Douglas MacArthur

Douglas
MacArthur
1880
1964

American General and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Awarded the Medal of Honor

Author Quotes

Never give an order that can't be obeyed.

The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself.

Upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that, upon other fields, on other days, will bear the fruits of victory.

Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul.

I address you with neither rancor nor bitterness in the fading twilight of life, with but one purpose in mind: to serve my country. The issues are global and so interlocked that to consider the problems of one sector, oblivious to those of another, is but to court disaster for the whole. While Asia is commonly referred to as the Gateway to Europe, it is no less true that Europe is the Gateway to Asia, and the broad influence of the one cannot fail to have its impact upon the other.

In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory always I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, Honor, Country. Today marks my final roll call with you. But I want you to know that when I cross the river, my last conscious thoughts will be of the Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps. I bid you farewell.

Nine times of ten an army has been destroyed because its supply lines have been severed.

The enemy is in front of us, the enemy is behind us, the enemy is to the right and to the left of us. They can't get away this time!

We are not retreating - we are advancing in another direction.

Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it.

I am closing my 52 years of military service. When I joined the Army, even before the turn of the century, it was the fulfillment of all of my boyish hopes and dreams. The world has turned over many times since I took the oath on the plain at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have long since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barrack ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that "old soldiers never die; they just fade away."

In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber. So long as it receives a message of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage - so long are you young. When the wires are all down and your heart is covered with the snow of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and only then, are you grown old.

No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.

The Japanese people, since the war, have undergone the greatest reformation recorded in modern history. With a commendable will, eagerness to learn, and marked capacity to understand, they have, from the ashes left in war's wake, erected in Japan an edifice dedicated to the supremacy of individual liberty and personal dignity; and in the ensuing process there has been created a truly representative government committed to the advance of political morality, freedom of economic enterprise, and social justice. Politically, economically, and socially Japan is now abreast of many free nations of the earth and will not again fail the universal trust... I sent all four of our occupation divisions to the Korean battlefront without the slightest qualms as to the effect of the resulting power vacuum upon Japan. The results fully justified my faith. I know of no nation more serene, orderly, and industrious, nor in which higher hopes can be entertained for future constructive service in the advance of the human race.

We could hold in Korea by constant maneuver and in an approximate area where our supply line advantages were in balance with the supply line disadvantages of the enemy, but we could hope at best for only an indecisive campaign with its terrible and constant attrition upon our forces if the enemy utilized its full military potential. I have constantly called for the new political decisions essential to a solution.

Americans never quit.

I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

In this situation, it becomes vital that our own country orient its policies in consonance with this basic evolutionary condition rather than pursue a course blind to the reality that the colonial era is now past and the Asian peoples covet the right to shape their own free destiny. What they seek now is friendly guidance, understanding, and support — not imperious direction — the dignity of equality and not the shame of subjugation.

Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

The Pacific no longer represents menacing avenues of approach for a prospective invader. It assumes, instead, the friendly aspect of a peaceful lake. Our line of defense is a natural one and can be maintained with a minimum of military effort and expense.

We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation 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. A new era is upon us. Even the lesson of victory itself brings with it profound concern, both for our future security and the survival of civilization. The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery, has in fact now reached a point which revises the traditional concepts of war.

And like the old soldier in that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the sight to see that duty.

I came out of Bataan and I shall return!

In war there is no substitute for victory.

On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other days and other fields will bear the fruits of victory.

Author Picture
First Name
Douglas
Last Name
MacArthur
Birth Date
1880
Death Date
1964
Bio

American General and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Awarded the Medal of Honor