Nancy wrote, "How did any of them live even a day"
Because all their "mates" were there with them
It is an often commented factoid that men in combat will endure most anything and perform heroic acts while enduring it as long as their friends are nearby and enduring the same life challenges. Why this is i have no idea and I also have no idea whether it is gender specific.
It is why during WW I neighborhoods of men enlisted together, were kept together as soldiers and all to often were killed together.
Today, as an example, establishing group identity is one of the central tasks of SEAL training