On Learning that, at some parts of the front line, both armies were on good terms with each other, getting on with their daily tasks when not ordered from above to kill. Incoming projectiles into opposite trenches consisted of loaves of bread and tobacco. With waves and cordial greetings of workers untied by common suffering, Germans would shout 'officer!' to alert the enemy whenever their own hierarchy threatened. Eventually word got out and court martial's were threatened.
'The fear seemed to be that the troops would come together to end the war,overruling the generals. Apparently this outcome would have been something terrible.'
Just one of many wonderful lines from this now quite old book. Written as a narrative by a fictional character it is his story of the first world war. It seems to me to be the authors own story of what he experienced in the trenches. Heroes he says will not see the end of the war, the only way to survive it seems is to avoid at all costs any direct contact with the enemy. A self confessed inept soldier one of millions drafted into the carnage, his courage nonetheless shines through. You have to know fear to be brave.
It is also a well aimed swipe at the tinpot generals and officers elevated to rank via ego and boot licking in a desperate attempt to get away from the violence of the 'front'. An essay on those of less able intellect who all to often end up in a position to abuse the power given to them over a few or many.
A must read book coming up to the 100th anniversary of the out- break 'of the war to end all wars.'