It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men [and women] who goes into battle.
– Norman Schwarzkopf
Superb Memorial Day posts today from Orac at Respectful Insolence and Mark Chu-Carroll at Good Math, Bad Math.
“An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.”
Remember some of those front-line heroes grow up to be generals and politicians, e.g. (Arranged by name, war in which command position held, war in which he engaged in combat).
Hubert Gough, Britain, WW1 – Boer War.
John French, Britain, WW1 – Boer War.
Herbert Plumer, Britain, WW1 – fought in the Boer war and the British colonial campaigns.
Douglas Haig, Britain, WW1 – Boer War, Kitchener campaign against the Mahdi.
Winston Churchill, Britain, both World Wars – Boer War, War against the Mahdi, Western front (briefly commanded a battalion).
Douglas MacArthur, George Patton, US, WW2 – Both saw frontline action on the Western Front.
Horace Smith-Dorrien, Britain, WW1 – Zulu war (One of the few white men to escape from the Battle of Isandhlwana alive and on foot), Boer War.
Behind a lot of these generals and politicians there is an ex-soldier who came through combat alive and is sure in his heart that he knows what it’s like for his men.
By no means an exhaustive list.
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