Captain Ranson: she needed a rest; she'd been handed a disaster.
Birdie Sparrow: he and the ghost haunting him were seasoned veterans.
Hans Wager: the enemy didn't worry him as much as his own tank did.
Dick Suilin: he started as a civilian; by the end he wasn't sure he was human.
If they and the rest of a mixed bag of recruits and balttle-fatigued vets can't relieve a district capital, the war is over. And the Slammers have lost.
They've got 300 miles of hostile teritory to cover, fighting all the way. Their chances are not good – but those who oppose them have no chance at all, because war-worn and battle-crazed as they may be, they are Slammers, and they are Rolling Hot.