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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 16 July 2017
An incredible account of life in the German army, 1914-18. The book starts with Ernst being sent into action and ends with his exit from the war, so don't expect too much about life away from the front.

I found the book to be both insightful and enthralling, with exciting descriptions of battles, enemy encounters and trips into no man's land. It's refreshing as a British man, to be able to read a human account of the Great War from an 'opposing' side, as it truly opens your eyes to the suffering inflicted by both sides in what was, generally speaking, a war fought by people who'd never seen anything like it before.

The story itself reads like a movie and without giving any spoilers away, the final battle described is almost Tolkien-esque, which may be no coincidence, given that Tolkien was fighting on the same battlefronts.
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on 23 March 2017
Ripping yarns of the most wounded and luckiest (but not lucky to know) man in "The Great War".
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on 12 May 2017
Great description of life and death in the oppositions trenches. Not much different than ours. What was the point of it all ?
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on 15 August 2017
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on 29 April 2013
I wasnt sure what to expect from this mainly because all the books you get on wars are normally from the side who won but this was very interesting & one of the books that I am happy to say, I could not put down. If you are interested in WWI, this book is a must!
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on 13 September 2017
A fine view of the first world war from the German point of view. Very unbiased and well written. Would recommend this book to any student of trench warfare.
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on 4 January 2014
Ernst Junger's Storm of Steel is a classic first-hand account of the First World War. Junger joined the 73rd Hanoverian Infantry Regiment of the German Army on the first day of the war in 1914. He spent the majority of the war facing British opposition and was involved in almost every major offensive on the Western Front. Junger was the youngest receiver of Germany's highest military honour, the Pour Le Merite, and was wounded fourteen times "leaving out trifles like such as ricochets and grazes".

Storm of Steel was written from diaries Junger kept during the war. This explains the book's rigid chronology with emphasis on locations, people and events. Junger paints a vivid, uncensored and, at times, glorified picture of war. He does not mourn lost comrades or show contempt for his foe. It is as brutal as it is honest. But this is the book's merit. Storm of Steel's uncensored perspective of war means the book offers observations other first hand accounts do not. The extreme violence Junger portrays can be shocking but his writing is objective, insightful and brings the realities of war to life.

Storm of Steel is not just a classic piece of literature. It is also a necessary component in First World War historiography. Other memoirs published in the 1920's, such Robert Graves' Goodbye To All That and Erich Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, have pacifist undertones and view the war as a barbaric and unjustifiable waste of life. But Junger provides `the alternative view' that war could be exhilarating and even enjoyable.

Junger is a soldier dedicated toGermany's cause with unquestioned devotion. He views soldiering as a noble and honourable profession. He is prepared to fight and die for Germany. But towards to end of the war Junger becomes more weary and fatalistic as Germany's struggle becomes more desperate.

All in all, Storm of Steel is a literary classic that offers perspectives other accounts do not. Junger is honest about the brutality and devastation inflicted on the conflicts victims. But Junger's exhilaration and honesty is also a source of humanity in a conflict where humanity rarely existed.
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on 16 March 2013
"Storm of Steel" is a first-hand account of the First World War by Ernst Jünger, a soldier and an officer of the German army. Participant of most of the famous Battles on the Western Front and an eyewitness of all the new deadly inventions of modern warfare, this true story shows the sharpest end of the First World War: trench warfare by storm troopers.

Jünger's simple writing style and use of words (similar to Remarque's "All quiet on the western front"- ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT) increases the impact of the story and scenes. On one hand it is very descriptive, yet on the other hand it leaves the reader enough room for his own imagination. In addition, the actual story is engrossing with the writer participating in famous battles, leading long forgotten skirmishes, being exposed to danger constantly and having numerous brushes with death. As a result, "Storm of Steel" is a raw eyewitness account of one of the great tragedies of the twentieth century as well as a timeless masterpiece from a literary point of view. It left me in shock and awe from page one and will stay with me for a long time.

Unfortunately, the book and its writer have been politicized in the twentieth century and as a result "Storm of Steel" has not always had the recognition it deserves. To be clear this book has not been written to be an anti-war statement. This is the story of a young man who saw the war as a great existential adventure, or as Jünger states himself, "men of quality emphasized the savagery of war and transfigured it at the same time: an objective relish of danger". Highly recommended.
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on 3 August 2012
I have always thought it was strange that if World War I so very terrible why did these men continue fighting in it? If everyone felt as Remarque does in 'All Quiet on the Western front' and if they agreed with the presentation of the war as it is now - as a pointless mutual horrid slaughter yard, surely they would have abruptly all downed weapons on mass? I find it hard to believe they would have carried on fighting from shear fear of punishment alone. This book has the answer. The vast majority of men were like Juenger to some extent! They embraced the warrior ethic and love of their homelands. These were men of our European warrior class drawn from all classes. Officer and lowly private fought with equal bravely, valour and honour. In the 21st century, in the age of utter decay, the post-modern European man gets a glimpse into a bygone era when men of his race were warriors. Superior men.

This book is more extreme than any horror film or violent hollywood action thriller. It is simply unbelievable. But this book is fact! This is what happened between European brothers less than 1 century ago and only just out of living memory. Juenger was a real life superman and super-hero. I couldn't put this book down.

Throughout the book there is much mention of respect toward the British. This was the last gentlemen's war at least in conduct if not in quantity of death. Juenger does not speak in favour or against WW1 except on occasion when saying what a waste to kill equal Englishmen. Juenger fought for the sake of fighting and not for any ideology, as is the warrior ethic.

European man must reach into books like this to rediscover his soul if he wishes to survive this century.

From a purely literature viewpoint the writing is razor sharp. Words are used where necessary and not more. I have noticed this is a common trend of European literature masterpieces like this. Read it!
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on 17 November 2010
Very graphic, fast pacing, the images it evokes are disturbing, and yet you just can't put down the book. The way he describes an artillery barrage, and its effects, it's almost surrealist, you can see a surrealist painting in the images he writes. It's hard to write a review without mentioning specific episodes, and mentioning specific episodes will be a spoiler for some. I'll just say that it is a very visual and fluid writing style, and definitively a masterpiece, besides, several other reviewers managed to write about the book much better than i'll be able to - i just finished reading it and i'm still in shock. About the author's role, or his work's role in Nazi Germany, well, if you're interested in reading this book then hopefully you're an adult and can make the distinction between the merit of a person's work (or the lack of it) and his political and ideological inclinations, or the (mis)appropriation of someone's work for the same reasons.
And i still can't believe someone gave 2 stars to this book. What next? 1 star to Eric Maria Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front" because he was German?
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