Infantry’s oldest enemy: mud
“Afghan peanut butter turns treads into sleds,” is war correspondent Michael Yon’s caption on this photo of a combat vehicle stuck in the mud in his post Amber of War. It’s an old lesson the Pentagon seems never to have learned.
I slept in the mud in Vietnam a few times on night ambush in ’69 and recall once trying hopelessly to get a jeep that had slid off the road out of the mud, but I was lucky not to have to hump through it hour after hour, day after day.
I’m not surprised there are books about it. None, however, seems as focused or as complete as Mud: A Military History, which Yon recommends and I am reading. Whoever invented body armor, heavy packs and persnickety machinery like M4s that need constant cleaning should as well. (But probably won’t.) It’s not the soldiers who have lost our recent wars, but the leadership—so-called.