Under Fire: The Story of a Squad

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Source: http://gutenberg.org

Copyright: This work is in the public domain in the USA only.

Translation of Le feu.

Under Fire: The Story of a Squad by Henri Barbusse (December 1916), was one of the first novels about the Great War to be published. Although it is a piece of fiction, the novel was based on Barbusse's own war experiences as a French soldier on the Western Front. It follows a squad of French volunteer soldiers on the front in France after the German invasion. The anecdotes are episodic in nature, each with an individual chapter title. The best-known chapter, "The Fire" (Le feu) shares the French-language title of the book. It describes a trench assault from the Allied (French) trench across No-Man's Land into the German trench. In contrast to many war novels which came before it, Under Fire described war in gritty and brutal realism. It is noted for its realistic descriptions of death in war and the squalid trench conditions.