Not in YBQ: "No such thing as a non-combatant."

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Feb 2 21:06:58 UTC 2014

This has been said more less frequently about modern warfare since 1940,
but who said it first?

According to Aaron Norman's _The Great Air War_ (N.Y.: Macmillan, 1968), p.
382, it was Commander ("Fregattenkapitaen") Peter Strasser, chief of the
German Naval Airship Division in World War I.

Strasser is reported as having written to his mother in 1915, in  defense
of German Zeppelin raids on British civilians :

"What we do is repugnant to us too, but necessary. ...Nowadays there is no
such animal as a non-combatant; modern warfare is total warfare. ...If what
we do is frightful, then may frightfulness be Germany's salvation."

I'm surprised not to find thee remarks in any of the quotation books I've
consulted, including Jay M. Shafritz's _Words on War_ (1990).


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

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