The Great War from the German Trenches: A Sapper’s Memoir, 1914–1918
Artur H. Boer Translated and edited by Bertil van Boer and Margaret L. Fast
Life in the trenches for German soldiers during World War I was every bit as hellish as it was for Allied troops. Arthur Boer survived almost four years of continual fighting on both the Eastern and Western fronts as a sapper (combat engineer) who found himself in the thick of major battles. He laid barbed wire in no-man’s-land under machine gun fire, bet money on aerial combat above the trenches between Baron von Richthofen and the English, faced starvation and crushing boredom. His war diary describes all in gritty detail, including the horror of gas warfare, doomed vainglorious charges and his return home to a ruined Germany.