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Memoirs of an Infantry Officer Paperback – December 1, 1930
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Sherston (Sassoon) was a rather spoiled and pampered young upper class Englishman. The war changed all that. Confronted with death, destruction and idiotic leadership from the High Command you sense the inner turmoil of Sherston.
Relieved when he is not involved with the fighting he is driven by guilt over the loss of the soldiers in his battalion. Consequently when his platoon is on the line he takes great risks in reconaissance of the German positions.
The effects of non-stop total war, stupid leadership and the complete contrast between England and the trenches (only a few hundred miles apart) is staggering to Sassoon. Sassoon becomes anti-war and considers becoming an objector, but his obvious connection to his comrades and loyalty to them wins out in the end. He hates the war but won't abandon his comrades in the field.
This is a great war memoir written by a poet who survived and was changed for life by his experiences in it.
....Ghastly dawn with vaporous coasts/
Gleams desolate along the sky, night's misery ended.
(from Sassoon poem "Wirers")
This book is important historically not only because it is a first-hand account of almost the whole of The Great War, but because it is a record of a psuedo-successful personal revolt against the British Military establishment, as well as giving the reader the author's experiences with meeting some very famous people, including winston churchill.
Readers are automatically flung into Sassoon's war experience, from the disjointed and fantastical training, to the brutal reality of life in the trenches. Sassoon describes these experiences in vivid detail, the sheer misery of trench warfare, the almost callous attitude toward the dead on both sides, and the surreal life led by those back home. Sassoon, nicknamed "Mad Jack" for his stubborness and seemingly sheer lunacy at times, was awfully lucky during his battle campaigns. He was wounded a few times, always sent back home to England to recuperate, and almost happy to return to the war.
However, after one session as an invalid, Sassoon begins to recognize that the war may not be all it's cracked up to be, that those in power are not telling the truth about their war aims, and that he may just be a lowly pawn in a game he doesn't want to play. Towards the end of his narrative, Sassoon tells of his decision to speak out against the war, even if it meant being court martialed. This act, filtered with courage and fear, is achingly portrayed as an act both necessary and questionable: as Sassoon places himself in danger, he questions his true beliefs in the matter.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
MEMOIRS OF AN INFANTRY OFFICER is the second volume of Siegfried Sassoon's "Sherston Trilogy" - the mostly autobiographical series of memoir-novels he wrote detailing his... Read morePublished on December 11, 2013 by M. G Watson
MEMOIRS OF AN INFANTRY OFFICER is the second volume of Siegfried Sassoon's "Sherston Trilogy" - the mostly autobiographical series of memoir-novels he wrote detailing his youth in... Read morePublished on November 8, 2012 by M. G Watson
I read this book when I was quite young and it shocked and saddened me. My grandfather was a captain in the first world war and was awarded an MC and bar for acts of courage. Read morePublished on December 7, 2011 by Romey
Continuing tale of the Cambridge-educated English Officer living the hell of warfare on the Western Front: replete with adoring batman, blustering colonel Blimps, out of control... Read morePublished on April 8, 2006 by Rodney J. Szasz
Terrific book that sounded a bit autobiographical. Sassoon, of course, was a war hero on the battle of the Somme, decorated twice for bravery. Read morePublished on September 6, 2005 by Brian Wright Dines
Siegfried Sassons' "Memoirs of an Infantry Officer" is a first-hand account of life at the front line during World War 1. Read morePublished on May 13, 2003 by Justin Harris
All kinds of worthless people go around writing poetry and never fought in a war (myself included) but Sigfried did it all -- fought maniacally and was wounded several times and... Read morePublished on September 3, 2001