Die besten Zitate aus „Gettysburg“

Die Schlacht von Gettysburg wogte in den ersten drei Tagen des Juli 1863. Am 3. Juli schließlich war die Armee von Südstaatengeneral Robert E. Lee geschlagen – nicht zuletzt aufgrund eines schweren Fehlers von Lee, der bis dahin jede Schlacht im Sezessionskrieg gewonnen hatte. Aber Lees Entscheidung, am dritten Tag des Gemetzels einen Frontalangriff auf die Unions-Stellungen am Cemetery Ridge zu starten („Pickett’s Charge“), erwies sich als verheerende Fehleinschätzung und führte zu einer vernichtenden Niederlage. Der Vormarsch der Konföderierten in den Norden war gestoppt, nach Gettysburg befand sich die Armee der Südstaaten nur noch in der Defensive. Die Verluste auf beiden Seiten in den drei Tagen summierten sich auf gigantische knapp 45.000 Mann. 1993 drehte Regisseur Robert Maxwell an Originalschauplätzen eine minutiöse, viereinhalb Stunden lange Spielfilmchronik der epischen Auseinandersetzung – mit Stars wie Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger und Jeff Daniels und einer Menge angeklebter Bärte. „Gettysburg“ ist eine Materialschlacht, die aber nie in pathetische Heldenverehrung abgleitet. Auch wenn der Blickpunkt des Films eher der des Südens ist (Produzent war Südstaatler Ted Turner), gibt er eine ausgewogene Sicht auf die Geschehnisse – inklusive des eher zufälligen Ursprungs der Schlacht und aller taktischen Schwächen. Dem uramerikanischen Thema entsprechend sind die Zitate aus „Gettysburg“ im Original.

Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) „This is a different kind of army. If you look at history you’ll see men fight for pay, or women, or some other kind of loot. They fight for land, or because a king makes them, or just because they like killing. But we’re here for something new. This has not happened much, in the history of the world: We are an army out to set other men free.”

Lieutenant General James Longstreet (Tom Berenger): „Oh, one other thing. Hooker’s been replaced. George Meade’s the new commander. Harrison read it in the Yankee papers.”
General Robert E. Lee (Martin Sheen): „George Meade. Pennsylvania man. Meade would be cautious, I think. Take him some time to get organized. Perhaps we should move more swiftly. There may be an opportunity here.”
Lieutenant General James Longstreet: „Yes, sir.”
General Robert E. Lee: „Well … no reason to delay. I think we should concentrate here (zeigt auf einen Punkt auf der Karte). All the roads converge just east of this gap, and this junction will be very necessary.”
Lieutenant General James Longstreet: „Yes, sir.”
General Robert E. Lee: „I left my spectacles over there. What is the name of this town?”
Lieutenant General James Longstreet: „,Gettysburg.’”
General Robert E. Lee: „Very well.”

General Buford (Sam Elliot): „You know what’s going to happen here in the morning? The whole damn reb army is going to be here. They’ll move through this town, occupy these hills on the other side and when our people get here Lee will have the high ground. There will be the devil to pay!“

General Robert E. Lee: „In the morning, there’s to be a great battle. Tomorrow or the next day will determine the war.”

Major General Winfield Scott Hancock (Brian Mallon): „There are times when a corps commander’s life does not count.”

Lieutenant General James Longstreet: „We should have freed the slaves, then fired on Fort Sumter.”

Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (vor dem Angriff der Konföderierten auf den Hügel „Little Round Top”): „Gentlemen … the 83rd Pennsylvania, 44th New York, and 16th Michigan will be moving in to our right. But if you look to our left, you will see that there is no one there. It’s because we’re the end of the line. The Union army stops here. We are the flank. Do you understand, gentlemen? We cannot retreat. We cannot withdraw. We are going to have to be stubborn today.”

General Robert E. Lee: „We are never quite prepared for so many to die. Oh, we do expect the occasional empty chair. A salute to fallen comrades. But this war goes on and on and the men die and the price gets ever higher. We are prepared to lose some of us, but we are never prepared to lose all of us. And there is the great trap, General. When you attack, you must hold nothing back. You must commit yourself totally. We are adrift here in a sea of blood and I want it to end. I want this to be the final battle.”

General Robert E. Lee (plant Picketts Angriff): „The attack will be proceeded by massed artillery. We’ll concentrate all our guns on that one small area. A feu d’enfer, as Napoleon would call it. When the artillery has had its effect, your charge will break the line. You will have nearly 15.000 men at your command, general. And you may begin whenever you are ready, but plan it well. Do plan it well, I pray you, sir. We stake everything on this.”
Lieutenant General James Longstreet: „Sir, with your permission… Sir, I’ve been a soldier all my life. I’ve fought from the ranks on up, you know my service. But sir, I must tell you now, I believe this attack will fail. No 15.000 men ever made could take that ridge. It’s a distance of more than a mile, over open ground. When the men come out of the trees, they will be under fire from Yankee artillery from all over the field. And those are Hancock’s boys! And now, they have the stone wall like we did at Fredericksburg.”
General Robert E. Lee: „We do our duty, general. We do what we must do.”
Lieutenant General James Longstreet: „Yes, sir.”

Major General George E. Pickett (Stephen Lang): „Up men! And to your posts! And let no man forget today, that you are from Old Virginia!”

Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead (Richard Jordan): „Virginians! Virginians! For your land – for your homes – for your sweethearts – for your wives – for Virginia! Forward … march!“

Major General George E. Pickett: „My boys! What’s happening to my boys?”

General Robert E. Lee: „This is all my fault.”

General Robert E. Lee (nach Picketts fehlgeschlagenem Angriff): „General, you must look to your division.”
Major General George E. Pickett: „General Lee … I have no division.”

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