Throughout the course of All Quiet on the Western Front, we watch as soldiers fight to both preserve their humanity and to suppress their human instincts. Humanness allows them to form strong bonds with one another, but it also compels them to feel like hunted prey. Their ability to survive is sustained by these bonds, and their ability to kill is fed by their primal fear of being hunted. Lots of animalistic imagery thread throughout the novel, highlighting the wilder urges that the men face.
Men in authority are the least human in this novel.
The soldiers must rely on their animal instincts in order to survive the war.