1.) Desperta Ferro!

An old war-cry, this Catalan phrase was used by the Almogovars, lighly-clad, fast footsoldiers of the Christian Iberian kingdoms in the later phases of the Reconquista, during the 13th and 14th centuries. In medieval Catalan, the phrase was Desperta Ferres! It means 'Awake, Iron!' Now how cool is that?! 

Desperta-Ferres-Desperta-Batalla-Gagliano-1300

This is a page from the Crònica de Ramon Muntaner, a Codex of 1342. This particular section chronicles the Battle of Gagliano (1300) and the highlighted sections show the use of 'Desperta Ferro!' and 'Desperta!'

2.) Banzai!

This famous cry literally translates as something like 'ten thousand years,' shortened from Tenno Heiko Banzai (Long live the emperor/may the emperor reign for 10,000 years.) It has come to signify a particular type of infantry charge used by Japanese forces in World War II, one that would either overwhelm the enemy or result in the complete destruction of the attackers. 

Also used was the less widely known 'Totsugeki' (charge)!

Japan_bayonet_Type_30

 

 

This is the Japanese type 30 bayonet, the principal weapon of choice in a Banzai charge. Slightly atypical in its sword-like possession of a sharp edge all the way along the blade. 

3.) Rebel Yell

This impressive cry was used by Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War. Apparently, there were many different variations of the cry, which had no set, articulate words or even a designated sound. It is speculated that different regiments from different regions had their own particular yells, and research into the sound and origins of this intimidating battle cry has become quite a popular pursuit in recent years. The wailing, raucous nature of the sound has led to the belief that the cry has its origins in Native American war whoops, or an old Scottish war-cry tradition. 

Although no 'authentic' recordings of the cry as used in actual battle exist, there are a number of recordings from the early twentieth century of Civil War veterans recreating the shout. This is one such occasion. 

 

 

4.) Alala!

An Ancient Greek phrase literally translating as 'war cry' or 'loud cry,' the origins and use of which are varied. Hellenes and Akkadians are said to have used this rousing refrain in the time of Homer. Athenean warriors used the cry in the Medic Wars and the Pelopponesian War. Even in World War II, during the Greco-Italian War, Greek soldiers used a derivative 'Area' and a special corps of the fascist Italian army used the phrase "eja eja alalà." In Greek mythology, Alala was the daughter of the Daemon Polemos, and an attendant to the war God Ares (who used her name as his war-cry.) It was supposed to resemble the frightening hoot of an owl, which was a symbol of the Goddess Athena. In any case, it's really fun to shout - very onomatopoeic

SpottedEagleOwl2483MGYawn

 The hallowed origin of the ancient war cry!

5.) Dieu et mon Droit

Possibly the only battle cry to evolve into a national motto. Literally means 'God and my right,' which refers to the principle of the divine right of Kingship (i.e. as absolute monarch, I derive my right to rule from God.) It is believed that Richard Lionheart used this rallying cry at the Battle of Gisors in 1198. Henry V then made it the Royal motto of England, and it now appears on the Royal coat of arms. 

 

Are there any famous battle cries that we've missed out here? Get in touch and let us know. 

 

Post Comments

william posted on 5 Oct 2014 20:04:00
Come on, you sons o
william posted on 5 Oct 2014 20:04:00
Come on, you sons o
Mike @ Osprey posted on 3 Oct 2014 16:09:00
That isn\'t a battle cry Troy - that is a warning to get outta the way because the Osprey team are stampeding towards the sugary snacks!
Mike @ Osprey posted on 3 Oct 2014 16:09:00
That isn\'t a battle cry Troy - that is a warning to get outta the way because the Osprey team are stampeding towards the sugary snacks!
ShalimarTroy posted on 3 Oct 2014 15:58:00
I think you missed the one that we all know!

\"Cake in the lunch room!\"
ShalimarTroy posted on 3 Oct 2014 15:58:00
I think you missed the one that we all know!

\"Cake in the lunch room!\"
Amaral posted on 29 Sep 2014 01:47:00
I loved \"The Tick\" cartoon when I was 10 years old, there is also the battlecry of his wingman: \"Not in the face! Not in the face!\"

When the Blue Division went to war in the Eastern Front, they saw that the Soviets used to charge yelling \"Hurra!\"; so, they started yelling back \"Arriba Espa
Amaral posted on 29 Sep 2014 01:47:00
I loved \"The Tick\" cartoon when I was 10 years old, there is also the battlecry of his wingman: \"Not in the face! Not in the face!\"

When the Blue Division went to war in the Eastern Front, they saw that the Soviets used to charge yelling \"Hurra!\"; so, they started yelling back \"Arriba Espa
Josh&Historyland posted on 28 Sep 2014 16:41:00
Yes the Urah is a good one, quite intimidating too.

