Thursday, 21 August 2014

Written by Akhilan Manivannan, Junior 1 Higgs, Class of 2015


There is nothing more evil in this world than war, and as the anniversary of World War 1 draws upon us, one would be hard pressed to argue with that statement. World War 1 was aptly named as such due to it’s massive worldwide involvement of countries, the first time any war had been so widespread all over the Earth. The war begun on July 28 1914 and lasted until November 11 1918. The war was mainly fought due to difference in foreign policies, but the immediate cause was the assassination of Austria’s Archduke Ferdinand. World War 1 was fought by two main sides, the Allies(including France, Great Britain and Russia), and Germany and Austria-Hungary. In total, 30 countries were involved in the major conflict but countless other countries were affected by it as well.


During the war, soldiers fought most of their battles in trenches (large, narrow ditches) and because of this thousands of these men suffered from shell-shock, a mind debilitating stress. The British and French trenches were usually filthy, squalid and generally unpleasant, while the German trenches were rather luxurious in comparison, some even having bunks and decent cooking facilities.


Even animals suffered the trauma of World War 1, and dogs were used to carry messages in capsules attached to their body. In addition dogs were sometimes also charged with carrying and placing telegraph wires in important areas. Pigeons also took to the sky, about 500,000 regularly dropped into enemy lines by parachute, and then sent back with messages. 


World War 1 was one of the first wars to start rapidly developing advanced weaponry, and the cannons and artillery used were extremely loud. For example in 1917, the explosives used in the destruction of a bridge in France could be heard over 130 miles away in London. A plethora of new weapons were invented or first put to use during the war, most famously a 48 ton gun called Big Bertha, capable of firing a shell over 9 miles. Big Bertha did however take a big 200 men several hours to assemble it. Tanks in World War 1 were also interestingly divided into two categories, "male" tanks armed with cannons, and "female" tanks armed with machine guns. 


They say that some aspects of our world simply cannot be expressed in words, and the incredible statistics involved in WW1 are certainly one of those aspects. Instead, here are the shocking, pure statistics regarding the terrible tragedy.

Total number of men mobilised to fight : 65 million
Percentage of men mobilised who died : 57%
Total number killed : 8.5 million
Total number of casualties : 37 million
Number of missing Prisoners of War : 7.7 million
Number of wounded soldiers : 19.7 million
Number of years of fighting : 4 years
Number of allied countries military casualties : 5.7 million
Number of allied country civilian casualties : 3.67 million
Number of allied countries wounded : 12.8 million
Number of military casualties : 9,720,450
Number of civilian casualties : 8,865,650
Total War Cost : $186.3 billion

Those are some extremely terrifying numbers.

World War 1 was undoubtedly one of the most tragic and devastating historical disasters in the history of the world, and will remain as one till the end of our existence. We must however continue remembering the horrors of World War 1, and ensure that we do what our forefathers failed to do, and that is prevent another world war, for the Earth may simply not live through another. 


by Akhilan Manivannan 22:56 3 comments | in , , , , ,

3 comments:

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  2. I love to read about the historic things. First World War was one of the most furious war. The given details are fully authentic , I guess these type of things we have to tell our young generation so that they will familiar with the past truth.
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