The book analyzes the discourse of war at two main levels. One is, conditionally speaking, the abstract and institutional level of scholarly theories and military doctrines on wars in the modern epoch. The other level contains considerably less abstraction and institutional constraints posed by theory and doctrine, and is based on the experience of war by the individuals who have taken a direct part in it. Through life histories of war participants the author uncovers the war’s hidden side, often obscured in theory and doctrine. In this way, the two levels, very different in nature, are juxtaposed, showing how much a theory of a social phenomenon – such as, in this case, a military conflict – can deviate from the people’s immediate experience of the latter.