The clip listed below of the battle of Wits scene from The Princess Bride (IMDB), the character Vizzini (Wallace Shawn) says:

You’ve dropped victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famed is never get associated in a land war in Asia, yet only slightly less well known is this; never go in against a Sicilian, when death is top top the line! Aha ha ha ha… (and then keels over, dead.)

What go the line "never get affiliated in a land battle in Asia" express to? ns don"t know the reference. Does it affix to the plot in some way I"m missing, or is it totally unrelated?


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Vizzini is working out hubris throughout a 'battle of wits' with the various other guy. His megalomania needs that he show his superiority by performing the usual villain monologue. This entails labeling the other guy's actions together a classic blunder. That goes top top to explain two other standard blunders. The first is the one pointed out above. The 2nd is 'never walk in against a Sicilian, when fatality is on the line!' due to the fact that he drops dead from the poison after speak this, he is proven wrong and the other male is the better of the two in spite of Vizzini's high opinion that his previous self.
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"Never struggle a land battle in Asia" is one of those monster aphorisms that is widely known, yet on which nobody agrees who initially said it. It has variously been attributed to Bernard Montgomery (British General), Dwight Eisenhower (American General and also later President), and also Douglas MacArthur (American General).

You are watching: Don’t fight a land war in asia

The line remained in the original publication by william Goldman which was published in 1973. In ~ the time, the us was trying come extricate chin from the Vietnam War. Numerous Americans believed the battle a terrible mistake, and "Never fight a land battle in Asia" to be a frequently heard "obvious truth". A far-ranging fraction the the viewers of the 1987 film would have clear memory of that period of American history.

As
ToddWilcox note in a comment, the line operated as feeling (at least earlier then) since it brazenly division the fourth wall and inserts a highly topical meme indigenous the "real world" right into a fairy story wherein it provides no sense: there is no indication of Asia even existing in the world of The Princess Bride.

As the origins of the quote lapse into obscurity, the humor of it may begin to fail.


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answer Sep 29 "19 at 22:04
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Charles E. GrantCharles E. Grant
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Getting affiliated in a land war in Asia is a classic blunder in the genuine world. Instances from before The Princess Bride include:

The korean WarThe Vietnam WarThe Russian war in Afghanistan

All 3 were land wars in Asia that have been seen as mistakes. Dig mistakes. Epic blunders. Maybe the many famous standard blunders.

You could likewise include multiple failed attempts to attack Russia indigenous Europe, the most well known of those gift Napoleon’s march right into Russia that basically destroyed his once powerful army. Very famous blunder.


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answer Sep 28 "19 at 4:16
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Todd WilcoxTodd Wilcox
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The various other answers are correct about the general reference - over there are countless examples in real Earth history of destructive land wars in Asia. However what the various other answers seem to miss is that The Princess Bride seems to take place on what us might call "mostly Earth."

There are certainly references to things that seem not to exist on Earth: the nations of Florin and also Gilder, shrieking eels, R.O.U.S.es, The Cliffs that Insanity. However there are many more examples of things that carry out resemble our own history and environment.

Of course, the presence of humans, horses, pigs, hippos, peanuts, and suchlike already suggest that we"re top top Earth. More than likely even more compelling are these price quotes from the film:

DO YOU want ME to SEND YOU back TO whereby YOU WERE,UNEMPLOYED, IN GREENLAND!!!

I might give you my word as aSpaniard....

Inigo Montoya: You are using Bonetti’s Defense against me, ah?Man in Black: I assumed it fitting considering the rocky terrain.Inigo: Naturally, you have to suspect me to attack with Capa Ferro?Man in Black: Naturally, however I find that Thibault cancels the end Capa Ferro. Don’t you?Inigo: uneven the foe has studied his Agrippa… which ns have.

These are referrals to real-world Italian fencers, Rocco Bonetti, Ridolfo Capo Ferro and also Camillo Agrippa, and also the netherlands fencer Gérard (Girard) Thibault d’Anvers.

Let me placed it this way: have actually you ever before heard of Plato,Aristotle, Socrates?

Because iocane comes from Australia, aseveryone knows, and Australia is completely peopledwith criminals

The genuine Roberts has been retiredfifteen years and also living favor a king in Patagonia.

Now, the fact that we"re top top "mostly Earth," rather than Earth, suggests that the land battles in Asia needn"t necessarily stand for anything that happened in our actual history. However, considering that Vizzini shows up to know around the carry of British and Irish detainees to Australia, which emerged between 1788 and 1868, it appears reasonable to expect that The Princess Bride takes place sometime after Napoleon"s invasion of Russia in 1812.

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A counter argument can be made the the costumes and an innovation we see do not at every resemble 19th century Europe. However, this is an extremely common also in gendergeek.org which are supposed to take ar on actual Earth. Take into consideration Braveheart and William Wallace"s

farcical representation as a wild and hairy highlander painted v woad (1,000 years as well late) to run amok in a tartan kilt (500 years also early).