Thursday, December 9, 2021



1 comment:

  1. The "Marine's Marine," Lt. General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, once did an inspection tour of a USMC unit, and after a bit, he said: "Take me to the brig, I want to see the 'real Marines'!"

    Puller was not above dramatizing things, but his quip illustrates something important about elite combat forces. They're so full of fight that they sometimes can't turn it off when they're in barracks instead of on the battlefield.

    In the run-up to D-Day while still in Britain, their officers and NCOs discovered the hard way that the elite paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne should not be awarded leave at the time and place.

    Why? Because lacking Germans to fight, they would fight one another. Someone from the All-Americans would make a disparaging crack about the Screaming Eagles, and the donnybrook would be on.

    Lacking other units of paratroops to fight, they would mix it up with whatever was on offer.

    These were superbly-trained young men, highly-disciplined and determined to be the best. But they were also young, full of piss and vinegar and pride in themselves and their units.

    By-the-book commanders sometimes came down too hard on the men, but the smarter ones tolerated a certain amount of rough stuff as long as the men didn't do any serious harm to one another. They figured that if they were that anxious to mix it up away from the lines, they'd be game once the battle was joined. Boy, were they ever!

    I don't know who'd get the best of a brawl between the paratroopers and the Marines, but it would be an epic contest, tell you that!