Mons Graupius - Battle Speeches Sun, 09 Dec 2018 09:15:25 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb (Mons Graupius) Montgomery: ‘We will stand and fight here’ ‘We will stand and fight here’

General Bernard Montgomery
Cairo, 13 August 1942

Video (part):

The fame of Bernard Montgomery (1887—1976) as a field commander was established with the British Eighth Army from July 1942 to January 1944 as the Desert Rats fought Erwin Rommel, the brilliant German general, from Alamein across north Africa and then into Sicily and southern Italy.

Monty, as be was universally known, was an inspiring leader who cared for his soldiers’ morale. He could play with an audience of British troops like a fanatical ecclesiastic launching a crusade, said one contemporary observer. Monty arrived in Cairo on 12th August 1942, and assumed command of the Eighth Army the next day, when he made this address to his demoralized officers.

I want first of all to introduce myself to you. You do not know me. I do not know you. But we have got to work together; therefore we must understand each other, and we must have confidence each in the other. I have only been here a few hours. But from what I have seen and heard since I arrived I am prepared to say, here and now, that I have confidence in you. We will then work together as a team; and together we will gain the confidence of this great Army and go forward to final victory in Africa.
I believe that one of the first duties of a commander is to create what I call ‘atmosphere’, and in that atmosphere his staff, subordinate commanders, and troops will live and work and fight.
I do not like the general atmosphere I find here. It is an atmosphere of doubt, of looking back to select the next place to which to withdraw, of loss of confidence in our ability to defeat Rommel, of desperate defence measures by reserves in preparing positions in Cairo and the Delta.
All that must cease.
Let us have a new atmosphere.
The defence of Egypt lies here at Alamein and on the Ruweisat Ridge. What is the use of digging trenches in the Delta? It is quite useless; if we lose this position we lose Egypt; all the fighting troops now in the Delta must come here at once, and will. Here we will stand and fight; there will be no further withdrawal. I have ordered that all plans and instructions dealing with further withdrawal are to be burnt, and at once. We will stand and fight here.
If we can’t stay here alive, then let us stay here dead.
I want to impress on everyone that the bad times are over. Fresh Divisions from the UK are now arriving in Egypt, together with ample reinforcements for our present Divisions. We have 300 to 400 Sherman new tanks coming and these are actually being unloaded at Suez now.  Our mandate from the Prime Minister is to destroy the Axis forces in North Africa; I have seen it, written on half a sheet of notepaper. And it will be done. If anyone here thinks it can’t be done, let him go at once; I don’t want any doubters in this party. It can be done, and it will be done: beyond any possibility of doubt.
Now I understand that Rommel is expected to attack at any moment. Excellent. Let him attack.
I would sooner it didn’t come for a week, just give me time to sort things out. If we have two weeks to prepare we will be sitting pretty; Rommel can attack as soon as he likes, after that, and I hope he does.
Meanwhile, we ourselves will start to plan a great offensive; it will be the beginning of a campaign which will hit Rommel and his Army for six right out of Africa.
But first we must create a reserve Corps, mobile and strong in armour, which we -will train out of the line. Rommel has always had such a force in his Africa Corps, which is never used to hold the line but which is always in reserve, available for striking blows. Therein has been his great strength. We will create such a Corps ourselves, a British Panzer Corps; it will consist of two armoured Divisions and one motorized Division; I gave orders yesterday for it to begin to form, back in the Delta.
I have no intention of launching out great attack until we are completely ready; there will be pressure from many quarters to attack soon. I will not attack until we are ready and you can rest assured on that point.
Meanwhile, if Rommel attacks while we are preparing, let him do so with pleasure; we will merely continue with our own preparations and we will attack when we are ready, and not before.
I want to tell you that I always work on the Chief of Staff system. I have nominated Brigadier de Guingand as Chief of Staff Eighth Army. I will issue orders through him. Whatever he says will be taken as coming from me and will be acted on at once. I understand there has been a great deal of bellyaching out here. By bellyaching I mean inventing poor reasons for not doing what one has been told to do.
All this is to stop at once.
I will tolerate no bellyaching.
If anyone objects to doing what he is told, then he can get out of it: and at once. I want that made very clear right down through the Eighth Army.
I have little more to say just at present. And some of you may think it is quite enough and may wonder if I am mad.
I assure you I am quite sane.
I understand there are people who often think I am slightly mad; so often that I now regard it as rather a compliment.
All I have to say to that is that if I am slightly mad, there are a large number of people I could name who are raving lunatics!
What I have done is to get over to you the ‘atmosphere’ in which we will now work and fight; you must see that that atmosphere permeates right through the Eighth Army to the most junior private soldier. All the soldiers must know what is wanted; when they see it coming to pass there will be a surge of confidence throughout the Army.
I ask you to give me your confidence and to have faith that what I have said will come to pass.
There is much work to be done.
The orders I have given about no farther withdrawal will mean a complete change in the layout of our dispositions; also, we must begin to prepare for our great offensive.
The first thing to do is to move our HQ to a decent place where we can live in reasonable comfort and where the Army Staff can be together and side by side with the HQ of the Desert Air Force. This is a frightful place here, depressing, unhealthy and a rendezvous for every fly in Africa; we shall do no good work here. Let us get over there by the sea where it is fresh and healthy. If officers are to do good work they must have decent messes, and be comfortable.  So off we go on the new line.
The Chief of Staff will be issuing orders on many points very shortly, and I am always available to be consulted by the senior officers of the staff. The great point to remember is that we are going to finish with this chap Rommel once and for all. It will be quite easy. There is no doubt about it.
He is definitely a nuisance. Therefore we will hit him a crack and finish with him.

