The Great War from the German Trenches

A Sapper’s Memoir, 1914–1918

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About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

The late Artur H. Boer was a professional engineer who lived and worked in Sweden after his emigration there in 1921.
Bertil van Boer is a musician, conductor, composer and professor of musicology-theory at Western Washington University. The author of several books on 18th century music, he lives in Bellingham, Washington.
Margaret L. Fast is the research and instruction services librarian at Western Washington University, serving especially the departments of history and modern & classical languages. She also lives in Bellingham.

Bibliographic Details

Artur H. Boer
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: 8 photos, 4 maps, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6368-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2392-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by Hans Boer 1

Introduction by the Editors 3

Author’s Original Preface to the Memoir 53

 1. The Call to Arms: A Mother 55

 2. 1915: Meeting in No Man’s Land 60

 3. June 15, 1915: The First Attack 62

 4. The Battle for Rózan: July 18–24, 1915 77

 5. Transport to the Hospital 84

 6. A Time of Convalescence 87

 7. Back to the Barracks 92

 8. France on the Western Front 94

 9. The Stalemate in Champagne 96

10. Aisne in Champagne 100

11. Dirt, Lice, and Clay 102

12. We Do Not Live by Bread Alone 106

13. Verdun—The Battle at the Bois de Caillette on Ascension Day, June 1, 1916 112

14. Comrade Karl Höhle In Memoriam 118

15. The Ammunition Distributor in Champagne 120

16. Outside Verdun Once Again 124

17. The Marne Offensive: Breakthrough at the Chemins des Dames 132

18. Attack at the Crozat Canal 137

19. The Argonne, 1918 143

20. The Red Baron 148

21. The Offensive at the Marne 154

22. French Tank Attack 156

23. The Americans Arrive 169

24. The Last Events and Close 181

Index 187