• Full title:   Under Fire: the story of a squad ... by Henri Barbusse, translated by Fitzwater Wray
  • Published:   1917 , London
  • Formats:  Book
  • Creator:   Henri Barbusse
  • Usage terms Public Domain
  • Held by  British Library
  • Shelfmark:   12547.p.6.


Under Fire: The Story of a Squad (1917) is the translation of the French novel Le Feu first published in 1916. It therefore predates the memoir-based novels of the 1920s, such as All Quiet on the Western Front, and is considered to be the first of the realistic novels describing the horrors of trench warfare. Barbusse enlisted in the French army in 1916 at the relatively late age of 41 and saw action on the Western Front. It was during his time at the Front that he made the extensive notes which formed the basis of his novel. The novel is written in an episodic style and gives a moving account of the horrendous suffering experienced by those in the trenches. Barbusse’s experiences during the war led him to become a lifelong pacifist and staunch opponent of militarism.