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Day 27 – Q 4. Why was World War I a total war?

4. Why was World War I a total war?   

प्रथम विश्व युद्ध पूर्ण युद्ध क्यों था?


First World War also known as the great war occurred between the alliances of Germany-Ottoman Empire-Austria- Hungary and Britain-France-Russia in 1914 to 1919.

According to American English dictionary – total war is war that is unrestricted in terms of weapon used, the territory or combatants involved or the objectives pursued especially the one in which the laws of war are disregarded.


Many great historians acknowledged this war as total war due to the huge destruction it made like-

1)Economic Destruction:

– It led to huge unemployment and inflation all over the world.

– People in Europe were struggling for bread as the prices rose by 1000%.

– Industries both capital and labour intensive collapsed.

– European countries caught in debt.

– led to great depression 1928 –America got unnecessary advantages (web of lean).

2)Social Destruction:

– As per an estimate 37 million people died in war both civil and military.

– Sex ratio changed in favour of females as warriors mainly were males.

3)  Political Destruction:

– huge instability occurred all over the world

– friction in the society

4) Environmental Destruction

– huge destruction of forests

– bombs were used which impacted the climate

– divided entire Europe under artificial boundaries for eg new state like Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Yugoslovakia etc. emerged.

5) Participation – civil societies, labour and economies were all seconded to war effort

Other effects

  1. World war 1 gave fillip to hyper-nationalism which later became cause of second world war.
  2. Inspired national movement in third world country especially India.
  3. It gave rise to arm race and naval expansion between Germany, Britain, Russia and France.


Thus it was truly a total war as destruction scale was heavy and learning from it any issue of dispute, bilateral or multilateral, should be resolved through talks and deliberations

Best answer Harry

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