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Paul Fussell: High ranking officers
The higher ranking officers gave the orders to fight, but they never put themselves in harm's way.
Interview outtakes from THE WAR:
"The highest officer that one saw daily was one’s own company commander, a captain. Except for a major, or a lieutenant colonel who ventured to show himself now and then, usually to chew us out for something. I never saw a higher officer at all. No general ever appeared. No full colonel ever appeared and so forth. And we didn’t mind that. We recognized that that had to be it. You know, they couldn’t be killed because otherwise there’d be nobody in the battalions to make the attack orders and so forth that we had to carry out. I got rather bitter about that but never to the point where I did anything about it. Just sort of festered. I was always chosen to make idiotic patrols and pick twelve of my men at night, usually, for a patrol. All those patrols failed. We never got injured on any one, just accidentally, but the battalion intelligence officer never went out on one. He was a major. He was, he was a first lieutenant whom I really despised. I mean, he should have gone on some of those patrols. He knew nothing about what the fight was really like. Because they were a half-mile back. And that was heaven. Half a mile away from the line."