Dojo Darelir, the School of Xenograg the Sorcerer

Armies Are Like Prize Fighters

Armies are like prize fighters training for a bout: They reach a moment of supreme preparedness—muscles taut, reflexes swift, determination fixed at the highest pitch. But with a lull in activity they start growing flabby. This is what happened to [the Duke of] Parma’s invasion force [in 1587-8 C.E.]. All through that dismal winter, as the snows and freezing rains held the battalions in camp, the war machine began to disintegrate. Provisions were consumed at an alarming rate—Parma had to send the cavalry inland to scavenge—and budgeted funds began to give out. As spring passed, the men went unpaid and unfed, and they began to sicken and to desert. “We are bound to conclude that the delay is for God’s greater glory,” Parma wrote in exasperation to Philip, “but the Enterprise, once so easy and safe, will now be infinitely more difficult, and will incur a much larger expenditure of blood and trouble.”

The Armada, pp. 70