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Astra Militarum Quotes

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Quotes made by members of the Astra Militarum (Imperial Guard) and PDF.

Attributed

Imperial Manuals / Books / Publications

Book Quote Source
from the Introit to the Codex Exercitus All of the worlds of the Imperium shall look to their own defense. They shall also look to the defense of the Imperium, and the prosecution of such wars as the Emperor in His wisdom shall decree.

Therefore, each populated planet shall raise and maintain its own planetary defense force, and from the ranks of this defense force it shall provide the best of its troops for recruitment into the Imperial Guard, according to such requirements as shall be imposed by the Administratum.

Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, pg. 142
Training Manual, Penal Legion, Suicide Bomb Squads Statistically, you will almost certainly die when assaulting a well-maintained fortress with a competent commander. You must strive to make your death useful. Warhammer Siege, pg. 95
Imperial Guard Tactical Manual Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. The Traitor's Hand (Novel)Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus), ch. 8, pg. 591
Uttica 1st Tank Company motto Victory is achieved through mettle.
Glory is achieved through metal.
Imperial Armour - Imperial Vehicles for Warhammer 40,000, pg. 65

A

Speaker Quote Source
Captain Al'rahem,
Tallarn III "Desert Tigers"
Be swift and silent - as the breeze that crosses the dunes without stirring a grain of sand. Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 17
Lecturer-General Aldous, Scholam Progena If you want a textbook example of righteous hatred, you need look no further than Commissar Yarrick. In him we see a man who justly despises his foes, and they in turn loath him. Games Workshop: Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card "Hatred - Minor Stratagem", (saved archive page, dated February 2011, last accessed 6 October 2015)
Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander, Commander 1st Kronus Regiment Fifth Company, this is the moment of truth. You will not fear. You will not falter. You will not give a single step to the enemy.
– prior to the defense of Victory Bay from an attacking force
Dawn of War: Dark Crusade (Imperial Guard stronghold campaign)
Enemies of the Imperium, hear me. You have come here to die. The Immortal Emperor is with us and we are invincible. His soldiers will strike you down. His war machines will crush you under their treads. His mighty guns will bring the very sky crashing down upon you. You cannot win. The Emperor has given us his greatest weapon to wield. So make yourselves ready. We are the First Kronus Regiment, and today is our Victory Day.
– address to enemy forces in Victory Bay

B

Speaker Quote Source
Leto Barbaden, Governor of Salinas When the people forget their duty they are no longer human and become something less than beasts. They have no place in the bosom of humanity nor in the heart of the Emperor. Let them die and be forgotten.
- quoting from the Prime Edicts of the Holy Synod of the Adeptus Ministorum
The Killing Ground (Novel),
ch. 20;
Codex Imperialis (Background Book),
pg. 10
Sergeant Lukas Bastonne,
Cadian Shock Troopers
A good soldier obeys without question. A good officer commands without doubt.
– quoting from the Tactica Imperium
Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 59
Commissar Groden Bevro Blessed is the mind too small for doubt. Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, pg. 49

