What kind of army do we need? Max Boot (Invisible Armies) cites Colonel Pierre-Noel Raspèguy, the fictional French paratrooper of Jean Larteguy’s classic novel The Centurions (1962), who was modeled on the real-life legend Marcel “Bruno” Bigeard:
I’d like France to have two armies: one for display, with lovely guns, tanks, little soldiers, fanfares, staffs, distinguished and doddering generals, and dear little regimental officers who would be deeply concerned over their general’s bowel movements or their colonel’s piles: an army that would be shown for a modest fee on every fairground in the country.
The other would be the real one, composed entirely of young enthusiasts in camouflage battledress, who would not be put on display but from whom impossible efforts would be demanded and to whom all sorts of tricks would be taught. That’s the army in which I would like to fight.