70 million military personnel, 60 million of them being the Europeans, took part in World War 1. More than 9 million of military personnel were killed in the war. Of all the nations involved in World War 1, Russia faced the most causality. On the other hand, 1.77 million German solders were killed in the war, making Germany the nation that lost the most solders in the World War 1.
The war started when Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the next in line to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was assassinated by a Bosnian-Serb student named Gavrilo Princip in June 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Because Russia had interest in the country, they send troop to Serbia. Bound by the treaty, Germany entered the equation to help Austria–Hungary. France and England began to take steps to help Russia and thus, started the World War 1.
Wars have always been merely nothing but periods of mass destruction and a way of population control for the elite or the ruling class as most of us say. Although most of the wars in history have had individual reasons of occurrence; they somehow seem to have a connection, at least a few of them and moreover some of the important ones if we study carefully. The similarity can only be seen if we make a small shift in our gaze; from all the useless killing, towards the funding or the supportive causes of the wars. It won’t be anything wrong to say that some of the wars in history have actually shaped the very way of life humans live today and everything that we believe is true.
So, here we have some of the most interesting and mind-boggling facts of one of the epic wars in history, the World War I.
The Treaty of Versailles stated that Germany had ignited the WWI. It gave Alsace and Lorraine back to whom it belonged, France. Poland picked up German territory in the east, and other territories were handed out to Belgium and Lithuania. The treaty also transferred the Hultschin area of Upper Silesia to Czechoslovakia. The eastern part of Silesia was assigned to Poland. Lower Silesia, meanwhile, was left entirely to Germany. The key Baltic port of Danze, the industrial region of the Saar Basin, and the strategically important Rhineland were also taken from Germany. Its armed forces were strictly limited and its colonies were made League of Nations mandates. The 1921 Reparations Committee decided that Germany was liable to pay $33 billion in compensation to the Allies for all the damage it caused. That left the Germans humiliated and impoverished, which left the world vulnerable to yet another World War.
Some of the greatest wars in history were caused due to stupid mistakes made by one single person; so this suggests wars are basically nothing but a million people paying for what one person had done and pretty much have had no other option than to stick with that person’s decision and even lose their lives fulfilling someone else’s sick demands. There were many long term effects of the world war 1 that affect us till date, some of them were the formation of the League of Nations, which laid the groundwork for the United Nations and a worldwide arms race. The war also drove Germany into a deep recession, setting the much needed groundwork for the world war 2.
Although most of us only tend to remember only the killing and useless fighting while discussing about wars, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that wars have actually shaped and hastened medical advancements for the world to be better prepared for worse situations in future. Physicians at that time learned better wound management and the setting of bones. The enormous scale of all those that needed medical care in the world war 1 helped in the process of building a specialized and professionally managed medical industry that we have in today’s world. WWI was basically a place where doctors and physicians got to learn about human body and the way it worked, both inside out, like never before.
WWI gave birth to a new era of warfare and changed the way the leading countries dealt with war. The most significant development in warfare at that time was air power, which brought civilians in the line of fire. By early 1918, it was clear that the days of cavalry as a realistic fighting force over with the introduction of poisonous gas. Tanks heralded a new era of offensive war. Finally, the Nazi blitzkrieg tactic of world war 1 grew out of the final Allied offensive of 1918 in which tanks, aircraft and men were carefully coordinated.
British poet Siegfried Sassoon wrote, ‘’When all is done and said, the war was mainly a matter of holes and ditches.’’ There perhaps isn’t a better way to put what the war was all about and what it helped us to achieve. Even though the U.S government didn’t grant Native citizenship until 1924, over 13,000 of the so called illegal residents served inworld war 1 as soldiers. As the conditions of the war was the harshest environment a person could survive in, millions of them suffered ‘’shell shock,’’ or posttraumatic stress disorder, due to the horrors of trench warfare. These men usually had uncontrollable diarrhea, couldn’t sleep, stopped speaking, whimpered for hours and twitched uncontrollably. While some recovered, most of them suffered for the rest of their lives.
All the arms and explosives that were used in WWI made immense noise. Artillery barrage and mines used in 1917 blowing up under the German lines on Messines Ridge at Ypres in Belgium could be heard all the way in London 140 miles, over 200 kilometers far away. The Pool of Peace, a 40-ft deep lake near Messines, Belgium is actually a filled-crater made in the same year when the British detonated a mine containing almost 45 tons of explosives.