C

Speaker Quote Source
Trooper Dermon Caffran,
Tanith First and Only
I left my homeworld the night it died, and I've been fighting for its memory ever since. We Tanith are a dying breed. There are only about twenty hundred of us left. Gaunt only got away with enough for one regiment. The Tanith First. The First-and-Only. That's what makes us 'Ghosts', you see. The last few unquiet souls of a dead world. And I suppose we'll keep going until we're all done. First and Only (Novel),
Part Three: Fortis Binary Forge World, ch. Six
Commissar Ciaphas Cain Sorry. I prefer blondes.[Note 2]
– to Emeli Duboir, just before shooting her on Slawkenberg
The Beguiling (Short Story)
I thought the acolytes of Khorne were supposed to be warriors, not a bunch of pansies.
– to a Khorne Berserker, during the Chaos attack on Adumbria
The Traitor's Hand (Novel), ch. 13
The noncom in charge of the squad must have been on something, I thought. Nobody spoke like that outside badly-written combat novels.
– after hearing a Guardsman yell, "Come on, men! Do you want to live forever?"[Note 3]
The Traitor's Hand (Novel), ch. 15
Frak this, for my faith is a shield proof against your blandishments!
– attributed by Sergeant Alem Mahat, The Book of Cain, ch. IV, Verse XXI
The Traitor's Hand (Novel), ch. 20
Frak this! My soul's my own and I'm keeping it!
– to Emeli Duboir
The Traitor's Hand (Novel), ch. 20
Well then, I seem to recall a rather pleasant little restaurant not far from here. Care to see if it's still standing?
– after the Chaos attack on Adumbria
The Traitor's Hand (Novel), ch. 21
As I try to impress on the young whelps in my charge these days, it isn't the scarlet sash and the fancy hat that makes you a commissar, it's the way you wear them. The troops you serve with are never going to like you, but if you can get them to respect you that can be almost as good. Remember, you're going to spend most of your career on a battlefield with them, and they've all got guns, so making them think you're a liability is never going to be a very good idea. Death or Glory (Novel), ch. Ten
I've come across a number of planetary governors in the course of my erratic progress around the galaxy and, on the whole, the ones who weren't incompetent were either corrupt, insane, or both; on at least one occasion sufficiently so to have mortgaged their soul and the world they administered to the forces of the Ruinous Powers. Traitor's Gambit (Chapbook) UK Games Day 2009, pg. 6
I'd faced the servants of the Great Enemy more often than I cared to contemplate, and in my experience it was never wise to underestimate them. Particularly a ten thousand year old madman, who'd been marinating himself in the raw stuff of Chaos for most of that time.
– shortly before the outbreak of the 13th Black Crusade
Cain's Last Stand (Novel), ch. 5
Sergeant Tona Criid,
Tanith First and Only
- Who are you?
- I'm your Aunt Tona.
- I don't have an aunt.
- You do now.
- to Dalin Kolea, during the Siege of Vervunhive
Necropolis (Novel),
ch. Two
Lord Castellan Ursarkar E. Creed What do I ask of my officers? Merely that they do their duty with fire in their bellies and a prayer on their lips. Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 50
Although all documents surrounding the final fate of the original Mordant 13th - the "Lucky 13s" - have been sealed by order of the Inquisition, I, on behalf of the Cadian High Command, order another regiment to be mustered and given the name “The Mordant 13th”. The psyker cadre that advises my High Command have divined, through the Emperor’s Tarot, that just such a regiment will be able to protect the Imperium from all of its foes. It is with all haste that this regiment be raised and trained. We need these men to be hardened fighters in the service of the Emperor before the year is out. Games Workshop: The Lucky 13s (saved archive page, dated 12 January 2008, last accessed 11 December 2022)
Though our tanks and artillery are mighty, it is the vast ranks of Imperial Guardsmen that shall trample the enemy to dust - let them come. Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), Back cover
Colonel Marus Cullen, Pannonia 5th Infantry Regiment Children you call them? They can pull a trigger just as well as veterans, and they have the spirit of a bull narthax. Call them children if you wish - I call them troops.
– on Whiteshields
Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, pg. 41

D

Speaker Quote Source
Mosstrooper "Reiv" Daggat of the 17th Drookian Fenguard The Valhallans hate the cold as much as the rest of us, they're just taught that carpin' on about it gets the Commissars all riled... Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 20
Nork Deddog, Ogryn Bodyguard Da Sergeant Major asked me what my job was an' I said it was to, uh, do what I was told. He said I was a genius and gave me another medal. I likes da Imperial Guard![Note 4] Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 67
Warmaster Demetrius I have at my command an entire battle group of the Imperial Guard. Fifty regiments, including specialized drop troops, stealthers, mechanized formations, armored companies, combat engineers and mobile artillery. Over half a million fighting men and thirty thousand tanks and artillery pieces are mine to command. Emperor show mercy to the fool that stands against me, for I shall not.
– at the outset of the Salonika Crusade, 733.M38[Note 5]
Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 7
Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pg. 159

E

Speaker Quote Source
Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn It remains a sad truth of the Imperium that virtually no veteran ever comes back from fighting its wars intact. Combat alone shreds nerves and shatters bodies. But the horrors of the warp, and of foul xenos forms like the tyranid, steal sanity forever, and leave veterans fearing the shadows, and the night and, sometimes, the nature of their friends and neighbours, for the rest of their lives. Missing in Action (Short Story)

F

Speaker Quote Source
Commander Fleyitch Ogryns. If we time it just right, the Eldar will all be going "What the..." just when what's left of the Company breaks cover over here and piles into them. No spreading out, no fancy stuff, just smash through. Let's see how those degenerate sophisticates handle a healthy dose of pure unreasoning violence. Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, pg. 48

