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PBI - Wavell Quote



Read this, thought it may stimulate an interesting debate not sure when he said it (perhaps someone does)

Let us be clear about three facts. First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm....The infantryman has to use initiative and intelligence in almost every step he moves, every action he takes on the battle-field. We ought therefore to put our men of greatest intelligence and endurance into the Infantry
Field-Marshal Earl Wavell

Personally, I think it should be above the entrance to every other Corps and Arm training centre!
In Praise of Infantry, a letter to (or article in) The Times, 19 Apr 45. He may also have said something similar in Soldiers and Soldiering, though I can't check that at present.
Has that not always been the case? Going back 2000 ish years the Romans, Greeks and Persians had their infantry and artillery, and later the cavalry. The infantry has always been the first and the last.


Book Reviewer
Endurance yes, but there are many types of intelligence. Should we really have emptied Bletchley Park and turned them all into Paras?

The intellectual qualities of infantry are common sense, initiative, imagination and the ability to act quickly and decisively on incomplete information. Resolving the propositions of Euclid or taking Pi to the next level, not so much.


Book Reviewer
It always struck me as a bit of a dichotomy that some of the brightest orifices joined the inf mobs but, boy, did they recruit some fodder.

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