“”A tiger came up
Of the Siberian race
And rattled the wires
Where our machines guns were placed.
And then he was dead.
“A case of mistaken identity,”
The platoon leader said.””
This poem discusses one of the parts of war many tend to leave out; friendly fire. It may be because it is extremely painful for people talk about. It may be because murdering one’s squad mates is deeply frowned upon in American society, and people usually to go to jail over it. Either way, this poem shows us a side of war that tends to get looked over.
The “mistaken identity” of the soldier that goes down could have occurred in many different ways. The soldier could have been seen far off or could have been returning to camp at night and was mistaken as someone from the other side. Another way this soldier could have been killed was if he was further up in the mountains than his squad and he was accidentally shot while one of his squad mates was trying to shoot someone or something else.
Unlike the poem, ” Friendly Fire” by Mark Nichols in which the squad of the man “Scud” feels remorse over the death of their fellow soldier and how he got “pop-popped,” the platoon leader that is mentioned in “Tiger” appears to not care at all that one of his men was killed. His voice appears to be very monotonous in the way he describes what happened to one of his men. “A case of mistaken identity,” could even sound like someone was reading it out of a newspaper article about the occurrence.