Poilu: The World War I Notebooks Of Corporal Louis Barthas, Barrelmaker, 1914-1918 by Louis Barthas

Poilu: The World War I Notebooks Of Corporal Louis Barthas, Barrelmaker, 1914-1918

byLouis BarthasTranslated byEdward M. StraussIntroduction byRémy Cazals

Paperback | March 31, 2015

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The harrowing first-person account of a French foot soldier who survived four years in the trenches of the First World War

Along with millions of other Frenchmen, Louis Barthas, a thirty-five-year-old barrelmaker from a small wine-growing town, was conscripted to fight the Germans in the opening days of World War I. Corporal Barthas spent the next four years in near-ceaseless combat, wherever the French army fought its fiercest battles: Artois, Flanders, Champagne, Verdun, the Somme, the Argonne. Barthas’ riveting wartime narrative, first published in France in 1978, presents the vivid, immediate experiences of a frontline soldier.
 
This excellent new translation brings Barthas’ wartime writings to English-language readers for the first time. His notebooks and letters represent the quintessential memoir of a “poilu,” or “hairy one,” as the untidy, unshaven French infantryman of the fighting trenches was familiarly known. Upon Barthas’ return home in 1919, he painstakingly transcribed his day-to-day writings into nineteen notebooks, preserving not only his own story but also the larger story of the unnumbered soldiers who never returned. Recounting bloody battles and endless exhaustion, the deaths of comrades, the infuriating incompetence and tyranny of his own officers, Barthas also describes spontaneous acts of camaraderie between French poilus and their German foes in trenches just a few paces apart. An eloquent witness and keen observer, Barthas takes his readers directly into the heart of the Great War.

About The Author

Louis Barthas (1879–1952) was a cooper in a small town in southern France. Edward M. Strauss is a fundraising director in higher education and former publisher of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History. He lives in New York City. 

Details & Specs

Title:Poilu: The World War I Notebooks Of Corporal Louis Barthas, Barrelmaker, 1914-1918Format:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.19 inPublished:March 31, 2015Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300212488

ISBN - 13:9780300212488

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“Among World War I books being published in this centennial year of that conflict's start, none likely can connect readers more directly or vividly to the experience of those who fought it.”—Alan Wallace, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review