German morale during WW1

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about German morale thanks largely to Rob Schaefer who uploaded some enthralling interviews with on his site, Gott mit uns, earlier this year.

There are subtitles, thanks to which I’ve added to my German vocabulary the names of quite a few weapons.  I doubt that I’ll retain them, unless I have the opportunity to use them in conversation but, briefly, I felt almost ready to contemplate reading Jünger’s In Stahlgewittern in the original.

Max Arthur’s Lest we forget also includes an extract from Sulzbach’s writings, in which he  describes the effect on German morale, in July 1918, of the ‘unbelievable barrage’ from the Allies, when, he says, they realised that things were going badly wrong.  On a home visit to Frankfurt, as a commissioned officer, and in uniform, he had an unanticipated experience:  not one person saluted him.  He recognised  that ‘at home’ they wanted the war over, victory or not.  Back at the Front, his comrades were receiving letters from their families that complained, ‘We have nothing to eat, we are fed up with the war, come back as soon as possible.’


Arthur, M., Lest we forget:  Forgotten voices from 1914-1918, London, 2007 [Ebury Press].
Sulzbach, H., With the German Guns, Barnsley, 2012 [Pen & Sword]  First published in Germany in 1935 as Zwei Lebende Mauern, first English edition, 1973.  Translated from the German by Richard Thonger.

There is more about Herbert Sulzbach and Featherstone Park in my post

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