All Quiet on the Western Front displays all of the angst central to any story about war, but it also exposes the horrors of a new kind of war, one that allows for mass death. Machine guns had never been used before World War I. Our narrator provides a close account of the atrocities of the war. Even those who physically survive are victims. The soldiers must learn every detail of warfare in order to survive.
Nothing prepares the soldiers adequately for the Front, so they must learn by doing. Those who train them have no idea what the war is actually like.
This new kind of war allows the soldiers to ignore their enemies' humanity.