Op-Ed

The Vanishing War

I've heard it said that every war fades from memory until a soldier is left with just a few highlights to recall, and those strangely happy.  I think, instead, it's the souvenirs we lose that make a war vanish.  Until the only remaining physical marker of a war is you and me.  Then we die and take war's memory with us, and what ought to be remembered and told to others vanishes with us. We, you and I, ought to do better than that. The first souvenir I lost after coming home from Vietnam was a 20 piastre piece.  You…
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The Soldier as Pack Animal (1907)

Excepting the knapsack, which is too rigid, the equipments are generally good, but the necessity for adding a heavy pair of shoes to the already weighty load carried by the infantryman is not seen.  The inconveniences caused by an occasaional broken shoe are of infinitely less importance than those resulting frm loading hundreds of men with unnecessary weight.  It should be the duty of the supply and transport departments, or, in our service, of the Quartermaster Department, to provide the shoes when needed.  The weight to be placed on our men deserves the most careful consideration, espeically as modern battle…
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WW1

Assigning the American Combat Zone (1917)

The eventual place the American Army should take on the western front was to a large extent influenced by the vital questions of communications and supplies.  The northern ports of France were crowded by the British Army's shipping and supplies, while the southern ports, though otherwise at our service, had not adequate port facilities for our purposes, and these we should have to build.   The already overtaxed railway system behind the active front in northern France would not be available for us as lines of supply, and those leading from the southern ports to northeastern France would be unequal to…
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WW2

POW Postscripts (1944)

Dorothy Parker, Portland, Oregon (General George )  We quote:  "Again, I want to do some reporting for your splendid little paper which is bringing so much information and cheer to all of us.  I have received two broadcasts from the Tokyo radio comforting part of these two broadcasts is that George has received four letters from me and my cable of February 1943.  These messages were read by a Japanese woman announcer and gave George's serial number, which is the first time that has ever been done.  It all sounded authentic but of course one never really use messages as…
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WW2

The Well-Dressed Airman (1945)

Pacific Ocean Area CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT   ...It will be found that "travel light" is a good rule for AAF personnel.  (Such items as steel helmets, weapons and gas masks will not, of course, be discarded to apply this rule.)  Climatic dampness causes clothing to mould rapidly and extra items should be aired frequently.  A few coat hangers are useful for this purpose. 3.  DESIRABLE ITEMS OF EQUIPMENT: a.  All Personnel: Raincoat, House slippers, Cigarette lighter, Swimming trunks, Bath clogs (a must), Talcum powder, Mirror, Nail clippers or file, Fountain pen and pencil, Sewing kit, Short wave radio, Extra insignia,…
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WW2

Getting Artillery Right (1944)

It is unnecessary to tell an experienced foot-slogging dog-face how important artillery support is to him when he needs it.  When he runs up against a Jerry strongpoint that is too tough to crack with infantry weapons the proper thing to do is yell for artillery.  He's got to be sure, however, that the target he sees is worth tossing a lot of cannonballs at because cannonballs are the only reserve the artillery has and they cost sweat and blood.  A single Heinie sunning himself on an Eyetie mule and cart is not worth an artillery concentration.  There will most…
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