In the summer of 1918, French soldiers gathered their dead and wounded and began to walk away from their German enemies that were advancing through their home country. Mentally defeated, the French marched out as they United States Marines marched in. What started as looks of despair and warning turned to words as the French soldiers told the Marines, “turn around.” The Marines marched forward. They warned, “they’re too strong.”
But the Marines marched forward.
The French pleaded, “you’ll be cut apart. Retreat!”
A Marine captain famously responded, “Retreat? Hell, we just got here.”
The French had reason for their warnings.
Five German divisions had entrenched themselves in a craggy, rocked-filled forest called Belleau Wood.
The Christmas tree-shaped forest sat in the middle of a wheat field.
German machine guns were able to mow down their enemy with abandon before they were able to set foot in the woods.
Despite the advantage of the Germans, the Marines setup a twelve-mile long front line and moved in.
Advancing through the wheat field, the casualties were unimaginable. Many of the officers commanding the fight were cut down by the German fire . . . but the young Marines kept fighting.Unable to take out the German guns, the Marines had to literally fight their way onto the battle field, wading through the waist high wheat field as machine guns raked their advance. A hardened Marine from Queens, Dan Daly, possibly the fiercest fighter in the history of the Corps, was among the men marching into the fire. Daly looked back at his fellow enlisted Marines and yelled, “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?”
After losing over a thousand men, the Marines made it into the woods, and proved themselves to the Germans and the history books.
They fought for 20 days and nights without reinforcement, turning the woods into a hellish scene from the worst storybook.
The American men were relentless, running through the woods, shirtless, starving, and low on ammunition.
They killed with bullets, bayonets and bare hands. The Marines became animals, barking as they pursued and killed their enemy. The living Germans, terrified by the brutality of the Americans, fled or surrendered. On the final day of fighting, the woods were cleared and an officer radioed to report, “Woods now U.S. Marine Corps entirely.” The Germans who survived were left with nightmares of the battle, giving the fighting Marines an everlasting nickname . . . “Devil Dogs.”
The Marines who took part in this battle were emblematic of the American male at the time. They didn’t fear adversity. They set a goal, executed and won. There was no black or white in their fight, they went all out. Today, modern society has created a different type of man. One who does “just enough” to possibly get across the finish line. They avoid confrontation and the blood, sweat and tears needed to win. They use the term, “we gave it our best shot,” or “we tried.” They go for the participation trophies that are dolled out like candy to children who show up. Men in America have been feminized by society and government to appear non-threatening to everyone around them. That narrative is changing with the candidacy of Donald Trump. Love him or hate him, Trump exudes the same spirit as the Marines in Belleau Wood. He doesn’t go for participation medals . . . and never has. When fired upon, Trump doesn’t look around and wait for the next round to head downrange, he runs toward the gunfire with a fury.
The spectacle of Trump is something that the public is not used to. They have become accustomed to pandering politicians who have to meet with a gaggle of consultants before making any decision . . . then weakly acquiesce with a middle-of-the-road response.
The generations of today have forgotten about the fortitude and attitude of Patton and the eccentricities of McArthur.
Among the feminists and others on the left, Trump is a literal terror. They use his treatment of women as a fault when in reality, Trump is willing to take on anyone who walks onto the political battlefield . . . man, woman, black, white, smart or dumb.
No one knows how Trump may govern if elected president, however, his style may very well bring back the fighting spirit of America in government, business and society in general.