Carl von Clausewitz Quotes About FightingQuotes about: Fighting
Whenever armed forces . . . are used, the idea of combat must be present. . . . The end for which a soldier is recruited, clothed, armed, and trained, the whole object of his sleeping, eating, drinking, and marching is simply that he should fight at the right place and the right time.
But the main point is that soldiers, after fighting for some time, are apt to be like burned-out cinders. They have shot off their ammunition, their numbers have been diminished, their strength and their morale are drained, and possibly their courage has vanished as well. As an organic whole, quite apart from their loss in numbers, they are far from being what they were before the action; and thus the amount of reserves spent is an accurate measure on the loss of morale.
What do we mean by the defeat of the enemy? Simply the destruction of his forces, whether by death, injury, or any other means-either completely or enough to make him stop fighting. . . . The complete or partial destruction of the enemy must be regarded as the sole object of all engagements. . . . Direct annihilation of the enemy's forces must always be the dominant consideration.