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11-08-2015, 17:16


The immediately destructive impact of the conflict is easily recounted. The war cost an estimated 1 milHon lives and produced another 20 million or so crippled or seriously wounded. Not physically hurt but scarred nonetheless were 5 million widowed women, 9 million orphaned children, and 10 million individuals torn from their homes to become refugees.-'' The four great prewar empires present on the European continent—tlie German, the Russian, the Austro-Hungarian, and the Ottoman—had all been destroyed. Millions of men were demobilized and sent back home to make their way as best they could in a Europe whose old patterns of life had been shaken and sometimes completely destroyed. The losers were penalized, and the victors rewarded themselves.