"By late 1917 we tired rummies and crocks were aware of how crazy and sick the war was. After all the flying, the Vickers gun bursts; no flags waving, no gallant charges, no Red Cross nookie; maybe a hairy kiss on the cheeks by a French general.
"As we flew we knew below us five, six million filthy men were buried alive underground, living like crazy, red-eyed rats in their own shit and piss, decaying comrades' entrails. Years of burrowing, rotting away, dying with silly shocked gestures to gain, retain, fifty yards, a hundred yards. Then back into the crap and cootie hells, the stink of unburied dead from 1914 on, all those rotting horses too. In the air we missed a war that smelled of manure, putrefying generations of dead schoolboys and fathers. We fliers could only smell it sometimes as we came in at dusk, back from patrol, flying low over the trenches that stretched in the earth from the English Channel to the Swiss. When you went to mess with the line officers, they smelled of it, their eyes bulging with madness, maybe fear..."
Lower than Angels: A Memoir of War and Peace: W.W. Windstaff, Stephen Longstreet: 9780910155243: Amazon.com: Books