G

Speaker Quote Source
Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt,
Tanith First and Only
Men of Tanith! Do you want to live forever? First and Only (Novel),
Part Two: Fortis Binary Forge World, ch. 3
I am a Commissar. I am empowered to deliver justice wher ever I see it lacking. I am empowered to punish cowardice. I am granted the gift of total authority to judge, in the name of the Emperor, on the field of combat.
– prior to the field execution of his "uncle," General Aldo Dercius
First and Only (Novel),
A Memory: Khedd 1173
I don't pretend to understand the technology, but I know that's an intact Standard Template weapons maker. And I know that's as unheard of as a well-manicured ork. First and Only (Novel),
Part Six: Menazoid Epsilon, ch. 23
Give any man the power of a god, and you better hope he's got the wisdom and morals of a god to match. There's nothing feeble about my moral line. I value life. That is why I fight to protect it. I mourn every man I lose and every sacrifice I make. One life or a billion, they're all lives.
– on Menazoid Epsilon
I have a reputation, Modile, a reputation as a fair, honest man who treats his soldiers well and supports them in the face of darkness. Potentially, that reputation makes me soft. It seems I understand failure and forgive it. Some, like Kowle, believe me to be a weak commissar, not prepared to take the action my rank demands. Not prepared to enforce field discipline where I see it failing. I am an Imperial commissar. I will enflame the weak, support the wavering, guide the lost. I will be all things to all men who need me. But I will also punish without hesitation the incompetent, the cowardly, and the treasonous. Necropolis (Novel), ch. 9
Choose, for courtesy's sake, summary execution or a firing squad of your own men.
Commissar Anton Gebbet, 1st Kronus Regiment If you will not serve in combat, then you will serve on the firing line.
- to unsettled members of the Fifth Company before the attack on Victory Bay
Dawn of War: Dark Crusade
Dravin Gratz, 14th Tharinga Regiment, Imperial Guard I have seen war in all its forms. I have seen feral world savages braining each other with stones, and I have monitored the death of a whole planet at the hands of a virus bomb. I have seen Space Marines drop to certain death, and win. I have seen Titans crush whole platoons underfoot. But there is no more stirring sight in war than the charge of massed cavalry. Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, pg. 37
General Coron Grizmund,
Narmenian Armoured
Target and deny! By our deaths shall they know us!
- at the Siege of Vervunhive
Necropolis (Novel),
ch. Fifteen
Let's give them hell, men.
- at the Siege of Vervunhive

H

Speaker Quote Source
Graf Harazahn, Lord Marshal One hammer blow will be all it takes. Place the men on alert, summon the reserves! We crush them here and now, for the Emperor! Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card "Apocalyptic Battle – Major Stratagem", (saved archive pg., dated February 2011, last accessed 7 October 2015)
Gunnery Sergeant "Stonetooth" Harker Back home, I once fancied me a pair of Catachan Devil boots. Killed me half a dozen of the great ugly critters but never found a single one that wore any!
– to a doubtful Munitorium staffer
Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 62
Sergeant-Ogryn Hrathlagg Been on a death world once. That was a bit like home. Most places are better, though. And there's regular rations. We get more if the Emperor's really pleased with us.
– on the joy of life in the Imperial Guard
Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, pg. 49

J

Speaker Quote Source
Jarn “Bullneck” Colda, Captain Catachan IX Stupid dumb Orks, don’t they know they’re on our territory now? Kyraxian Death-jungle? Feels just like home to me! Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card Home Ground - Minor Stratagem", (saved archive pg., dated February 2011, last accessed 6 October 2015)
Private Joanus Finks Ugh! What happened to these guys! Looks like they've been sliced and diced.
- about the troopers killed by Death Spinner's monofilament web
Imperial Armour II - Ork, Eldar and Dark Eldar Vehicles for Warhammer 40,000, pg. 13

