[That's "Mainly Ignored Special Stuff Electronically Delivered.]

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WWI    June 1914 – Nov. 1918

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In the middle of this, in 1916, was an awful conflict called the Battle of Somme.

Ever heard of that?

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For more use the DOOR.

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   According to Aldridge, Humphrey, and Whitaker (quoting John Keegan)¹, many military historians consider  WWI a tragic, unnecessary conflict.  There were age-old issues between the nations of Europe. But why choose all-out warfare instead of diplomacy?

   It began on June 28, 1914, [almost exactly 100 years ago by the way…] in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo when a Serb nationalist shot Archduke Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

   The 2 sides: The Central Powers (Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Italy) vs. The Allies (France, Russia, Great Britain, and later the United States).

   “The horrors of World War I were exemplified by the Battle of Somme, which began on July 1, 1916. British and French artillery shelled German lines for over a week, and the Allied infantry expected little resistance when everything went “over the top.” However, the Germans had deep dugouts, and on the first day of the battle, Allied forces suffered over 40,000 casualties, with nearly 20,000 dead or missing. Casualties from both sides totaled over 1,000,000 during the 4½ month campaign.”²

                        –from Know It All: The Little Book of Essential Knowledge

Items:

• Think of the pain and suffering. And it was before antibiotics (though research on that was on its way).

• Where could the wounded receive any kind of treatment?

• How could so many bodies be quickly dealt with?

• Americans wanted to stay out of this kind of conflict. But then the British liner Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine killing 1,198 people, 128 of them Americans. This attack helped show the U. S. that entry into the war was inevitable, so it joined the Allies finally in 1917.

   According to Wikipedia, 135 countries were involved in the war and 15,000,000 were eventually killed. Multiple treaties were signed ending hostilities. It was the first warfare to use airplanes, tanks, and submarines.

   When was it called “World War I”? No one is quite sure, but it was sometime during 1939. Before then it was called “The Great War.”

   But peace before the next, a greater war, only lasted for 21 years…

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   ¹ Susan Aldridge, Elizabeth King Humphrey, and Julie Whitaker, Know It All: The Little Book of Essential Knowledge (Sweet Water Press, 2008,2013).

   ² ibid.