Josh.
posted on 28 Sep 2014 16:41:00
Yes the Urah is a good one, quite intimidating too.

Josh.
Paintybeard posted on 28 Sep 2014 08:48:00
Oh yes, Kastigier, got to love \"The Tick\"!




And on that note there is the terrifying Arthurian battlecry: \"Run Away!!\"(Monty Python and the Holy Grail\".
Paintybeard posted on 28 Sep 2014 08:48:00
Oh yes, Kastigier, got to love \"The Tick\"!




And on that note there is the terrifying Arthurian battlecry: \"Run Away!!\"(Monty Python and the Holy Grail\".
Kastigier posted on 28 Sep 2014 06:48:00
Damn, how could I forget my favorite, the Carolean Swedish \"Ga Pa!\" (Fall on!)
Kastigier posted on 28 Sep 2014 06:48:00
Damn, how could I forget my favorite, the Carolean Swedish \"Ga Pa!\" (Fall on!)
Kastigier posted on 28 Sep 2014 06:46:00
SPOON!!!!-The Tick.
Sorry, realize many folks on here may never read the Tick series. Personally, I thought the Russian \'Urrah!\' was interesting.Supposedly the Germans hated it.
Kastigier posted on 28 Sep 2014 06:46:00
SPOON!!!!-The Tick.
Sorry, realize many folks on here may never read the Tick series. Personally, I thought the Russian \'Urrah!\' was interesting.Supposedly the Germans hated it.
Paintybeard posted on 27 Sep 2014 11:13:00
\"I have eaten\" or \"I have killed\". Meant just about the same thing in Zulu, which tells you pretty much all you need to know about those gentlemen...
Paintybeard posted on 27 Sep 2014 11:13:00
\"I have eaten\" or \"I have killed\". Meant just about the same thing in Zulu, which tells you pretty much all you need to know about those gentlemen...
Josh&Historyland posted on 27 Sep 2014 10:59:00
Fadrique. Is that the \"I have eaten\" one? Depending on the skill of the warrior you might not be able to hear him say it! Chilling. Josh.
posted on 27 Sep 2014 10:59:00
Fadrique. Is that the \"I have eaten\" one? Depending on the skill of the warrior you might not be able to hear him say it! Chilling. Josh.
Fadrique posted on 27 Sep 2014 10:52:00
The late roman barritus that \"began as low murmuring and gradually crescendoed to a loud roar\" ) seems to be very intimidating, but a roman force advancing in profound silence seems could be pretty enervating.
There
Fadrique posted on 27 Sep 2014 10:52:00
The late roman barritus that \"began as low murmuring and gradually crescendoed to a loud roar\" ) seems to be very intimidating, but a roman force advancing in profound silence seems could be pretty enervating.
There
Paintybeard posted on 27 Sep 2014 09:10:00
Josh&Historyland: \"Usuthu!\" is bad enough, it signifies that a Zulu impi is about to charge. What should really scare you is the hissing \"S-jee! S-jee!\", which is shouted as their spears strike home.
Paintybeard posted on 27 Sep 2014 09:10:00
Josh&Historyland: \"Usuthu!\" is bad enough, it signifies that a Zulu impi is about to charge. What should really scare you is the hissing \"S-jee! S-jee!\", which is shouted as their spears strike home.
.George Washington posted on 27 Sep 2014 05:02:00
Allah Akbar and of course, Native American war whoops. I would probably go into shock if 10,000 young Confederates charged at me with bayonets pointed screaming that yell. However, I would be much more scared if warriors screaming the other two were to attack me right now!
.George Washington posted on 27 Sep 2014 05:02:00
Allah Akbar and of course, Native American war whoops. I would probably go into shock if 10,000 young Confederates charged at me with bayonets pointed screaming that yell. However, I would be much more scared if warriors screaming the other two were to attack me right now!
moraka posted on 27 Sep 2014 01:12:00
Mughal Battle Cries

Allahu Akbar
Din(the faith) Din(the faith)
Dih (strike), Sitan (seize), ba-kash (kill), ba-zan (smite).

Kaman-i-kiyani dar amad bazih. Yake guft \'\'basitan\'\' yake guft \'\'dih\'\' (The royal bow was drawn in full. One said \'\'Seize\'\' One said \'\'Strike\'\').
moraka posted on 27 Sep 2014 01:12:00
Mughal Battle Cries

Allahu Akbar
Din(the faith) Din(the faith)
Dih (strike), Sitan (seize), ba-kash (kill), ba-zan (smite).

Kaman-i-kiyani dar amad bazih. Yake guft \'\'basitan\'\' yake guft \'\'dih\'\' (The royal bow was drawn in full. One said \'\'Seize\'\' One said \'\'Strike\'\').
CMB posted on 26 Sep 2014 23:13:00
@hobbe,
If I remember correctly, there\'s a brand of tires called Hackapelle. (sp?)
CMB posted on 26 Sep 2014 23:13:00
@hobbe,
If I remember correctly, there\'s a brand of tires called Hackapelle. (sp?)
Concurer posted on 26 Sep 2014 22:27:00
Wow! I\'m surprised by the absence of two famous ones:

1) \"Geronimo!\" Started with the US paratroopers but ended up being a popular phrase used by anyone jumping from elevated platform, including a Dr Who.

2) \"Allahu Akbar!\" A battlecry that originated with the Prophet Muhammad and still used today.
posted on 26 Sep 2014 22:27:00
Wow! I\'m surprised by the absence of two famous ones:

1) \"Geronimo!\" Started with the US paratroopers but ended up being a popular phrase used by anyone jumping from elevated platform, including a Dr Who.

2) \"Allahu Akbar!\" A battlecry that originated with the Prophet Muhammad and still used today.
Josh&Historyland posted on 26 Sep 2014 19:53:00
Here\'s a great one! I\'m sure it\'s familiar to many.

Usuthu! The most commonly quoted Zulu warcry, I have no clear idea what it actually means, but it has great power whenever I hear it.

Paradoxically my other favourite is the jeers at Hlobane just before Khambula. \"Don\'t run away, Johnnie, we want to speak to you,\" and \"We\'re the boys from iSandlwana!\" no idea what that is in Zulu but the inference is both epic and petrifying.

Josh.
posted on 26 Sep 2014 19:53:00
Here\'s a great one! I\'m sure it\'s familiar to many.

Usuthu! The most commonly quoted Zulu warcry, I have no clear idea what it actually means, but it has great power whenever I hear it.

Paradoxically my other favourite is the jeers at Hlobane just before Khambula. \"Don\'t run away, Johnnie, we want to speak to you,\" and \"We\'re the boys from iSandlwana!\" no idea what that is in Zulu but the inference is both epic and petrifying.

Josh.
Alex E posted on 26 Sep 2014 17:23:00
Some revolutionary ones:

No Pasaran! (They Shall Not Pass) from the Spanish Civil War

A Luta Continua (The Struggle Continues) - from Mozambique War of Independence

Venceremos (We Will Win) originally from Spanish Civil War but popularised by the Cuban Revolution
Alex E posted on 26 Sep 2014 17:23:00
Some revolutionary ones:

No Pasaran! (They Shall Not Pass) from the Spanish Civil War

A Luta Continua (The Struggle Continues) - from Mozambique War of Independence

Venceremos (We Will Win) originally from Spanish Civil War but popularised by the Cuban Revolution
Gaiiten posted on 26 Sep 2014 16:42:00
\"Schurri, schurri\" - an old Hessian warcry.
\"Urr
Gaiiten posted on 26 Sep 2014 16:42:00
\"Schurri, schurri\" - an old Hessian warcry.
\"Urr
hobbe62 posted on 26 Sep 2014 16:41:00
The Finnish Hakkaa p
hobbe62 posted on 26 Sep 2014 16:41:00
The Finnish Hakkaa p
Josh&Historyland posted on 26 Sep 2014 13:17:00
General cheers like the British 18th/19th century Huzzah (x3 usually) or the Russian Ura! Which you still hear shouted in the Russian military parade today.

Josh.
posted on 26 Sep 2014 13:17:00
General cheers like the British 18th/19th century Huzzah (x3 usually) or the Russian Ura! Which you still hear shouted in the Russian military parade today.

Josh.
Michael Kazich @ Osprey posted on 26 Sep 2014 11:20:00
Phil, that is brilliant! Excellent suggestions everyone, \'Santiago y cierra\' I like as well.

Keep them coming!

Michael K
Michael K @Osprey posted on 26 Sep 2014 11:20:00
Phil, that is brilliant! Excellent suggestions everyone, \'Santiago y cierra\' I like as well.

Keep them coming!

