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War at its purest

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War at its purest
The constant shrill of the war pipe pierced my eardrums with a deafening shriek. It was commanding me to march to my death. The whole army marched in the time with the beat of the drum and the shrill of the pipe. My huge shield was just getting heavier with the sweltering heat of the relentless sun. When we finally stopped marching, we could clearly see the enemy in front of us. I was in the second row of the right platoon. I was part of the vanguard due to the valor I had shown during other battles. The weight of my heavy bronze armor seemed to get one hundred pounds heavier as I stood there.

I looked down our phalanx and saw how disciplined our army actually was. This filled me with pride to stand with such honorable men. Now as I looked at the other army all I saw was fear. Their spears shook like iron tipped trees swaying in storm. Even from here you could easily make out the urine stains of the other men. This I saw through the tine slits of my Corinthian styled helmet. My heart pumped with anticipation of what was about to unfold. I was a trained veteran at this, and yet the fear was still there. The man beside me cracked one final joke that made me laugh hard. He made it possible for me to do away with the fear inside of me.

A racket began from the enemy’s side of the field. Someone had begun banging their spear against their shield. Soon the enemy’s entire army was following suite. The sound was absolutely deafening as the men continued banging away. A smile crept to my face as I realized why they were doing this. They were filling themselves up with false courage. The point is to strike fear in the enemy as well as pump you up with courage. The Spartans teach us that this is where the enemy displays their weakness. They never allow us to attempt this disgraceful practice.

When the enemy finally stopped banging the order was shouted to charge. The enemy rushed at us without order or control. Like a wave of screaming monster they charged us. Our orderly phalanx seemed to suck up this deadly wave, as the men in front us through themselves on our spears. The shock of the initial clash was mind numbing. To hear the crunch of thousands of men smash into our armor covered bodies. Oh the sound was unforgettable, as it racked my body with shivers. Men were literally throwing themselves onto my spear. Such was the disorder of the enemy. Then the pierced cries of the dying reached my helmet covered ears.

All I knew at that point was the quick stab and pull of my spear. My shield protected the man on my left and the man on my right protected me. This was all I needed to know as men threw themselves at me. All ready my arm was covered with blood of the men I was stabbing. Within the little sight I had, I saw horror after horror displayed before me. The man in front of me was stabbed through the throat and his blood sprayed into my eyes. This temporarily blinded me, but I had to push on. I stepped on his body on my way to deal more death.

The dust thrown up by both armies was completely blinding. The shrieks of dying men were a constant sound, so was the clash of steel against shield. The din alone would have driven the untrained man insane. The Spartans were trained. We could fight just as efficiently blinded by the dust as we could without. One Spartan fought valiantly, but many Spartans fought with such efficient ferocity that not many will stay and fight. This was exactly what was happening to the enemy. They saw that it was utterly hopeless fighting this killing machine. So they disgracefully died with wounds in the back.

As the enemy ran from us, I was actually hit. A very brave man, at least twice my size in strength stepped forward. He ran at me screaming at the top of his lungs. With a mighty slash he struck my helmet. I was instantly blinded by my own blood covering my vision. My heart beat faster just pumping more of my precious blood out. I vaguely saw my brothers in arms fight over my body. I knew I was finished, and I simply accepted my fate. What better way to die than with the valiant men you grew up with? I was filled with what the Spartans call the death peace. Then I simply stopped breathing.

I have fought bravely and with valor, because I was fighting for the right cause. War is useless unless you fight for what is pure. I fought for my comrades and I fought for my country. What would the consequences be if I hadn’t fought today? My sons would have been killed and my daughters disgraced. My very being would have been for naught if all is taken away from me. Yes, I took men’s lives today, but they sought land and wealth. I died today for my country and there is no more honorable way to die.





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