By Leonard V. Smith, Joshua K. Brown
Pellissier’s diary and his letters to kinfolk in the United States exhibit a landscape of this ghastly battle: from the horror of being below hearth with 3 thousand German shells falling at the French troops on a daily basis to the monotony of lengthy quiet hours spent in chilly, rainy trenches. He writes of the grinding and indecisive personality of the battling within the Vosges and of the just about ritualistic shelling and constrained tactical offensives, corresponding to the assault at Steinbach in December 1914. His later letters have been written from the sanatorium, from officer education institution, and from front on the Somme. He relays information of the entire significant battlefields—Flanders, Verdun, Russia, Austria, Gallipoli, Italy, Serbia, and the Suez. He additionally reviews at the new expertise that modified the character of conflict: the computing device gun, new airplanes, Uboats, more desirable artillery, barbed twine, and poison gases.
Drama and a sympathetic human voice mix to make this account of a littlereported French entrance a helpful addition to the literature on global battle I. even if vacationing the battlefields of Europe, discovering the historical past of the warfare, or sitting in an armchair at domestic, readers will locate Pellissier a competent and personable guide.
The greatnephew of Robert Pellissier and a minister through profession,
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Extra resources for A Good Idea of Hell: Letters from a Chasseur a Pied (Texas a & M University Military History Series)
15 My sympathy and regard to your mother and your sisters. The government left Paris to-day, but all is very quiet, except that the railroad stations are crowded. Nearly every man, woman or child you meet has someone in the army, and so many say: my brother was killed, my nephew was killed at such a time and place, that one grows almost indiﬀerent, but you can’t help admire the courage of all the poor people. ] Goodbye. I hope your troubles will soon be over. Hôtel Terminus, Paris To Dr. J——: I was very sorry to make trouble for you by leaving so suddenly, but I feel sure that you will feel as I did, that my staying in California this year would mean such moral misery that immediate traveling was imperative.
Or words to that eﬀect. ” The general complaint is that the Seventh corps has been used too much—that reserves have been sent to the front when vast portions of the regular army had not yet seen ﬁre. A corporal, who has just returned from the front, tells me that out of , men from the Fifth battalion, possibly six hundred are now at the front. The others are mostly wounded. “O, the daring of the oﬃcers! The commandant was walking back and forth, under ﬁre, without trying in the least to protect himself.
No news in the newspapers. Reporters must have a great time trying to set in a new form the same old dispatches which don’t mean anything anyway. Those confounded Germans are still in France, that’s all that can be gathered, and Heaven only knows how long it will be before they are pushed out of Belgium. We are in it for a long time I think, unless something bursts inside Germany. About one thousand men of line infantry left yesterday and a good deal of artillery went this morning. It seems to me that some men are being sent to the front when they have not fully recovered from wounds received at the beginning of the trouble.