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11-08-2015, 16:06

CASUALTIES AND THE DETERMINATION TO CONTINUE

Perhaps the most striking feature of the first months of the war was the bloody nature of the fighting, far beyond what nineteenth-century European models had led prewar planners to expect. Heavy artillery, rapid-fire rifles, and machine guns combined with defensive tools such as barbed wire and trench fortifications to make combat unimaginably costly. The generals of course knew the casualty figures. But the public could only sense the size of the losses. Newspaper reports offered little accurate information. British war correspondents, for example, in Phillip Knighdey's vivid description, "protected the high command from criticism, wrote jauntily about life in the trenches, kept an inspired silence about the slaughter, and allowed themselves to be absorbed by the propaganda machine." i-+ This pattern condnued in all countries throughout the war. But in the minds of the public and military leaders alike, the determination to go on with the waróand even fight it with larger, better equipped forcesówas unchallenged.

 

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