All Quiet on the western front V. With the Old Breed. The two books that I am comparing today are both very important in the world’s impression of war and its human toll. The books are however very different in terms of the approach that they both take in explaining the effects that the conflicts have on the individuals. I will first talk about all Quiet on the western front because historically it came first. All quiet on the western front takes place in the trenches of WWI from a German perspective. Which on its own is very unique because history is usually told from the victor perspective. The story begins with Paul Bäumer finishing school in Germany right as war is breaking out in Europe. Bäumer is reluctant to join the battle preferring to continue his studies. But he is convinced by his professor and partly through peer pressure to join the army to “Defend the Homeland”. Bäumer joins with all of his class mates including his friends. They are quickly put into training. Which for the most part is practicing marching. There is very little done to prepare them for actual battle. Their dislike for their commanding officer is obvious for the onset. Training goes quickly and when they leave for the front spirits of all are very high. But soon the reality of the battle is seen and their attitude changes. Throughout the book you see a progression for a youthful optimistic outlook into a cold and….. Once they get to the front all their training is forgotten they are immediately thrust into survival mode. Bäumer goes to the front with all of his fellow classmates Tjaden, Müller, Kropp and spends the entire war with them until he is the only one left. His relationship wit them is an important aspect of his decision to join in the first place. Conditions are harsh and little progress is made. The progression of Bäumer’s opinion of the enemy changes through the book and his outlook of the whole war changes when Bäumer kills and enemy soldier who comes into his trench and because of the fighting he is forced to stay there with the enemy as he slowly dies. During this time in the trench with this man that he has just mortally wounded he changes from having utter hatred for the enemy to respecting him seeing that they aren’t that different. They both have families at home and are just following orders of generals who have no idea of how brutal the war is. The mood of the story changes dramatically form here on out. Bäumer returns home and everyone is very proud and makes assumptions of how the war is going. This is very difficult on him. He sees the war as futile and pointless. EB Sledges portrayal of war isn’t much different but it’s written from personal experience. Sledge begins his journey in a war college but quickly requests to be sent overseas to join the battle fearing that by the time he finishes the war will be over. Sledge came form a military family with a great sense of national pride. Sledge enlists on his own and makes friends a along the way. Training goes quickly and he is trained as a mortar man. Following his completion of basic training He quickly finds himself on a ship headed for???? To join the pacific fleet. His first exposure comes at the battle of Palau in ???? The fighting is fierce but progress is made. He is attached to the ?????? Marine division. Where he really respects his commanding officer. And after months of rooting out the japans defenders Palau is taken. Sledge is able to return to a base to relax and prepare for the taking of Okinawa. By the time he is off of Palau he is a battle hardened war vet and knows what he need to do to survive. He sees many men killed and looses many friends. His relationships are as important to the story as they were I all is quiet on the western front. He spends most of his time Both books are about the loss of innocence and the brutality of war. Both of the charcters experience many hardships and suffering. But morale sledges morale remains stable and he never looses sight of the mission at hand. The battle is very different though The characters both have slightly different views of why they are fighting. While they are both fighting to protect their home countries sledge is fighting more to curb the influence of the Japanese in the world. ???? Isn’t quite sure why he is fighting, protection of the home land? He looses sight halfway through the war and becomes very disillusioned by the whole situation. During their time away from the fighting sledge goes back to a base on ????? Of some Rand R. Spends his tie swimming and just enjoying being away from the fighting. Paul Bäumer gets a little more freedom and at one point meets some French girls who they provide with food and they cook it up. In exchange for some good lovin. Eventually Bäumer does get to go home at during the war and is able to visit with friends and finds it very difficult because everyone has the perception that the war is going well and victory is in sight. This is very difficult for him and he decides to return to the front lines and his platoon where he feels safe and feels more at home. The two wars are dramatically different in terms of the way that they are fought. WWI is predominantly trench warfare with each side attacking and then counter attacking without any serious progress being made. This war was the advent of modern weapons. There was no such thing as air support and tactics were created on a trial and error basis. This caused many casualties. Sledges war was very different. There was sea ad air support throughout both campaigns on Palau and Okinawa. The weather while it played a negative role in both wars the weather in Europe was much more devastating to the morale. Constant cold and inadequate supplies added to their suffering. Personally I was much more emotionally effected by sledges writing. It was honest and spoke directly of the tragedys and rangeof emotions he felt in the field. All quiet on the western front was a good book but the authors style was more in a story telling form then in a biographical sense.
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