It's a necessary quality of a diplomat or a politician that he will compromise. Uncompromising politicians or diplomats get you into the most terrible trouble.— John Keegan
The most astonishing John Keegan quotes that will activate your inner potential
I don't look to find an educated person in the ranks of university graduates, necessarily. Some of the most educated people I know have never been near a university.
The Second World War is the largest single event in human history, fought across six of the world's seven continents and all it oceans. It killed 50 million human beings, left hundreds of millions of others wounded in mind or body and materially devastated much of the heartland of civilization.
Soldiers, when committed to a task, can't compromise.
It's unrelenting devotion to the standards of duty and courage, absolute loyalty to others, not letting the task go until it's been done.
The great Chinese classics have always said that it's better not to fight;
that the clever man achieves his ends without violence; that a battle delayed is better than a battle fought.
The written history of the world is largely a history of warfare, because the states within which we live came into existence largely through conquest, civil strife, or struggles for independence.
The historian ought to be an educated person, writing for other educated people about something which they don't know about, but wish to know about in a way that they can understand.
The revival of Islam dates from the early years of the 20th century.
It was brought about by their humiliation, by their sense of how low they'd fallen compared with the West.
Well, if they are trying to kill you, on the whole they're the people you have to kill, aren't they?
Slavery in the modern world implies the absolute deprivation of the individual's liberty, while possession of weapons and mastery of their use are means to the individual's liberation. We do not perceive how a man may be armed and at the same time bereft of his freedom.
The Islam of the 18th, 19th and first half of the 20th century was a poor thing.
Nobody bothered about it. Islam was that funny sort of pure system of beliefs that depressed people in the Middle East held as their religion.
The leader of men in warfare can show himself to his followers only through a mask, a mask that he must make for himself, but a mask made in such form as will mark him to men of his time and place as the leader they want and need.
Even a pacifist should admire the military virtues.
I can't visualize the situation in which we nuke ourselves into extinction.
A civilised man is someone who has discovered something more satisfying than combat.
If Wellington epitomizes the English gentleman, Eisenhower epitomizes the natural American gentleman.
I think to be shot in a mountain valley somewhere or other is altogether less glorious than crashing an airliner into a skyscraper.
I don't think that what's going on in Bosnia is political activity.
It's partly political, but it's partly atavistic as well.
Good men who exercise power are really the most fascinating of all people.
We forget today that Britain still depends for its livelihood and, indeed, its day-to-day survival, on the sea. But the Royal Navy is now pitifully small and has been reduced in size by the current Government, seeking economies to finance its social programmes. Fine while there is no threat to our security. But what use would schools and hospitals be if we could not protect our imports?
Of whatever class or nation, however, all successful participants in the repetitive and unrelenting stress of aerial fighting came eventually to display its characteristic physiognomy: skeletal hands, sharpened noses, tight-drawn cheek bones, the bared teeth of a rictus smile and the fixed, narrowed gaze of men in a state of controlled fear.
We saw the children and the women with their babies and then I heard the poouff — the flame had broken through the thatched roof and there was a yellow- brown smoke column going up into the air. It didn't hit me all that much then, but when I think of it now — I slaughtered those people. I murdered them.
Some people are more terrorist than others.
Men killing other men really is an extraordinary phenomenon.
Why does it happen? And how long has it gone on? And have the motives changed?
Hitler ... lacked the [inclination] for anything more than the occasional sensational display of emotion, in particular the great set-piece speech which mesmerized the mob and left him drained of ... energy.
Visually Agincourt is a pre-Raphaelite, perhaps better a Medici Gallery print battle - a composition of strong verticals and horizontals and a conflict of rich dark reds and Lincoln greens against fishscale greys and arctic blues.
The great men of power who seek to change the nations they belong to usually are pretty terrible people.
We may have to have a geo-political regrouping or major geo-political changes.
There are certain wicked people in the world that you can't deal with except by force.
It's commonly said that people who've been ill in childhood and who've had an upset education never really regret that they do. It means that you don't look at the world in the way that other people do, and if you were inclined to be a writer, that's a help.
Nobody should teach anywhere for 25 years, but I did.
I think that black Africa is extremely terrifying.
Black Africa can become a maelstrom of warring tribes without the outside world needing to feel the need to do anything about it.
I think Americans like the practical;
they like the human. And I like both those things myself, and I try and put them into my books.