Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 April 2024


  1. Weapons are like money; no one knows the meaning of enough.
    Martin Amis 1949–  English novelist: Einstein's Monsters (1987)
  2. Ban the bomb.
    Anonymous: US anti-nuclear slogan, adopted by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, 1953 onwards
  3. A bigger bang for a buck.
    Anonymous: Charles E. Wilson's defence policy, in Newsweek 22 March 1954
  4. Whose finger do you want on the trigger?
    referring to the atom bomb
    Anonymous: headline in Daily Mirror 21 September 1951
  5. Whatever happens we have got
    The Maxim Gun, and they have not.
    Hilaire Belloc 1870–1953 British poet, essayist, historian, novelist, and Liberal politician: The Modern Traveller (1898) pt. 6
  6. Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
    Dwight D. Eisenhower 1890–1969 American Republican statesman, 34th President 1953–61: speech in Washington, 16 April 1953, in Public Papers of Presidents 1953 (1960)
  7. We can manage without butter but not, for example, without guns. If we are attacked we can only defend ourselves with guns not with butter.
    Joseph Goebbels 1897–1945 German Nazi leader: speech in Berlin, 17 January 1936; see Goering
  8. We have no butter…but I ask you—would you rather have butter or guns?…preparedness makes us powerful. Butter merely makes us fat.
    Hermann Goering 1893–1946 German Nazi leader: speech at Hamburg, 1936, in W. Frischauer Goering (1951) ch. 10; see Goebbels
  9. 58% Don't Want Pershing.
    Katharine Hamnett 1947–  English fashion designer: anti-nuclear weapons slogan on T-shirt worn when she attended a drinks party at 10 Downing Street in 1984
  10. The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the United States reactionaries use to scare people. It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't…All reactionaries are paper tigers.
    Mao Zedong 1893–1976 Chinese statesman; de facto leader of the Communist Party: interview with Anne Louise Strong, August 1946
  11. If the Third World War is fought with nuclear weapons, the fourth will be fought with bows and arrows.
    Lord Mountbatten 1900–79 British sailor, soldier, and statesman: in Maclean's 17 November 1975
  12. Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men.
    George S. Patton 1885–1945 American general: in Cavalry Journal September 1933
  13. You can't say civilization don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way.
    Will Rogers 1879–1935 American actor and humorist: in New York Times 23 December 1929
  14. Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volleyed and thundered.
    Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809–92 English poet: ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ (1854)
  15. Spare us all word of the weapons, their force and range,
    The long numbers that rocket the mind.
    Richard Wilbur 1921–  American poet: ‘Advice to a Prophet’ (1961)