What did WWI achieve?

DaManBugs

LE
Book Reviewer
On 4 July (when WWI really started) I’m due to give a lecture on what was actually achieved by kicking off the “Ferse Whirl Wore”. Obviously, I have my own thoughts on the subject, But I thought it’d be fruitful to include as many opinions as possible. Particularly because lots of ARRSERs are descendent of WWI/II volunteers and may have snapped up an option?opinion here or there. Any fellow ARRSERs have any thoughts on that? Given that my Granda, bless him indeed, was one of the very first to volunteer in WWI (there was never any conscription in Ireland), and went on to fight in the Irish War of Independence and the subsequent Irish Civil War as a member of the (original) IRA, i.e. nothing to do with the murdering psychos who waylaid and abused the term in the Six Counties, can any ARRSERs provide any answers to the original question?

The burning, and essentially intriguing, original question is: what was actually achieved by WWI? How did WWI fundamentally improve the world and/or the situation as it stood at the time? I welcome all contributions!

MsG

PS. If we could just ignore the usual, tiresome knobnuts irrationally ranting on about families decimated and intimations about drug-abuse and such, it would be appreciated,
 

4(T)

LE
Setting aside "what did it achieve?", I found Max Hasting's book "Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914" quite good at laying out the evidence as to why the war actually started.

It seems clear that the war was going to happen anyway, so asking "what did it achieve" from the point of view of one or more of the combatants - or, indeed every other country in the world - might be the wrong way of looking at it.
 

Waldorfmuppet

Old-Salt
Depending on how long or in depth your lecture is to be you may want to narrow it down.

What did WW1 achieve militarily?

What did WW1 achieve geo politically?

What did WW1 achieve technologically?

What did WW1 achieve in terms of social mobility in the UK?

Etc etc...



Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Just off the top of my head:

The toppling of the Kaiser and a 20 year delay of WW2.

The collapse of the Ottoman, Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires.

The bankrupting of the British Empire.

Spanish flu.

The Great Depression.

The Irish Free State.

Rampant nationalism all over the shop.

The rise of Japan and the Labour Party (not connected, obviously).

Poetry, jazz and women's liberation.
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
Try looking at what each of the involved hoped to achieve and how successful they were. The British empire for example wanted to maintain the empire, maintain the relative strength of the RN, promote free trade (as long as free meant profitting from others) and countering the threat of the rise of the militaristic and expansionist German Empire. Then compare the successes with the cost of achieving them.
 

nodandawink

War Hero
The invention of:

Poison Gas
Aerial warfare
The Tank/Armoured Warfare

The development of the League Of Nations, which eventually creates the UN.
Acceleration of air transport - the first Atlantic Flight is in a converted WW1 Bomber

Geopolitically, I think it has a pretty direct link to the formation of Communist Russia (no WW1, the Tsarist govt get more time to democratize slowly), and the consequent annexation of large chunks of Eastern Europe.

Its probably a lifetime's study to work out all the consequences..
 

DaManBugs

LE
Book Reviewer
Depending on how long or in depth your lecture is to be you may want to narrow it down.

What did WW1 achieve militarily?

What did WW1 achieve geo politically?

What did WW1 achieve technologically?

What did WW1 achieve in terms of social mobility in the UK?

Etc etc...
Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
Those are the very points I wish to emphasise, Waldorfmuppet. I realise that the 60 minutes of my projected lecture are not going to radically change anything, but I'd like to think that I can at least gave the students something to think about in their heavily revised versions of WWI.

MsG
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
What did WW1 achieve? WW2!
 
I think in 60 minutes you can only slim the surface so difficult as it will be to avoid a 'list lecture' I think the thing to stress is the huge number of things that did 'change' [I'd use that term rather than 'achieve'].
 
Reduction in global population and so, along with WW2 staved off overpopulation by about 40 years! Apart from that it widened the gap between upper and middle/working classes and narrowed the gap between middle and working class.
Sides that, bugger all,

can we have an easy one next time like, "What did WW2 achieve?"
 

I.A. Dada

War Hero
WW1 went along way towards changing the relationships between social classes in the UK. The Aristocracy never really recovered their prewar way of life and confidence. A lot of the male ones didn't survive the war.

The position of women changed too (munitions work etc.).
 
macro to micro
From a macro sense i think it heralded the end of Empires.
It finished the Ottoman, German and Austro-Hungarian ones and began the collapse of the British one in the sense that the colonies became self aware (Australia / NZ, African countries)
It helped start the Russian Revolution, i think voting for women took off.

From a more micro sense you can look at the advances made because of the war - as we all know we seem to leap forward when we make military based technologies.
Things like:
Aviation, tea bags, wrist watches, the invention of the tank, flame thrower, communications.
It's really a vast topic so my take as an audience member would be to hear something i had know idea about - i can guess at the empires thing.
 

ACAB

LE
Aren't you a member of the Socialist Workers Party?

If so, the answer is simple. WW1 achieved lots of dead workers.
 
WW 1 left the populations of Europe ripe for the pneumonia epidemic that swept the continent and killed many millions.
 
D

Deleted 4886

Guest
The creation of the biggest terrorist nuclear state in the Middle East? (Retreats to the Bunker)
 
Shook up the class structure in Britain and changed the role of women. Oh, yes changed military tactics so no more Gentleman's War.
 

Latest Threads

Top