Monday, April 07, 2008

Why Sergeants Need to Shout

Harry Blount’s brain had shifted gears into sergeant mode. When one was commanding troops on a battlefield and something unexpected happened, one simply couldn’t afford to pause for a minute while one assessed just exactly what that something was, and what to do about it. It was almost always better to do something than to do nothing – at the very least, it would strengthen the morale of men made uncertain by the unpredicted event, and would mean they fought harder and stuck together even if he’d just ordered them into a carefully laid enemy trap. Conversely, hesitation and inaction could destroy a regiment before the French were even within range to fire their muskets.

No comments: