For the past few years IST has been posting on the 100 year anniversary of World War One. the Great War……as a student of conflict I am fascinating about the causes and results of a war that cost so many lives and has no match in carnage….
The question has been asked many times…..what lessons were learned from that war?
The past weeks should have been a remarkable occasion to reflect on history, on the magnitude, costs, and legacy of what was once commonly known as the Great War, the most cataclysmic single war in Western history ever up until that point or at least since the fall of Rome and easily one of the worst and most lethal in world history.
And yet reflection on the war and its horrific costs and legacies has been woefully lacking. Whether it was due to questionable political and behavioral decisions during centenary commemorations that overshadowed the remembrances, a news media that sorely lacks competency in this type of historical examination, or a combination of reasons, something vital was missing: sober reflection that takes a measure of history, of its impact on the present and potential effects on the future, and on the many millions of lives cut short in conditions few of us could even imagine, let alone endure.
Indeed, it is hard to say which is most stunning: the incredible impact that four measly years in the span of human history had on the world one-hundred years ago, the impact it is still having and will continue to have, the incredible toll of lives lost (around some 16.5 million dead—about half military, half civilian—by some solid estimates, surpassed only by the next, and, we may hope, last, World War that followed just a few decades later), or the utter lack of general awareness today of all of these things.
I found a good series of videos about the conspiracy of WW1……..
It still amazes me at the destruction and death that this conflict produced…..