“The shared gut memory of combat”

Jules Crittenden has become one of our favorite columnists. Here, he appears on Normblog’s “writer’s choice” to discuss The Battle by Alessandro Barbero, a book about Waterloo.
Crittenden calls the book “a magnificent work. . .in a class with some of the best of the new popular military histories. . .[that] takes us through each phase of the 10-hour battle, as experienced by the generals, the foot soldiers, the cavalry and the artillery, made immediate with graphic first-person accounts of the conditions and the action.” And Crittenden sprinkles the review with his own thoughts about war (he was embedded with a tank company in Iraq), as well as the thoughts of some “old warriors.” These include veterans of the horrific combat at Ia Drang in 1965, which was the subject of the critically acclaimed book We Were Soldiers Once … And Young.
Tying it all together is what Crittenden calls “the shared gut memory of combat.”

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