A young German boy named Paul Baumer, his best friend Albert Kropp and most of his entire high school class volunteer
for World War One after Kantorek, their teacher, preaches the over-glorified version of war and duty to one's country
to the young, impressionable boys. After going through basic training commanded by a brutal corporal named Himmelstoss
they are sent to the Western Front. When they get there they realise that no one back home had a clue what they were talking
Here on the Western Front, they learn to live by surviving and displaying a minimal amount of emotion. They're
classmates begin dropping, but they're guided by a 40 year old hardened veteran called Stanislaus Katczinsky (known as "Kat")
who teaches them how to survive in this kind of war.
Paul experiences horrific battles and the brutal trench life. He watches his friend Kemmerich die on a hospital
bed after having his legs amputated. He witnesses explicit death all around him and nearly loses his mind
when he returns home to visit his family. He understands then that his innocence has been robbed of him by the demon
of war and that he'll never belong anywhere except the trenches.
He trains at a camp for several weeks before returning to the front. When he gets back, he's relieved to find that
all of his friends still live. His group of friends is then assigned to guard a supply depot in an abandoned town and
for moment live a somewhat comfortable life as they salvage what they can from the surrounding town (i.e: food, beds, chairs,
When Paul and his best friend, Albert Kropp are wounded and sent to a hospital behind the lines, he experiences
the horror that wounded men have to go through and the problems which face them. Death is constantly surrounding him
to the point where it no longer affects his mood. Albert's worse fear comes to life when they amputate his leg.
However Paul recovers and after having to cope with leaving his best friend behind in his most desperate time is back on the
front line in no time.
When he returns he watches all his close friends die one by one as the Germans lose ground to the Allied forces.
Eventually him and Kat, his closest comrade are the only ones who are left. Their duet ends quickly when Kat is killed
by a stray shard of shrapnel while Paul was carrying him to a dressing station for a routine limb wound. Paul describes
his feelings throughout the book and realises that his entire generation has been lost to rich, upper-class men who wage war
on one another through the young men who wish nothing more than to serve their country. In the end, Paul himself dies
on a day that was referred to as "All quiet on the Western Front" because there was hardly any action taking place that day.
The war ended the month after.