The balance-sheet of the Great War

February 20, 2018

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We are moving towards the centenary of the Armistice and the end of the Great War, and I have to say that, after my initial doubts about various suggested commemorations, we seem to have been sober, sensible and respectful in what we have remembered. Perhaps, actually, we have stayed away from it, still unable fully to comprehend the enormities of a century ago, against the background of a world that is still very troubled, and still affected by those events of the past.

I’m attempting to do something a bit different in a series of posts which will appear in the coming weeks. I hope that the images I will use are clear enough for readers to see, if you magnify them on your device.

I first saw this poster in the museum at Albert, on my first visit to the Somme. From the way it’s written, and the typefaces and design, it apparently dates from some point between the two world wars. On a visit to Verdun last year, I was pleased to see it had been reproduced for sale, at the modest price of 5 euros. It’s obviously focused particularly on the effects of the Great War on France, but there are important and useful messages for everyone. As my contribution to remembering the centenary of the end of the war in 2018, I’ve scanned each section separately and translated it for an English-speaking audience; over the coming days and weeks the sections will appear in my blog, and when completed, I will add it to my pages, so it’s easily accessible…

This synoptic table compiled from official statistics by Georges Pineau and illustrated by André Galland, was published by the Newspaper of the Combatants and War-Mutilated, Paris.

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20 Responses to “The balance-sheet of the Great War”


  1. […] The balance-sheet of the Great War […]

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  2. […] losses among colonial troops 66,000 total = 1,391,000 (continuation of a series translating this French […]

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  3. […] Men (these are figures from all the nations involved in the war) 10 million dead 19 million wounded 10 million mutilated (I think this refers to amputees) 7 million prisoners 9 million orphans 5 million widows 10 million refugees 74 million mobilised (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  4. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  5. […] Losses by category (these figures are for France only) Troops – infantry: mobilised 3,957,000; killed 1,158,000; = 29.9 % Troops – cavalry: mobilised 280,600; killed 21,400; = 7.6% Troops – artillery: mobilised 1,373,000; killed 82,800; = 6% Troops – engineers: mobilised 432,500; killed 27,600; = 6.4% Troops – aviation: mobilised 102,500; killed 3,600; = 3.5% Troops – airbase: mobilised 21,000; killed 560; = 2.7% Troops – railway: mobilised 210,000; killed 7,490; = 3.6% Troops – motorised services: mobilised 203,000; killed 3,500; = 1.7% Troops – other: mobilised 533,500; killed 16,250; = 3% Officers – infantry: mobilised 100,000 ; killed 29,200; = 29% Officers – cavalry: mobilised 8,400; killed 865; = 10.3% Officers – artillery: mobilised 34,200; killed 3,140; = 9.2% Officers – engineers: mobilised 7,400; killed 690; = 9.3% Officers – aviation: mobilised 5,300; killed 1,145; = 21.6% Officers – airbase: mobilised 600; killed 34; = 5.7% Officers – railway: mobilised 2,400; killed 105; = 4.4% Officers – motorised services: mobilised 3,400; killed 66; = 1.9% Officers – other: mobilised 31,300; killed 1,234; = 4.1% (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  6. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  7. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  8. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  9. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  10. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  11. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  12. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  13. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  14. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  15. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  16. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  17. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  18. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  19. […] (continuing the series of posts I introduced here) […]

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  20. […] the series of posts I introduced here; I hope some readers have found it […]

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