All Quiet on the Western Front

Pages 231-296

After being assigned to guard a village, why does Paul's company suddenly have so much to eat?

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Paul and his friends have been assigned to guard an abandoned village and watch over a supply dump. They make the most of the village's possessions, decorating and stocking with food the concrete cellar in which they shelter. One night, they invite some fellow military men for a feast of pork in a village house. They start a fire in the fireplace, but the smoke from the chimney alerts observation balloons. Shells drop on the house, and the men retreat to their cellar and finish their meal. By night, the town is devastated. The men happily spend nearly two weeks there, relaxing as the shells continue to destroy the village; all the soldiers need to protect is the supply dump. Finally, they receive orders to go back, but they take much booty from the village with them.