K

Speaker Quote Source
Lieutenant Kage,
13th Penal Legion
Marching through this green hellhole, getting slowly eaten by flies, drowning in our own sweat and choking on sulfur fumes? I can’t see why that’s not a good idea. 13th Legion (Novel), ch. Two
Colonel Jago Kallowen Of course they’d come to Mordant for the saviors of the galaxy! We’re the hardest gakking troopers you’ll find in all the Segmentums! I’m proud to lead these warriors of the Emperor where ever he needs us to fight. We’ll stand fast against the myriad of foes that batter at the gates of the Imperium. I’ve scoured the mines and shanty-towns for the fiercest low-lives I could find. As I speak to you now, my men are already suffering through the most rigorous boot camp you could imagine. No soldier of the Lucky 13s will be grist for the mill. Games Workshop: The Lucky 13s (saved archive page, dated 12 January 2008, last accessed 12 December 2022)
Mogul Kamir It is not enough that I achieve victory - my enemy must suffer total defeat. It is not enough that I kill - all my foes must die. It is not enough that I succeed - all others must fail!
– at the conclusion of the Twenty-Third Quadrant Suppression
Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 66
General Karis I don’t know what effect they have on the enemy, but by the Emperor, they frighten me.
– on the Valhallans under his command[Note 7]
For The Emperor (Novel)Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus), ch. 1, pg. 35
Trust? Trust’s got nothing to do with it. I just don’t want them out of my sight.
– after granting full access to his command bunker to the local PDF commanders on Vortovan
For The Emperor (Novel)Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus), ch. 10, pg. 167
I don't care how bloody sanctioned they are, a psyker's a psyker, and anything to do with the warp is more trouble than it's worth. The Traitor's Hand (Novel)Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus), ch. 11, pg. 625
Kol ‘Gutting Knife’ Freen,
Penal Legionnaire
We hit ‘em so hard half of them were still squatting on their latrines. Ain’t nothing in the galaxy that brings victory half as sure as killing the enemy before he knows he’s in a fight. Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card Surprise Attack - Minor Stratagem", (saved archive pg., dated February 2011, last accessed 6 October 2015)
Sergeant Gol Kolea,
Tanith First
-How many did you lose coming here?
-Troops?
-Family.
-I didn't have any to lose. I don't know which of us is luckier.
-Neither one, commissar. And that's the tragedy.
- to Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt
Necropolis (Novel) - Gaunt's Ghosts: The Founding (Omnibus),
ch. 17, pg. 713
Lieutenant Konarski,
933rd Death Korp of Krieg
We're the Death Korps of Krieg, son. Did you think that was just a pretty name? We never retreat. We fight and we die, that's the Krieg way. Warriors of Ultramar (Novel) - The Ultramarines Omnibus,
ch. 11, pg. 440
Commissar Krieglust Weep for him - for his faith was not sufficient.
Rejoice for yourselves, for my faith is bottomless!
Forward, for the Emperor!
– after executing an officer
Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, pg. 151;
Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 10
Kronin And the heretic priests of Eidoline came forth, bringing false images for the praise of the lost people. 13th Legion (Novel) - The Last Chancers (Omnibus), ch. Seven, pg. 208
And they smote the enemies of the Emperor with a righteous fury, for they knew they were doing His work. 13th Legion (Novel) - The Last Chancers (Omnibus), ch. Four, pg. 144
Kudubai Khan, Attilan Rough Rider We ride like the wind, my brothers – victory depends on it. Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card "Forced March - Minor Stratagem", (saved archive pg., dated February 2011, last accessed 5 October 2015)

L

Speaker Quote Source
Veteran Sergeant Leo Lemuel No, he was not a Saint. He was a man. A very great man, and in many ways a very wicked one.
- on Lord Commander Solar Macharius
Angel of Fire (Novel), Prologue

