An army marches on its stomach

Napoleon Bonaparte said, “To be effective an army relies on good, plentiful food.”

That is sometimes interpreted as “An army marches on its stomach”, though in today’s lean, green, fighting machine, Shakespeare’s “fair, round bellies with good capon lined” are frowned upon.

As are soldiers “full of strange oaths and bearded, sudden and quick in quarrel, while seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon’s mouth”, who are deemed inappropriately triumphal.

For army readers, capon is what the RAAF calls chook, cockerels castrated to improve flavour.

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An army marches on its stomach | Australian Defence History, Policy and Veterans Issues (

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