Essays About

War Above Water

To the hazards all wars hold, World War II in the Pacific added the ocean's instability. A foot soldier in France, though fired at, felt the solace of solid ground. A bomber shot down over Belgium could parachute into a cornfield. War and water are two chaoses combined. On the sea's meadow, there is no trench to crouch in, no building to gather thoughts while shots pause. Battling midway between continents, the element is as frightening as the enemy. A fighter pilot sputtering through pierced and cracking air, wings burning, sees only blue below to match the blue above. His terra firma is a speck of ship deck floating on the deep. In modern naval war he glimpses the chaos before creation—air, water, and fire, but no earth.