World War I was a deadly and difficult situation for all the soldiers who were impacted by it. Even though it was a traumatizing time for these soldiers the stories from the war vary on the western front from within the German army. Two books, which were written by German men are Storm of Steel, written by Ernest Junger, and All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarsque share their sides of the story on the inside of the war. They are both well known and were written on the same frontier; however, they were different in certain ways.
Storm of Steel shows a more realistic story of what happened in the war because it was actual events happening that he was recalling. It was definitely more patriotic in Germany’s sense. On the other hand All Quiet on the Western Front was fiction that may have not been as accurate as the other. It definitely criticized Germany more and showed less patriotism.
Remarsque had a worse vantage point of the war, he explains how the war caused a loss of unity in the German army. The two books have completely different views even though they were written from the German vantage point. All Quiet on the Western Front is about a German G. I. named Paul Baumer who is launched into war . Paul trudges through the war as they see the nightmares of war and what it has to offer. It is a fictional story so the accuracy of the events can be questioned. The story shows the dread of war and the mindset that led to the future of Nazi’s in Germany. The patriotism from a young man and his friends allows them to join the cause and fight for their country. Throughout the story though, Baumer and his fellow comrades find themselves giving in to the horrible events of war and the horrors of death all around the young soldiers. Storm of Steel does not have emotions and it includes a brutal description of the war, almost completely opposite to the way Remarsque wrote All Quiet on the Western Front. The novel is written about a German soldier who is in the trench throughout the war and witnessed many battles and saw many people die.
Battles were described with details that are gut wrenching. Even though casualties and wounds happened on a regular basis there was no emotion in the novel. When Junger’s brother was injured he had ordered his men to escort his brother to the safety of the hospital; this was the only exception to the loss of emotion.This was the only sign of personal humanity that came from his writing other than the occasional conversations and times that required emotion to fully explain the plot to the audience.
Since both books cover the very different views of the war, both of the authors interpret the cause of the war to be different as well. In Storm of Steel, the issue of the author was never truly expressed. He explains the war to be something that he had to do to follow orders because he was not trying to die. Though Remarque approached it another way and used the story to entrap the reader and explain why it was so pointless to lose all of the men that died for their country. Junger, however, just uses the terrible parts of the battle to glorify the truth.Baumer feels bad about killing the French soldier, but Junger just reloaded his gun as if he was not phased. Even though these men had very different opinions on the subject, they did have similarities. One similarity is the mere fact that they were both German soldiers. This issue is larger than it is portrayed because, in reality, it is hard for someone from the enemy or Allied force to truly understand the perspective of the Germans. It is also hard to understand how even though there were different fronts to the war, there was disaster within the ranks for people fighting on both sides.
Both men describe the atrocities that they face as they happened. Detail is allowed to tug at the heart of the audience. The authors want the audience to suffer with the soldiers. Even though these books are similar in many ways, they have their differences. They were written on the same war, but the authors had very different purposes for writing their versions of the story. Each author had a strong opinion of the war that contrasted extremely well to the other. This gives the readers feelings from both views of the war. They could see either patriotism or distaste towards Germany and the Great War.
The books both had strong points to them. The Storm of Steel was worded very strongly and had a storyline full of facts. It was also action-packed. There was a patriotic twist to a story that was written straightforward. All Quiet on the Western Front is the narrative of a patriotic young man and his metamorphosis of emotions about the war. While both come to a close, the books end up giving the reader strong feelings of nationalism and sadness.
The overall pacifistic novel ends with the main character being shot and gives the reader a feeling of sorrow but know that he did his job as a soldier in the German army. Meanwhile, Storm of Steel which had more of a patriotic tone ended with Junger saying, “Germany lives and Germany shall never go under! ” Showing that Germany will rise to become a power once again as it did in the 1940’s.