Alexander Suvorov

Russian marshal

Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov (transliterated as Aleksandr, Aleksander and Suvarov), Count Suvorov of Rymnik, Prince of Italy (граф Рымникский, князь Италийский) (November 24 1729May 18 1800) was a Russian Generalissimo.

One minute decides the outcome of a battle, one hour the success of a campaign, one day the fate of empires.


Fight the enemy with the weapons he lacks.
The more comfort the less courage there is.
  • One cannot think that blind bravery gives victory over the enemy.
    • The Book of Military Quotations By Peter G. Tsouras - Page 55.
  • The bullet is a fool, the bayonet is a fine chap.
    • Nauka pobezhdat, Dokumenty, vol. III, p. 504, cited in
  • The bullet is a mad thing; only the bayonet knows what it is about.
    • From "The Science of Victory," 1796.
  • Train hard, fight easy.
    • other version: Hard training - easy combat; easy training - hard combat.
    • Philip Longworth: The Art of Victory, New York, 1965, cited in
  • Win with ability, not with numbers.
    • Quoted in Danchenko and Vydrin, Military Pedagogy, 1973.
  • No battle can be won in the study, and theory without practice is dead.
    • Quoted in K. Ossipov, "Suvorov", 1945.
  • The three military arts. First - Apprehension, how to arrange things in camp, how to march, how to attack, pursue, and strike; for taking up position, final judgement of the enemy's strength, for estimating his intentions. Second - Quickness... This quickness doesn't weary the men. The enemy doesn't expect us, reckons us 100 versts away, and if a long way off to begin with - 200, 300 or more - suddenly we're on him, like snow on the head; his head spins. Attack with what comes up, with what God sends; the cavalry to begin, smash, strike, cut off, don't let slip, hurra! Brothers do miracles! Third - Attack. Leg supports leg. Arm strengthens arm; many men will die in the volley; the enemy has the same weapons, but he doesn't know the Russian bayonet. Extend the line - attack at once with cold steel; extend the line without stopping... the Cossacks to get through everywhere... In two lines is strength; in three, half as much again; the first breaks, the second drives into heaps, the third overthrows.
    • From "The Science of Victory," 1796.
  • It is very difficult to do one's duty. I was considered a barbarian because at the storming of the Praga 7,000 people were killed. Europe says that I am a monster. I myself have read this in the papers, but I would have liked to talk to people about this and ask them: is it not better to finish a war with the death of 7,000 people rather than to drag it on and kill 100,000.
    • About the Polish deaths in the storming of the fortified Praga suburb in Warsaw on October 15, 1794, during the Polish revolt, quotes in Philip Longworth, "The Art of Victory", 1966.
  • The officers know that I myself am not ashamed to work at this. ...Suvorov was Major, and Adjutant, and everything down to Corporal; I myself looked into everything and could teach everybody.
    • Quoted in W. Lyon Blease, "Suvorof," 1926.
  • To me death is better than the defensive.
    • Quoted in W. Lyon Blease, "Suvorof," 1926.
  • If we had not driven them into hell... hell would have swallowed us.
  • Fight the enemy with the weapons he lacks.
    • Quoted in Ossipov, "Suvorov," 1945.
  • Drill your soldiers well, and give them a pattern yourself.
    • Quoted in W. Lyon Blease, "Suvorof," 1926.
  • Exercises cultivated self-reliance - the foundation of courage.
    • Quoted in Ossipov, "Suvorov," 1945.
  • A strong pursuit, give no time for the enemy to think, take advantage of victory, uproot him, cut off his escape route.
    • Quoted in V. Ye. Savkin, "Basic Principles of Operational Art and Tactics," 1972.
  • Fire opens the gates of victory.
    • From "The Science of Victory," 1796, quoted in Bragin "Field Marshal Kutuzov," 1944.
  • The more comfort the less courage there is.
    • "The Book of Military Quotations" By Peter G. Tsouras - Page 101.
  • Die for the Virgin, for your mother the Empress, for the royal family. The Church will pray to God for the dead. The survivor has honor and glory.
    • "The Art of Victory: The Life and Achievements of Field Marshal Suvorov" - Page 217 by Philip Longworth - 1966.
  • When the enemy is driven back, we have failed, and when he is cut off, encircled and dispersed, we have succeeded.
    • "The Book of Military Quotations" - Page 124 by Peter G. Tsouras - Reference - 2005.
  • Accustom yourself to tireless activity...
    • "The Book of Military Quotations - Page 23 by Peter G. Tsouras - Reference - 2005.
  • One minute decides the outcome of a battle, one hour the success of a campaign, one day the fate of empires.
    • other version: One minute can decide the outcome of the battle, one hour - the outcome of the campaign, and one day - the fate of the country.
    • "Encyclopedia of Russian History" - Page 1504 by James R. Millar - Soviet Union - 2004.
  • Fortune seized at the right moment gives victory.
    • "Political Affairs" - Page 1005 by Earl Browder.
  • As long as the enemy fights he must be beaten relentlessly, but a defeated enemy and especially the civilian population must be treated generously.
    • Yesterday and Today, 1917-1967: Contemporaries Report on the Progress of German Soviet Friendship - Page 105 - by Verlag Zeit im Bild - Soviet Union - 1967.
  • To surprise the enemy is to defeat him.
    • As Military Adviser in China - Page 245 by Aleksandr Ivanovich Cherepanov - China - 1982.
  • Judgment of eye, speed and attack are the basis of victory.
    • Readings in Russian History - Page 694 by Warren Bartlett Walsh - Soviet Union - 1959.

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