military and otherwise, because they are full of observation, good advice and wisdom.