Montgomery’s speech to his officers marked one of the turning points of the war. Rommel’s offensive at Alam Half began on the night of 30—31 August. The attack was held. Monty had gained the initiative and at El Alamein in October he won a decisive victory. He went on to command allied ground troops in the Normandy landings and he played a decisive role in checking the German counter-offensive in the Ardennes in 1944. On 4 May 1945 be formally accepted the surrender of all German forces in northwestern Europe at Lűnebrug Heath.

See Also


]]> (Mike Haseler) Battle Speeches Mon, 14 Sep 2015 19:38:58 +0000
King Arthur's battle with Lucius Tiberius Much if not all, the story of King Arthur is fictional. This battle with Lucius Tiberius, a supposed and otherwise unknown Roman Procurator**, first appeared in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae,  written c1136. However, with few other speeches from this period, it not only tells us what was expected from such a speech, but it may well be based on actual speeches delivered in the field.

(**there are passages in Geoffrey that give him the title Emperor).

Arthur's exhortation to his soldiers.

After he had thus placed them all in their stations, he made the following speech to his soldiers:--

"My brave countrymen, who have made Britain the mistress of thirty kingdoms, I congratulate you upon your late noble exploit, which to me is a proof that your valour is so far from being impaired, that it is rather increased. Though you have been five years without exercise, wherein the softening pleasures of an easy life had a greater share of your time than the use of arms; yet all this has not made you degenerate from your natural bravery, which you have shown in forcing the Romans to flee. The pride of their leaders has animated them to attempt the invasion of your liberties. They have tried you in battle, with numbers superior to yours, and have not been able to stand before you; but have basely withdrawn themselves into that city, from which they are now ready to march out, and to pass through this valley in their way to Augustodunum; so that you may have an opportunity of falling upon them unawares like a flock of sheep. Certainly they expected to find in you the cowardice of the Eastern nations, when they thought to make your country tributary, and you their slaves. What, have they never heard of your wars, with the Dacians, Norwegians, and princes of the Gauls, whom you reduced under my power, and freed from their shameful yoke? We, then, that have had success in a greater war, need not doubt of it in a less, if we do but endeavour with the same spirit to vanquish these poltroons. You shall want no rewards of honour, if as faithful soldiers you do but strictly obey my commands. For as soon as we have routed them, we will march straight to Rome, and take it; and then all the gold, silver, palaces, towers, towns, cities, and other riches of the vanquished shall be yours."

He had hardly done speaking before they all with one voice declared, that they were ready to suffer death, rather than quit the field while he had life.  

[Geoffrey of Monmouth, book 6, Chap.VII]

]]> (Mike Haseler) Battle Speeches Wed, 16 Sep 2015 14:47:30 +0000
RAF Reg stand toe 2 toe with Paras & Marines (5 miler of death) Published on 25 Jan 2014

By: Fill Your Boots

This is hardly a pre-battle speech and raised some sarcastic comments about the length on the comments and here. However, in light of the absence of any videos for pre-battle pep talks to British troops it is included as one of the few modern British army "pep talks".



