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The Great War The “War to End All Wars” World War I (1920) The First Half of the Thirty Years War. 1914 – 1918 1914 - 1945.
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1914 – 1918
1914 - 1945
World War I or The Great War was a major war centered on Europe that began in the summer of 1914. The fighting ended in November 1918. This conflict involved all of the world's great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies and the Central Powers. More than 70 million military personnel were mobilized in one of the largest wars in history. More than 9 million combatants were killed due to technological advances in firepower without corresponding advances in mobility. It was the second deadliest conflict in history.
Will Capitalism undo itself by generating the conditions for self-destruction?
“Words fail to give any conception of the desolation. No convulsion of Nature could have done what man and man’s machines have done. We bumped our way along a partly repaired road…passing craters from those 10 to those 30 feet across, and some almost as deep; passing rows and rows of old wire entanglements, communications trenches, line upon line of fighting trenches, all more or less obliterated. Finally past the German first line, barely recognizable except for the fact that the entrances to the dugouts now faced east instead of west…….”
“It was an upheaval of sandbags, accoutrements, broken rifles not worth salvaging, entrenching tools, cartridge clips and machine-gun ribbons, food tins, water bottles, helmets, trench mortars, unexploded shells of every size, hand grenades, to which we give a wide berth, a human tibia exhumed from somewhere, bits of clothing---and often smells, though two moths have given ample time for burials. What may be in the bottom of the pits, however, one can only guess…the whole western side of the slope was seething with people making new roads and engaging in the ant-like activity of man when he too burrows and builds and carries up food and takes away grains of sand.”
By 1918, 60 declarations of war had been made
SOLDIERS INVOLVED: 65,038,810
MILITARY DEATHS: 8,020,780
CIVILIAN DEATHS: 6,642,633
MILITARY WOUNDED: 21,228,813
“The Honest Broker”
“”From tomorrow, France will have only one thought: to reconstitute its forces, gather its energy, feed its sacred anger, raise its generation…form an army of the whole people, work relentlessly to study the processes and talents of our enemies, to become again the great France, the France of 1792, the France of the idea and the sword…Then suddenly one day it will rise…regain Lorraine, recapture Alsace.” – French Poet Victor Hugo, 1871
“Any man who encourages warfare is a man who has limited experience on the subject and limited understanding of the implications.”
“I hope Europe will gradually come to realize the fundamental principle of my policy: leadership in the peaceful sense – a sort of Napoleonic Supremacy…I am of the opinion that it is already a success that I, having come to govern at so early an age, stand at the head of German armed might yet have left my sword in its scabbard and have given up Bismarck’s policy of externally causing disruption to replace it with a peaceful foreign situation such as we have not known for many years.”
“The next war will start because of some damn fool thing in the Balkans.” – Otto Von Bismarck
“…the Kaiser authorized me to inform our gracious majesty that we might in this case, as in all others, rely upon Germany’s full support…he did not doubt in the least that Herr von BethmannHollweg would agree with him. Especially as far as our action against Serbia was concerned. But it was Wilhelm’s opinion that this action must not be delayed. Russia’s attitude will no doubt be hostile, but to this he has for years been prepared, and should a war between Austria-Hungary and Russia be unavoidable, we might be convinced that Germany, our old faithful ally, would stand at our side….
Dark clouds are smouldering into red While down the craters morning burns.The dying soldier shifts his head To watch the glory that returns;He lifts his fingers toward the skies Where holy brightness breaks in flame;Radiance reflected in his eyes, And on his lips a whispered name.You'd think, to hear some people talk, That lads go West with sobs and curses,And sullen faces white as chalk, Hankering for wreaths and tombs and hearses.But they've been taught the way to do it Like Christian soldiers; not with hasteAnd shuddering groans; but passing through it With due regard for decent taste.
1916: first major clash of warships
Germans tried to lure British ships to gain a numerical advantage
British decoded German plans
250 warships instead of 125
Germany lost 11 battleships
Britain lost 14 battleships
Germany returned to port and Britain gained the rights to the sea
“I had just finished Charterhouse when England declared war on Germany. A day or two later I decided to enlist. In the first place I believed it would be a short war. In the second place I was outraged to read of Germany’s invasion of little Belgium.”
“There was a big show at the Hippodrome. I went with a couple of mates and at the end of the show they put on the film of our boys marching off to France. I think they played Land of Hope and Glory. By the end of the evening tears were running down my face and I knew I had to join up.”
“No one could really refuse because at that time even your parents were ready to call you a coward. We did not have the faintest idea of what we were in for.”
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Then ask yourself the following questions…
Do you suffer from cheerfulness?
Do you wake up in the morning feeling that all is going well?
Do you believe good news in preference to bad?
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