September 13, 2011

On Platoon Leadership

George MacDonald Fraser, in his memoir Quartered Safe Out Here, already has one of my favorite quotes (.pdf) about platoon leadership in combat:

If you want to know how scared you've a right to be, look at the men around you. And if
you happen to be a young subaltern, remember that they're looking at you.

Over the weekend, though, I finished his hilarious collection of stories The General Danced at Dawn. I do not think I have read a finer piece of prose on the anxieties and excitement of platoon leadership anywhere else. I cannot recommend it highly enough, so I'll just add that it was none other than Bob Killebrew, no stranger to small unit combat leadership himself, who recommended it to me in the first place.