]]> (Mike Haseler) Battle Speeches Fri, 09 Oct 2015 14:36:12 +0000
Gunny: have you all been motivated yet? Published by: Tony Whitnack, 29 Sep 2010
Speaker: "Gunny" Gunnery Sergeant Walgren
Date: February 13, 2010

… we've got to be done with this. Where's coming back here Merat [???] Marine you've done, camera's off, no negative, negative.
I agree with one thing that's been said, it is about how good you look.
These camys[???] make my bum look fucking awesome.
I see a whole bunch of you rags, that motivates the shit out of me.
Fucking professional! why professional? Is that what we're called?
I think you are all some crazy god damned mother-fuckers.
Not one speech – now we've been talking about this, I'm kind of upset about the general's speech, I'm kind of upset about the Battalion commander's speech – I haven't got any fucking goose bumps yet!
Have you all been motivated about this yet?
→ No!!

]]> (Mike Haseler) Battle Speeches Mon, 14 Sep 2015 17:21:32 +0000 Caesar: The Battle of Pharsalus Appian's account

73 Caesar addressed his men as follows:

"My friends, we have already overcome our more formidable enemies, and are about to encounter not hunger and want, but men. This day will decide everything. Remember what you promised me at Dyrrachium. Remember how you swore to each other in my presence that you would never leave the field except as conquerors. These men, fellow-soldiers, are the same that we have come to meet from the Pillars of Hercules, the same men who gave us the slip from Italy. They are the same who sought to disband us without honours, without a triumph, without rewards, after the toils and struggles of ten years, after we had finished those great wars, after innumerable victories, and after we had added 400 nations in Spain, Gaul, and Britain to our country's sway. I have not been able to prevail upon them by offering fair terms, nor to win them by benefits. Some, you know, I dismissed unharmed, hoping that we should obtain some justice from them. Recall all these facts to your minds to‑day, and if you have any experience of me recall also my care for you, my good faith, and the generosity of my gifts to you.

74 Nor is it difficult for hardy and veteran soldiers to overcome new recruits who are without experience in war, and who, moreover, like boys, spurn the rules of discipline and of obedience to their commander. I learn that he was afraid and unwilling to come to an engagement. His star has already passed his zenith; he has become slow and hesitating in all his acts, and no longer commands, but obeys the orders of others. I say these things of his Italian forces only. As for his allies, do not think about them, pay no attention to them, do not p365fight with them at all. They are Syrian, Phrygian, and Lydian slaves, always ready for flight or servitude. I know very well, and you will presently see, that Pompey himself will not entrust to them any place in the ranks of war. Give your attention to the Italians only, even though those allies come running around you like dogs trying to frighten you. When you have put the enemy to flight let us spare the Italians as being our own kindred, but slaughter the allies in order to strike terror into the others. Before all else, in order that I may know that you are mindful of your promise to choose victory or death, throw down the walls of your camp as you go out to battle and fill up the ditch, so that we may have no place of refuge if we do not conquer, and so that the enemy may see that we have no camp and know that we are compelled to encamp in theirs."

[Appian, The Civi War 73-4]

Caesar's account

When he was exhorting his army to battle, according to the military custom, and spoke to them of the favours that they had constantly received from him, he took especial care to remind them

"that he could call his soldiers to witness the earnestness with which he had sought peace, the efforts that he had made by Vatinius to gain a conference [with Labienus], and likewise by Claudius to treat with Scipio, in what manner he had exerted himself at Oricum, to gain permission from Libo to send embassadors; that he had been always reluctant to shed the blood of his soldiers, and did not wish to deprive the republic of one or other of her armies."

After delivering this speech, he gave by a trumpet the signal to his soldiers, who were eagerly demanding it, and were very impatient for the onset. [The Civil War 3.90]0

See also

]]> (Mike Haseler) Battle Speeches Mon, 14 Sep 2015 19:05:03 +0000
Jacobite Battle speeches The Lord of Dundee's speech to his soldiers before the late battle in Scotland, and his letter to King James after the victory. Graham, John, Viscount Dundee, 1648-1689., James II, King of England 1633-1701.

The Lord of DUNDEE's Speech to his Soldiers before the late Battle in SCOTLAND

July 27th, 1689.


