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I wonder how long it'll be before people quote figures How many etc...when someone asks me which is never I say virtually everybody twice thats why it should never happen again.

One of my relatives what would he be uumm blimey I don't know doesn't really matter to anyone but me anyway, Gran told me he went as a child and came back looking 50yrs old sick, died in roughly again '26-27 his guts were all rotten from the filth and chemical junk, a merciful release my Gran said when he finally went.

Nobody talks of the civil human suffering either virtually all the female side of our family had health problems their whole lives from working in munition plants with no safety both wars one was 14yrs old at the time first war.

When a lad came back from the Falklands war there was a street party in my home town so I went along (the club didn't open for another hour! lol!) I talked to the lad for a few mins he'd never heard of the blooming Falkland Isles before!

If there was a W1-2 type world war today I doubt the youth would go, seriously its all so tragic and pathetic afterwards knuckleheads look at a world map say "this is yours now this is ours" its stupid.

Turned 60yrs last november one of the things I've learnt true grunt vets don't want to talk about it unless they're friends. One old W1 boy said to me in the club once "Honor hell where's the honor in seeing your chum with half his body blown away the next second from a shell fired a mile away!" his old chum sitting there "Don't listen to Pat, they couldn't fire that far...ours bloody didn't anyroad" true story..

Eric

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The author's assertion that 'many soldiers enjoyed WW1' and that 'much of the time, conditions might be better than at home' made me wince at the end. I'm sure there were a number that enjoyed it, as it takes all sorts to make a world, and it is based on a matter of opinion that only the dead may answer now. But I very much doubt that the conditions in the trenches were better than the ones in England.

This was not the later age of the Blitz, but a time when raids were carried out much more infrequently and with a smaller payload. A soldier risked death or dismemberment every second he was not only in the front line trench with anywhere within a radius of miles from the front line. Disease in the trenches was rampant, and I find it hard to believe that the sickness rate was barely above peacetime level, soldiers had a daily diet of over 4000 calories a day and ate meat every day. War increased employment on the home front, so poorer families could now earn some sort of income without risking death or psychological damage.

It is also interesting to note the definition of winning a war - it depends on so many factors and viewpoints. One needs to first look at why the war was fought and what was gained from it. Was a war fought for racial, ideological or territorial reasons? If it was one of the first two, what could be gained except an inflated sense of superiority of the people of the faction that destroyed the other faction. If it was fought for territory, was it fought because that territory itself was rich in resources (many colonial wars)? Or to connect the other nation's territories (such as Prussia during the later years of Frederick the Great)? Or for a strategic and tactical reasons (control of the Marmara straits)?

Having examined that, how did (or did it at all) benefit the country that most achieved its war aims? Has that nation achieved greater wealth or prestige? Has it gotten rid of an adversary? Has it convinced itself that it has achieved the moral high ground?

An example of attaining greater wealth could be Britain's colonial empire, including trade in slaves, spices and goods from around the world. Yet did the common person benefit from the Empire? Did living standards suddenly shoot up during this period. If one looks at Britain during this time, there is still a sharp divide in social class, a gulf in terms of wealth between the upper and lower class. So did most of Britain benefit from the wars? If not, can you truly say they won the war? On a strategic, tactical and political level they certainly did, but do you consider those the only measures of winning a war?

One can also consider a country that, as has already been mentioned, was on what is known as the 'winning' side of a war. Belgium, Serbia and Romania were all on the allied side during World War 1. Their countries overrun, citizens killed and armies either destroyed or in retreat. But they got a Victory Medal after the war didn't they? So they MUST have won!

If you had to ask me, I would tell you that no one won World War 1. The Allies won in the traditional sense, but how did that effect their citizens? Many grieving families, men who died far too young, countless resources wasted. What did the victors gain? 20 years of peace? An inflated sense of their own power which almost led to their defeat 20 years later? An economic depression? Seems a much too hefty price to pay to call yourself a victor.

To conclude, imagine a 'perfect war'. By this I mean that it is fought to protect the nation, and is won. The standard of living shoots up, the nation gains a huge amount of prestige for defeating an enemy that was threatening it. So a war that is fought for no reason other than self-defence, ends in total victory and is hugely beneficial for its citizens, and all for the cost of one dead soldier from their army. Most of us would agree that a nation that fought such a war would undoubtedly be a victor. Most of us would never succeed in convincing the mother of the dead soldier of this fact.

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