Why this book?
This is the ultimate in precise, deliberate, and informed military nonfiction writing. I related to the protagonist as he is a young german who is curious to see the world in 1905. He makes the fateful decision to join the legion and lives through the horrors of service therein, all the while describing the glory, valor, and traditions of this mysterious corpos. The author manages to describe very real events, organize them in a compelling manner, and elucidates a special moment in history.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
In the form of a wide square we went round the drill-ground, five minutes, ten minutes—un, deux, un, deux—always in sharp time. The corporal, a splendid runner, ran at the head, teaching us the trick on which everything depended here, to overcome the critical moment of lung exhaustion, to get the "second wind." Even if the breath came and went in short pumping gasps, if the eyes pained, and one commenced to stumble from exhaustion, one ran on until the lungs had got used to the extra exertion, until one had the feeling of being a machine, and could go…