YOU are come hither to Day to Fight, and that in the best of Causes; for it is the Battle of your King, of your Religion, and of your Countrey, against the Foulest of Usurpations and Rebellions; Having therefore so good a Cause in your hands, I doubt not but it will Inspire you with an equal Cou∣rage to maintain it; For there is no Proportion betwixt Loyalty and Treason, nor should there be any between the Valour of good Subjects and Traytors. Remember that to Day begins the Fate of your King, your Religion, and your Countrey. Be∣have your selves therefore like true Scotch-Men, and let us Redeem by this Action the Credit of our Nation, that is laid low by the Treachery and Cowardize of some of our Countrey-men; In which I Ask nothing of you that you shall not see me do before you; And if any of us shall happen to fall upon this Occasion, we shall have the Comfort of Dying in our Duty, and as becomes true Men of Honour and Conscience; And such of us as shall Out-live and Win the Battle, shall have the Reward of a Gra∣cious King, and the Praise of all Good Men. In God's Name then, let us go on, and let this be your Word, King James, and the Church of Scotland; which God long Preserve:


When He began His March to meet General Cope at the field near Duddiston, September the 20th, 1745; The Prince being clothed in a plain Highland Habit, Cocked His Blue Bonnet, Drew His Sword, Threw away the Scabbard, and Said,

"Gentlemen: Follow Me, By the Assistance of GOD, I will, this Day, make you a free and happy people". 
Historical Papers 1699-1750 Vol. 2, New Spalding Club, 1896, page 606,


The speech of Sir John Cope, General of the Usurper's Army, a little before the Engagement, on Saturday the 21st September, 1745, at Preston-Grange, six miles East from Edinburgh.

"Gentlemen, You are just now to Engage with a parcel of Rable; a Parcel of Brutes, Being a small number of Scots Highlands, You can expect no Booty from such a poor despicable Pack. I have Authority to Declare, That you shall have Eight Full Hour's liberty to Plunder and Pillage the City of Edinburgh, Leith, and Suburbs, (the Place's which harbour'd and succour'd Them) at your Discretion, with Impunity". 
Historical Papers 1699-1750 Vol. 2, New Spalding Club, 1896, page 606

Battle of Killiecrankie (1689)

Gregor Leslie gives us a Jacobite viewpoint of the battle:

"Bonnie Dundee has made a valiant battle speech but nobody really cared, we all just jostled around to face the Redcoats below us. They can't possibly hide their fear, even when there are over 1500 more soldiers in their army.  We all slipped away into the forest upon the hill above the River Garry. Everyone is eager to make the charge because of the promises of gold from Bonnie Dundee. McKean won't stop going on about the new pistol he will buy off MacKay!  The horn has sounded, I make sure that all my weapons are ready before we charge. I hold my Catholic cross around my neck tightly, knowing this might be the last breath I take.  The sea of tartan and thunderous feet is met by an inaccurate wave of musket fire from the bottom of the hill. The screaming voices of my fellow men encourages me to charge further. Suddenly a wall of red face us. We hack our swords across the first cowards we meet."[source]

Before the battle could be joined, the commander made a speech to the troops within earshot. Cumberland was well versed in this; before the fight at Clifton he addressed the men:

His Royal Highness made a short speech to the troops before the Action, in which he took notice of the Honour they had acquired by their intrepid behaviour at the battle of Dettingham and Fontenoy, intimating that he had no doubt of their shewing the like on this occaision.

At Culloden , Cumberland rode along the front lines and addressed the men. One version, whose final two lines recall part of Shakespeare's Henry V's Agincourt speech, is as follows:

My brave boys, your toil soon be at an end; stand your ground against the broadsword and target; parry the enemy in the manner you have been directed, be assured of immediate assistance, and I promise you that I will not fail to make a report of your behaviour to the King; and in the meantime, if any are unwilling to engage, pray let him speak freely, and with pleasure they will have a discharge.

[The Jacobite campaigns: The British State at War, p.71]


]]> (Mike Haseler) Battle Speeches Mon, 14 Sep 2015 23:46:27 +0000
Boudica's last battle Boudica(aka Boudicca, Budica, Budicca, boadicea) was queen of the Iceni, the Iron-age British tribe around Norfolk. Her husband Prasutagus ruled as an ally of Rome. According to Tacitus:

Prasutagus, king of the Iceni, ...  had made the emperor his heir along with his two daughters, under the impression that this token of submission would put his kingdom and his house out of the reach of wrong. But the reverse was the result, so much so that his kingdom was plundered by centurions, his house by slaves, as if they were the spoils of war. First, his wife Boudicea was scourged, and his daughters outraged. All the chief men of the Iceni, as if Rome had received the whole country as a gift, were stript of their ancestral possessions, and the king's relatives were made slaves.

