World War I was initially set off when a Serbian nationalist killed the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, on June 28, 1914. Though, it is unclear exactly what the point of the war was. As referenced in “5 Things to Know About WWI” by IWM, the war was not inevitable. It seems that countries wanted to expand their territory or gain even more power than they already had. However, the fact that there was an incredible amount of violence and destruction and so much life lost, including 8.5 million troops and 13 million civilians, seems insane as there was no real cause to be fighting for. As far as what was gained, there were some new advancements in things like medicine (I.e. the triage system), science, and technology such as tanks being used in combat. Aircrafts were introduced into war, which led to more deaths and injuries. However, I do not think any gains outweigh the tremendous loss.
I think that there is a lot to learn from this war. World War I was supposed to be the war to end all wars, yet that was not the case at all. I think it should have served as a realization of what a war of such great size entails for everyone around the world and a warning to not repeat it. However, World War II broke out around 30 years after the conclusion of WWI, among other conflicts between nations that have gone on throughout this whole time. In some respects, WWI made WWII more catastrophic due to the methods of warfare that were learned, new tech, etc.
I agree that there was a world before WWI and a different world afterward. Most obviously, the relationships between the nations of the world changed a lot due to the Treaty of Versailles: the League of Nations was formed, land was redistributed, Germany lost a lot of power. There was also an effect on the people who served in the war. “Shell shock,” which is a term grouped into PTSD today, was something that had a profound effect on servicemen; they could not return to their normal lives due to that and also the insufficient aid in helping veterans assimilate back into society.
Like all of history, even if we don’t agree with something that took place or, in this case, believe that it was an insane occurrence, it is still important to learn about. As mentioned before, I think that this war should have served as a warning. War is terrible for everyone and its effects are lasting. We should understand why it happened to prevent something simnilar from happening again. Yet, today’s current situation with Russia and Ukraine makes it hard to believe that the world really has learned and understood previous wars.