M

Speaker Quote Source
Warmaster Macaroth - Show me men who know how to fight!
-Follow me to the morgue, sir, and I'll show you plenty.
- to Warmaster Slaydo, during the invasion of Formal Prime
The Sabbat Worlds Crusade (Background Book), pg. 17
With this act we have richly denied the Darkness and made trophies of its creatures. A dark lord is dead. So, this holy crusade, blessed by the Emperor, is advanced with glory.
- on Verghast, in the aftermath of the Siege of Vervunhive
Necropolis (Novel), ch. Nineteen
Lord Commander Solar Macharius What is the strongest weapon of mankind? The god-machines of the Adeptus Mechanicus? No! The Astartes Legions? No! The tank? The lasgun? The fist? Not at all! Courage and courage alone stands above them all!
- from his writings
Necropolis (Novel), ch. 12
I give men dreams and men are led by their dreams. Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 9
What I cannot crush with words I will crush with the tanks of the Imperial Guard! Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 8
Peace? There cannot be peace in these times. Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 23, Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 6
The meaning of victory is not to merely defeat your enemy but to destroy him, to completely eradicate him from living memory, to leave no remnant of his endeavours, to crush utterly his achievement and remove from all record his every trace of existence. From that defeat no enemy can ever recover. That is the meaning of victory. Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 13;
The Killing Ground (Novel),
ch. Fourteen, pg. 216
Always endeavour to fight the enemy on your own terms. If you outnumber the foe use reserves to break through when the enemy's overstretched lines collapse. If you are outnumbered then concentrate your forces so that the enemy can fight only your best troops. If you are powerful at close quarters then engage in dense terrain where your advantage will prove greatest. If you are superior at long range then attack along an extended front. Remember always, however, that a commander who puts his faith in heavy weaponry will be easily outmaneuvered and a commander who relies on close combat without adequate support will lose his force to disciplined fire. No one has ever won a battle who failed to take advantage of his enemy's weakness, or take heed of his own.
– prior to the conquest of Kallastin
Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 45
You ask me when this great and noble work of ours will be done? I tell you, it will have its end only when we have divided every sentient thing in this vast and wide cosmos into one of two separate and primary orders of being: the Righteous and the Dead.
– (attributed)
Warhammer Monthly Issue 63, Inquisitor Grimm
Macros Captain, Mordian IV Where the hell are those throne-damned reinforcements? Get Kendrick on the vox. What do you mean there’s no signal? What in hell’s going on here? Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card Disruptor Field - Minor Stratagem", (saved archive pg., dated February 2011, last accessed 6 October 2015)
Sergeant Alem Mahat,
229th Tallarn Desert Raiders
Doing the work of the Emperor is its own reward. But this is quite satisfying.
- while shooting Slaaneshi cultists
The Traitor's Hand (Novel) - Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus),
ch. 19, pg. 741
Warmaster Menitus You can waste as many Imperial Guard lives as you care, that’s your stupidity and not my responsibility. 13th Legion (Novel) - The Last Chancers (Omnibus), Interlude between ch.s Four and Five, pg. 148
Captain Forgus Merd I'd check my instruments if I were you. No-one in his right mind would lay a minefield in a place like...
– reported last words
Warhammer Siege, pg. 98
Morcar, Lord Commander I had heard many rumours of the horrors of the mysterious Eldar. Of fire-clad daemons no weapons could harm. Of power-wreathed psykers who can tell your forture and forecast your doom. Of winged warriors falling from the sky like rain and tall guardian warriors powered by the spirits of the dead. None concerned me. None held any terror for a faithful servant of the Emperor with the might of the Imperial Guard at his command. Non save their aircraft. When fighting the Eldar, watch the skies...
– from the Memoirs
Imperial Armour Update, pg. 36
Jarra Mordiker Commander, 13th/5th Support Regiment Peace is not in my vocabulary.
– attributed
Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, pg. 91

O

Speaker Quote Source
Gharan O'Hen,
Army 212 Chief of Staff
They may spend every off-duty minute polishing their shiny boots and marching up and down the parade ground in perfect formation, but don't let that fool you. These men are steel-eyed, cold-blooded killers and I'd as soon have a platoon of them in my force as I would a company of other troops.
- on the Mordian Iron Guard
Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition),
pg. 16
Commissar-General Delane Oktar Winning is everything, but the trick is to know where the winning really is.... We're political animals, Ibram. Through us, if we do our job properly, the black and white of war is tempered. We are the interpreters of combat, the translators. We give meaning to war, subtlety, purpose even. Killing is the most abhorrent, mindless profession known to man. Our role is to fashion the killing machine of the human species into a positive force. For the Emperor's sake. For the sake of our own consciences.
- on the role of Commissars
First and Only (Novel) - Gaunt's Ghosts: The Founding (Omnibus),
A Memory: Darendara, pg. 233
The first trick a political officer of the Commissariat learns is: learn to lie. The second is: trust no one. The third: never get involved with local politics. Necropolis (Novel),
ch. Eight
Always, always lead from the front. Never expect a man under your command to undertake an action you're not prepared to make yourself. Necropolis (Novel),
ch. Seventeen

P

Speaker Quote Source
Knight Commander Pask,
Cadian 423rd Armoured Regiment
Target sighted! Red Corsairs Predator left of the bunker. See the repair seam on the turret? Steady. Fire! Good shot. Driver, AT mines, steer left now. Gunner! Enemy infantry in crater, eleven o'clock. High explosive, fire! Sponson gunners keep an eye out, there's plenty more where they came from...
- Internal comm log, "Hand of Steel", during Operation Retort (second assault on Fort Lycoss)
Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 58
Colonel Joachim Pfeiff,
Krieg 14th Armoured Regiment
Your foe is well equipped, well-trained, battle-hardened. He believes his gods are on his side. Let him believe what he will. We have the tanks on ours. Imperial Armour - Imperial Vehicles for Warhammer 40,000, pg. 31

Q

Speaker Quote Source
Scrivener Quintus Codicier Pryke raised the point that a significant credit value was attached to this installation, and that its destruction would result in a 0.017 per cent fluctuation in the mean commerce averages of the sector. She went on to suggest that an alternative strategy should be found. Colonel Kasteen said she was welcome to go outside and ask the Orks to go away if she thought that would help.
– from the minutes of a meeting of the Committee for the Defence and Preservation of Simia Orichalcae From the Orkish Incursion, 648.932.M41[Note 8]
Caves of Ice (Novel) - Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus), Editorial Note after ch. Five, pgs. 348–349

