George C. Marshall

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
Avoid trivia. Policy & Policy Making
Congratulations on the greatest political, one man victory in the history of politics. Miscellaneous
Continuous paring of appropriations has reduced the Army virtually to the status of that of a third-rate power Budgets & Budgeting
Dictator governments are arming heavily and penetrating economically and politically in Central and South America. Japan is establishing a "new order" in China and has been informed that we will have something to say about this "new order." These activities emphasize the possibility of this nation becoming involved in war in the Atlantic, in the Pacific, or in both these areas War & Peace ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
Don't fight the problem, decide it. Motivation ;Management & Managing Government
God Bless democracy. I approve of it highly. I suffer from it greatly. Democracies & Republics
I am sorry Mr. President, but I don’t agree with that at all!
I can get billions of dollars with comparative ease, but when I get down to the practical proposition about personnel … all of those billions are futile unless you provide the highly trained personnel. Military & Veterans
I didn’t understand. In a democracy, the people have to be entertained. Democracies & Republics
I do not see Japanese invasion of the Philippines as a probability because the hazards would be too great for the Japanese . . . . We know a great deal that the Japanese are not aware we know, and we are familiar with their plans to a certain extent . . . . Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
I have no feelings except those I reserve for Mrs. Marshall. Leaders & Leadership
I regard a large standing army as an impossibility … because of the repugnance of our people toward a large standing force. Military & Veterans
I warn you not to accept military advice too easily. Military & Veterans ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
If Europe blazes in the late spring or summer, we must put our house in order before the sparks reach the Western Hemisphere. War & Peace
In a democracy such as ours military policy is dependent on public opinion. Public Opinion & Polling
It is not believed that a force of more than 400,000 can be secured or maintained by voluntary enlistments. An increase beyond that number would necessitate the simultaneous enactment of a selective service act. Military & Veterans
It is possible that our opponents in the Pacific would be four-fifths of the way to Hawaii before we knew that they had moved. . . Defense & National Security
It must be assumed that members of Congress are just as patriotic as we [the military] are. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Leadership in the field, and especially during the hurried organization of the urgently needed new units, must not depend on seniority, meaning age. Leaders & Leadership
Mr. President, If you don’t do something and do it right away, I don’t know what is going to happen to this country. Military & Veterans ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Mr. President. You ought to fire him [General Douglas MacArthur.] Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
My relief of mind would be tremendous if we just had too much of something besides patriotism and spirit. Military & Veterans
Our foreign intelligence was little more than what a military attache could learn at dinner. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
Our policy is not directed against any country or doctrine, but is directed against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and economic conditions in which free institutions can exist. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
President [Franklin Delano] Roosevelt always had a wider point of view, of necessity, than I did. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Roosevelt recognized the importance of capturing Berlin both as a political and psychological factor. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Tell Groves to take care of his own dirty work. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The atomic bomb ended the war. Therefore, it's use was justified. Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy
The cost of war is constantly spread before me written in many ledgers whose columns are gravestones. War & Peace
The decision had my approval; it was discussed in the cabinet; it was approved by the President. The only trouble with you is that you don't have the perspicacity of a columnist. Now get out of here. Management & Managing Government
The leader in a democracy has to keep the people entertained. That may sound like the wrong word, but it conveys the thought. Democracies & Republics
The question of whether we should drop this new bomb on Japan involves such imponderable considerations as to remove it from the field of a military decision. Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy
There is no group today in America who view the possibilities of war with more horror, and consider the large appropriations involved with more reluctance than do the officers of the General Staff. There is no thought in our minds to seize upon the dilemma of this tragic world situation as an opportunity to aggrandize the Army. Military & Veterans
This is not the time for critical experiments which would have a highly destructive effect on morale. Discrimination & Prejudice
Though I speak as a soldier, I must deplore the dominating influence of the military Military & Veterans
Wars are bred by poverty and oppression. Continued peace is possible only in a relatively free and prosperous world. War & Peace
We Americans treat our army like a mangy old dog. Military & Veterans
We cannot have a political club and call it an army. Military & Veterans
We had won many pacific islands where the Japanese fought to the death rather than surrender …. We had killed 100,000 people in Tokyo in a single night. It destroyed the city but as far as we could tell it had no effect on their morale. We had to shock the Japanese into surrender. Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy
We have to begin having the State Department in on joint plans so that our foreign policy and military plans would be in step …. I will not go along with the past practice of not informing the State Department as to Army and Navy joint plans . . . Management & Managing Government ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
You can't take a post of this kind and resign because the President of the United States makes a decision he is constitutionally empowered to make. You can resign at any other time for any other reason, but not at that time for that reason. Miscellaneous
You don’t have a staff General, you have a court.
You give a good leader very little and he will succeed; you give mediocrity a great deal and he will fail. Leaders & Leadership
Go right straight down the road, to do what is best, and to do it frankly and without evasion.
I can't expect loyalty from the army if I do not give it.
I was very careful to send Mr. Roosevelt every few days a statement of our casualties. I tried to keep before him all the time the casualty results because you get hardened to these things and you have to be very careful to keep them always in the forefront of your mind. Time
I will give you the best I have.
If man does find the solution for world peace it will be the most revolutionary reversal of his record we have ever known. War & Peace
Passive inactivity, because you have not been given specific instructions to do this or to do that, is a serious deficiency.
The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it. War & Peace
When a thing is done, it's done. Don't look back. Look forward to your next objective.