07/26/2017 (Wed) 18:42:19
I collected a few lines from the book on the easiness of killing. Some are actual quotes some just data or observation of the author. Some of them are removed from context but whatever.
"I could not visualize the horrible deaths my bombs. . . had caused here. I had no feeling of guilt. I had no feeling of accomplishment." - J. Douglas Harvey, World War II bomber pilot, visiting rebuilt Berlin in the 1960s
From January 7 to July 24, 1969, U.S. Army snipers in Vietnam accounted for 1,245 confirmed kills, with an average of 1.39 bullets expended per kill.
"At 2109 [on February 3, 1969] five Viet Cong moved from the woodline to the edge of the rice paddy and the first Viet Cong in the group was taken under fire . . . resulting in one Viet Cong killed. Immediately the other Viet Cong formed a huddle around the fallen body, apparently not quite sure of what had taken place. Sergeant Waldron continued engaging the Viet Cong one by one until a total of [all] five Viet Cong were killed."
Gray states the matter clearly: "Many a pilot or artilleryman who has destroyed untold numbers of terrified noncombatants has never felt any need for repentance or regret."
Even in the case of the individuals who dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, contrary to popular myth, there are no indications of psychological problems.
The future field marshal Slim wrote of experiencing this euphoria upon shooting a Turk in Mesopotamia in 1917. "I suppose it is brutal," wrote Slim, "but I had a feeling of the most intense satisfaction as the wretched Turk went spinning down."
An Australian soldier in World War I, writing in a letter to his father, puts a distinctly different light on bayoneting Germans:
"Strike me pink the square heads are dead mongrels. They will keep firing until you are two yds. off them & then drop their rifles & ask for mercy. They get it too right where the chicken gets the axe. . . . I . . . will fix a few more before I have finished. Its good sport father when the bayonet goes in there eyes bulge out like prawns. [Sic]"