What did home mean to British soldiers and how did it help them to cope with the psychological strains of the Great War? "The Secret Battle: Emotional Survival in the Great War" is about the battle for emotional survival of young British civilian soldiers on the Western Front in the First World War, and the part played by their families in that battle. It explores the contribution letters and parcels from home played in maintaining the morale of this largely young, amateur army. And it shows how soldiers, in their turn, sought to adapt domestic habits to the trenches.Pursuing the unconscious clues within a rich collection of letters and memoirs with the help of psychoanalytical ideas, including those formulated by the veteran tank commander Wilfred Bion, this study asks fundamental questions about the psychological resources of this generation of young men. It reveals how the extremities of battle exposed the deepest emotional ties of childhood, and went on marking the post-war domestic lives of those who returned. Engagingly-written, this remarkable book offers a novel approach to the emotional history of war, to family and gender studies, and to the social history of early twentieth-century Britain.