Archive for the 'First World War' Category

Balance-sheet of the Fist World War – concluded

April 7, 2018

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For some reason I find this section the most jaw-dropping, the most shocking of all; I knew about the human toll of the war in so far as it’s possible to take it in, but the sheer waste of resources is truly mind-boggling…

With the money spent on the war…

You could have provided a furnished villa with garden and outbuildings to a value of 100,000 francs to EVERY family in the following countries: USA, Canada, England, France, Belgium, Germany and Russia, and afterwards you could have built, in all towns with more than 200,000 inhabitants in each of those countries: a hospital for 125 million francs; a library for the same value; a university for 250 million. That done, a reserve fund could have been set up which, at 5% interest, would have provided annuities allowing 125,000 teacher or professors, and 125,000 doctors or nurses to be employed at an average salary of 25,000 francs. And that’s not all! This building finished, and the capital set aside for investment, there would remain a sum equivalent to the total value of property in Belgium and France before the cataclysm!

(concluding the series of posts I introduced here; I hope some readers have found it informative…)

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Balance-sheet of the First World War – 21

April 7, 2018

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War at sea Total navy and merchant marine force losses during the war 86,000

England alone suffered more than half the losses: 2,468 officers and 30,895 sailors of the Royal Navy,

and 14,661 officers and men of the Merchant Navy.

Tonnage torpedoed or sunk during the war:

England 8.610,000 tonnes

USA 613,000 tonnes Norway 1,287,000 tonnes

France 972,000 tonnes

Italy 923,000 tonnes

Japan 182,000 tonnes

In total, 12,587,000 tonnes with a value of 50,000,000,000 francs, corresponding to 5,000 ships.

(continuing the series of posts I introduced here)

Balance-sheet of the First World War – 20

April 4, 2018

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Progress in war… War has progressed. That is undeniable. Today it kills more quickly and better. If we compare the losses in the 1914-18 war with the losses in the eight great wars of the previous two centuries, a real improvement is noticeable:

Seven Years War 551,000 men killed

Revolutionary Wars 1,400,000

Napoleonic Wars 1,700,000

Crimean War 785,000

War of American Independence 700,000

Russo-Japanese War 624,000

Balkan Wars 108,000

Great War 10,000,000

(continuing the series of posts I introduced here)

Balance-sheet of the First World War – 19

April 4, 2018

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The first four months

During the first 4 months of the war (August to November 1914) we lost (killed) 454,000 men, that is to say one third of our total losses.

(continuing the series of posts I introduced here)

Balance-sheet of the First World War – 18

April 3, 2018

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The development of artillery:
number of guns in service in the armies at the start of Sept 1914/ Nov 1918 

campaign artillery approx 3,400 (93%) /6,200 (41%)
heavy artillery 230 (7%) /6,800 (45%)
trench artillery (Nov 1918) 2,200 (14%)
totals 3,630/ 15,200

(continuing the series of posts I introduced here)
 

Balance-sheet of the First World War – 17

April 1, 2018

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The front on 11 November 1918 represented a development 550km long, shared out thus:

the Belgian Army held 30 km (12 divisions, 110 fighting battalions)
the British Army held 90 km (60 divisions, 560 fighting battalions)
the French Army held 330 km (102 divisions, 1081 fighting battalions)
the American Army held 100 km (31 divisions, 372 fighting battalions)

To these troops must be added:
2 Portuguese divisions – 24 fighting battalions
2 Italian divisions – 26 fighting battalions
1 Polish division - 15 fighting battalions

(continuing the series of posts I introduced here)
 

Balance-sheet of the First World War – 16

March 27, 2018

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Losses in particular time periods This table is again pretty self-explanatory and so I haven’t translated it fully. The war has been divided into separate time-slots, dominated by a particular battle or action, and the losses are listed in three categories under each head:

Died on the battlefield, missing or taken prisoners

Died in first aid/ dressing stations

Died in hospital (behind the lines)

For us to notice again is the huge proportion of casualties in the opening months of the war.

(continuing the series of posts I introduced here)

Balance-sheet of the First World War – 15

March 25, 2018

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The war cost France: costs of the war 989,483,000,000/debts and reparations 137,111,000,000 francs. Total = 1,126,594,000,000 francs.

The war cost the belligerents: According to calculations by the League of Nations, spent or destroyed the value of ten trillion (10,000,000,000,000) francs.

(continuing the series of posts I introduced here)

Balance-sheet of the First World War – 14

March 25, 2018

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The first wounded Frenchman in the war was customs-officer Lalbe. On 2 August 1914 – before war was declared – at about 9am, he was at Suarce (Belfort territory) where horses and cars were being requisitioned. A patrol of uhlans commanded by Lt Mayer arrived, and he took a bullet. This first injury did not prevent him taking part in combat, being mentioned in dispatched several times, and receiving the military medal. He dies 20 November 1932 aged 57.

The first Frenchman killed: the first death of the war was Cpl Andre Peugeot of the 44th infantry regiment, a teacher and son of a teacher, born at Etupes (Doubs department) 11 June 1883. On 2 August 1914 – before war was declared – he was killed at 10am at Joncherey, 2km from Delle, by Lt Mayer of the 5th horse chasers Garrisoned at Mulhouse. [same Lt Mayer as above?]

(continuing the series of posts I introduced here)

Balance-sheet of the First World War – 13

March 21, 2018

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Material losses:
number of communes entirely destroyed 1699
number of communes 3/4 destroyed 707
number of communes half-destroyed 1656
number of houses completely destroyed 319,269
number of houses partially destroyed 313,675
number of factories 20,603
kilometres of railway destroyed 7985
bridges destroyed 4875
tunnels destroyed 12
kilometres of road destroyed 52,754
hectares of uncultivated land destroyed 2,060,000
hectares of cultivated land destroyed 1,740,000

(continuing the series of posts I introduced here)
 
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