November 11 marks the end of hostilities in World War I. The first World War inflicted the heaviest casualties in human history. There were no heavy bombers or nuclear bombs, but the war killed more than 10 million people. All wars are a tragedy with so many unnecessary deaths and devastating stories. However, the atrocities that took place in WWI were beyond words. Even though war veterans tend to write and testify about wars, they fought with many emotions; when we look at the records of World War I, emotions are suppressed as the battlefield was catastrophic to the extent that they cannot describe it well.
As soon as troops were placed on the front lines, the bombing raged all week, and the trenches in the mud could not stand and be buried. Therefore, several soldiers were buried in the trench and left without knowing how many were buried to death.
The soldiers ate and slept in the trenches covered with water and mud. When they fell asleep, mice came close and sniffed at the smell of the living, the dead, and the dying. Even when a soldier was still alive, when the mice smelled death coming closer to him, they attacked the soldier without hesitation. It is shocking that humans can endure such a devastating environment.
Commanders’ brains could not keep up with the destructive power of the rapid advancement of weapons. In the eyes of the soldiers, the only tactic of this war seemed to be pushing the soldiers in front of murder weapons and covering the battlefield with their blood and flesh. Commanders did come up with various ideas and tried everything. None of them were successful, playing an offbeat unexpectedly and producing unfortunate consequences.
The biggest tragedy during World War I was how its end was processed. Both winners and losers could not overcome the devastating effect of the war. Survivors were filled with anger instead of healing the wounds of the war and blamed the ruling class, neighboring countries, and countries who lost the war. Each country suffered political chaos and revolutions. The anger of defeated nations gave rise to fascism, and thus, another world war broke out again. This is the lesson we can learn from November 11.