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Chapter 1 gives us a glimpse into the tremedous toll of trench warfare. Out of a company of 150 men, only eighty returned after a heavy attack on the last day.
We also see the boyish excitement about war and the naiveté of the young soldiers marching to it. We certainly get the sense these boys are clueless as to what they are about to experience. When they have their first battle, there is no heroism or bravado. There is only panic and terror among the new recruits as they retreat from the monster that is war.