In September 1939, as reports emerged from neutral American and Italian journalists of 'fast-moving German panzer tanks destroying charges by the lumbering Polish horse calvary', the world's thumb-suckers all agreed: this war would see the Triumph of the Mobile Will over Stolid Matter.
A war of active chemical synthesis over passive biology and agriculture.
Of physics and active weather modification projects over the passive observations and avoidances of meteorology.
A war of fast tanks over slow horses; of high tech bombers and highly trained bomber crews over low tech shovels and the unskilled troops than employ them.
The weight of the Draft and Conscription would lay lightly on the population.
The mostly highly educated wouldn't even be drafted because scientists were too valuable to heft shovels overseas in some trench.
The highly skilled would either received deferments to remain in their home jobs or if drafted, would carry on their skills in the rear echelons of the war zone or would engage in combat from inside a high tech tank, plane or ship.
Only a relatively small number, the unskilled and the uneducated, the small and the thin, would end up assigned as riflemen.
They ,only, would be the ones to see an old fashioned war and to carry a backpack, a shovel and a rifle and to charge up and down hills at a trot and sleep in foxholes in the rain.
The highly scientifically educated A1s were each nation's most valuable asset - their least valuable asset was their chronically ill, medical-resource-consuming, too-sick-to-work, 4Fs.
Resources would be assigned to each, accordingly.
This would be the first fully Modern, first full Modernity, War : that would be the fundamental unity binding together the various combatant nations, despite the surface appearance of deep ideological differences.
Modernity united all combatant nations in this agreement: "There is nothing in Nature that Organized Man can not improve".
Natural Philosophy and active alternation would triumph completely , at long last, over passive Natural History and observation/ avoidance.
It was a time for Big Military Budgets , but relatively small military forces.
A time for Big Governments, Big Foundations, Big Businesses, Big Science.
The God of Modernity, all the thumb-suckers agreed, was on the side of the Big Battalions.
The stage was set so let the drama begin !
But entering Stage Left ,as unobserved as any airborne spore , came :
'the Little Guy from Chrysogenum' ...