WWI German soldier describes the brutality of war

“I felt that the culture we boasted so much about is only a very thin lacquer, which chips off the very moment we come in contact with cruel things like war.”

Stephan Kurt Westmann (23 July 1893 – 7 October 1964) was a German soldier and physician.

In the First World War, Westmann served in the German 29th Infantry Division on the Western and Eastern fronts and then as an Air Force surgeon, although unqualified. Completing his medical studies, he became a professor at the University of Berlin, and in the 1930s migrated to England and became a doctor in Harley Street, Westminster. During the Second World War, he was a British medical officer in Scotland, so that in the two World Wars he served on different sides.

In later life, Westmann appeared on BBC television to talk about the First World War from the German point of view and also wrote his memoirs.


Closed the distance vs blunt weapon

Aside from maintaining enough distance to not get hit, closing the distance against a blunt weapon is the best option. Moving into a clinch removes most of the advantages for the weapon.

Conversely, stepping away keeps you at the effective range which is very bad. The victim here was slow to respond and took a lot of damage, but ended up in a better position toward the end of the video where it ends without a satisfying conclusion. The aggressor even threw away the stick when he realised that it may now be used against him.