After four years of fierce battles, millions of casualties, hundreds of villages destroyed, thousands of kilometer squares maimed by continous bombing and shelling, finally the sound of cannon stopped. “La Der Des Der”, “La Grande Guerre”, “La Premiere Guerre Mondiale” ended. It started with the assassination of the archduke Franz Ferdinand four years earlier, it ended up as the “Ragnarok” for the Old World Order.
One victor, one defeated. Gains? Not much except for France that took back the Alsace and Lorraine from the Kaiser (I am trying to imagine a parallel timeline in which these regions would have stayed German, I would be speaking German…). Losses? Yes, a huge loss of generation, a loss of innocence gone. The victor will impose huge humiliation to the defeated with outrageous conditions during the Versailles treaty in 1919 that only seeded the seed of wrath that will bloom twenty-years later.
The trench warfare proved to be a monster that would only swallow human lives during senseless and meaningless assault to take over hundred yards. The usage of modern warfare (aviation, chemical warfare) brought a unique level of violence to the battlefield. The military establishment literally playing chess with the opponent, only with flesh and bones pawns on the grid.
The old World Order (UK, France, Germany, Ottoman Empire) that held over one half of the world in their colonial possessions will only see crumble into fragments. Europe ends up broken into pieces following aspirations through ethnics fault lines. The “Grand Homme Malade” (aka the Turkish Ottoman Empire) is definitely unplugged and let it die. France and UK quickly shares the lion’s share of the Middle-East, settings borders without considering the ethnic mosaic underneath it. We pay the price of it one years later.
The first massive genocide occurred. The Armenian Genocide occurred and it will be part of my genome. The first organized and industrial-size genocide that hit Armenians and other minorities protected until now by the “Miliet”, as a purge to contain the angry mob and try to preserve the old ruling class. An horrific disaster still unrecognized by many until now.
To close this post, I thought to share Metallica’s “One” inspired by “Tommy has a gun” novel and movie. It matches perfectly this day.