By Leonard V. Smith, Joshua K. Brown
Pellissier’s diary and his letters to kinfolk in the USA convey a landscape of this ghastly warfare: from the horror of being less than hearth with 3 thousand German shells falling at the French troops each day to the monotony of lengthy quiet hours spent in chilly, rainy trenches. He writes of the grinding and indecisive personality of the combating within the Vosges and of the just about ritualistic shelling and restricted tactical offensives, akin to the assault at Steinbach in December 1914. His later letters have been written from the health facility, from officer education institution, and from front on the Somme. He relays information of all of the significant battlefields—Flanders, Verdun, Russia, Austria, Gallipoli, Italy, Serbia, and the Suez. He additionally reviews at the new expertise that modified the character of battle: the computer 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 invaluable addition to the literature on international struggle I. no matter if traveling the battlefields of Europe, gaining knowledge of the historical past of the conflict, or sitting in an armchair at domestic, readers will locate Pellissier a competent and personable guide.
The greatnephew of Robert Pellissier and a minister via profession,
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Additional resources for A Good Idea of Hell: Letters from a Chasseur a Pied (Texas a & M University Military History Series)
They don’t do it in a disagreeable spirit. It’s simply to kill time and shorten miles. You must know as well as I do that the Germans are holding like grim death in the North and that your race and my race are hammering at them and that the result is pretty nearly a deadlock. I think we are in it for a year at least, unless something bursts up inside Germany, which favor may God grant us. I am pretty sleepy and muddled, so I think I shall say good night now—inasmuch as in addition, I must drop my brother a line, having at this minute received a note from him and money sent me by a Bridgewater friend as a war contribution!
Fabulous amount of time spent in getting equipment. The captain had told the store to give me new trousers, new vest, old cape, later new tunique. Other things, overalls, towels, ﬂannel belt, shirt in impossible condition as to solidity and dirt. Drills so far stupid when not silly—We walk out three miles to a ﬁeld and learn East and West, keep step, swing by fours. At times Swedish gymnastics, foolish games such as leap-frog, snap of the whip. I get out of them all I can. Petty oﬃcers are reserves and mean very well, but are tiresome with their constant nagging.
Place conﬁdence in the government. The Prussians’ advance does not mean anything. 6 As signs of a state of war, I notice the patrols and the statue of Strasbourg covered with wreathes [sic] of ﬂowers and with ﬂags. The city is as quiet as it is in the middle of August; it looks as deserted as on a public holiday, when everyone has gone to spend the day in the country—neither rolls nor crescents are to be had in the restaurants. The Latin Quarter empty, but in the Luxembourg garden, children are playing, as usual, and by the St.