Fritz and Tommy: Across the Barbed Wire [Doyle]


A unique look at how British and German soldiers survived either side of No Man's Land and how more brought them together than divided them

Fritz and Tommy takes a unique look at the experiences of the German soldier, in direct comparison with those of his British counterpart. While other books plot out the battles and examine the participation of the German divisions on the Westfront, there are no books that discuss the shared experience of both sides. The result of a close collaboration between a British and a German military historian, this history examines the commonality of frontline experience.

Drawing upon unique archives, Peter Doyle and Robin Schäfer examine the soldiers’ lives, and examine cultural and military nuances that have so far been left untouched. Mapping out the lives of the men in the trenches, it concludes that Fritz and Tommy were not that far apart, geographically, physically, or emotionally. The soldiers on both sides went to war with high ideals; they experienced horror and misery, but also comradeship/kameradschaft. And with increasing alienation from the people at home, they drew closer together, the Hun transformed into "good old Gerry" by the war’s end.