In our second to last week, we turn to the near collapses of many of the armies in 1917 and approach the beginning of American involvement in the war. Our questions for this week ask you to think about the tactics and leadership of the war on the Western Front in 1917 and also ask you to think back to the first half of the war to see what might have changed or stayed the same.
The book: Louis Barthas, Poilu: The World War I Notebooks of Corporal Louis Barthas, Barrelmaker 1914-1918
- Choose one scene from notebooks 14-17 of Poilu and explore to what extent it represents a continuation of or a departure from scenes in the earlier parts of Louis Barthas’s diary. What are some characteristics of battle or of Barthas’s mindset that stand out to you in this scene? If this represents a departure from earlier parts of his diary, how can you explain the difference(s)? If it represents a continuation of the war as it is portrayed in earlier parts of Barthas’s diary, what are some of the overarching themes and how can they be explained?