Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
THE cost of the Great War in human life and suffering, material damage, and misery had been enormous, even leaving aside the expenditure of treasure and the disruption of trade. No one knows the true casualty figures for the fighting but perhaps 8–10 million soldiers dead on both sides is approximately accurate. Many more soldiers and civilians died after the armistice in further fighting or as a result of the influenza epidemic of 1918–1919 which wrought havoc in war-wasted Europe. As a direct result of the fighting, France lost 1.35 million men, the British Empire nearly 1 million, Germany 1.6 million, and Russia 2.3 million. Italy suffered 650,000 dead and the United States, which had entered the war in April 1917, lost 100,000 men. In addition, perhaps two or three times as many men were wounded, some severely and some crippled for life, while wartime separations occasioned a fall in the birth rate. A hasty survey of the battlefields by the American General McKinstrey estimated material damage at between £3,000m and £5,000m, while the British Treasury calculated the cost of the total Allied war effort at £24,000m.
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
Prof. Alan Sharp
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number