A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 19, 2019
“Amateurs talk strategy. Professionals talk logistics”

"Amateurs talk (about) strategy. Professionals talk (about) logistics” is a saying that has been printed on many images. “Amateurs talk about strategy and tactics. Professionals talk about logistics and sustainability in warfare” was said by Robert Hilliard Barrow (1922-2008), a United States Marine Corps four-star general, in an interview published in the San Diego (CA) Union on November 11, 1979.

Omar Bradley (1893-1981), the last five-star officer of the United States, is often credited, but it’s uncertain if he ever said it. “For military command is as much a practice of human relations as it is a science of tactics and a knowledge of logistics”—a somewhat related quotation—was printed in Bradley’s book, A Soldier’s Story (1951). “I was reminded of what General Omar Bradley once said: ‘Amateurs talk about strategy; professionals talk about logistics’” was a letter printed in The Economist (London, UK) on November 16, 1996. General Bradley’s statements were usually recorded, and it’s unlikely that he said it and that it would not be cited in print before 1996.


Wikipedia: Omar Bradley
Omar Bradley (February 12, 1893 – April 8, 1981) was one of the main U.S. Army field commanders in North Africa and Europe during the World War II and a General of the United States Army. He was the last surviving five-star officer of the United States.
(...)
A Soldier’s Story (1951)
To tell the story of how and why we chose to do what we did, no one can ignore the personalities and characteristics of those individuals engaged in making decisions. For military command is as much a practice of human relations as it is a science of tactics and a knowledge of logistics. Where there are people, there is pride and ambition, prejudice and conflict. In generals, as in all other men, capabilities cannot always obscure weaknesses, nor can talents hide faults.
p. x.

Wikipedia: Robert H. Barrow
Robert Hilliard Barrow (February 5, 1922 – October 30, 2008) was a United States Marine Corps four-star general. Barrow was the 27th Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1979 to 1983. He served for 41 years, including overseas command duty in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. General Barrow was awarded the Navy Cross and Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in Korean and Vietnam, respectively.

11 November 1979, San Diego (CA) Union, “Q&A: Marines’ (General Robert—ed.) Barrow Backs SALT—And Conventional Rearming,” pg. C4, col. 4:
Amateurs talk about strategy and tactics. Professionals talk about logistics and sustainability in warfare.

Google Books
Air Force Journal of Logistics
Air Force Logistics Management Center
1980
Pg. 27:
A military maxim has it that amateurs talk about strategy while professionals talk about logistics.

22 May 1980, Washington (DC) Post, “Getting the MX Moving” by R. James Woolsey, pg. A12, col. 4:
A Marine I know says: “Amateurs talk about strategy and tactics; professionals talk about logistics.”

22 August 1982, New York (NY) Times, “U.S. Would Expand Combat Stockpile: $100 Billion, 5-Year Plan Seeks to Double Ability of Forces to Sustain Themselves” by Richard Halloran, pg. 17, col. 1:
‘In making war, amateurs talk about tactics,’’ one general said. ‘’The real professionals talk about logistics and sustainability, because that’s where wars are won.’’

Google Books
Conventional Strategy: New Critics, Old Choices;
Conventional Forces: What Price Readiness?

By Richard K. Betts
Washington, DC: Brookings Institution
1983
Pg. 151:
There is an old joke that amateurs talk strategy and professionals talk logistics. This is unfair, but efficient logistics for modern forces require the sorts of systems analysis “bookkeeping” at which critics sneer.

3 April 1983, Daily News (New York, NY), “Logistics won Falklands” by Joseph Volz, pg. 29, col. 2:
Navy Secretary John Lehman said: “The old aphorism that amateurs talk about strategy and professionals talk about logistics was validated again in the Falklands.”

December 1983, Parameters (Carlisle Barracks, PA), “On War, Political Objectives, and Military Strategy” by Raymond B. Furlong, pg. 7:
There is an old saying that amateurs talk strategy and professionals talk logistics. If the saying is true, then the American military has a tradition of professionalism.

Google Books
The Morass:
United States intervention in Central America

By Richard Alan White
New York, NY: Harper & Row
1984
Pg. 141:
The military principle behind the Pentagon’s preoccupation was confidently explained by an unnamed U.S. general “in making war, amateurs talk about tactic. The real professionals talk about logistics and sustainability, because that’s where wars are won.

Google Books
Time
Volume 136
1990
Pg. 208:
A military maxim has it that amateurs talk about strategy while professional soldiers discuss logistics. That is as true in the age of intercontinental missiles as it was in Napoleon’s day.

Google Books
16 November 1996, The Economist (London, UK), “Letters,” pg. 6:
SIR-When I read that America’s rail companies’ strategy for efficiency is size ("Steaming", October 19th) I was reminded of what General Omar Bradley once said: “Amateurs talk about strategy; professionals talk about logistics.”
(...)
Phoenix, Arizona TIMOTHY BOLTON

Google Groups: soc.culture.pakistan
Outsourcing Of The Military Jobs, Hired-Guns, Or “Coalition Of The Billing”!
Adhabuhu
4/16/04
(...)
Or, as Gen. Omar Bradley succinctly put it, “Amateurs talk about strategy; professionals talk about logistics.”

Google Books
The Oxford Handbook of War
Edited by Julian Lindley-French and Yves Boyer
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2012
Pg. 376:
To adapt General of the Army Omar Bradley’s aphorism, ‘amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics’, and to quote General Sir David Richards, British Chief of the Defence Staff: ‘amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics and command and control’.

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Doctrine Man
January 16, 2017 ·
“Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics.”
- Gen. Robert H. Barrow, USMC

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Wednesday, June 19, 2019 • Permalink