The Military Dimension-Mark II


When they say that war changes a man, they're being euphemistic. War makes a man insane by civilian standards. When the man comes back, he may return to civilian norms again. After a while.

I'm not proud of many of the things that happened in Nam. I'm not proud of some of the things I did myself. But the men I served with were, for the most part, doing the best job they could with the cards they'd been dealt. I'm proud of them, and I'm proud to have been among them.

Anybody's got a right to criticize the things that happened. But don't criticize the men who did them unless you've been in their shoes. Ever since I came back, the object of my military fiction has been to put somebody as normal as you, or as I was, into a war zone.

And I hope to God neither you nor your son ever has an opportunity to compare my fiction with the real thing.

A shorter edition of this book was published under the title The Military Dimension.

Cover Art by Newell Convers and John Pierrard

ORDER Paperback
This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

First printing, December 1995

Distributed by Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Electronic version by Baen Books

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN-13: 978-0-671-87697-5
ISBN-10: 0-671-87697-X

Copyright© 1995 by David Drake

(A shorter edition of this book was published under the title The Military Dimension.)

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

A Baen Books Original
Baen publishing Enterprises
P.O. Box 1403
Riverdale, NY 10471

To Mr. Eugene Olson
Who taught by example and enthusiasm
As well as by the book.



"Rescue Mission," copyright © 1988 by David Drake for The Fleet, ed. David Drake and Bill Fawcett.

"The Dancer in the Flames," copyright © 1982 by Stuart David Schiff for Whispers (magazine) #17-18, ed. Stuart David Schiff.

"Arclight," copyright © 1973 by Mercury Press Inc. for F&SF, April 1973, ed. Edward L. Ferman. "Band of Brothers," copyright © 1990 by David Drake for The Far Stars War, ed. Bill Fawcett.

"Firefight," copyright © 1976 by Kirby McCauley for Frights, ed. Kirby McCauley.

"Contact!" copyright © 1974 by The Conde Nast Publications Inc. for Analog, October 1974, ed. Ben Bova.

"As Our Strength Lessens," copyright © 1993 by David Drake for Bolos: The Honor of the Regiment, September 1993, created by Keith Laumer, ed. Bill Fawcett.

"Best of Luck," copyright © 1978 by David Drake for The Year's Best Horror Stories, Series VI, ed. Gerald W. Page.

"The Guardroom," copyright © 1985 by David Drake for Afterwar, ed. Janet Morris.

"The Last Battalion," copyright © 1977 by The Conde Nast Publications Inc. for Analog, September 1977, ed. Ben Bova.

"Something Had to be Done," copyright © 1975 by Mercury Press for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, February 1975, ed. Edward L. Ferman.

"The Tank Lords," copyright © 1986 by Baen Publishing Enterprises for Far Frontiers, Vol. VI, ed. Jerry Pournelle and Jim Baen.

"The End," copyright © 1990 by David Drake for Sworn Allies: Volume 4 of The Fleet, March 1990, created by David Drake & Bill Fawcett.

"The Way We Die," written in 1971, copyright © 1991 by David Drake.

I was pleased to note when I put together these acknowledgments that most of the editors cited have remained over these many years personal friends of mine. May it always be so.



The Hammer's Slammers series:

Hammer's Slammers
At Any Price
Counting the Cost
Rolling Hot
The Warrior
The Sharp End
Lacey and His Friends

Old Nathan
Ranks of Bronze

The General (with S.M. Stirling):

The Forge
The Hammer
The Anvil
The Steel
The Sword

An Honorable Defense:

Crisis of Empire (with Thomas T. Thomas)

The Hunter Returns (with Jim Kjelgaard)

Enemy of My Enemy:

Nova Terra (with Ben Ohlander)

The Undesired Princess and The Enchanted Bunny
(with L. Sprague de Camp)