Why are the events of World War 1 of considerable interest
for understanding the roots of conflicts of our own present time?
1. Many political conflicts of today and of recent years are rooted
or created by the tensions of the pre-war and after-war period of World War 1.
For example, conflicts like in Kosovo, Albania, the Middle East
and recently the wars in Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia.
2. Many people, with exception of the British and the French of course,
consider wrongly the Second World War as the "greater" war.
The Second World War was a direct consequence of the Versailles Treaty
at the end of the First World War.
The period of interbellum, between 1918 - 1939,
only seems like a peaceful period at the first glance.
The fighting stopped in that period, but the international tensions were still high.
Many countries used this period to rebuild and modernise their forces and weapon systems.
This interbellum was only a long pause between violent hostilities.
In other words:
Could the second war have existed, without the events of the first one?
3. As a consequence of importance
The Versailles Treaty drawed some new borderlines on the map of the world of 1923.
The victors in Versailles, 1919:
Lloyd George, Clemenceau
The Treaty created with that act some new, independent countries and nationalities.
Some I like to mention here.
In Europe: Yougoslavia, Hungary, Poland, Hungaria.
In the Middle East: Palestine, Iraq, Jordania, Quwait,
and Nejd (in 1932: Saudi Arabia), all under British protectorate,
and Syria under French protectorate.
The Osman Empire was over and shrunken to the size of modern Turkey.
4. During the war the Germans succesfully financed,
and transported Comrade Lenin to launch his Russian Octobre Revolution of 1917.
Russian Communism will influence global politics and conflicts as a superpower until 1989!
5. In this war both belligerent parties, the Centrals and the Allies,
developped high tech weaponry and new tactics,
which still influences the modern warfare of today.
The first introduction of high tech inventions like the armoured car,
and poison gasses
....all happened during the First World War.
New tactics were developped, still used in later wars,
curtain bombardments, air bombing, air raids, carpet bombing etc.
6. Forced by the massive, bloody circumstances,
the war medical surgery developped many new treatments,
and medicaments for i.e. gangreen and moreover,
the important invention of penicilline.
The medical surgeons were also forced to improve their skills
in the production of artificial bodyparts,
and developped a rude beginning of plastic surgery.
7. All the able men of the belligerent nationalities were sent to the many Fronts.
For the first time in history women were stimulated to take over the working places of the men.
The women kept the war-machine going on with their labour
in the weapon industries and civil industries.
To my opinion,
this fact forms one of the main reasons for the succes of the struggle
of the Suffragettes and their later followers,
for the Emancipation of Women.
An influence still rooted in the Western hemisphere of today!
8. It is hard to find another war in recent history than World War 1,
in which the political and military leaders had such a disrespect for human lives.
This war has been a long chain of many stupid decisions
with the consequence of a pointless and massive loss of 6.000.000 lives.
These are my subjective, personal reasons.
your humble Host,
Pierre Grande Guerre
to my next chapter of World War 1 for Rookies:
(Before re-editing and re-posting this page, it has been viewed 896 times.)