Omar Bradley, fully Omar Nelson Bradley

Omar
Bradley, fully Omar Nelson Bradley
1893
1981

American Army General, Sr. U.S. Army Field Commander in North Africa and Europe in World War II, last surviving Five-Star General and First General Selected Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Author Quotes

Leadership is intangible, and therefore no weapon ever designed can replace it.

War: a wretched debasement of all the pretenses of civilization.

The second best decision in time is infinitely better than the perfect decision too late.

Throughout this period of tension in which we live, the American people must demonstrate conclusively to all other peoples of the world that democracy not only guarantees man’s human freedom but that it guarantees his economic dignity and progress as well. To practice freedom and make it work, we must cherish the individual; we must provide him the opportunities for reward and impress upon him the responsibilities a free man bears to the society in which he lives.

With the monstrous weapons man already has, humanity is in danger of being trapped in this world by its moral adolescents. Our knowledge of science has clearly outstripped our capacity to control it. We have many men of science; too few men of God. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Man is stumbling blindly through a spiritual darkness while toying with the precarious secrets of life and death. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.

NO MORE convincing an avowal of their peaceful intentions could have been made by the American people than by their offer to submit to United Nations the secret of the atom bomb. Our willingness to surrender this trump advantage that atomic energy might be used for the peaceful welfare of mankind splintered the contentions of those word-warmakers that our atom had been teamed with the dollar for imperialistic gain.

Yet because we asked adequate guarantees and freedom of world-wide inspection by the community of nations itself, our offer was declined and the atom has been recruited into this present contest of nerves. To those people who contend that secrecy and medieval sovereignty are more precious than a system of atomic control, I can only reply that it is a cheap price to pay for peace.

There can be no compromise with aggression anywhere in the world. For aggression multiplies—in rapid succession—disregard for the rights of man. Freedom when threatened anywhere is at once threatened everywhere.

BOTH the East and the West today deprecate war. Yet because of its threatening gestures, its espousal of chaos, its secretive tactics, and its habits of force—one nation has caused the rest of the world to fear that it might recklessly resort to force rather that be blocked in its greater ambitions.

It is no longer possible to shield ourselves with arms alone against the ordeal of attack. For modern war visits destruction on the victor and the vanquished alike. Our only complete assurance of surviving World War III is to halt it before it starts.

For that reason we clearly have no choice but to face the challenge of these strained times. To ignore the danger of aggression is simply to invite it. It must never again be said of the American people: Once more we won a war; once more we lost a peace. If we do we shall doom our children to a struggle that may take their lives.

Armistice Day is a constant reminder that we won a war and lost a peace.

It is both a tribute and an indictment: A tribute to the men who died that their neighbors might live without fear of aggression. An indictment of those who lived and forfeited their chance for peace.

Therefore, while Armistice Day is a day for pride, it is for pride in the achievements of others—humility in our own.

The way to win an atomic war is to make certain it never starts.

I am convinced that the best service a retired general can perform is to
turn in his tongue along with his suit and to mothball his opinions.

I learned that good judgment comes from experience and that experience
grows out of mistakes.

Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked, and we who fail to prevent them must share the guilt for the dead.

Dependability, integrity, the characteristic of never knowingly doing anything wrong, that you would never cheat anyone, that you would give everybody a fair deal. Character is a sort of an all-inclusive thing. If a man has character, everyone has confidence in him. Soldiers must have confidence in their leader.

It is time that we steered by the stars, not by the lights of each passing ship.

We've learned how to destroy, but not to create; how to waste, but not to build; how to kill men, but not how to save them; how to die, but seldom how to live.

We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.

Man is stumbling blindly through a spiritual darkness while toying with the precarious secrets of life and death. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.

It is no longer possible to shield ourselves with arms alone against the ordeal of attack. For modern war visits destruction on the victor and vanquished alike. The way to win an atomic war is to make certain it never happens.

In war there is no second place for the runner-up.

Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.

This is as true in everyday life as it is in battle: we are given one life and the decision is ours whether to wait for circumstances to make up our mind, or whether to act, and in acting, to live.

The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.

Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.

Author Picture
First Name
Omar
Last Name
Bradley, fully Omar Nelson Bradley
Birth Date
1893
Death Date
1981
Bio

American Army General, Sr. U.S. Army Field Commander in North Africa and Europe in World War II, last surviving Five-Star General and First General Selected Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff