August, 2013:

How important is insignificant minor fighting in war?

When I read All Quiet On the Western Front and later watched its much superior 1930 film adaptation, one of the most thought-provoking scenes was when Paul went to a restaurant during his leave. Because he was a veteran, some German civilians began asking him about the war and one even brought out a map to discuss strategy based on what they know of the war.

One person commented that Germany is winning the war. Paul refuted the claim, stating his units is in terrible condition and several times the French nearly cracked the trench fortification they were defending. Another person than commented that it does not matter if things seem bad in his unit’s station because its an insignificant portion of Germany’s entrenchments. Everywhere should be fine according to what they were told and even if the section that Paul’s platoon is defending gets overrun, it won’t be a problem because Germany is winning elsewhere.

This conversation so outraged Paul he left the restaurant as the German civilians than escalated their conversation into an argument, pointing towards the map what ought to be done in where. This scene impacted me so much. Whenever military history is discussed, always is emphasized on what a huge impact major battles did in the war but never are minor incidents and fighting like a bunker being bombed or minor ambushes in one front of the war considered important (at least in general history texts). This scene in All Quiet On the Western Front opened my eyes to just how important an insignificant ambush or the loss of one bunker can play in a war or at least in a major battle.

But I seek your input.

"For want of a nail the horse could not be shooed; for want of a horse the battle was lost; for want of a battle the kingdom was lost…." On such small things as a horseshoe nail the kingdom’s fate is in the balance. You cannot say one small unit is unimportant in the overall battle. If it breaks, the line breaks, the enemy gets into your rear, and the battle is lost.

On the other hand it is very difficult for individuals on the ground to see the overall picture. Several of your platoon are killed or wounded. It seems like a disaster. But the enemy lost three times that number (all KIA) assaulting your position. The point, in the end, is; he didn’t break through. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grandes (or atomic bombs).

It took me years of study to come to my conclusions on Vietnam, even after having spent a year in country. My view of the war was very limited, and confined mostly to the civil-action program and a few rocket attacks. The scene you mention (and I know it) has always bothered me because of my own experience. Paul was making grand assumptions based on his local knowledge. That knowledge was hard won, and should not have been discounted. But (the writer of the work) was using 20/20 hindsight to predict the German defeat at the time he wrote All’s Quiet on the Western Front. Victory was in the balance right up until the Ldendorff Offensive in the spring of 1918, and the Germans came within 30 or 40 miles of winning the war at that time.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on that scene.

How many calories are in 4 chicken nuggets?

I ate 4 chicken nuggets from a Korean Restaurant.They were normal sized nuggets and I didn’t put ketchup or anything else on them.They weren’t overly seasoned either.

Around 190




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