The Terrible Shadow That Was World War One

We are in the middle of the anniversary of World War One….it means more to Europe than to  to the US but it should not…..a war that changed the world forever and the way we fight wars.

The carnage was something that can hardly be imagined and the loss of property and innocent lives is stuff nightmares are made of…….

World War One was a terrible shadow that descended unto the continent of Europe……

November 11, 2008, marks the ninetieth anniversary of the end of one of the most cataclysmic events of human history, the First World War. At 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918, the guns that had been decimating soldiers for more than four years fell silent. Almost 10 million soldiers lay dead. Large areas of Europe, Asia, and Africa were scarred with craters produced by artillery and mines, and trenches dug by millions of soldiers. In Winston Churchill’s memorable words, “All the horrors of all the ages were brought together, and not only armies but whole populations were thrust into the midst of them.”1

The physical carnage produced by the war, however, paled in comparison to the moral and political carnage that the war created and that shaped the rest of the twentieth century. The American diplomat and historian George F. Kennan rightly called the First World War the “seminal catastrophe” of the twentieth century. It marked the great divide between the old world and its religious and politically conservative values and customs and the new world, described so perceptively by the British historian Paul Johnson as “a world adrift, having left its moorings in traditional law and morality.”2

This war should be studied in finite detail so that the world does not ever make that mistake again…..sad it did just a mere 30 years later with World War Two……sadly NOTHING was learned from the carnage of World War one.


3 thoughts on “The Terrible Shadow That Was World War One

  1. It was a long and important war, and deserves a long and important commemoration. 1918 was one of the worst years of that war, and that final year should be just as keenly studied. But it seems that even here, the commemorations are running out of steam. The attention span of the public is short, and easily diverted.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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