R

Speaker Quote Source
Major Elim Rawne,
Tanith First and Only
Gaunt? He’s a despicable bastard who left my world to die and one day I will slay him with my own hands.
– on Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt
Ghostmaker (Novel) - Gaunt's Ghosts: The Founding (Omnibus), ch. Two, pg. 271
A friend of death, a brother of luck and a son of a bitch.
– on Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt
Necropolis (Novel), ch. 18
-I've never liked you, Gaunt.
- I know.
-But I've always respected you. Solid. Professional. A warrior who works to a code. Sure, because of that code Tanith burned, but you stuck by it no matter what anyone else thought. A man of honour.
Honour Guard (Novel),
ch. Fourteen
Captain Rock of the Catachan III 'Green Devils' We've run into scorpions the size of battle tanks, three men died from Eyerot last week. I've sweat enough to fill a lake, my boots got sucked into a sink-swamp and the trees are so thick in places, you can't squeeze between them. Emperor help me, I love this place! It's just like home!
– commenting on Varestus Prime
Codex: Catachans (3rd Edition), pg. 3
Colonel Rorkins, Imperial Guard (retired) Sir, will do. I've never liked that particular title. It seems to foster unhealthy ambitions.
- politely declining his brevet promotion to "Warmaster" during the Second Siege of Perlia[Note 9]
Cain's Last Stand (Novel) - Ciaphas Cain: Defender of the Imperium (Omnibus), ch. 9, pg. 605
Trooper Gage Rorsche, 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company, Mordant 13th, "The Lucky 13s" They’re sending us where? The want us to fight who? Well, I guess the Emperor knows what he’s doing, because those bureaucrats in the Administratum sure as gak don’t! Games Workshop: The Lucky 13s (saved archive page, dated 12 January 2008, last accessed 11 December 2022)

S

Speaker Quote Source
General Sejanus They have seen more death and ruin than another soldier sees in ten lifetimes. Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, 1st Codex), pg. 23
Captain Shambas,
Valhallan 597th
I love the smell of promethium in the morning.[Note 6] For The Emperor (Novel)Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus), pg. 212 (Editorial Note following ch. 12)
Warmaster Slaydo In war, best know what enemies are around you in your camp, before you step out to face the foe and wonder why you do so alone. - from A Treatise on the Nature of Warfare Necropolis (Novel), ch. 5
Do not ask how you may give your life for the Emperor. Ask instead how you may give your death. Necropolis (Novel), ch. 9
Never!
– after being asked when to order a retreat
Necropolis (Novel), ch. 13
We have been given our crusade, my sons... the Sabbat Worlds!
– before the Sabbat Worlds Crusade
Honour Guard (Novel), ch. 12
The beati was a warrior. She exemplifies the Imperial creed, and the human spirit better than any figure in the annals. As a boy, she inspired me. I take this crusade as a personal matter, a duty greater than any I have yet undertaken for the Golden Throne. To repay her inspiration, to walk in her path and make free again the worlds she brought from darkness. I feel as if I am... a pilgrim, Ibram.
– about Saint Sabbat, on the eve of the liberation of Formal Prime
Imperial Warmaster Solon Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall, and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight on to the end.
– attributed
Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition Rulebook, pg. 18
Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken, Catachan II Damn it, follow me. I'll show you how it's done.
– at the Battle of Moden's Ridge
Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 60
General Sturnn, Commander Cadian 412th To each of us falls a task. And all the Emperor requires of us Guardsmen is that we stand in line, and we die fighting. It is what we do best: we die standing. Dawn of War: Winter Assault
Although the Golden Throne of Terra orbits a distant star far from here, the Emperor's hand is on your shoulders today. You have fought and displayed bravery and loyalty far and above your calling as Guardsmen. You have faced the full brunt of an Ork Waaagh! as well as stared down the horrors of the Warp in the fallen Space Marines, and in that I am honoured to have led you. Dawn of War: Winter Assault
This is General Sturnn of the Cadian 412th Regiment Imperial Guard. Only fools believe that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Still, the Eldar proved useful enough to bring my men into position, admittedly at cost to their own lives. They lay outside, being cut to the last as I speak. I cannot risk helping them. I will not trade the lives of my men for theirs.

You will fail this day, General. Without our soulstone the battle will be lost. The Necrons will sweep over you and drink your life out from the hollow vessel of your corpse! Without us you face your doom.

