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Historical Accuracy of The Movie 'All Quiet on The Western Front'

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Words: 1126 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Feb 18, 2022

Words: 1126|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Feb 18, 2022

The ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ was the most influential and classic movie that accurately depicting the horrific living conditions, the fighting that many people lost their life and the experience to be in a war, but some facts have been beautified. It talked about a young man Baumer who joined the German Imperial Army during the First World War with the encouragement of his teacher, but learned on the battlefield how terrible the war was. The film shoot was directed by Delbert Mann and the entire film was being shot in Czechoslovakia. And the main casts in this movie were Richard Thomas, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence and Ian Holm.    

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World War 1 was a conflict between the Central Powers and the Allied Powers that had unprecedented levels of carnage and destruction in many countries. From 1914 to 1918, 15-19 million people died and 23 million people wounded because of new military technologies and the horrors of trench warfare. The attacks employed massive artillery bombardments but no significant advances were made between 1915 and 1917. However, soldiers suffered not only from injuries in battle but also from illnesses and diseases caused by the unsanitary conditions in the trenches. Trench foot was an infection of the feet caused by cold, wet and insanitary conditions. Men stood for many hours on end in waterlogged trenches and they were unable to remove wet socks or boots. And when poison gas was first used or new illness came, doctors and nurses did not know how to treat symptoms and the hospitals were in shortage. But with the joining of the United States and the withdrawal of Russia, Germans troops were moved from the eastern front to the western front. Having said that Germany was not strong enough to continue fighting, the war gradually stopped. On November 11th, 1918, when Germany signed the armistice agreement, the war finally ended. Many veterans had sailed for their own countries and prepared for their post-war life. The end of the war meant the collapse of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia. It also resulted in the great impact of political landscape of the world and the Treaty of Versailles.    

The movie ‘All quiet on the Western Front’ has vividly embodied life, death and helpless in the real event. Everything seems so normal at the beginning, but suddenly the houses, trenches and churches were bombarded with shells, the sound of bullets everywhere that was actually reflected how the war started destroyed the world. The Western Front was the main theatre of war during the war. “With one bound the lust to live flares up again and everything that has filled my thoughts goes down before it.” writes Erich Maria Remarque. He means that young men who supposed to study in schools were trained for military operations and went to the war. Both sides of the soldiers used tanks, fighter planes and machine guns to bombard each other trenches. On their faces are full of fear of death, but they had to use grenades or guns to fight for glory of ‘saving the Fatherland’ and they even didn’t know how to use them properly. When massed infantry advanced the enemies, they would be stopped by barbed wire and a machine gun could kill many of them in a very short time. The inflicted severe casualties during attacks and counter-attacks that reflected the unmerciful and cruel truth. When Franz was dying, Paul looking for a doctor everywhere that he didn't want him die, but nothing helped. Soldiers faced stalemate, attrition, sieges, and helpless in a war. Food often arrived cold or the food supplies was hit by the enemies naval blockade. Bathing and washing were impossible for soldiers that some fumes stayed on clothes causing blisters and sores. The mice and lice tormented the troops by day and night. However, they did not spend all of their time fighting in the trenches or preparing for battle, they would do sports to regain healthy and relieved the monotony of soldiering. Or during rest time, they wrote letters and sometimes played card games. They would have ten to fourteen days to leave each year.    

The movie beautified some truths of the war such as soldier's rest time, voluntary participation in the army and soldier’s feeling. The soldiers in the trenches did not get as much sleep as the movie, they were woken up at different times in the real event. They might only get an hour rest during daylight and at night. When they were not fighting, they need to patrols, digging trenches, putting up barbed wire. As a matter of fact, many soldiers were not so happy that they could fight in a war, they were forced to accept military training. Some young boys joined the army not only because of an impassioned speech but also they were scared of being called a coward and could not resist the pressure from society. This change in the movie might help the audience to be more understandable that people believed in war as an expression of love for their Fatherlands at that time. On the other hand, cruelty was filled into people brains in the real event, there was not beautiful ideals and hopes anymore. When the Frenchies started bombing the German campsite in the movie, the soldiers saw some horses were in fear. They thought about the horses safety problem at that time, but the soldiers would feel scared and run away for their personal safety in the real war. The director might try to convey a message is that although the war was cruel, there was love in the depths of people's hearts, not without humanity.    

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In conclusion, war was brutal and inhuman that inflicted severe casualties. “All that meets me, all that floods over me are but feelings--greed of life, love of home, yearning for the blood, intoxication of deliverance” (Remarque 294). And this movie effectively helped people to listen and try to comprehend stories of war. 

Bibliography

  1. A&E Television Networks, “World War I”, www.history.com, October 29, 2009, https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/world-war-i-history, Accessed on Jan 07, 2019 
  2. Erich Maria Remarque, “All Quiet On The Western Front”, Balantine Books, 1982, Accessed on Jan 07, 2019 “After the War - Veterans”, www.warmuseum.ca, https://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/history/after-the-war/veterans/, Accessed on Jan 07, 2019 
  3. “Effects of World War 1”, www.historyonthenet.com, November 15, 2018, https://www.historyonthenet.com/effects-of-world-war-1, Accessed on Jan 08, 2019 
  4. “iWonder - The Battle of the Somme: 141 days of horror”, www.bbc.com, https://www.bbc.com/timelines/ztngxsg, Accessed on Jan 08, 2019 
  5. “Life at the Front - Behind the Front Lines”, www.warmuseum.ca, https://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/history/life-at-the-front/behind-the-front-lines/, Accessed on Jan 09, 2019 
  6. “Medicine”, www.bbc.co.uk, January 08, 2014, http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/0/ww1/25403864, Accessed on Jan 09, 2019 
  7. “Trench Conditions - Rats, Lice, and Exhaustion”, www.warmuseum.ca, https://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/history/life-at-the-front/trench-conditions/rats-lice-andexhaustion/, Accessed on Jan 09, 2019 
  8. “What was life like in a World War One trench?”, www.bbc.com, November 05, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/articles/z8sssbk, Accessed on Jan 09, 2019 
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Historical Accuracy Of The Movie ‘All Quiet On The Western Front’. (2022, February 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/historical-accuracy-of-the-movie-all-quiet-on-the-western-front/
“Historical Accuracy Of The Movie ‘All Quiet On The Western Front’.” GradesFixer, 18 Feb. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/historical-accuracy-of-the-movie-all-quiet-on-the-western-front/
Historical Accuracy Of The Movie ‘All Quiet On The Western Front’. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/historical-accuracy-of-the-movie-all-quiet-on-the-western-front/> [Accessed 17 Jun. 2024].
Historical Accuracy Of The Movie ‘All Quiet On The Western Front’ [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 18 [cited 2024 Jun 17]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/historical-accuracy-of-the-movie-all-quiet-on-the-western-front/
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