Raced through the racy (and grim!) novel Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington, written 10 years after the debacle. I was overwhelmed by the anger in the story, the anger of young men slated for doom. By 1916, most of the young soldiers were told outright that they were going to be dead in six months and often marched by those forests of crosses we now admire as tourists. His hero stands up in battle to receive the whiplash of bullets, simply to get it over with. Less well written is H.G.Wells, Mr. Britling Sees it Through, published in 1917, but it has the same sentiment as in the other novel – total unpreparedness for the arrival of war. The overwhelming, shocking revelation, that actually few knew what exactly they were fighting for, or against, and if they knew, they were disgusted.

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