Battles and wars are an inseparable part of human nature, and for as long as there have been wars, there have been great leaders and heroes that put their life on the line for fellow men and their country.
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One historical example of a man who had outstanding strategic and heroic qualities is Arthur Wellesley. This was the time of war between the British Empire and “Maratha princes of central India.” He was a major general in the British army and was assigned a “command of around 15,000 British soldiers and a force of 9,000 from Hyderabad” (Harvey, 2008). The great control of his troops started when he had to march 600 miles to their destination. This showed that he was able to keep his army in great shape and under the discipline that was much needed. Upon arrival, he surprised the Maratha army, which consisted of 200,000 men. Arthur Wellesley did not hesitate and began his attack.
Even though he was greatly outnumbered, this did not stop him. His attack was so well organized and disciplined that the army broke the lines of the enemy, and they began to flee. His tactics included the change in the types of battle, a mix of linear tactics, bayonet attacks, and volleys. He was described as being in the middle of the battle the whole time. This shows that he was not afraid to risk his life. The fact that he was always in the harshest places, gave encouragement to his men and they were able to prevail. One of the key qualities of Arthur Wellesley is that he was very quick in judging the situation and could come up with the best strategy needed. His courage and ability to plan made him a good leader and supporter of his troops (Harvey, 2008).
One of the recent examples of outstanding heroism can be seen by men and women in Afghanistan. The war began in 2001, after the attacks on the world trade centers, on September 11, 2001 (Fiscus, 2004). The bravery and leadership of Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha took place on October 3, 2009. In the morning, the base camp was attacked by the enemy forces, and Staff Sergeant Romesha quickly started moving around the camp, under heavy fire, in order to strategize and choose the best course of action. He assembled a response team and was still under heavy fire but was moving around the base with confidence, not paying much attention to the bullets flying by. He then took cover behind a generator and was responding by firing his weapon, when a “rocket-propelled grenade” exploded and inflicted several wounds to the Staff Sergeant.
He did not take notice and continued the defense of the camp. He then proceeded to mobilize another assault team without permitting the medics to attend to his wounds. There was no time to lose because they had to radio in an airstrike. Heavy enemy fire continued, but there were soldiers that were wounded and needed a diversion to retreat. Staff Sergeant Romesha continued the attack, and he and his team advanced 100 meters towards the enemy (Hall of Heroes – Stories of Valor, 2011). His extraordinary command and actions allowed saving many soldiers, deserving even greater respect from his fellow fighters, and receiving a medal of honor for his actions (Medal of Honour, 2013).
It is clear that war is the worst that people can do to other people, but sometimes there is no other way around, and this is how heroes are made.
Fiscus, J. (2004). America’s War in Afghanistan. New York, United States: The Rosen Publishing Group.
Hall of Heroes – Stories of Valor. (2011). Web.
Harvey, R., (2008). Maverick military leaders: The extraordinary battles of Washington, Nelson, Patton, Rommel, and others. New York, United States: Skyhorse Publishing.
Medal of Honour. (2013). Web.