By Leonard V. Smith, Joshua K. Brown
Pellissier’s diary and his letters to family members in the USA express a landscape of this ghastly conflict: from the horror of being below fireplace with 3 thousand German shells falling at the French troops on a daily basis to the monotony of lengthy quiet hours spent in chilly, rainy trenches. He writes of the grinding and indecisive personality of the combating within the Vosges and of the virtually ritualistic shelling and constrained tactical offensives, comparable to the assault at Steinbach in December 1914. His later letters have been written from the sanatorium, from officer education tuition, and from front on the Somme. He relays information of all of the significant battlefields—Flanders, Verdun, Russia, Austria, Gallipoli, Italy, Serbia, and the Suez. He additionally reviews at the new expertise that modified the character of warfare: the computing device gun, new airplanes, Uboats, more suitable artillery, barbed cord, and poison gases.
Drama and a sympathetic human voice mix to make this account of a littlereported French entrance a important addition to the literature on international struggle I. even if vacationing the battlefields of Europe, learning the background of the conflict, or sitting in an armchair at domestic, readers will locate Pellissier a competent and personable guide.
The greatnephew of Robert Pellissier and a minister by means of profession,
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Extra info for A Good Idea of Hell: Letters from a Chasseur a Pied (Texas a & M University Military History Series)
Two captains only are left from the oﬃcers of the Fifth battalion. ” The corporal is inclined to criticize the oﬃcers on account of their temerity. He is a tall, strong man, quiet of manner. ” Today, Thursday, I saw the distribution of identiﬁcation medals—tin with black cord. Last night the order came for the last reserves of the battalion to leave for the front. In a very short time they were ready in every detail and with a three days’ supply of food. The sack is frightfully heavy, though it is small and compact.
Sergeant Carré of the Thirtieth. Please look him up. She had not heard from him for some time. Heaven knows if he is still alive? She is leaving for Savoy and she hopes I may see him. 8 We are very comfortable in the baggage car—plenty of room, plenty of air, but when we reach the next station, they want to put in more trunks. The baggage-master loses his temper; he wants to make a clean sweep. We lose our temper; we shout—then everybody calms down, the trunks do not get in and nobody steps out.
In this respect I agree with Romain Rolland, although it is very diﬃcult to stand by this opinion after the scandalous manifesto of the Prussian intellectuals—a manifesto which seems too clearly oﬃcially inspired to represent the opinion of superior men. Therefore, do not harbor too much of a grudge against your German colleagues and other honest people who are really to be pitied and will be still more to be pitied in the near future. To-night I am going to dine in town, in a cabaret I know. On Sunday it depresses me to have to eat out of a tin dish.