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Did anybody 'enjoy' the First world war?

#1
This might seem a strange question but did anybody actually 'enjoy' fighting in the first world war? It always seems that almost all the soldiers were badly affected by it some way but there must have been some who thought it was one of the best times of their life? Especially the 'stormtrooper' types that ended up in the Freikorps after the war. any information/thoughts would be appreciated.
 
#10
This might seem a strange question but did anybody actually 'enjoy' fighting in the first world war? It always seems that almost all the soldiers were badly affected by it some way but there must have been some who thought it was one of the best times of their life? Especially the 'stormtrooper' types that ended up in the Freikorps after the war. any information/thoughts would be appreciated.
Try reading the 'Wipers Times'. There are also plenty of autobiographies of Tommies that suggest that many enjoyed parts of army life and routine.

I did a history module at uni in the 90s, Britain in the Age of Total War, and many previously held assumptions were deftly challenged.
 
#11
The neutral (or is it neutered) Dutch and a number of British merchants had a whale of a time, they imported enough Portland cement to concrete all of Holland to a depth of eigth inches. Our lads were most impressed by the German pill boxes it built, we only had wriggly tin.
 
#12
Compared with the industrial life of the working classes there was an awful lot to recommend service to a young man who fancied a life in the colonial era army, my own great grandfather had joined the Cheshires before the great war.

It's also a myth that soldiers lived in the trenches all the time, they only spent a few weeks at a time in the fighting positions before being rotated back to rest areas.
 
#14
This might seem a strange question but did anybody actually 'enjoy' fighting in the first world war? It always seems that almost all the soldiers were badly affected by it some way but there must have been some who thought it was one of the best times of their life? Especially the 'stormtrooper' types that ended up in the Freikorps after the war. any information/thoughts would be appreciated.
I did. Had a ******* great time of it.
 
#16
I seem to recall that experienced mineworkers, especially those with knowledge of working in clay soils were not only better paid, but better fed and better treated than they were back at home.
 
#17
Compared with the industrial life of the working classes there was an awful lot to recommend service to a young man who fancied a life in the colonial era army, my own great grandfather had joined the Cheshires before the great war.

It's also a myth that soldiers lived in the trenches all the time, they only spent a few weeks at a time in the fighting positions before being rotated back to rest areas.
My Grandad on my mums side told me one of his uncles had a great time in the pre WW1 Cheshires, too great, he got kicked out for his drink related problems. Apparentley all was forgiven in late 1914 when he was "Invited" To rejoin
 
#18
Try reading the 'Wipers Times'. There are also plenty of autobiographies of Tommies that suggest that many enjoyed parts of army life and routine.

I did a history module at uni in the 90s, Britain in the Age of Total War, and many previously held assumptions were deftly challenged.
To be fair, Snakey, the Wipers Times was a sort of Trenches Daily Mail, with a touch of the 'that's one in the eye for the Kaiser' about it.

As for 'enjoyment'; I suspect that a lot of conscripts enjoyed it while marching to the front, but had the smiles wiped off their faces after first contact.

My grandfather was a miner in south Yorks. He swapped a life of drudgery down the pit at Platt's Common for a promised life of Glory on the Front.

And he ended up mining again, but pushing Amatol down a hole, instead of pulling coal out of it.

He didn't swallow "the old lie", I reckon. But he did regret his career choice.

I suspect the only people who "enjoy" wars are the ones back home who profit financially from it, without having to get blood and mud on their boots.
 

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