? asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 7 years ago

Why was WWI so destructive and catastrophic?

I have to write a 3-4 page essay need as much info as possible.

6 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    - It was the first war with so many countries involved at once, and at this time most of these countries were strong, ruthless, prideful, highly nationalistic empires just looking for a chance to show off their power. (They had their "expendable" colonies at their disposal to help them as well, increasing the death toll)

    - It first time countries experienced "full" war, where the draft was mandatory for nearly every male in a country, and everyone in the country (both men young and old and for the first time women) and all of the country's resources were devoted to the war effort and many domestic production/activities/jobs were sidelined in favor of those aiding the war.

    - War tactics such as trench warfare served no purpose but to kill numerous people on both sides without any real victories or progression of the war.

    - Rampant disease epidemics and poor healthcare proved to be greater killers than any of the weapons created during this time.

    - New, devastating weapons that could kill many at once were created and used indiscriminately, such as grenades, tanks, cannons, torpedoes, chemicals and gases, land and sea mines, airplanes and airbombs, and machine guns, among others.

    - It had the largest death toll of any war in all of history up to that point.

    - The war completely destroyed many empires and the economies of so many countries at once, even those that "won" the war.

    - In a sense, nearly every country lost this war in some way, even those that are claimed to be the winners suffered more than they gained.

    - Before WWI, war was seen as a prestigious, honorable thing, and the soldier as a noble, respectable figure but the vastly devasting, often pointless battles of WWI created cynicism and anti-war sentiment which remains entwined in much political and social philosophy even today.

  • 7 years ago

    There were a variety or reasons the carnage was so extraordinary in WWI. One critical change was that it was a war in which all of the participants ultimately resorted to mass levees (draft) of their entire male populations to fight. Most of the previous wars in Europe had been fought by relatively small professional armies.

    Then, too, in many cases technological improvements in weaponry outpaced improvements in tactics. Mass attacks, for example, remained the battle order most commonly employed, but against machine guns located to create interlocking fields of fire, and enormous artillery assets with great range and high rates of fire, this tactic resulted in tens of thousands of attackers falling within minutes of the start of any offensive.

    Then, too, there was widespread use of landmines and barbed wire to slow attackers as they attempted to cross the killing fields. Air power, still in its infancy, nonetheless provided eyes in the sky that often took away any possibility for the element of surprise. Add to this such innovations as flame throwers and poison gas, and even rifles with longer range and higher rates of fire than were previously available.

    Additionally, at least on the Western Front, the war quickly evolved from a mobile one to trench warfare, which favored defenders. This tactic was largely obviated by the mass introduction of armored assault vehicles in WWII, and improvements in air power which rendered fixed positions vulnerable to air bombardment and penetration and envelopment tactics by tanks.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Machine guns


    Poison Gas

    All used on an unprecedented scale.

    Unprecented deaths due to disease and pneumonia (flu of 1918).

    Antibiotics hadn't been invented.

    Anything you could possibly need to expand on those ideas can be found on the internet.

    Google. It practically does your homework for you.

  • 7 years ago

    Because in World War I, the first moon landing occurred and lead to a competitive era of space travel. This brought tension in Europe and eventually Germany designed the first half man half robot, otherwise known as a cyborg.

    With this, many countries developed their own cyborgs which got more and more advanced and destructive.

    After the war, the nation signed a treaty banning all cyborgs and that's why we do not see them any more.

    Source(s): My college history book.
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  • 7 years ago

    1) The vast numbers of people killed, both soldiers and civilians.

    2) The almost total destruction of buildings and infrastructures in the European countries, specially Germany.

    3) The almost inconceivable number of people displaced.

    And that's just for starters.

  • 7 years ago

    The main reson was because of chemical warfare like mustard gas.

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