Monday, April 11, 2022

Coincidence? Well, actually yes.

This piece at The Bulwark today, comparing the arcs of the Russian and Ukrainian armed forces over the last thirty years from a guy who's been watching, closed by quoting a familiar passage from the French novel The Centurions:
"I’d like [France] to have two armies: one for display with lovely guns, tanks, little soldiers, staffs, distinguished and doddering Generals, and dear little regimental officers who would be deeply concerned over their General’s bowel movements or their Colonel’s piles, an army that would be shown for a modest fee on every fairground in the country. The other would be the real one, composed entirely of young enthusiasts in camouflage uniforms, who would not be put on display, but from whom impossible efforts would be demanded and to whom all sorts of tricks would be taught. That’s the army in which I should like to fight."
The reason I recalled that passage is that Colonel David Hackworth used it to close out his memoir, About Face, which I'm currently re-reading for probably the fifth time.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.