So in 60 or 61AD Boudica led the Iceni, Trinovantes and others in revolt destroying Camulodunum (Colchester) eventually they were confronted by Suetonius in battle. The location of this battle is unknown. Suetonius' last known location was London and there were still Roman army units in North Wales. So a myth has grown up that the battle took place as Suetonius travelled up Watling Street to meet up with army units in North Wales. However this would have been suicidal because it would allow the Iceni to easily cut off his supply lines from the continent and from Roman allies in the SE, it would leave these allies and major Roman assets vulnerable to attack and it would prevent any retreat from Britain by Suetonius which would necessarily have taken place in SE England.

However despite the suicidal nature of moving northward away from his supply lines and with no evidence to support the assertion the battle is frequently stated as being the battle of Watling Street.

Cassio Dio's Account

She now grasped a spear to aid her in terrifying all beholders and spoke as follows:

[3] "You have learned by actual experience how different freedom is from slavery. Hence, although some among you may previously, through ignorance of which was better, have been deceived by the alluring promises of the Romans, yet now that you have tried both, you have learned how great a mistake you made in preferring an imported despotism to your ancestral mode of life, and you have come to realize how much better is poverty with no master than wealth with slavery. For what treatment is there of the most shameful or grievous sort that we have not suffered ever since these men made their appearance in Britain? Have we not been robbed entirely of most of our possessions, and those the greatest, while for those that remain we pay taxes? Besides pasturing and tilling for them all our other possessions, do we not pay a yearly tribute for our very bodies? How much better it would be to have been sold to masters once for all than, possessing empty titles of freedom, to have to ransom ourselves every year! How much better to have been slain and to have perished than to go about with a tax on our heads! Yet why do I mention death? For even dying is not free of cost with them; nay, you know what fees we deposit even for our dead. Among the rest of mankind death frees even those who are in slavery to others; only in the case of the Romans do the very dead remain alive for their profit. Why is it that, though none of us has any money (how, indeed, could we, or where would we get it?), we are stripped and despoiled like a murderer's victims? And why should the Romans be expected to display moderation as time goes on, when they have behaved toward us in this fashion at the very outset, when all men show consideration even for the beasts they have newly captured?

[4] "But, to speak the plain truth, it is we who have made ourselves responsible for all these evils, in that we allowed them to set foot on the island in the first place instead of expelling them at once as we did their famous Julius Caesar, — yes, and in that we did not deal with them while they were still far away as we dealt with Augustus and with Gaius Caligula and make even the attempt to sail hither a formidable thing. As a consequence, although we inhabit so large an island, or rather a continent, one might say, that is encircled by the sea, and although we possess a veritable world of our own and are so separated by the ocean from all the rest of mankind that we have been believed to dwell on a different earth and under a different sky, and that some of the outside world, aye, even their wisest men, have not hitherto known for a certainty even by what name we are called, we have, notwithstanding all this, been despised and trampled underfoot by men who nothing else than how to secure gain. However, even at this late day, though we have not done so before, let us, my countrymen and friends and kinsmen, — for I consider you all kinsmen, seeing that you inhabit a single island and are called by one common name, — let us, I say, do our duty while we still remember what freedom is, that we may leave to our children not only its appellation but also its reality. For, if we utterly forget the happy state in which we were born and bred, what, pray, will they do, reared in bondage?

[5] "All this I say, not with the purpose of inspiring you with a hatred of present conditions, — that hatred you already have, — nor with fear for the future, — that fear you already have, — but of commending you because you now of our own accord choose the requisite course of action, and of thanking you for so readily co-operating with me and with each other. Have no fear whatever of the Romans; for they are superior to us neither in numbers nor in bravery. And here is the proof: they have protected themselves with helmets and breastplates and greaves and yet further provided themselves with palisades and walls and trenches to make sure of suffering no harm by an incursion of their enemies. For they are influenced by their fears when they adopt this kind of fighting in preference to the plan we follow of rough and ready action. Indeed, we enjoy such a surplus of bravery, that we regard our tents as safer than their walls and our shields as affording greater protection than their whole suits of mail. As a consequence, we when victorious capture them, and when overpowered elude them; and if we ever choose to retreat anywhere, we conceal ourselves in swamps and mountains so inaccessible that we can be neither discovered or taken. Our opponents, however, can neither pursue anybody, by reason of their heavy armour, nor yet flee; and if they ever do slip away from us, they take refuge in certain appointed spots, where they shut themselves up as in a trap. But these are not the only respects in which they are vastly inferior to us: there is also the fact that they cannot bear up under hunger, thirst, cold, or heat, as we can. They require shade and covering, they require kneaded bread and wine and oil, and if any of these things fails them, they perish; for us, on the other hand, any grass or root serves as bread, the juice of any plant as oil, any water as wine, any tree as a house. Furthermore, this region is familiar to us and is our ally, but to them it is unknown and hostile. As for the rivers, we swim them naked, whereas they do not across them easily even with boats. Let us, therefore, go against them trusting boldly to good fortune. Let us show them that they are hares and foxes trying to rule over dogs and wolves."

