Tidewater Times April 2022

Page 95

Can You Hear Me Now? by A.M. Foley

Lately, I’ve been pondering marvels of modern communications in a military context. On a human level, satellite calls from service personnel posted across the globe are wonderfully reassuring for families. Some of us remember when barely legible, shrunken “V-mails” crept homeward in wartime from around the world. Beyond conf licts in living memory, those at home could only search casualty lists telegraphed from distant battlefields. News found was invariably

bad for those praying not to see a familiar name. Operationally, General George Patton didn’t live to be constrained by constant satellite communications. To the contrary, in World War II Patton is said to have longed for a time he and German General Erwin Rommel might have clashed in decisive battle unfettered, mano a mano like gladiators. In recent Middle Eastern conf licts in Afghanistan and Iraq, crucial decisions affecting separate conf licts


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