The Best Defense

Jack London describes an infantry platoon

Actually he is writing about the crew of a 19th century seal-hunting ship, but it is pretty similar: "They are a company of celibates, grinding harshly against one another and growing daily more calloused from the grinding." (From The Sea-Wolf)

It reminds me that somewhere, I think in War and Peace, which I read while covering boring U.S. peacekeeping ops in Haiti, Tolstoy describes an infantry unit in wartime as being like the crew of a ship-moving through the world, but still constantly seeing the same familiar faces.  

Flickr/U.S. Department of Defense


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