Kill or Be Killed

An Army training film teaching recruits some blunt and sad truths about war summed up in General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s aphorism:  “War means fightin’ and fightin’ means killin’.”  This message was more artistically conveyed in this film:

(Go here to see the film clip with the video and not just the sound.)

War is a dirty but sometimes necessary business, if far worse than war is not to befall us.  It is best that we remember that.

Published in: on August 31, 2012 at 5:30 am  Comments (4)  
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  2. Vivid.

    In my own army training, the trouble the army went to to have us put aside our scruples against violence gave me the pleasing notion that perhaps we generally had scruples.

    However, I’m dubious of the S.L.A. Marshall notion that men who aren’t borderline psychopaths have to be bullied and cajoled into fighting in war. In the Civil War, the universal experience of northern troops was that the brawlers and thugs would run from battle while the shrinking pasty-faced clerks would stand, fire, and charge.

    • “However, I’m dubious of the S.L.A. Marshall notion”

      In my stint in the Army we would shoot at anything that moved and quite a few things that didn’t. Teaching new troops fire discipline is hard, since their first impulse is to blaze away.

      As for SLA Marshall there are good reasons to be sceptical of his work and his conclusions.

  3. There are things worse than war.

    But not many things.

    It is a balance that must always be kept in mind by policy makers.

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