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Posted on March 31st, 2013, by

The First World War is known as one of the greatest tragedies in the humankind’s history. This multi-faceted historical event requires comprehensive approach, to take the look at all life spheres it has affected. It is absolutely clear that known as “everybody’s”ť war involved all aspects of social being, thus, conditions occurred at that times on home fronts also cannot stay not discussed. Actually, both serving on frontlines and home fronts were featured by significant difficulties and hardships, which required incredible strength of human’s spirit. For example, it is well known fact that horrible tragedy took more than 10,000,000 lives of soldiers. However, people often forget that more than 5,000,000 civilians’ deaths were caused by ruthless effect of that war. It is interesting that the large part from the last quantity devoted to accidents occurred at manufacturing. In addition, economic loses felt by states involved into the world, exposed home fronts to economic collapses, which were not so felt at the frontlines. Definitely, it doesn’t stated that lives of civil citizens were harder than soldiers’ ones. There is only the claim that both conditions of soldiers and civilians were featured by dreadful reality. However, let’s take some particular looks at two sides of the same coin.

At first, let’s pay some attention to conditions of soldiers, who served their countries during The First World War. Frankly, the general phrase to describe these conditions is “life in trenches”ť. Inherently, this way of serving was featured by extremely harmful exposure. There is no reason to talk about daily risks to be killed during battles or by snipers’ bullet.

This fact looks obvious. On the other hand, there are several conditions, which worth to be recognized not less dangerous. Among them, historians usually emphasize next items: Rat Infestation, Frogs, Lice, Worse etc. All of these factors led to rapid spreading of dangerous infection diseases at that times, which took numerous soldiers’ lives. For example, the “trench fever”ť caused by lice, was followed by extremely painful health state and too high fever. Treatment from this disease required for about 12 weeks out of trenches! Interesting that the cause of this health trouble was found only in 1918. The brown rats, which could have the size of a cat, were not less dangerous with their ability of infections spreading, by food contaminating mostly. Furthermore, the effect of decomposing bodies in trenches also shouldn’t be forgotten. The bodies of dead soldiers could lie in trenches for several days. However, infection and low sanitation level are not the only troubles soldiers met during life in trenches. In this aspect, often happened floods and inhumanly intense of serving also should be reminded. All these combined factors made the life of a trench soldier truly unbearable. In this aspect, it is interesting what were the conditions of civilians on home fronts?

It looks clear that life there was easier several fold. However, the importance of civilians contribution into their armies’ goals achieving cannot be misjudged. That time was featured by recruitment and volunteer movements uprising. The humans’ spirit was directed to achieve the common goal of war, thus, nobody spears himself. The general concept of home front during the First World War was accompanied by instant growing of women importance. Actually, this effect of the First World War led to female rights improving, but this trend wasn’t kept after war’s ending. By taking hard jobs at manufacturing, women saddled the burden of main army suppliers to their shoulders. Eventually, frontline interest became prior to internal ones, what led to poverty spreading and internal spreading growth. Those who worked at factories for 12-14 hours a day did not have time to take care about their children and felt the lack of funds for self-provision. Naturally, these conditions led to serious internal economic collapses. At second, dangers connected to manufacturing were not less relevant. In this regard, Great Britain witnessed more than 20, 000 fatal accidents at ammunition manufactures during first two years of “home front”ť movement. At last, the aspect of life under occupation and oppression also should be remembered. Obviously, not all the home fronts experienced this condition, but thousands of civilian deaths all around the Europe do not let us to forget this point.

Drawing the analogues between soldiers’ and civilians’ life conditions during The First World War, it quite hard to reach the common denominator. This claim is grounded on different natures of sufferings people had to experience. However, one similarity is obvious for both sides – hardships in the name of prior goal. It is important to understand, that The First World War gave the rise to unity of home fronts and frontlines, tied with one aim. Being interconnected to each other, people from both sides served in pain for the benefit of fellows long away from them. The unity of impulse became the main lesson people learnt from great tragedy, and, unfortunately, they had to implement it one more time in 31 one years later.

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