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The Storm of Steel (1929) | Ernst Junger

The Storm of Steel (1929)

Price $179.00 Sale


Ernst Junger

CHATTO & WINDUS Ltd, London, 1929

'One feels that Lieutenant Junger is a danger to society . . . but that must not blind us to the fact that it is a wonderful story of fortitude and courage.' Cyril Falls, War Books (1930)

This is the third printing of the 1929 Chatto & Windus 1st edition of The Storm of Steel, Ernst Junger's classic account of his front line service in WW1. An early version of the book had been privately printed in 1920, although that was essentially Junger’s unedited diary. He went on to revise the book several times, with the definitive German edition (almost completely rewritten) being produced in 1924. This was subsequently translated by Basil Creighton for the first UK edition, published by Chatto & Windus in May 1929. The third printing was produced in July 1929.

The book begins with Junger entering the line with the 73rd Hanoverian Regiment in Champagne. His first taste of combat came at Les Éparges in April 1915 where he was wounded. After recuperating, he took an officer's course and achieved the rank of Ensign. He rejoined his regiment on the Arras sector. In 1916, with the Battle of the Somme underway, Jünger's regiment was involved in the defence of the village of Guillemont. Here Jünger was wounded again, shortly before the final British assault in which his platoon was annihilated. In 1917 Junger saw action during the Battle of Arras, the Third Battle of Ypres, and the German counter-attack during the Battle of Cambrai. Junger led a company of assault troops during the final German Spring Offensive of March 1918 when he was wounded again. On 23rd August he suffered his most severe wound when he was shot through the chest. In total, Junger was wounded 14 times during the war, including five bullet wounds. He was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class and was the youngest ever recipient of the Pour le Mérit.

Ernst Junger (1895-1998) was born in Heidelberg to a middle-class family. In 1913, he ran away from home to join the French Foreign Legion, in which he served very briefly in North Africa. During World War I he served with distinction in the Imperial German Army on the Western Front. He was wounded seven times during his war service. He was awarded the Iron Cross First Class and Prussia's highest military decoration of that time, the Pour le Mérite. His war experiences are described in Storm of Steel (German title: In Stahlgewittern). Jünger served as a lieutenant in the army of the Weimar Republic until his demobilisation in 1923. He studied marine biology, zoology, botany, and philosophy, and became a well-known entomologist. Junger served in World War II as an army Captain. Assigned to an administrative position in Paris, he socialized with prominent artists of the day such as Picasso and Jean Cocteau. His early time in France is described in his diary Gärten und Straßen (1942, Gardens and Streets). While in Paris he was close to the officers who were involved in the 1944 Von Stauffenberg assassination attempt against Hitler. Although only peripherally involved in these events, in the aftermath he was dismissed from the army. Junger's public image had been rehabilitated by the 1950s, and he went on to be regarded as a towering figure of West German literature, publishing more than 50 books. 


In good condition. The boards are in good condition, with some marks, sticker removal marks to the front board, and some slight fading to the spine. The binding and hinges are good and secure. The text is in very good condition, with a few marks, and the remains of a library label to the rear to the endpapers. The book has a single brief pencil annotation on page 122, giving the details of the identity of a British officer whose death is described on that page. The book is signed in pencil on the front endpaper by 'R. A. Fitzsimmons, Cardiff, 1930'.

Published: 1929 
Red boards with gilt titling
Dimensions: 135mm x 195mm
Pages: 319