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World War I History in All Quiet on the Western Front

World War I History in "All Quiet on the Western Front"

Paul Baumer and his classmates had volunteered to enlist in the war or at least that what the story told. But that is not true, they were forced in to volunteer. Their school master Kantorek had filled their heads up with views of nationalism which glorified the war. Some students were even pressured by their parents to enlist. If they did not enlist it would be like turning their back on their country. The teachers and school masters thought going to war was the best thing a man could do for his country. When Baumer and his friends get to boot camp, they found out that it was not so great. In boot camp they were taught to be soldiers. They found out that what they learned in school had no meaning in the war. It was also in the front line where Baumer and his friends saw the contradictions made by people at home. Paul and his comrades all saw the true horror of the war in the front. Each one of them experienced the wounded and death of other soldiers. They also experienced hunger and fear. They saw how destructive the new war technology could be, the use of machine guns, gas, flamethrowers, bombing planes, and the tanks used by the British. Despite all this, they stilled continued to stay loyal to the war.

The German soldiers continued to fight because of the training they received. Baumer and his group had one of the strictness drill instructors, Corporal Himmelstoss. It seemed like abuse but his training actually helped the soldiers. His training made the soldiers bitter and made them more aware. They had to be bitter and sharper if they were to survive the war. The will to survive is another reason why the German soldiers kept fighting. Baumer says that they become like wild beasts in a field while under attack. They had to defend themselves against annihilation. The solders also felt angry from within, which allowed them to kill, and to save them selves. Paul says that when they are in this rage, they kill. If the soldiers don't kill, their enemies will kill them. The German soldiers have no choice; you either kill or be killed. Comradeship is another reason the Germans soldiers keep fighting.

Baumer's group is made up of a variety of people....

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Category:   All Quiet on the Western Front

Length:   4 pages (882 words)

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