Once the Germans in their hordes came to the rich margin of Rome; and they cam timidly, saying we have been driven give us land. And the Romans armed the frontier and built forts against the hordes of need. And the legions patrolled the borders, cased in metal, armed with the best steel.

And the barbarians came, naked, across the boarder, humbly, humbly. They received the swords in their breasts and marched on; and their dead bore down the swords and the barbarians marched on and took the land. And they were driven by their need, and they conquered with their need. In battle the women fought in line, and the yellow-haired children lay in the grass with knives to hamstring the legionaries, to snick through the hamstrings of the horses. But the legion had no needs, no wills, no force.

And the best trained, best armed troops in the world went down before the hordes of need.

~John Steinbeck

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