Glorifying War? First in a series

One of the risks inherent in studying military history is that one can get wrapped up in the adrenaline and emotion that comes with the notion of combat.  Even as we know that people die as a result of war, there is something about it as a concept that mobilizes people to exert a greater effort … whether it is a war on poverty or drugs in politics, or various sports contests in which both sides “go to war”:

Someone who openly admitted that he loved war … that it inspired him, even electrified him … was George S. Patton.  Many of us “know” Patton as he was portrayed by George C. Scott in the 1970 movie Patton, which remains one of my favorite movies.  After all, who can forget that opening scene?  For once, just listen to the speech:

Is he wrong?

You may answer that this is a movie caricature, and there’s something to that, if you read about Patton as well as the making of Patton.  However, watch as Scott’s portrayal is placed next to the real thing:

Are you inspired?  Repulsed?  Repulsed that you are inspired?

Let’s talk about this.