Here is a delirious (and slightly disturbing) passage from the last pages of Basil Creighton’s 1929 translation  of Ernst Jünger‘s gut-wrenching masterpiece, In Stahlgewittern , perhaps the most beautiful war book ever written:
Now I looked back: four years of development in the midst of a generation predestined to death, spent in caves, smoke-filled trenches, and shell-illumined wastes; years enlivened only by the pleasures of a mercenary, and nights of guard after guard in an endless perspective; in short, a monotonous calendar full of hardships and privation, divided by the red-letter days of battles. And almost without any thought of mine, the idea of the Fatherland had been distilled from all these afflictions in a clearer and brighter essence. That was the final winnings in a game on which so often all had been staked: the nation was no longer for me an empty thought veiled in symbols; and how could it have been otherwise when I had seen so many die for its sake, and been schooled myself to stake my life for its credit every minute, day and night, without a thought? And so, strange as it may sound, I learned from this very four years’ schooling in force and in all the fantastic extravagance of material warfare that life has no depth of meaning except when it is pledged for an ideal, and that there are ideals in comparison with which the life of an individual and even of a people has no weight. And though the aim for which I fought as an individual, as an atom in the whole body of the army, was not to be achieved, though material force cast us, apparently, to the earth, yet we learned once and for all to stand for a cause and if necessary to fall as befitted men.
Hardened as scarcely another generation ever was in fire and flame, we could go into life as though from the anvil; into friendship, love, politics, professions, into all that destiny had in store. It is not every generation that is so favoured.
And if it be objected that we belong to a time of crude force our answer is: We stood with our feet in mud and blood, yet our faces were turned to things of exalted worth. And not one of that countless number who fell in our attacks fell for nothing. Each one fulfilled his own resolve.
Quite a powerful and passionate celebration of the old Preußische Tugenden! I would dare to claim that such extreme self-denial will appear somewhat suicidal and deranged to anyone who is deeply immersed in today’s Zeitgeist.
Interestingly, I can find the text corresponding to the passage above neither in the 1922 German edition , nor in Michael Hofmann’s translation . Did Basil Creighton manufacture prose out of thin air? Or is Creighton’s 1929 translation based on a cruder, more brutal, and more nationalistic German edition of In Stahlgewittern? I guess the latter is the case. In any case, if any of you can find the original German text on which Creighton based his 1929 translation, I would be most thankful.
 Ernst Jünger, Basil Creighton (translator), The storm of steel: from the diary of a German storm-troop officer on the western front, H. Fertig, 1975 (Reprint of the Chatto & Windus, 1929 edition).
 Ernst Jünger, In Stahlgewittern, Berlin 1922.
 Ernst Jünger, Michael Hofmann (translator), Storm of Steel, Penguin Books, 2004.