Home / General / Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

/
/
/
1179 Views

I feel like I spend almost as much time at Bret Devereaux’s joint as I do here. For those not familiar, he’s a fabulous scholar of ancient and modern military (and not just military) affairs, and a wonderful writer. On this eightieth anniversary of D-Day I suggest reading one of my favorite essays, on the Battle of Helm’s Deep and the art of the battle speech.

It has a few basic parts: I) an opening that focuses on the valor of the men rather than the impact of the speech (the common trope here is to note how “brave men require few words”) II) a description of the dangers arrayed against them, III) the profits to be gained by victory and the dire consequences of defeat IV) the basis on which the general pins his hope of success and finally V) a moving peroration; the big emotional conclusion of the speech. You can read through Catiline’s speech it yourself at the link above; it’s not long and it follows the formula precisely. That order of elements is not rigid; they can be moved around and emphasis shifted. But I don’t just want to show that this trope existed in the ancient past, I want to show that it is projected through military tradition to the present. So let’s look at another very standard and somewhat more recent example, appropriate for June…

Read the rest, as they say. And it should go without saying that I was absolutely broken up by this.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar
Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views :