— Napoleon I of France French general, First Consul and later Emperor of the French 1769 - 1821
„If one thinks only of winning, a sordid victory will be worse than a defeat. For the most part, it becomes a squalid defeat.“
— Józef Piłsudski Polish politician and Prime Minister 1867 - 1935
(Late 1920s or the 1930s) Zbigniew Brzezinski in his introduction to Wacław Jędrzejewicz’s Piłsudski: A Life For Poland. Quoted from this website http://members.lycos.co.uk/jozefpilsudski/index2.html
„It might be that to surrender to happiness was to accept defeat, but it was a defeat better than many victories.“
— W. Somerset Maugham British playwright, novelist, short story writer 1874 - 1965
„Any coward can fight a battle when he's sure of winning; but give me the man who has pluck to fight when he's sure of losing. That's my way, sir; and there are many victories worse than a defeat.“
— George Eliot English novelist, journalist and translator 1819 - 1880
" Janet's Repentance http://classiq.net/george-eliot/janets-repentance/index.html" Ch. 6
„Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.“
— Sun Tzu ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher from the Zhou Dynasty -543 - 251 a.C.
Variant: Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.
„My poetry is a declaration of war, not an exordium to defeat. It is not the defeated soldier's drumbeat of despair, but the fighting warrior's will to win. It is not the de-spirited voice of dejection but the stirring shout of victory.“
— Atal Bihari Vajpayee 10th Prime Minister of India 1924
New York September 7, 2000 Asia Society Annual Dinner
— Michel De Montaigne (1533-1592) French-Occitan author, humanistic philosopher, statesman 1533 - 1592
Book I, Ch. 30. Of Cannibals
— Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found in Accra
— Millard Fillmore American politician, 13th President of the United States (in office from 1850 to 1853) 1800 - 1874
Speech http://books.google.com/books?id=Ihs8AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA407&dq=honorable+defeat (13 September 1844), Buffalo, New York, quoted in the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser (14 September 1844). Fillmore had lost the Whig nomination for governor of New York. The newspaper summary was: "He entreated them to enter the contest with zeal and enthusiasm; but as they valued the sacredness of their cause, and the stability of their principles, to resort to no unfair means: that an honorable defeat was better than a dishonorable victory."
— Winston S. Churchill Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1874 - 1965
Speech in the House of Commons, November 11, 1942 Debate on the address http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1942/nov/11/debate-on-the-address#column_39.
— Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein British Army officer, Commander of Allied forces at the Battle of El Alamein 1887 - 1976
Winston Churchill, quoted in Ambrosia and Small Beer (1964) by Edward Marsh
— Dejan Stojanovic poet, writer, and businessman 1959