War: 95% boredom/5% terror?

For quite a while I’ve tried to track down not only the source but the exact text of a “famous quote” that goes something along the lines of: War is long stretches of boredom interrupted by moments of extreme terror.

I think I’ve been able to rule out Wm T. Sherman, Gen. Geo. Patton, Mark Twain as the source. I may have heard it on the TV series MASH*, but don’t know if it was original to that or they got it from somewhere else.

I saw it mentioned in reference to the works of Michael Herr (Michael Herr - Wikipedia) but don’t know if it appeared in his Esquire Magazine articles or his book Dispatches. My local library has the book, but I’m not sure I have the intestinal fortitude to read it.

Anyone know the source and exact quote?

Note to mods: since I’m asking about a quote I believe is by a historical figure or non-fiction source I posted this to GQ. If it properly belongs in another forum, my apologies and please move it. Thanks!

GQ should be just fine for this question. I hope someone has an answer. You have me curious now!

This 1970 NY Times article “sheer boredom interspersed with periods of stark terror,” but no percentages ascribed.

cite from 1915

The same quote is frequently used for air travel, and attributed to Orson Welles, but his exact line was, “There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror.”

Thanks for the link.

Excerpt from a letter dated October 27, 1914 by an unnamed British cavalry subaltern, published by The London Times on 4th November, 1914, p. 979, col 1: Some one described this war as “Months of boredom punctuated by moments of terror.”

Further searching led me to this:
“‘Months of boredom punctuated by moments of intense fright’ is a definition of war which undoubtedly Noah would have regarded as a chestnut. And I should think it doubtful if there has ever been a war in which this definition was more correct.” Men, women and guns, by “Sapper”, 1916. Excerpted from: Men, women and guns : Sapper, 1888-1937 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

A letter home from American soldier Ross Playfair, dated 14th November, 1917, in which the adage as phrased by “Sapper” appears: http://www.rcplayfair.ca/letters/index.php?id=243

Regarding the 1914 cite: someone pointed out on another board that the cavalry subaltern’s allusion to the adage was curious as the war had been in progress only 3-1/2 months at the time he wrote his letter.

At this point, I’m not sure if one can determine the origin of the adage. Be that as it may…

Many thanks to all who contributed. Regards,

Which is about 2 & 1/2 months longer than people thought the war would last; plus, it’s significant that it’s a cavalry officer speaking - the cavalry was the mobile arm, always on the go, always doing something; it was the poor sods in the infantry who just had to march, boring day after boring day - except for the first time, in this war, the cavalry was almost immobilized, so the inactivity would stand out even more.