[6] When she had finished speaking, she employed a species of divination, letting a hare escape from the fold of her dress; and since it ran on what they considered the auspicious side, the whole multitude shouted with pleasure, and Buduica, raising her hand toward heaven, said:

"I thank thee, Andraste, and call upon thee as woman speaking to woman; for I rule over no burden-bearing Egyptians as did Nitocris, nor over trafficking Assyrians as did Semiramis (for we have by now gained thus much learning from the Romans!), much less over the Romans themselves as did Messalina once and afterwards Agrippina and now Nero (who, though in name a man, is in fact a woman, as is proved by his singing, lyre-playing and beautification of his person); nay, those over whom I rule are Britons, men that know not how to till the soil or ply a trade, but are thoroughly versed in the art of war and hold all things in common, even children and wives, so that the latter possess the same valour as the men. As the queen, then, of such men and of such women, I supplicate and pray thee for victory, preservation of life, and liberty against men insolent, unjust, insatiable, impious, — if, indeed, we ought to term those people men who bathe in warm water, eat artificial dainties, drink unmixed wine, anoint themselves with myrrh, sleep on soft couches with boys for bedfellows, — boys past their prime at that, — and are slaves to a lyre-player and a poor one too.  Wherefore may this Mistress Domitia-Nero reign no longer over me or over you men; let the wench sing and lord it over Romans, for they surely deserve to be the slaves of such a woman after having submitted to her so long. But for us, Mistress, be thou alone ever our leader."

[Cassius Dio (62.3–6)]

Tacitus version

Boudicea, with her daughters before her in a chariot, went up to tribe after tribe, protesting that it was indeed usual for Britons to fight under the leadership of women.

"But now, it is not as a woman descended from noble ancestry, but as one of the people that I am avenging lost freedom, my scourged body, the outraged chastity of my daughters. Roman lust has gone so far that not our very persons, nor even age or virginity, are left unpolluted. But heaven is on the side of a righteous vengeance; a legion which dared to fight has perished; the rest are hiding themselves in their camp, or are thinking anxiously of flight. They will not sustain even the din and the shout of so many thousands, much less our charge and our blows. If you weigh well the strength of the armies, and the causes of the war, you will see that in this battle you must conquer or die. This is a woman's resolve; as for men, they may live and be slaves."

[Tac. Ann. 14.35]

See Also

Boudica's Speeches in Tacitus and Dio

Notes: Boudicca's name appears in various forms including (Boudicea, Boadicea & Boudica). The only contemporary rendering is from Tacitus who gives it as Boudicca. Later Cassius Dio gives it as Βουδουικα, Βουνδουικα, and Βοδουικα: which suggests a form Boudou-ika . Then in 1534 Polydore Vergil invented the name "Boadicia" (Anglica Historia, II.5-6) and the variant "Boadicea" occurred as a misprint in 1624.

]]> (Mike Haseler) Battle Speeches Mon, 14 Sep 2015 19:19:13 +0000
Breathe Fire Published by: Thomas Slaughter, 14 Jan 2012
Speaker: Jake Lindsey “he picked up major?” “This is 3/7 in Sangin?”
Date: 2010 march 2010

[start missing]...figures are the tactical task to breathe fire has now been issued.
You to go? → OROAR
You will breathe fire, day in and day out for the next two months
You will breathe fire in your sleep.
You will feel fatigue,
you will feel fear,
you will feel happiness,
you will feel regret,
you will feel sadness,
at the end of the day you will continue, to BREATH FIRE!!!
You to go? → OROAR

]]> (Mike Haseler) Battle Speeches Mon, 14 Sep 2015 13:33:44 +0000
Tecumseh (Native American) Tecumseh was a Native American leader of the Shawnee and a large tribal confederacy (known as Tecumseh's Confederacy). Tecumseh met with Indiana Governor William Henry Harrison to demand the rescission of land purchase treaties the US had forced on the Shawnee and other tribes. Harrison refused. In 1811, Tecumseh again met with Harrison at his home after being summoned following the murder of settlers on the frontier. Tecumseh told Harrison that the Shawnee and their Native American brothers wanted to remain at peace with the United States but these differences had to be resolved.

