Bäste Herr Blom. : Svenska främlingslegionärers röster från västfronten.
Sammanfattning: This essay attempts to bring the experiences of eight soldiers to light, seven of them Swedish and one English, that took part in the fighting on the western front as volunteers in the French foreign legion during World War One. The main source material consists of letters sent between these soldiers and another Swedish ex-foreign legionnaire, Sven Blom, both during Mr. Bloms recovery from wounds which put him out of service in late 1914, and through Mr. Bloms work as first secretary of the Swedish consulate in Paris, with the last letters dating to 1918. The letters, which are part of a large archive left behind by Sven Blom, are transcribed and analyzed in this essay to answer five questions posed in order to ascertain the experiences and mindset of these soldiers. Are there any common themes in the soldiers’ letters? Are there any examples where Swedish national identity is commented on by the soldiers? What is their experience of the war, and what do they choose to tell Mr. Blom about? How do they feel they are treated by the French system and French soldiers? And, what are the soldiers’ opinion of reports from the war, like their fellow Swede Elow Nilson’s articles in the Swedish newspaper Vecko-Journalen?
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