On re-reading this on a recent trip over to Ypres and Passchendale, aside from the awe at the naked descriptions of horror and carnage, what I was most astounded by was Remarque's, at times, near-schizophrenic appreciation of nature. It's clear that in his hyper-sensitive state Remarque/Bäumer was able to observe minute changes in the world around him - in both tone and atmosphere - as if the usual aspects of time and space had come unmoored. The passage below is from the section of the book in which Bäumer is guarding Russian prisoners a few miles behind the front line.
Most beautiful are the woods with the line of birch trees. Their colour changes with every minute. Now the stems gleam purest white, and between them airy and silken, hangs the pastel green of the leaves; the next moment all changes to an opalescent blue, as the shivering breezes pass down from the heights and touch the green lightly away; and again in one place it deepens almost to black as a cloud passes over the sun. And this shadow moves like a ghost through the dim trunks and rides far out over the moor to the sky - then the birches stand out again like gay banners on white poles, with their red and gold patches of autumn-tinted leaves.