Quote 2

These three men who hated [Clevinger] spoke his language and wore his uniform, but he saw their loveless faces set immutably into cramped, mean lines of hostility and understood instantly that nowhere in the world, not in all the fascist tanks or planes or submarines, not in the bunker behind the machine guns or mortars or behind the blowing flame throwers, not even among all the expert gunners of the crack Hermann Goering Antiaircraft Division or among the grisly connivers in all the beer halls in Munich and everywhere else, were there men who hated him more.

In this passage from Chapter 8, Clevinger has just faced a hearing in which Lieutenant Scheisskopf and two other officers convict him of an infraction that he did not commit and sentence him to punishment duty. Their hatred of him forces him to come to terms with one of the central ironies of Catch-22: the force that drives men from opposing armies to shoot at and kill each other has nothing to do with personal hatred. It seems strange to Clevinger that men who want to kill him do not hate him, whereas men who are ostensibly his allies hate him deeply.