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© Barns Green - A Local History of The Great War 2014
In   the   4   years,   6   months   and   8   days   that   defined   the   timespan   of   the   Great   War,   the   face   of   Europe   changed   beyond recognition.   Empires   fell,   new   nations   came   into   being   and   a   momentum   of   change,   the   like   of   which   had   never   before   been   seen,   took root. The financial cost of this was immense. To quote from a National Archives source.. “In   economic   terms,   the   First   World   War   -   fought   at   an   estimated   cost   of   $208   billion   -   caused   the   greatest   global   depression   of   the   20th century.   Debts   accrued   by   all   of   the   major   combatants,   with   the   notable   exception   of   the   USA,   stalked   the   post-war   economic   world. Unemployment   was   rife.   Inflation   dramatically   increased   the   cost   of   living   -   most   famously   in   Weimar   Germany,   where   hyperinflation meant   that,   by   December   1923,   a   loaf   of   bread   cost   428   billion   marks.   The   First   World   War   abruptly   ended   a   period   of   relative   economic prosperity, replacing it with two decades of economic misery.” The decimation of the warring nations through lives lost and injuries sustained were equally huge. The same souce further quotes... “In   terms   of   loss   of   human   life,   the   First   World   War   was   unprecedented.   The   number   of   war   dead   (i.e.   those   killed   in   action   or   from   wounds received   in   action)   was   about   9.4   million:   an   average   of   roughly   6,000   deaths   for   every   day   of   the   war.   The   war's   victors,   the   Allies,   lost   far more men (5.4 million) than the defeated Central Powers (4 million). To   these   figures   must   be   added   the   15   million   men   who   were   crippled   by   their   service   in   the   First   World   War.   In   Germany   alone,   2.7   million soldiers   returned   home   with   permanent   disabilities.   Only   800,000   of   them   received   invalidity   pensions.   The   ongoing   cost   of   the   war   can   be seen   in   the   fact   that,   in   Britain   during   the   late   1930s,   639,000   ex-soldiers   and   officers   were   still   drawing   disability   pensions.   This   figure includes   65,000   men   whose   disabilities   were   not   physical   but   mental.   Some   servicemen   were   so   traumatised   by   their   experiences   in   the First World War that they spent the rest of their lives in hospital.    The   victims   of   the   First   World   War   were   not   confined   to   the   battlefield.      Furthermore   millions   of   civilians   and   soldiers   alike   were   killed   by the virulent influenza pandemic  of 1918/19 that left none of the warring countries untouched...” The   maps   below   show   the   face   of   Europe   pre   and   post   the   First   World   War,   the   navigation   buttons   access   key   events   on   a   year   by   year basis
A Brief Timeline of the Great War
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1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918