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Not a glamour shot

“Daily life in combat units resolved itself into noise, filth, isolation, confusion, fatigue, and mortality; everything else seemed extraneous. Soldiers distrusted the gung ho, the cocksure, and anyone less miserable than themselves. ‘We learned to live as perhaps once we were long ago, as simply as animals without hope for ourselves or pity for another,’ wrote John Muirhead, a B-17 crewman. The conceits of fate, destiny, and God comforted some, but believers and nonbelievers alike rubbed their crucifixes and lucky coins and St. Christopher medals with a suspicion, as Muirhead said, that ‘one is never saved for long.’ They saw things that seared them forever: butchered friends, sobbing children, butchered children, sobbing friends.” – Rick Atkinson, The Day of Battle

Published inRick AtkinsonThe Second World War

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