Eldar! The Cadian 412th have faced doom before. We bested it then and we will best it today! Die well!
– exchange between General Sturnn and Farseer Taldeer

Dawn of War: Winter Assault
Lady General Jenit Sulla Oh. Were there Tyranids on Corania? I guess I was just too busy with my needlepoint to notice!
- in retort to Major Ruput Broklaw's derisive comments about the fighting history of the Valhallan 296th
For the Emperor (Novel)Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus), ch. 2, pg. 50
For justice! For vengeance! For the Emperor!
- on Gravalax
For the Emperor (Novel)Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus), Editorial Note after ch. 15, pg. 255
The most dangerous thing on the battlefield is a junior officer with a compass and a map. The Traitor's Hand (Novel)Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus), ch. 7, pg. 573

T

Speaker Quote Source
Gulim Tarrel I cry out for troops and you give me rhetoric - I plead for ammunition and you give me speeches - I ask you again, Commander, what can you pledge me?

A heroic death, Captain.
– reported holocom conversation between Commander Tarrel and Captain Roima of the besieged Alharmo Garrison shortly before the final Ork assault[Note 10]

Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, pg. 81
Commander Rango Thaxx Walls of stone do not a fortress make. But they're not a bad start. Warhammer Siege, pg. 98
Lord Marshal Toshenko We shall wage this war with undaunted faith and courage. We shall not take one step back. This is the Emperor's world and we will not surrender it!
- addressing the Vostroyan XVI at the Defence of Nimbosa
Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 18
Commissar Exen Treuer,
23rd Moradia Regiment
A small mind is easily filled with faith. Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, pg. 50
Commander Tulathan,
Vastadt 4th Independent Tank Regiment
It is always better to find your enemy, before your enemy finds you. Imperial Armour - Imperial Vehicles for Warhammer 40,000, pg. 27
Commissar Tyreen,
Versimmon Dragoons
All men need something to fight for, a cause to believe in. Tell them that the Emperor needs them to hold that ground at all costs, and they’ll fight like lions. Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card "Capture and Secure - Minor Stratagem", (saved archive pg., dated February 2011, last accessed 6 October 2015)

V

Speaker Quote Source
Veteran Sergeant Hessel, 122nd Cadians What I remember most about the battle for Vogen was the confusion and the colossal scale of death. We fought like heroes, like each building that had even one Guardsman inside was a fortress against the enemy. Every soldier, fighting in a basement or under the stairs, stood his ground alone and accomplished the task on his own. Because in cityfighting a soldier has to be his own general. He needs to be given correct guidance and the trust of his officers. On Vogen we had neither and how we survived was a miracle. GW saved archive pg. of the introduction to Cityfight (last accessed 29 June 2015)

W

Speaker Quote Source
Corporal Webb, Cadian XIV Shocktroopers I don’t get it. How does a tank that big just disappear? What sorcery can do… Holy Throne! Heavy weapons, right flank, right flank! Fire now. Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card "Hologram - Minor Stratagem", (saved archive page, dated February 2011, last accessed 05 October 2015)

X

Speaker Quote Source
Commissar Otto Xavier ''Who told you to die? Keep fighting! http://www.dawnofwargame.com

Y

Speaker Quote Source
Commissar Sebastian Yarrick Heroes of Armageddon! You have withstood the evil savagery of the Orks, and they have nothing left for you to fear. So raise high the black banners of vengeance - now is our time.
– last transmission prior to departing with a Black Templars crusade to hunt down Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka
Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 19

Z

Speaker Quote Source
Zhaebin, Lieutenant, Vostroyan Firstborn This planet is a hellhole, but it’ll be an Imperial hellhole when we’re through with it.
---about the planet of Nectavus VI
FFG Teaser for "Jungles of Nectavus", supplement for Warhammer 40,000: Conquest (last accessed 3 March 2016)
Zoutah, Commissar, Catachan 'Wild Cats' We draw the line here! Sergeants, pass the word out, we give no ground, we stand and we die in the name of the Emperor! Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card "Chosen Ground - Minor Stratagem", (saved archive page, dated February 2011, last accessed 7 October 2015)
Lord General Zyvan Competence on the battlefield is a myth. The side which screws up next to last wins, it's as simple as that. The Traitor's Hand (Novel)Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus), ch. Ten, pg. 611

Unattributed

Quote Speaker Source
Infantry win firefights. Tanks win battles. Artillery win wars. Old saying amongst Imperial Guard artillery officers Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 52
Incoming fire has the right of way. Old artilleryman's maxim The Traitor's Hand (Novel), ch. 3
- C and D platoons, move up. Follow the Robots. Other units hold position. Gardiner, where are the Ogryns?

