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The Wide Ranging Impact of World War I on Europe

TimmyBoy

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I have been reading several of Erich Remarque's books "All Quiet on the Western Front" and "The Road Back." One pertaining to the war and the other book pertaining to the re-adjustment of the veterans who fought in the war, after war, while they are back home. Most people and the history books do not give a complete and full, accurate picture of just how horrific World War I really was. Remarque's books bring the accurate details back to life of the second most destructive war in mankind's history into our present day where all of the World War I vets are died off and so their experiences are only written on paper and some in the history books. The accurate picture of World War I is not known in today's society but Remarque's books offer a gateway back into time for that era.

Reading over some of the history of World War I, I remember reading how British troops sufferred 60,000 killed in action in just the first two hours of a failed offensive, the number of wounded in those first two hours is unknown. Or the battle of Verdun, a french city were the French lost 350,000 troops and the Germans 280,000, that was only one battle. I remember how appalled I was at the massive destruction of Bosnia and how that country lost 250,000 people with 1.5 million left homeless. I never thought it could get worse than what I saw over their, but looking at the statistics of World War I, that war and the devestation along with the consequences had to be far worse. But then again, the casualties and destruction where I was at were concentrated in a much smaller area. I also read about how just before launching a major offensive, enemy troops would be bombarded constantly, heavily and ferociously for 3 months straight, non-stop, before the actual offensive was launched. The bombardments would take a heavy mental toll on the bombarded enemy troops and when the offensive finally came, the troops on the offensive would get raked and cut down by machine gun fire in wave after wave. The artillery fire did little to stop enemy defensive capabilities while dug in the trenches. Some fighting ended up in the trenches where the troops would stick each other with their bayonets. It was a very bloody, dirty war. Europe learned a very hard lesson from all this and the war was so devestating and left such a searing imprint on the European psyche that huge social change and upheaval took place. Veterans demanded more of a say in their government and women's rights were pushed forward. Monarchies were overthrown, new countries formed. However, World War I was absolutely senseless and it solved absolutely nothing. No justice came out of the war. Remarque referred to his generation as the "lost generation" a generation "ruined by the war." Because no justice came out of World War I and because of the unjust Treaty of Versailles, the stage was set for Adolf Hitler and the beginning of World War II.
 
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TimmyBoy

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Part of the reason for Chamberlain's policy of appeasement (which was the wrong course to take when dealing with Hitler) was the memory of World War I that was seared in his and the rest of Europe's memory and massive destruction and sufferring it caused. He wanted so much to avoid that sort of sufferring again that he undertook his policy of appeasement.
 

t125eagle

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good point timmy. also many monarchies fell after world war 1. just to name a few: germany, russia, austria.
 

TimmyBoy

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t125eagle said:
good point timmy. also many monarchies fell after world war 1. just to name a few: germany, russia, austria.
It was interesting to read how some of the green soldiers would go crazy while sitting in the bunker under fericious artillery bombardment and how the bunker would at times almost cave in on top of them and some would run out into the open and get blown to smithereens or of how the French soldiers would charge forward towards German trenches and get blasted in a hail of artillery and machine gun fire. Very destructive.
 

t125eagle

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oh yes. very much so. ww1 was the last war to have any kind of "line of battle". the largest battle was not on the western front but on the eastern front. tannenburg, i believe.
 

TimmyBoy

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t125eagle said:
oh yes. very much so. ww1 was the last war to have any kind of "line of battle". the largest battle was not on the western front but on the eastern front. tannenburg, i believe.
Interesting, didn't know that. Who was fighting who?
 

Comrade Brian

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t125eagle said:
good point timmy. also many monarchies fell after world war 1. just to name a few: germany, russia, austria.
Russia's monarchy fell DURING WW1, in the in March 1917, in the Febuary Revolution, and that fell in November in the Bolshevik's October Revolution.
 

t125eagle

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true. what i meant by it was that it was a direct link to ww1. but do u know who overthrew the Romanovs??

Wihlem II abdicated the throne of germany.
 

t125eagle

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Comrade Brian said:
Russia vs. Germany. Russia lost.
oh yeah. big time. the russians would attack fixed machine gun positins in human wave attacks. they lost hundreds of thousands of soldiers that way.
 

Comrade Brian

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t125eagle said:
true. what i meant by it was that it was a direct link to ww1. but do u know who overthrew the Romanovs??

Wihlem II abdicated the throne of germany.
The Romanovs fell from a worker's revolution and the Tsars was replaced by Kerensky's Govt. which was also ineffectual.

But the Tsars were later killed by the Bolsheviks in their prison estate, and the provisional govt. had a coup against them staged by the Bolsheviks, which led to the Russian Civil War, and peace with Germany, and invasions of some 20 countries, largest was US, GB, and Japan.
 
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t125eagle

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good. just wanted to make sure you didnt say the Bolsheviks overthrew the Tsar.
 

TimmyBoy

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t125eagle said:
good. just wanted to make sure you didnt say the Bolsheviks overthrew the Tsar.
The book "All Quiet on the Western Front" is much better than the two movies made on it (the one from 1930 the other in 1979). He talked about how the 19 year old friend of his that died in the hospital bed used to do complete flips in the air and land on both feet, but after losing his leg and then his life, slowly and painfully while laying in bed, he could no longer do such flips. He also talked about getting hit by artillery fire in a cemetary which threw bodies out of the ground and some of corpses would come out of their coffins. One of the new recruits had got hit by some of the shrapnel and turned his leg into a mince meat of bone, flesh, muscle and alot of blood. He didn't feel the pain at first and the veterans knew he would die a slow painful death in the hospital and were debating whether to shoot him dead now, before the pain from his severe wound started to be felt and he died a slow, painful, miserable death, because when you first get wounded like that, the victim doesn't feel the pain at first for some time but it is a wound sure to kill, but kill slowly and painfully over a period of time.
 
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