CONFIDENTIAL – THE UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE OF THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT COULD BE PREJUDICIAL TO THE INTERESTS OF THE CRUCIBLE MAJOR COMMAND.

= READER DISCRETION ADVISED =

This was one of the darkest moments, and darkest nights, of the entire World War II. The reason for posting this is to try to include my personal thoughts in between the text, hopefully fluently and without being confusing.

Here’s an example of me interrupting the original text:

 

[Pause reading for a second]

Narrator’s personal notes written inside two bracketed lines, like this.

[Back to the story]

 

The original text, is placed between the
— BEGIN TRANSMISSION —

and

— END TRANSMISSION —
lines. Copy?

Good. Here goes. LOCATION: The island of Guadalcanal, the Pacific theater of World War II. THE YEAR: 1942 (need to check that it wasn’t ’43, and possibly fix it here afterwards).

— BEGIN TRANSMISSION —

Puller called Del Valle again: “Give us all you’ve got. We’re holding on by our toenails.”

“I’ll give all you call for, Puller, but God knows what’ll happen when the ammo we have is gone.”

“If we don’t need it now, we’ll never need it. If they get through here tonight, there won’t be a tomorrow.”

[Pause reading for a second]

I repeat.

”If they get through here, THERE WON’T BE A TOMORROW.”

That’s the reality of the situation for these men. There won’t be a tomorrow.

[Back to the story]

Fuller called the CP from the flank:
“Colonel, I’m just about running out of ammo. I’ve used almost three and a half units of fire.”

“You’ve got bayonets, haven’t you, Fuller?”

“Sure. Yes, sir… all right then. Hang on.”

— END TRANSMISSION —

FINAL THOUGHTS:
You haven’t had food, or even water, for days. Instead, you have malaria. No sleep. You are shooting your very last bullets into the blackness of the tropical jungle’s hot and humid emptiness. Amidst the gunfire, you hear the distant battlecries of the HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of fanatic Japanese soldiers—who hate you deeply—closing in, and who are about to overrun you and kill every single one of you, your friends and your entire platoon. Any minute now. And basically, all you have is a knife.

Then a last desperate call to the Command Post, asking for ammunition, although the message between the lines is that you are begging them to give at least a theoretical chance for yourself and for your brothers to live through this night. And the response is, I mean they actually say that ”well you’ve got knives, don’t you, so DEAL WITH THE SITUATION.”

After the Colonel’s reply to Fuller, I can only imagine that surreal terror, then the realization and ACCEPTANCE of the absolute finality of the situation, then deciding the next course of action (probably just ”prepare for hand-to-hand engagement” or, most likely, ”this is it, the last minutes of ’me,’ the last minutes I can hear this rain and feel these clothes and smell this air and remember my famil—oh my God I can hear them right in front of me now, they are here, oh my God they are here”). And then, initiating the plan and ENGAGING. Move. Go.

But it’s just that… I can’t put it to words. I have tried to imagine the tone of Fuller’s voice of the last words of his ”hang on” reply. I hear it filled with both acceptance of dying and desperation, yet with sound of determination—but with a disturbing undertone of numbness; void of emotion.

I’ve been thinking about the tone of those two last words a lot.

Bayonets?

Sure, yes sir… yes we have knives.

…all right then. HANG ON.

Most of these men lived through that night, only to face the next—and similar—night, and after that, the next one, and after that, the next one… until one of VERY few options would happen.

 

”GOOD NIGHT CHESTY, WHEREVER YOU ARE”

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RELIGION: DISCIPLINE

A companion to the Crucible Major series. Thoughts about life, perseverance and discipline.

“For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.” —Plato

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