Our Military Life Blog

All Quiet on the Western Front – Week 2

War is not romantic, and it is most definitely not clean. As the men sit and pick lice out of their clothing they talk about what they would do if the war was over. Where would they go, goals, and how they could spend all their time, is discussed. Job aspirations for after the war are somewhat more hesitantly, as their numbers are quickly dwindling. While each hopes to make it through the war, there is no guarantee that they will. But with the small quiet that they are experiencing, their old sergeant, Himmelstoss arrives, and he lets them know quickly that he has not forgotten them at all. Tjaden seems to get the most fun out of goading the sergeant into anger. As soon ash Himmelstoss stomps off to report his insubordination, Tjaden makes himself scarce and hard to find. When he is finally caught, the story comes out and he is given three days open arrest.

While there are many dangers to combat in a trench, the rats are the worst! They devise new ways to get rid of their unwelcome visitors and save their food for themselves. It seems nothing they do can keep them away, and these are not small rodents, but large and disgusting ones. After going through the shelling for the evening, their company commander comes by to let them know that they have lost a few more men, and that chow will be arranged as soon as they can. The thoughts of warm food cheers them up. But as the time wears on, the strain is taking its toll on all of them. They have to bind and restraint several of the recruits, and one manages to elude them completely, as the war breaks open over their heads. They are doing their best to retreat from death as quickly as they can, but he is coming after them with a vengeance. When the battle is over, some have made it, and some have not. With the dark settling in, the mist begins form and the ghosts of those who are no longer there, linger over the field in silence. The battles have taken their tolls, the men fall silent, and friends fade away into memories.

The summer which was there when they arrived has fallen into winter, and they bundle themselves for the tasks that lay ahead..


This week we are reading Chapters 5-6

Thoughts of the week:

No questions this week, as I could think of any that were suitable given the context of what we have read. Give me your thoughts on the book so far.