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How Young They Die (A Novel about the First World War) Paperback – 1971

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Fontana; 1St Edition edition (1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671772295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671772291
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,050,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This book came out around 1969 IIRC. I ran across it as a young Marine 2nd Lieutenant, back in 1980, when I was beginning to understand that the war that most impacted the 20th century was not the 2nd World War, but the 1st. Mr. Cloete, raised in South Africa, has written a number of books, mainly about South Africa, ala Wilbur Smith, but these were written in the 30's and 40's and onward, about the Boer War and other things. But this one is based on his experiences as a young infantry officer figthing in France in 1917 and 1918. I enjoyed it then, and I recently re-read it and again enjoyed it, even having added 30 years of life and my own war to my experiences. I did not find it boring, or idiotic, and the author wrote of true experiences of war and interactions with his soldiers, and their problems, lives, fears and the simple desire to survive, and go home to their loved ones. But, which loved one will the young officer return to? The woman he loved as a teenager, who has married another officer, or the nurse who, having lost one fiancee, gives her love to him now? His mother, now married to a general, is no longer a concern. Will he survive the trenches? And if so, what life will be see? I recommend this to those fascinated with The Great War, and those wanting a basic understanding of human nature in the trenches.
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