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General Patton Quotes From One of the Most Successful Generals

There are many lessons to be learned from these General Patton quotes. 

General Patton is known for being one of the most successful Generals in American history. He produced good results in a short amount of time. And he managed to do so with fewer casualties than could be expected.

General Patton was able to do this because he was an incredible leader who others naturally followed. His quotes provide lessons that we can apply to leadership, life, and business.

So whether you have a military background, run a business, or you are just looking for motivation to work towards a goal in your life, enjoy these General Patton quotes. 

A Statue General Patton

Don’t forget to also check out these marine quotes that show honor and pride.

General Patton quotes about leading

1. “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” – General Patton

2. “If you tell people where to go, but not how to get there, you’ll be amazed at the results.” – General Patton

3. “No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.” – General Patton

4. “The most difficult thing about being humble is not being able to brag about it.” – General Patton

5. “When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can’t run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn’t fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag. As for the types of comments I make, sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence.” – General Patton

6. “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” – General Patton

7. “Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader.” – General Patton

8. “A leader is a man who can adapt principles to circumstances.” – General Patton

9. “Keep going, someone must be on top, why not you?” – General Patton

10. “We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” – General Patton

General Patton quotes about planning 

11. “Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.” – General Patton

12. “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” – General Patton

13. “Do not try to make circumstances fit your plans. Make plans that fit the circumstances.” – General Patton

14. “I have studied the enemy all my life. I have read the memoirs of his generals and his leaders. I have even read his philosophers and listened to his music. I have studied in detail the account of every damned one of his battles. I know exactly how he will react under any given set of circumstances. And he hasn’t the slightest idea of what I’m going to do. So when the time comes, I’m going to whip the hell out of him.” – General Patton

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15. “Good tactics can save even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy.” – General Patton

16. “There are three ways that men get what they want; by planning, by working, and by praying. Any great military operation takes careful planning or thinking. Then you must have well-trained troops to carry it out: that’s working. But between the plan and the operation, there is always an unknown. That unknown spells defeat or victory, success or failure. It is the reaction of the actors to the ordeal when it actually comes. Some people call that getting the breaks; I call it God. God has His part or margin in everything, That’s where prayer comes in.” – General Patton

17. “Urge all of your men to pray, not alone in church, but everywhere. Pray when driving. Pray when fighting. Pray alone. Pray with others. Pray by night and pray by day. Pray for the cessation of immoderate rains, for good weather for Battle. Pray for the defeat of our wicked enemy whose banner is injustice and whose good is oppression. Pray for victory. Pray for our Army, and Pray for Peace. We must march together, all out for God.” – General Patton

18. “Wars are not won by fighting battles; wars are won by choosing battles.” – General Patton

19. “When in doubt, observe and ask questions. When certain, observe at length and ask many more questions.” – General Patton

20. “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” – General Patton

General Patton quotes about discipline

21. “You cannot be disciplined in great things and undisciplined in small things.” – General Patton

22. “Make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up.” – General Patton

23. “No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.” – General Patton

24. “There is only one sort of discipline, perfect discipline.” – General Patton

25. “A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood.” – General Patton

26. “Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.” – General Patton

27. “Always do everything you ask of those you command.” – General Patton

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28. “You need to overcome the tug of people against you as you reach for high goals.” – General Patton

29. “Do your duty as you see it, and damn the consequences.” – General Patton

30. “Pressure makes diamonds.” – General Patton

General Patton quotes about The Battle

31. “Better to fight for something than live for nothing.” – General Patton

32. “Give me an Army of West Point graduates and I’ll win a battle… Give me a handful of Texas Aggies and I’ll win a war.” – General Patton

33. “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.” – General Patton

34. “Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching.” – General Patton

35. “You’re never beaten until you admit it.” – General Patton

36. “May God have mercy for my enemies because I won’t.” – General Patton

37. “Always do more than is required of you.” – General Patton

38. “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” – General Patton

39. “Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men.” – General Patton

40. “I am a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.” – General Patton

41. “Never let the enemy pick the battle site.”  – General Patton
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of enemy quotes that will make you want to cut ties with your frenemies.

General Patton quotes about courage

41. “The supreme measure of a man, is what he would risk his life for.” – General Patton

42. “Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men.” – General Patton

43. “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” – General Patton

44. “Fear kills more people than death.” – General Patton

45. “The highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is bearing arms.” – General Patton

46. “A civil servant is sometimes like a broken cannon – it won’t work and you can’t fire it.” – General Patton

47. “When there is fear of failure, there will be failure.” – General Patton

48. “There is a great deal of talk about loyalty from the bottom to the top. Loyalty from the top down is even more necessary and much less prevalent. One of the most frequently noted characteristics of great men who have remained great is loyalty to their subordinates.” – General Patton

49. “War is the supreme test of man in which he rises to heights never approached in any other activity.” – General Patton

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50. “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” – General Patton

More general Patton quotes and sayings

51. “The soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country.” – George S. Patton Jr.

52. “A man must know his destiny… if he does not recognize it, then he is lost. By this I mean, once, twice, or at the very most, three times, fate will reach out and tap a man on the shoulder… if he has the imagination, he will turn around and fate will point out to him what fork in the road he should take, if he has the guts, he will take it.” – George S. Patton Jr.

53. “It is a proud privilege to be a soldier – a good soldier … [with] discipline, self-respect, pride in his unit and his country, a high sense of duty and obligation to comrades and to his superiors, and a self-confidence born of demonstrated ability.” – George S. Patton Jr.

54. “When in doubt, ATTACK!” – George S. Patton

55. “An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body.” – George S. Patton Jr.

56. “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” – George S. Patton Jr.

57. “Human beings are made up of flesh and blood, and a miracle fiber called courage.” – George S. Patton Jr.

58. “If you win, give the credit. If you lose, take the blame.” – Gen. George S. Patton

59. “No Bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.” – George Patton

60. “Do not fear failure. Do more than is required of you. Make your own plans fit the circumstances.” – George Patton

What did you learn from these General Patton quotes?

There is a lot of wisdom in these quotes from General Patton. There is a reason why he experienced the success that he did as a leader.

From learning work ethic, overcoming obstacles, or digging in deep to keep going when you don’t feel that you can, there are quotes that can help. 

If you need a little motivation or inspiration in your life, choose a few quotes that speak to you from the list above and incorporate them into your life.

Post them up on your bathroom mirror or add them to the signature line of your email. Let the words sink in and transform your thinking to help you grow and succeed.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these General Patton quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

Stephanie Kirby
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1 Comment
  1. Joshua Bradley US Army Veteran

    September 12, 2021 at 6:43 PM

    I wish we had Generals like him, that had guts, in today’s military unlike the weak scumbags like General Milley that abandoned his troops!!!

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