Following the meeting Tecumseh traveled south, on a mission to recruit allies among the Five Civilized Tribes. The war speech he delivered to the Muscogee (Creek) at Tuckaubatchee, in October 1811, has been so reported by General Samuel Dale, who was present at the meeting:

“ In defiance of the white warriors of Ohio and Kentucky, I have traveled through their settlements, once our favorite hunting grounds. No war-whoop was sounded, but there is blood on our knives. The Pale-faces felt the blow, but knew not whence it came. Accursed be the race that has seized on our country and made women of our warriors. Our fathers, from their tombs, reproach us as slaves and cowards. I hear them now in the wailing winds. The Muscogee was once a mighty people. The Georgians trembled at your war-whoop, and the maidens of my tribe, on the distant lakes, sung the prowess of your warriors and sighed for their embraces. Now your very blood is white; your tomahawks have no edge; your bows and arrows were buried with your fathers. Oh! Muscogees, brethren of my mother, brush from your eyelids the sleep of slavery; once more strike for vengeance; once more for your country. The spirits of the mighty dead complain. Their tears drop from the weeping skies. Let the white race perish. They seize your land; they corrupt your women; they trample on the ashes of your dead! Back, whence they came, upon a trail of blood, they must be driven. Back! back, ay, into the great water whose accursed waves brought them to our shores! Burn their dwellings! Destroy their stock! Slay their wives and children! The Red Man owns the country, and the Pale-faces must never enjoy it. War now! War forever! War upon the living! War upon the dead! Dig their very corpses from the grave. Our country must give no rest to a white man's bones. This is the will of the Great Spirit, revealed to my brother, his familiar, the Prophet of the Lakes. He sends me to you. All the tribes of the north are dancing the war-dance. Two mighty warriors across the seas will send us arms. Tecumseh will soon return to his country. My prophets shall tarry with you. They will stand between you and the bullets of your enemies. When the white men approach you the yawning earth shall swallow them up. Soon shall you see my arm of fire stretched athwart the sky. I will stamp my foot at Tippecanoe, and the very earth shall shake. ”
— Tecumseh's Speech at Tuckaubatchee, 1811.

Here is also, however, the text of quite a different-toned speech which Tecumseh allegedly delivered to a band of Osages on his way back home in 1811. It was reported by John Dunn Hunter, an Anglo-American whose parents had been killed by the Kickapoos, and who had been later raised among the Osages.

