Monday, February 16, 2015

Fiddler's Green

The Author is unknown, but every cavalryman knows the poem, that begins with this stanza.
Halfway down the trail to Hell,
In a shady meadow green
Are the Souls of all dead troopers camped,
Near a good old-time canteen.
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddlers' Green.
This poem adopted by the cavalry long ago, gives soldier advise that it often classical, but not often heard today.  When I read this article from Truth Revolt, where British Special Forces have been told to keep the last bullet for themselves.
“The SAS have been told that if they are captured they can expect to be tortured before being beheaded, disemboweled or burned alive," a source told the Daily Star. "They know there is virtually no chance of being rescued….Most of the guys would never let themselves be taken prisoner – not by Islamic State.”
ISIS (the Islamic State) is a brutal enemy, known for torture, beheading, disemboweling, all manner of horrific treatment of prisoners.  They gleefully post YouTube videos showing their disdain for civilization.   The sooner these murderous miscreants are stopped, the better.  Of course, this does nothing to help those in their grasp, and history teaches us that in some cultures it has always been so.
Rudyard Kipling gave his advise to soldiers wounded in Afghanistan.
When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains, jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains and go to your gawd like a soldier.
Harsh advise, but effective.  Evidently the British had the same problem in Kipling's time as we are having today.  But, we find the same cousel in the last stanza of Fiddler's Green.
And so when man and horse go down
Beneath a saber keen,
Or in a roaring charge of fierce melee
You stop a bullet clean,
And the hostiles come to get your scalp,
Just empty your canteen,
And put your pistol to your head
And go to Fiddlers' Green.
Harsh advise, but nothing new.  I'm surprised that anyone is surprised at it.


Old NFO said...

Truths that John Q. Public will never understand...

Termite said...

I'd rather save a grenade; and when they grabbed me, pull the pin and bear-hug one or more with the grenade between us.

SPEMack said...

As a Cav Scout I took the advice proffered by keep one last M-9 mag in the front pocket of my pants. 14 for them.