Military Fiction/Alternate History
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I read it about 25 years ago. No recollection of it's publish date, but it was an old paperback and I believe had been reprinted.
Plot involved WW1 that hadn't ended with troops still in the trenches into the 1940s and beyond. Veterans never leaving the trenches, only being constantly reinforced. The protaganist wore a bulletproof silken "war cape" that seemed to be very rare or non existent general issue.
The story takes place almost entirely in mainland europe, with the ending in London, U.K.
My recollection is the story was an attack on the political machinations that led up to, and encouraged both world wars.
Thank you for your assistance with this query.
This sounds a bit like the Gamekeeper series by Dave Putnam. In particular book 2 of the trilogy, World War. The timing is from 2004, so not 25 years ago. But perhaps you did read it a bit later than you thought?
What matches is that in the book the British weaponize various animals to help with fighting. In the case of spiders they weave the type of silken war cape you mention. What also matches is that the WW1 continues right on in to WW2 with no break in between.
A link showing the book cover is below. That might help spark a memory. In particular with the spider on the front.
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