“ Brothers, we all belong to one family; we are all children of the Great Spirit; we walk in the same path; slake our thirst at the same spring; and now affairs of the greatest concern lead us to smoke the pipe around the same council fire! Brothers, we are friends; we must assist each other to bear our burdens. The blood of many of our fathers and brothers has run like water on the ground, to satisfy the avarice of the white men. We, ourselves, are threatened with a great evil; nothing will pacify them but the destruction of all the red men. Brothers, when the white men first set foot on our grounds, they were hungry; they had no place on which to spread their blankets, or to kindle their fires. They were feeble; they could do nothing for themselves. Our fathers commiserated their distress, and shared freely with them whatever the Great Spirit had given his red children. They gave them food when hungry, medicine when sick, spread skins for them to sleep on, and gave them grounds, that they might hunt and raise corn. Brothers, the white people are like poisonous serpents: when chilled, they are feeble and harmless; but invigorate them with warmth, and they sting their benefactors to death. The white people came among us feeble; and now that we have made them strong, they wish to kill us, or drive us back, as they would wolves and panthers. Brothers, the white men are not friends to the Indians: at first, they only asked for land sufficient for a wigwam; now, nothing will satisfy them but the whole of our hunting grounds, from the rising to the setting sun. Brothers, the white men want more than our hunting grounds; they wish to kill our old men, women, and little ones. Brothers, many winters ago there was no land; the sun did not rise and set; all was darkness. The Great Spirit made all things. He gave the white people a home beyond the great waters. He supplied these grounds with game, and gave them to his red children; and he gave them strength and courage to defend them. Brothers, my people wish for peace; the red men all wish for peace; but where the white people are, there is no peace for them, except it be on the bosom of our mother. Brothers, the white men despise and cheat the Indians; they abuse and insult them; they do not think the red men sufficiently good to live. The red men have borne many and great injuries; they ought to suffer them no longer. My people will not; they are determined on vengeance; they have taken up the tomahawk; they will make it fat with blood; they will drink the blood of the white people. Brothers, my people are brave and numerous; but the white people are too strong for them alone. I wish you to take up the tomahawk with them. If we all unite, we will cause the rivers to stain the great waters with their blood. Brothers, if you do not unite with us, they will first destroy us, and then you will fall an easy prey to them. They have destroyed many nations of red men, because they were not united, because they were not friends to each other. Brothers, the white people send runners amongst us; they wish to make us enemies, that they may sweep over and desolate our hunting grounds, like devastating winds, or rushing waters. Brothers, our Great Father[35] over the great waters is angry with the white people, our enemies. He will send his brave warriors against them; he will send us rifles, and whatever else we want—he is our friend, and we are his children. Brothers, who are the white people that we should fear them? They cannot run fast, and are good marks to shoot at: they are only men; our fathers have killed many of them: we are not squaws, and we will stain the earth red with their blood. Brothers, the Great Spirit is angry with our enemies; he speaks in thunder, and the earth swallows up villages, and drinks up the Mississippi. The great waters will cover their lowlands; their corn cannot grow; and the Great Spirit will sweep those who escape to the hills from the earth with his terrible breath. Brothers, we must be united; we must smoke the same pipe; we must fight each other’s battles; and, more than all, we must love the Great Spirit: he is for us; he will destroy our enemies, and make all his red children happy.

]]> (Mike Haseler) Battle Speeches Mon, 14 Sep 2015 23:56:41 +0000
Colonel Tim Collins: Iraq is steeped in history This is the eve-of-battle speech made by Colonel Tim Collins to the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment on 19 March 2003, immediately prior to the invasion of Iraq.

"We go to liberate, not to conquer.
We will not fly our flags in their country. We are entering Iraq to free a people and the only flag which will be flown in that ancient land is their own.
Show respect for them.
There are some who are alive at this moment who will not be alive shortly.
Those who do not wish to go on that journey, we will not send.
As for the others, I expect you to rock their world.
Wipe them out if that is what they choose.
But if you are ferocious in battle remember to be magnanimous in victory.
Iraq is steeped in history.
It is the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood and the birthplace of Abraham.
Tread lightly there.
You will see things that no man could pay to see
- and you will have to go a long way to find a more decent, generous and upright people than the Iraqis.
You will be embarrassed by their hospitality even though they have nothing.
Don't treat them as refugees for they are in their own country.
Their children will be poor, in years to come they will know that the light of liberation in their lives was brought by you.
If there are casualties of war then remember that when they woke up and got dressed in the morning they did not plan to die this day.
Allow them dignity in death.
Bury them properly and mark their graves.
It is my foremost intention to bring every single one of you out alive.
But there may be people among us who will not see the end of this campaign.
We will put them in their sleeping bags and send them back.
There will be no time for sorrow.
The enemy should be in no doubt that we are his nemesis and that we are bringing about his rightful destruction.
There are many regional commanders who have stains on their souls and they are stoking the fires of hell for Saddam.
He and his forces will be destroyed by this coalition for what they have done.
As they die they will know their deeds have brought them to this place. Show them no pity.
It is a big step to take another human life.
It is not to be done lightly.
I know of men who have taken life needlessly in other conflicts.
I can assure you they live with the mark of Cain upon them.
If someone surrenders to you then remember they have that right in international law and ensure that one day they go home to their family.
The ones who wish to fight, well, we aim to please.
If you harm the regiment or its history by over-enthusiasm in killing or in cowardice, know it is your family who will suffer.
You will be shunned unless your conduct is of the highest - for your deeds will follow you down through history.
We will bring shame on neither our uniform or our nation.
It is not a question of if, it's a question of when.
We know he has already devolved the decision to lower commanders, and that means he has already taken the decision himself.
If we survive the first strike we will survive the attack.
As for ourselves, let's bring everyone home and leave Iraq a better place for us having been there.
Our business now is North. [source]


]]> (Mike Haseler) Battle Speeches Mon, 14 Sep 2015 18:56:59 +0000