an army marches on its stomach

The proverb has been attributed to both Napoleon and Frederick the Great; this figurative use of (on one’s) stomach is unusual in English.

1904 Windsor Magazine Jan. 268 ‘An army marches on its stomach.’ ‘C’est la soupe qui fait le soldat.’ These Napoleonic aphorisms..have been increasingly appreciated by our War Office.

1977 J. B. HILTON Dead-Nettie x. ‘They say an army marches on its stomach,’ Gilbert Slack began to say. ‘You mean that Frank was a cook\?’

1992 W. DONALDSON Root into Europe ii.16 ‘Didn’t see service as such. Supply and demand myself. Pay and personnel. Laundry and so forth. An army marches on its stomach.’

2002 Washington Times 30 Jan. E4 (Hazel comic strip) ‘An army marches on its stomach.’ ‘And retreats on its..’

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  • march — see an army marches on its stomach …   Proverbs new dictionary

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