Paul thinks that the best thing to come out of the war is the development of comradeship or esprit de corps within the soldier ranks.
We did not break down, but adapted ourselves; our twenty years, which made many another thing so grievous, helped us in this. But by far the most important result was that it awakened in us a strong, practical sense of esprit de corps, which in the field developed into the finest thing that arose out of the war-comradeship.
Paul explains that "on the borders of death, life follows an amazingly simple course"; the soldiers in the trenches are most concerned about the necessity of prevailing over the enemy and the prospect of surviving the brutal onslaught against them. Everything is reduced to the question of survival. Paul maintains that allowing anything else to distract them "would consume energies unnecessarily." Yet, within this dark atmosphere, an element of comradeship prevails, and Paul asserts that it helps every soldier "escape the abyss of solitude." During the late hours of the night, those on night-watch or patrol take comfort in hearing the steady breathing of their sleeping comrades.