The Human Cost of War
From the first gunshot fired in anger in 1914 to the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month in 1918, the Great War took its toll on human life. Of the 65 million men who fought in World War 1:
- 8 million men were killed in battle.
- 2 million died of illness and disease.
- 21.2 million were wounded.
- 7.8 million were taken prisoner or went missing in action.
In every nation that took part in the combat, there were few families who hadn't lost a relative in the war–a brother, a son, a father, a nephew, or an uncle. Some towns and villages lost every single one of their male members of fighting age. And if that village lay in the vicinity of soldiers or bombers, many others were killed as well.
- 6.8 million civilians were killed during WWI.
The Poppies of Flanders Field
The Financial Cost of War
The First World War took its toll on the whole of the European economy, leaving Europe on its knees, financially.
Many industries that once thrived during peacetime had been retooled for war production. When the war was over, governments didn't help factories retool or recalibrate for what they used to produce, thereby pushing many industries and factories into financial ruin.
Also, due to the high toll of death and injury, many villages lost all their skilled tradesman such as printers, smiths, and carpenters, trades that took a long time to learn. Because recovery required these skills, the infrastructures of villages were crippled and ruined in many rural areas.
The estimated costs for WWI for each participating nation are listed below (in US dollars):
United States: $22,625,253,000
Great Britain: $35,334,012,000
New Zealand: $378,750,000
South Africa: $300,000,000
British Colonies: $125,000,000
The After Cost of War
Years after the cease fire had been signed, the financial costs of war continued. Disabled soldiers had to be cared for and homes, factories, and infrastructure had to be rebuilt. Graves had to be cared for and cemeteries had to be built for the soldiers who perished. The bodies of soldiers who died in the war were removed from their shallow graves at the trenches and taken home to be buried. War memorials were built in every town, village, and city of soldiers who had perished in battle.
Read More From Owlcation
Mtz on January 10, 2019:
Sweet battle... and that is a lot of money
JC on November 11, 2018:
Svetlana on February 02, 2018:
This article helps with assignments from Social Studies...
Thank you ! :)
Caleb Michale Jakson on January 25, 2018:
This is a good website.
Valanis on September 19, 2017:
You might have forgotten reparations payed by Germany, although their contribution to political destabilization in that country should have been even more costly.
Alex on April 18, 2016:
Nami, like most wars, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
henry j on March 16, 2016:
thank jesus that someone fought for our live god bless them all :)
Halister Bell on February 15, 2015:
If we agree then we are good
Seeing that from where you stood
Gradually kept on getting worse
Lose yourself in this verse
Together we stand as the Allied Powers
To only stop the blood-rained showers
What good was it to reject the 14 points
Cuz it asked us to not bust these joints
Humans alone are the violent creatures
Saying that all was part of procedures
Good men had to loose their dying lives
Beholding a sight to their crying wives
We love to fight and live for it
But why do we love to take this hit
We will all die in this world eventually
But why make it all go so suddenly
We need to take this on our mind
To never leave this all behind
So we never custom to forget
This hell that we have all met
gd on January 30, 2014:
rOBERT hEWETT SR. from Louisville, Kentucky on July 27, 2012:
Well written and very interesting and useful. My father was in WWI, and gassed and wounded in the Argonne Forest.
lizB on November 14, 2011:
well apparantly george bush didn't study ww1 or ww2 in school because america is officially in the longest war ever to take place in history
Adrien on November 13, 2011:
megan hunch on October 04, 2011:
i think this is areally gd website it tells u lots of info i like it a lot
jaskar from England on June 15, 2011:
i went on a battlefield tour a while back. we went to tyne-cot. its mind blowing. i mean there are thousands of graves there alone. and when you think what a small fraction of the total dead that is, well it just destroys you. and the worst thing is i cant think of one single reason why they died.
Philippe on December 03, 2010:
I wonder if little George Bush studied World war I in school?
nami on September 23, 2010:
wow that war was pointless if it did any thing but kill all those ppl!!
Abigail on September 09, 2010:
It is so horrific how many people died in the war and some dying just from the conditions of the trenches, i feel sorry for all those who lost people in the war and how the brave soliders had spent their last days in these ghastly conditions :(
angel on April 28, 2010:
wow how could such a thing happened to thes poor people
lert on February 17, 2010:
nice hub nice
DAMIAN AKARA T. on December 20, 2009:
perhaps it was out of shame when looking at the barbaric outcome of the carnage that the perpetrators of the Great European war popularized it as the "First World War" so that all can share in the guilt.
LondonGirl from London on January 11, 2009:
The impact of the deaths resonated throughout the UK, I think. All those war memorials, all those dead boys.
jack on January 05, 2009:
wow talk bout a lot of died ppl.. wow this was a very bad war!!!
nancydodds1 from Houston, Texas on October 26, 2008:
Its very nice and great information about world war 1. So many people had lost there lifes in war.
wittlemo on October 16, 2008:
That was cost so much. And so many lives were lost and much land was destroyed. WWI didn't do much either, if it did, we wouldn't have WWII. ;)
Roberta Kyle from Central New Jersey on May 05, 2008:
Ahhh "In Flanders Field the poppies grow,between the crosses row on row" That keeps going through my head as I read this hub. What a staggering cost in blood and treasure--and it was supposed to be the war to end all wars. Thanks for making us all remember that the more things change, the more they remain the same. Wonderful hub.
Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on May 05, 2008:
The costs listed in your hub are just absolutely horrific. So many lifes have been lost for what? So that it can be done all-over again in a couple of decades.
great hub regards Zsuzsy
Woody Marx from Ontario, Canada on May 05, 2008:
When we look at statistics, they are just numbers. But if we remember that there is a real, live, human being behind that number, one who had a mother, and was once a baby and grew up in a family and so on...it really brings it home. War is evil, but when all is said a done, a necessary one perhaps. Such a mystery.
Thanks for your hub!