- In small pieces all over breakout zone Charlie, sir. Shurikens took'em apart. Only three survivors.

- Patch me through to them. Hello, who's that?

- Ordrogg.

- Grathyogg still alive?

- Nah.

- Listen, Ordrogg, the Emperor's very pleased with all of you, OK?

- Him? He's pleased?

- Very pleased. He's watching you now. He says he wants you to go over to the Robots and stick with them. You got that?

- Yerr. On our way.

Transmission to an Ogryn unit Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, pg. 148
The Emperor points, and we obey,
Through the warp and far away.[Note 1]
From a warriors' song of the Imperial Guard For the Emperor (Novel) - Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus), ch. 4, pg. 86
Hurry up and wait. Guardsman's traditional summation of the process of deployment The Traitor's Hand (Novel), ch. 12
Whatever happens, we have got

The Emperor’s blessing. They have not.

From The Guardsman's Duty, a popular ballad For The Emperor (Novel), ch. 11
When in deadly danger,
When beset by doubt,
Run in little circles,
Wave your arms and shout.
Parody of the Litany of Command, popular among Commissar Cadets For The Emperor (Novel), ch. 6
Things can always get worse. Valhallan proverb The Traitor's Hand (Novel), ch. 14
It's never too late to panic. Popular Valhallan folk saying For The Emperor (Novel), ch. 15
Any Cadian who can't field-strip his own lasgun by age ten was born on the wrong planet. Anonymous Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 14
Please try to run. It would save me lots of problems. Unknown Commissar 13th Legion (Novel) - The Last Chancers (Omnibus), ch. Six, pg. 179
Glory for the first man to die, charge! Dawn of War: Winter Assault
Stop bleeding and fight back! Unknown Guardsman Dawn of War: Winter Assault
CAPTURING it was easy. HOLDING it will be hard. Dawn of War: Winter Assault
Those are Eldar? I thought they'd be taller. Dawn of War: Winter Assault
Tanks! Where are the bloody tanks?! Dawn of War: Winter Assault
Concentrate all fire on that big bruiser! Dawn of War: Winter Assault
For every one of us who falls, ten more will take his place! Dawn of War: Winter Assault
Nah, soon as you're old enough you're sent to join the regiment. Colonel Stagler don't approve of educated men, says it was educated men that got Krieg bombed to shit in the first place. The colonel says that all a man needs to do is fight and die. That's the Krieg way.
- an unnamed Death Korps soldier, explaining his illiteracy
Warriors of Ultramar (Novel) - Ultramarines: The Omnibus, ch. 6, pg. 358

Trivia

Note 1

Probably a pun on Over the Hills and Far Away which contains the lyrics:

The queen commands and we'll obey
Over the Hills and far away.

Note 2

Possible reference to Inquisitor Amberley Vail, Ciaphas Cain's potential love interest, who is described as having blonde hair. Also potential reference to Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a musical comedy film.

Note 3

Possible jab at Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts (Novel Series). Commissar Ibram Gaunt's (the series' protagonist) probably most famous quote is "Men of Tanith, do you want to live forever?".

Note 4

Possible reference to Forrest Gump, who became a "model soldier" by always doing exactly what his officers told him to do:

Drill Sergeant: "Gump! What's your sole purpose in this army?"
Forrest Gump: "To do whatever you tell me, drill sergeant!"
Drill Sergeant: "Goddammit, Gump! You're a goddamned genius! Thats the most outstanding answer I have ever heard. You must have a goddamn I.Q. of 160. You are goddamned gifted, Private Gump."

Note 5

Possible reference to Joseph Hooker, an American Civil War general for the Union; he is quoted to have said: "I have the finest army on the planet. I have the finest army the sun ever shone on. [...] If the enemy does not run, God help them. May God have mercy on General Lee, for I will have none."

Note 6

Possible reference to Colonel Bill Kilgore's famous quote from the movie Apocalypse Now: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning."

Note 7

Possible reference to the Duke of Wellington who is quoted to have said about his army: "I don't know what they'll do to the enemy; but, by God, they frighten me."

Note 8

Possible reference to the movie Aliens in which Corporation representative Burke objects to nuking the site containing the Aliens by saying: "Hold on, hold on just a second. This installation has a substantial dollar value attached to it."

Note 9

Possible jab at Horus and his promotion to Warmaster before the Horus Heresy.

Note 10

Possible reference to the Battle of the Alamo.

See also