Michael K
Phil @ Osprey posted on 26 Sep 2014 10:09:00
\"Nake nula waun welo!\" - not the Sioux phrase for \"it is a good day to die\", as commonly (mis)translated, but rather \"I am ready for whatever may come\". Simple, but stoic.
Phil @ Osprey posted on 26 Sep 2014 10:09:00
\"Nake nula waun welo!\" - not the Sioux phrase for \"it is a good day to die\", as commonly (mis)translated, but rather \"I am ready for whatever may come\". Simple, but stoic.
Paintybeard posted on 26 Sep 2014 09:39:00
After their early battles in Tunisia the British Paras used to cry \"Whoaaaa Mohamed!\" Picked up from the Bedu, I believe, and a very satisfying yell.
Paintybeard posted on 26 Sep 2014 09:39:00
After their early battles in Tunisia the British Paras used to cry \"Whoaaaa Mohamed!\" Picked up from the Bedu, I believe, and a very satisfying yell.
G.Rava posted on 26 Sep 2014 09:30:00
Folgore!\" (Thunderbolt)
The cry of the Italian paratroopers who fought at El-Alamein.,2014-09-26 12:03:00,24379,G.Rava,e7c8e9d8-47e5-4eb7-b59d-7215dc689761\n3135,\"Vive l\' Empereur!
G.Rava posted on 26 Sep 2014 09:30:00
Folgore!\" (Thunderbolt)
The cry of the Italian paratroopers who fought at El-Alamein.,2014-09-26 12:03:00,24379,G.Rava,e7c8e9d8-47e5-4eb7-b59d-7215dc689761\n3135,\"Vive l\' Empereur!
CMB posted on 26 Sep 2014 06:24:00
The Spanish Foreign Legion used to say, \"Viva la Muerte!\"
Long live Death--it\'s a tad melodramatic, but it seemed to get the job done.
CMB posted on 26 Sep 2014 06:24:00
The Spanish Foreign Legion used to say, \"Viva la Muerte!\"
Long live Death--it\'s a tad melodramatic, but it seemed to get the job done.
Amaral posted on 26 Sep 2014 05:10:00
Archer: Cry \"Havoc!\" and let slip the hogs of war.

Lana: Dogs... of war.

Archer: Whatever farm animal of war, Lana. Shut up.
Amaral posted on 26 Sep 2014 05:10:00
Archer: Cry \"Havoc!\" and let slip the hogs of war.

Lana: Dogs... of war.

Archer: Whatever farm animal of war, Lana. Shut up.
kuvaszsleepybear posted on 26 Sep 2014 04:52:00
AYO GORKHALI !!!! No further comments need be posted,LOL.
kuvaszsleepybear posted on 26 Sep 2014 04:52:00
AYO GORKHALI !!!! No further comments need be posted,LOL.
tarawa90 posted on 26 Sep 2014 04:43:00
I heard a good one from the Russian Front. An American G.I. who ended up with the Russians (long story) one day was listening to a pre-battle warm up by his unit\'s very good looking female tank commander. She shouted a battle cry, jumped on her tank and charged off in the direction of the Germans, the rest of the tanks trying to keep up. The American turned to his translator and asked what she\'d said. He replied, \"Follow my ass as if you could have it!\"
tarawa90 posted on 26 Sep 2014 04:43:00
I heard a good one from the Russian Front. An American G.I. who ended up with the Russians (long story) one day was listening to a pre-battle warm up by his unit\'s very good looking female tank commander. She shouted a battle cry, jumped on her tank and charged off in the direction of the Germans, the rest of the tanks trying to keep up. The American turned to his translator and asked what she\'d said. He replied, \"Follow my ass as if you could have it!\"
andyana posted on 26 Sep 2014 02:59:00
\"Deus Vult\" comes to mind, used by the Crusaders in Outremer. \"Montjoie Saint Denis\" is another good Medieval one, used by the French.
andyana posted on 26 Sep 2014 02:59:00
\"Deus Vult\" comes to mind, used by the Crusaders in Outremer. \"Montjoie Saint Denis\" is another good Medieval one, used by the French.
Josh&Historyland posted on 26 Sep 2014 02:21:00
Another good Spanish one, and one popular with Iberian troops in general during the Reconquista, and bellowed by Conquistadores pretty much wherever they went is: \"Santiago!\" referring to At James the Apostate. The cry is also said to be a derivative \"Santiago y cierra, Espa
posted on 26 Sep 2014 02:21:00
Another good Spanish one, and one popular with Iberian troops in general during the Reconquista, and bellowed by Conquistadores pretty much wherever they went is: \"Santiago!\" referring to At James the Apostate. The cry is also said to be a derivative \"Santiago y cierra, Espa
Aetius453 posted on 26 Sep 2014 01:22:00
What about Alba gu br
Aetius453 posted on 26 Sep 2014 01:22:00
What about Alba gu br
Aetius453 posted on 26 Sep 2014 01:13:00
What about Alba gu br
Aetius453 posted on 26 Sep 2014 01:13:00
What about Alba gu br

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