• Arjun Vaid

About the Great War


The First World War began almost 100 years ago. They believed it would be over by Christmas. But in actuality, dragged on until November 11th 1918. It took more than 33 countries - that's 1.5 billion people, 80% of the world's population - formally involved in the war. That is simply astronomical. The trench systems were immensely fortified and extensive networks, drawing from the North Sea Coast at Nieupoort to the Swiss Border. The German bunkers were near-indestructible and the battles intense, followed by a toll of slaughter which grew higher every day. The main objective, and greatest problem throughout the war was breaking the enemies defences, an almost impossible feat. The Western Front hardly moved throughout all four years, until September 18th when Armistice was finally signed in 1918. What truly made this Great War the First World War was it's capacity. There was more than just a Western Front. There was also a Russian Front and a Turkish Front, where the fighting was every bit as fierce as France and Belgium. The hardship and destruction was felt as far away as Africa, in Tanganyika, and Namibia. 60 million soldiers fought, and it's estimated that some 10 million of them lost their lives. Many millions more were wounded or mutilated. The demographics that came from this are important to note. Imagine a world where 71% of your men ages 16-29 years simply disappeared. In Belgium, this number grew worse. THe First World War was the seminal catastrophe of the 20th Century.

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