Fight to the Last Man - Why?

Discussion in 'General' started by Drew5233, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. John Lawson

    John Lawson Arte et Marte

    I believe that G.S.Patton said that there was no honour in dieing for your country, its about making the other poor bastard die for his. Therefore, a dead soldier is an unproductive one, and one that must be replaced, probaly from an ever dwindling stock. So the longer you stay alive the better you serve your country/cause.

    The British have a habit of creating heroic episodes out of near, or actual, disasters, I'll not name them as the collective knowledge of this site will know of many tens, hundreds or even thousands of actions.

    I do know that discipline, espirt d' corps, unit pride, history and your mates come into it. For instance if you now belong to The Rifles, you'll be related to the Glosters, who have a habit of getting themselves into "last man" fights or the lesser charge of "hold out for as long as you can", most British Regts (and probably most foreign Regts, or perhaps I should say countries, as British Regts alone have tried to retain a continuous 450 year connection, no thanks to the politicians) have at least one story of such action to pull up a sandbag to.

    I refer to the action by German Regts at the Battle of Berezina (or Beresina), in Poland, which took place November 26–29 (bit nippy), 1812 involving such troops as Westphalia infantry, who were still mustering to their colours and giving fire when the bridge collapsed, leaving them stranded on the Russian side and the Baden Hussars and Hesse-Darmstadt Chevelegers who took part in the "Charge of Death", giving their life time to provide escape time for the rest of the army (bloodymindedness is not the sole possession of the Brits).

    And, as has been mentioned earlier, a French Waffen SS unit was one of the last effective, and dogged, defenders of Berlin. It's probably just as well we didn't have to clear the Japanese mainland, what would honour have brought then?
  2. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Phylo, agree with a lot that you say but I don't quite get the terrorist thing.
    Attached the Camerone appendix from Simon Murray's 'Legionnaire'. He's gone on to to quite well for himself in businness since leaving the Legion.

    Mike, I've got the book but it's good to see it up here for others again. Murray's book is good for it's one of the few "witness accounts" to a lot of events, including the Legion's attempted coup in Algeria...written in colloquial English rather than translated into it, which can be a bit too souless and "academical".

    Terrorism isn't actually about fighting and defeating an enemy - it's about creating a public order situation where it becomes so expensive for your enemy to maintain order and normal day-to-day life for its citizens that it's CHEAPER in both money terms and any political loss-of-face to negotiate and grant the terrorists what they want.

    Terrorists only have to "do" enough actual terrorism - kill enough people, plant enough bombs - that the civil government is required to impose and maintain a horrifically expensive, time-consuming and awkward security environment day after day, year after year. And they keep up the momentum "on the cheap" - a bomb threat forces the powers-that-be to take EXACTLY the same precautions etc. as they would for a REAL bomb....time after time. For a cost of a 10p phone call ;)

    They make the authorities fear what might happen the NEXT time...

    Now, think again about Camerone; after something like did the Mexicans regard the Legion??? :D At Camerone, 43 Legionnaires were killed and 19 captured, of whom 17 were wounded....but 90 Mexican rebels were killed, with well over 300 casualties! :p And I'll bet the word of those casualties spread far faster than the word of any "victory"!

    What would be the rebels' thoughts the NEXT time they met the Legion?
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  4. Ednamay

    Ednamay wanderer


    Did anyone nominate the 300?

    Battle of Thermopylae - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Reminded me of my junior school years, and the song we learned:-

    Leonidas is combing his hair, his hair.
    King of Persia, beware, beware,
    Leonidas is combing his hair!

    Taught us a lot about preparing for battle - check the layout of the land, check the morale, readiness and fitness of your men, check the weapons, = set an example!


Share This Page