By Livinus Nnebedum
* EFFECT AND MAJOR FACTORS LEADING TO THE END
OF THE 1ST WORLD WAR
* WHY IT IS CALLED WORLD WAR?
* CONSEQUENCES OF 1ST AND 2ND WORLD WAR
“We have to learn from history especially our Youths so that we can detect mistakes, make corrections for improvement while planning ahead for the present and future”
The First World War lasted for four years from 1914 to 1918. It was called the World War because most of the continents were involved in the war. When the war broke out in 1914, Europeans expected it to last for only a few weeks
On one side were the following:
– British Commonwealth
– Romania and some other countries. These are called the Allies.
On other side were:
– The Central powers of Germany.
– Austria (Hungary then).
It was a total war where all able- bodied men were called up to fight. The war was mainly fought in Europe. Both sides dug long lines of trenches. From there, they launched attacks in an effort to break through the enemy’s lines.
Three factors that brought about the end of the 1st World War in favour of the Allies, that is; British Common Wealth, France, Belgium, Russia, Serbia, Japan, Italy, Rumania and some other countries:
– By 1917 the Allied Naval blockade of Germany had cut off the flow of food and supplies to Germany. “Hunger and Starvation” resulting from food blockage is another strong weapon of War. Let us recall that was what happened during the Nigeria Civil war of 1967 to 1970. Nigeria Civil War ended with NO VICTOR, NO VANQUISH”
– The entry of the U.S.A into the war in April 1917 on the side of the Allies greatly strengthened the Allied side.
– The effective use of new weapon-the tank, enabled the Allied to break through the Germany lines in 1918.
The loss per day in the 1st World War was 5,509. The consequences of the 1st World war include;
– Some 10 million men were killed in direct action.
– Direct Economic loses alone were over 180 billion dollars.
– The Austrian and Turkish Empires were broken up and replaced by smaller states.
– All the defeated countries were ruined while the victors, apart from U.S.A were half bankrupt. Buildings destroyed included 1,500 schools, 1,200 churches, 377 public or government buildings, 1000 industrial plants and 246,000 other buildings.
The 2nd World War lasted for 6 years from, 1939 to 1945. It was the most destructive and wide ranging war in history. The areas covered by the war ranged across Europe, Asia, Africa and vast area of the pacific. On one side were Britain, France, the USSR, the U.S.A. and the 45 countries that fought with them were called the Allies. On the other side were Germany, Italy, Japan and their supporters were called the Axis. As in the 1st World War of 1914 to 1918 the whole societies were mobilized for total war hence the name World War
Adolf Hitler ruled Germany as dictator from 1933 to 1945. He turned Germany into a powerful war machine and provoked 2nd World War in 1939. His forces conquered most of Europe before they were defeated in 1945. Winston Churchill was the British war Prime Minister during the 2nd World War. He was the war leader.
At the onset of the war, it looked as if Hitler would win the war. By mid 1941 all of Mainland Europe, expect Portugal and Switzerland was in German hands. In June 1941 the Germans stupidly attacked Russia despite their treaty of friendship. Hitler underrated the Russians and by 1942 the Germans were suffering huge losses. In Dec 1941, the Japanese attacked the American Naval Base of Pearly harbor. The USA were now in the war.
ATOMIC BOMBING OF HIROSHIMA IN JAPAN AND END OF 2ND WORLD WAR
In 1942 and 1943 the Allies won a series of crucial Victories. Then in June 1944 their troops landed in Normandy and crossed France, pushing the German troops back.
Gradually the countries of Western Europe were freed. In the East, Russians were pushing toward Berlin capital of Germany .
On 7th May 1945, the Germans surrendered. On 14th August 1945 the Japanese surrendered after Atomic bombs was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
THE COSTS OF THE 2ND WORLD WAR:
Direct Economic costs 1.6 Trillion Dollars
– Battle deaths = 14,904,000
– Civilian deaths =38,573,000
– Battle wounded = 25,218,000
CONSEQUENCES OF THE 2ND WORLD WAR:
U.S.A and U.S.S.R emerged from the war as the two giants or superpowers.
Although Allies, they soon fell out over how the map of Europe was to be redrawn.
Over 50 million men, women and children were killed. Among the dead were 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis in the most atrocious crime in history.
Hitlers Mussolini’s and Japan’s Empires were overthrown.
Livinus Nnebedum wrote from Anambra State Agricultural Development
Program (ADP) Aguata Zonal Office