In his War Books Cyril Falls expresses uncertainty whether this book should be classed as fiction or reminiscence, eventually plumping for the former but based on personal experiences. The Times Literary Supplement of the day comments that he [Renn] recorded his impressions with that extreme simplicity which is one of the highest forms of literary art. The author is the central figure who begins the war as a lance corporal and finishes as a sergeant having served on the Western Front from beginning to end, from the invasion of Belgium to the armistice. He was wounded on the Somme and again during the March offensive. His vivid descriptions of the fighting – the Somme, the 1917 Aisne-Champagne battle, the trenches and the final German offensive quite clearly, to my mind, reflect what he personally went through, and the result is a Great War classic.
by Ludwig Renn
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2001. SB. N & M reprint (first pub 1929). 364pp.