A new translation of a forgotten masterpiece of German World War I literature, based on the author’s own first-hand experiences of combat. “The war, an operation instigated by men, still felt to him like a storm decreed by fate, an unleashing of powerful elements, unaccountable and beyond criticism.” Arnold Zweig’s novel was first published in 1933 and is based on his own experiences in the German army during World War I. Following the unlawful killing of his younger brother by his own superiors, Lieutenant Kroysing swears revenge, using his influence to arrange for his brother’s unit, normally safely behind the lines, to be reassigned to the fortress at Douaument, in the very heart of the battle for France. Bertin, a lowly but educated Jewish sapper through whose eyes the story unfolds, is the innocent man caught in the cross-fire. The book not only explores the heart-breaking tragedy of one individual trapped in a nightmare of industrialized warfare but also reveals the iniquities of German society in microcosm, with all its injustice, brutality, anti-Semitism, and incompetence. A brilliant translation captures all the subtleties, cadences, and detachment of Zweig’s masterful prose.