This is from Lawyers, Guns and Money
Insty links, in characteristically laconic style, to this comment:Well, no, Professor Reynolds.
The Roman Legion was organized to fight in lines, averaging maybe 6 to 8 men deep. In battle the man at the front would fight for about 8 minutes, then move to the back of the line and the person behind him would take his place at the front. After another interval he too would then move to the back and the person behind him would take the front position. Organized in this way each man fought for about 8 minutes out of every 48 to 64. The enemies of the Romans often succomed to fatigue long before the Legionaires did.
It's ok to get fatigued, and it's ok to take a step back. There is a person behind you who will fill the gap. And when you are refreshed you can rejoin the battle.
They're talking here not so much about actually fighting the War on Terror, but about how hard it is to be a warblogger. Let that sink in for a minute. Neo-neocon, who apparently has never encountered the concept of self-parody, even invokes Churchill in support of the weary, put upon warblogger. In the real world, 44 Americans have died in Iraq so far this month. They don't, so much, have the luxury of warblogger fatigue.
Hard to imagine a more self-absorbed bunch, really. Belle has more.
Incidentally, I'm not even sure that the practice related in the above comment is historically accurate. I've read a number of accounts of Roman warfare, and I don't recall seeing that particular description before. Imagine how difficult it would be for the man at the front of the line to disengage and move to the back, all the while keeping the integrity of the unit intact.
In Iraq, you run patrols every day. They may even feed you. There is no rest, no break, no letting someone else do your job. You and your coward friends type. They don't fight.
posted by Steve @ 10:45:00 AM