The Best Defense

Last thought from a dying soldier

While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on July 2, 2010.

I was reading George Wilson's Mud Soldiers the other day, and this exchange, at the end of a hard fight in Vietnam in March 1966, struck me.

Kroah heard a shout from First Lieutenant Steinberg, commander of the 4th Platoon. 'I need some help over here!'

'George, I can't help you,' Kroah shouted back. ‘I've been hit five times.'

I've been hit seven,' Steinberg replied.

'Always the bullshitter, huh, George?'

'No bullshit, man.'

And it wasn't. Steinberg died with those words."

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The Best Defense

Two divas: Patton vs. Montgomery

While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on June 16, 2010.

Patton's diary, July 5, 1944: "Why an American Army has to go with Montgomery, I do not see, except to save the face of the little monkey."

December 27, 1944: "I wish Ike were more of a gambler, but he is certainly a lion compared to Montgomery ... Monty is a tired little fart. War requires the taking of risks and he won't take them."

U.S. Army