This reminds me of pictures of ancient war chariots in children’s history books, with blades poking out of the wheel hubs. Here it is the warriors that are flailing blades, an image rendering soldiers as engines of killing.
The piston-kneed, blade-flailing Greeks pour
Like a gigantic fan with razored vanes.
Source: Christopher Logue, War Music, London: Faber and Faber, 2001, p. 176
Photo credit: Little Visuals, stocksnap.io