By recapturing a journey through war, from a soldiers perspective I have captured thoughts and opinions, fears and comradeship by sharing this experience with them. The account begins with how the boys were enlisted into the war. This particular day is a day they spend many a day remembering. They felt coerced into signing up, by their schoolmaster, Kantoreck. Kantoreck said, “you’ll go, won’t you lads?” All of a sudden they were signed up and going to war. The boys comment that the authorities, such as the teacher and parents were pushing them into war, since they felt it was the best thing for them. They glamourized war and made the boys feel they were being sent on adventure, a chance to travel and stand tall and serve their country. They put a lot of emphasis on being patriotic when, in hindsight, they didn’t think for a second what this could mean for these young blokes. Paul, one of the soldiers remembered thinking “in our minds the idea of authority, which is what they represented implied deeper insights and wisdom”. The soldiers followed for this article are, Paul, Muller, Tjaden, Josef and Haie. They often reflect on what was the purpose of this war? How it has changed the entire course of history for their lives as a robbing of their youth. The opinion of the boys were somewhat insightful suggesting peoples opinion of war was different from the “poorer and simplest people were the most sensible. They see war as a disaster, not like the better off ones, they are overjoyed with it” . The days at war with these boys has shown me they are still “boys” and not quite men. They are quite expressive about their opinion about the war, being futile. They are constantly troubled and fearful of the daily shelling which takes place in the trenches.
What has surprised me is their level of insight. Their ability to look beyond the war. They share times where dreaming into the future becomes their momentary reality. They wonder what will they do once the war is over, now they have missed on completing an education and gaining a career.
They compare themselves as soldiers and the idea of a future with the older soldiers. “They ,have wives, jobs and interests and that makes them strong, war can’t break them” “We younger