Ordering versus Asking

“In action it is better to order than to ask.”

General Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton (16 January 1853 to 12 October 1947) from his book ‘Gallipoli Diary’ published in 1920.

Ian Hamilton was a British Army General who participated in operations in:

  • The Second Boer War (1899 to 1902);
  • Service in Japan (from 1904 to 1905 as the military attaché of the British Indian Army serving with the Japanese army in Manchuria during the Russo-Japanese War); and
  • WWI (1914 to 1918; most notable for commanding the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force during the Gallipoli Campaign).

Another way of looking at this is:

“It’s Better to Beg for Forgiveness than to Ask for Permission.”

Often attributed to Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (09 December 1906 to 01 January 1992), a US Navy officer and an early computer programmer.


You can find a copy (volume 2) of his book ‘Gallipoli Diary’ online here.


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