June 1914. The assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the heir to Austro-Hungarian Empire, made bad European relationships even worse. There were a few Serbian conspirators that planned the assassination. Afterwards, Germany, Ottoman Empire and Austro-Hungary created a union and unleashed a military campaign against countries of Antanta coalition: France, England and Russia. Russia joined the war after the few days of its start when the government of Russian Empire couldn’t stop the aggression against Orthodox Serbia.
Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm didn’t even answer the letter from his nephew – Emperor Nicholas the Second. The First World War brought world nothing except woe. Fights were going one by one, Germans started to use gas as a weapon, then tanks were brought in the war. Lice and an epidemic of typhus – soldiers had no enthusiasm to fight for their countries. Soldiers wanted to stop the War. After two years of war, Germany and Austro-Hungary were asking for a peace treaty, but there wasn’t any treaty. Triple Alliance forces were squeezed from two sides by trenches – it was hard for either side to move forward.People of all nationalities lived their own lives, sorrow and joy passed through.
On the mobilisation day families that were together broke up, and could never see each other again. Writing from soldier’s son diary: “The next morning, instead of the joy of the past evening, I heard sobs and cries. All women should send husbands, fathers or sons.
It was a gloomy day. I do not know who will be with daughters and mothers after they’re gone.”Even a day in soldier’s life wasn’t easy.
In the notion of a front-line life, or the way of daily life in a combat situation, is the “filling” of time with official duties (guarding, servicing military equipment, caring for personal weapons, performing other jobs that are special to each branch of the armed forces, etc.) , as well as hours of leisure, everything that makes up the daily routine. The minutes of the calm could be replaced by sudden periods of intense battles.
Trench life was however horrible, with so many men living in a very constrained space. Scraps of food a lot of waste. Living half underground, sometimes for 9 months (The Somme Battle), and being unable to wash or change for days or weeks at a time created conditions of health risk. One of the things that happened to soldiers was “trench foot”. Trench foot happened because of water in the trenches, no dry socks. Soldiers didn’t have much sleep, because of constant battles and soldier duties, so soldiers are usually stressed and have paranoid thoughts.
The men would hurt themselves so that they can get to medical stations that are not in the trenches or so they could be sent home.Soldiers every day saw death beside them – and it was the main sight. The smell of rot, gunpowder, earth. Many, of course, did not cope with the war. Suicide offered another way out. It was much underreported, as at least 3,828 German soldiers killed themselves; a figure that does not reflect the numbers who simply walked into enemy fire or whose death was ambiguous. After the War, many had mental deviations.
After the War, it is hard to return to normal civilian life.More than 9 million people were killed and that sacrifice for our peace shouldn’t be forgotten until today.