The Spirit of Thermopylae

The West once knew how to fight, often against impossible odds. Our troops still know, as coalition soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate every day. What's missing now is the societies which ought to be supporting them with the same resolve and courage and sense of purpose we once had. But the people have been seduced by expectations of an easy life, of being able to somehow enjoy the benefits of civilisation with none of the costs and obligations.

The excerpt below says it far, far better than I ever could.

The battle of Thermopylae, where three hundred Spartans stood against the enormous armies of Xerxes:

"The Greek historian Herodotus in his History recorded the final moments of the battle:

... the small desperate band stood side by side on the hill still fighting to the last, some with swords, others with daggers, others even with their hands and teeth, till not one living man remained amongst them when the sun went down. There was only a mound of slain, bristled with arrows ... those with weapons still clutching them.
Twenty thousand Persians had died before that small number of men!
After the battle, Xerxes asked Demaratus if there were many more at Sparta like the 300. He was told there were 8,000 more like them. Xerxes was not enthralled with this answer, and ordered more reinforcements.

Leonidas' body was cut up and displayed to deter the Greeks from resisting, but the warning did not work. The Spartans would clash shields again with the Persians many more times, and Persian defeat would eventually come when a Spartan named Aristodemus, who was evacuated at Thermopylae with the allied forces (he was deathly ill, but called a "coward" nonetheless by his fellow Spartan citizens) fought in the name of Leonidas and crushed the Persians one last time and drove them ingloriously from Greece.

It is this Western spirit of determination that gave the 182 at the Alamo the courage to resist an overwhelming Mexican Army of 4,000, slaughtering 1,400 Mexicans before being taken. It is this battle hardness that allowed 105 British Soldiers to repel an attack of 4,000 Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift, who after the battle were honored by the Zulus for resisting overwhelming odds. It is this innate legacy that gave the Totenkoph Division of the Waffen-SS -- bruised, battered, and battle fatigued -- the spirit which refused to surrender. They held their ground for 73 days against impossible odds in the Demyansk Pocket against a Red Army many times their number. And it is the same unwavering dedication that gave the 1st Marine Division in Korea the determination to duke it out with 10 Red Chinese divisions at Chosin; outmanned 10-1, they fought vigorously, finally making their way back to sea after breaking through an entrapment of insurmountable odds. Like those at the Alamo, Rorke's Drift, or the Waffen-SS at Demyansk, the United States Marine Corps stayed dedicated to their one commandment: Semper Fidelis! -- Always Faithful!

Today, however, Western man's life is out of balance. The unwritten codes of honor, values thousands of years old, seem to be no more: the courageousness of his spirit has been siphoned to near extinction from his soul. On the modern battlefield, too many fail to speak up because they are afraid of the PC Hit Squad calling them "fascist," "racist," or "neo-Nazi." Of the great feats recorded in our history, our most disgraceful is not defeat by the hands of the enemy, but in modern times our servile acceptance of such words, which have become a wall that we must surmount to regain our cultural sanity. Such cowardliness was not a trait of our ancestors, and although many of us call ourselves descendants of these heroes, I will continue to doubt it until I see legions upon legions of Euros marching to defend the West. "

With thanks to David J. Stennet.

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