In a two drawings in 1917, Dix presents his depiction of the cycle of life. At the time, he was eye-deep in mud and war defined his existence. In this first view, soldiers are locked in deadly fighting. They are participants in an orgy of gratuitous violence. It's hard to imagine that any will survive.
This represents an experimental style for Dix. It is reminiscent of orphic cubism which found its voice in Paris before the outbreak of war. The geometric patterns allow him to roll the participants into a single turbulent mass. The style provides movement, texture and chaos.