in the war
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The very first mission Paul returns from, that we are told about, happens in Chapter 1. The last day of fighting thinned their ranks from 150 men to 80. We are never really told details about the battle but Paus is alive and that is a major victory. The next mission happens in Ch.4 The soldiers are sent in trucks to put up barbed wire at the front. The men take a few hours in setting up the wire. They try and sleep in the cold, but are woken by the bombardment--they are now the targets. A young recruit, too scared even to put on his helmet, seeks shelter under Paul's arm. Someone is hit, and Paul hears cries between explosions. The battle quiets down overhead. The recruit has defecated in his pants, and Paul reassures him that it is understandable.Paul survives this too and gains valuable experience.