The century of total war

Araiz of the Treaty of Versailles, who in 1919 ended the Great War (1914-1918), one of its main protagonists, the French Marshal Foch, said that beyond the establishment of the final peace would have been an armistice for twenty years. His prediction was so accurate that, precisely in 1939, the Second World War broke out on September 1st. The German motorized divisions entered as an unstoppable frenzy in Poland while the aviation began a systematic bombardment of the invaded country. Two days later, Britain and France declared war on Nazi Germany. […] Thus began the most lethal, destructive and important war in the history of war. What the British historian Eric Hobsbawm and others have called "total war". C & # 39; was, suddenly, unprecedented, a competition of such unusual grandeur, the global catastrophe that would have caused more than fifty million deaths in six years? Marshal Foch's prophecy shows that it does not. When the Great War ended, twenty years ago, it was already known that this had not been an episode of war to be used in Europe of the previous centuries. In August 1914 the modern war began. All the elements that later had to acquire a gigantic development in the war that Germany began with the invasion of Poland were implicit in it. This is the reason why what was known at the time of the Great War was the First World War. A link of continuity has united the two wars of the twentieth century in a unique tragedy. That's why Hobsbawm writes of 31 years of war as if the winds of peace between 1919 and 1939 were only an intermediary of latent bellicosity. In any case, from 1914 to 1945, a new Europe and a new world were formed, […] The Great War was so painful, so heartbreaking that in the end there were two kinds of reactions. On the one hand, the belief that it could not be repeated. It was the "never again". But, on the other hand, fear that could be a taste of something even worse. Churchill, in his memoirs of war, explains how, after the Great War, he feared that his end in 1918 would be casual and almost casual. And that another great conflict would take place: a new and amplified mass war, technologically devastating, both on the battle front and on the back, where powerful weapons could destroy entire cities. It was a divination of the future – including Hiroshima and Nagasaki – inspired by the terrible warning of what had been the Great War from 1914 to 1918. […]

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