Storm of Steel (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Ernst Jünger, Michael Hofmann
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The memoir widely viewed as the best account ever written of fighting in WW1
A memoir of astonishing power, savagery, and ashen lyricism, Storm of Steel illuminates not only the horrors but also the fascination of total war, seen through the eyes of an ordinary German soldier. Young, tough, patriotic, but also disturbingly self-aware, Jünger exulted in the Great War, which he saw not just as a great national conflict but—more importantly—as a unique personal struggle. Leading raiding parties, defending trenches against murderous British incursions, simply enduring as shells tore his comrades apart, Jünger kept testing himself, braced for the death that will mark his failure. Published shortly after the war’s end, Storm of Steel was a worldwide bestseller and can now be rediscovered through Michael Hofmann’s brilliant new translation.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
'Boom!' 'Good God!' 'A light! A light!' 'Get everything ready!' Everyone's hearts were in their mouths. Hands darted to release the pins on bombs. 'That was the last of them!' 'Let's go!' As we charged out of the entrance, a mine with a delay fuse went off, and hurled us back inside. All the same, as the last of the iron birds came whooshing down, all the sentry positions were manned by us. Bright as day, a firework display of flares lit the cloud-swathed field. These instants, in which the
enveloped in the gas cloud. A penetrating smell of chlorine confirmed for me that this was indeed fighting gas, and not, as I had briefly thought, artificial fog. I therefore donned my mask, only to tear it off again right away because I'd been running so fast that the mask didn't give me enough air to breathe; also the goggles misted over in no time, and completely whited out. All this of course was hardly the stuff of 'What To Do in a Gas Attack', which I'd taught so often myself. Since I felt
family's bedroom. On the very first day, the father asked me to compose a letter of complaint to the local commandant, against a neighbour who had grabbed him by the throat, beaten him and, crying 'Demande pardon!', threatened to kill him. As I was on my way out of my room to go on duty, the daughter pushed the door shut against me. I took this to be one of her little jokes, pushed back, and our combined efforts were enough to lift the door off its hinges, and we waltzed round the room holding
Budingen, still lying there wounded, under several tonnes of rubble. It was like being pounded in a mortar and pestle. Deathly pale faces stared at each other, as the wounded wailed all round. By now it probably didn't matter whether we stayed put, took to our heels, or advanced. So I gave the order to follow me, and leaped into the midst of the shelling. After no more than a couple of bounds, a shell covered me with earth, and hurled me back into the last crater. I couldn't think why I hadn't
headquarters to ask for leave. 'You've been on my mind,' the colonel gave back, 'but the regiment needs to embark on some clearing action, and I want to entrust that to you. Pick a few men, and go and practise with them in the Souslceuvre camp.' We were to enter the enemy trench in two places and try to take prisoners. The patrol was divided into three, a couple of storm units and one detachment that was to sit in the enemy trench and guard our rear. I was in overall command, and led the