War drama following the experiences of a French regiment during the First World War. Amongst the swathes of enthusiastic youngsters signing up to serve in 1914 is student Gilbert Demachy (Pierre Blanchar). He is immediately ordered to join a brigade in the Champagne region where his countrymen are engaged in fierce trench warfare with the Germans. Along the way he gets to know and bonds with the rest of his company who have also stepped in to defend their country including the cook Bouffioux (Pierre Labry) and the joker of the brigade Vieuble (Antonin Artaud). But as the war drags on and the men finally enter the battlefields, their company weakens as many members are lost and those that survive are forced to constantly regroup and move on, leaving their friends behind.