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Which was more catastrophic WWI or WWII? Both of them were tragic and fatal, but which...

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tonyb42 | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted August 2, 2012 at 7:52 PM via web

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Which was more catastrophic WWI or WWII?

Both of them were tragic and fatal, but which one do you think was worse??? (YOUR OPINION PLEASE)

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mwalter822 | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted August 2, 2012 at 8:12 PM (Answer #2)

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Good question. My first instinct was to say WWII was worse (if only becuase of the Holocaust). But WWI led to WWII, so I suppose I'd go with WWI being the worst. Also, the horrors of "modern" warfare began their, with the machine gun and trench warfare.

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portd | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted August 2, 2012 at 8:37 PM (Answer #3)

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I'm going to say that WWII was worse than WWI, if you can categorize levels of killing as applies to World Wars. The tentacles of the Holocaust and fanatical Nazism still reach into the 21st Century. The above post does make an excellent point, though, that WWI was the seed of WWII.

However, Hitler, the death camps, many of the Nazis going underground upon WWII's end, the influence of and acceptance of Hitler's beliefs even by some today, and the fact that WWII happened at all after the carnage of WWI, lead me to my conclusion that WWII was worse.

 

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 2, 2012 at 9:10 PM (Answer #4)

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I'm of the opinion that WWI was worse because on top of the immense casualties and damage, it didn't really solve anything or bring about solutions to end global violence.

While the atrocities of WWII can not be downplayed, to this point, it really put an end to conflicts on a large scale multinational/ global level.

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litlady33 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted August 2, 2012 at 9:25 PM (Answer #5)

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If I'm taking the Holocaust into consideration, I would say that WWII was the worst. However, when thinking about the actual warfare and the way the wars were faught, I think WWI was worst. WWI centered around trench warfare. Conditions for soldiers were atrocious and fighting the war in this way was brutal. Each side would dig a trench, and they would fight from those trenches. The area between trenches was called "no man's land." Conditions inside these trenches were deplorable. Soldiers got "trench" foot, where their feet would rot from the water in the trenches, which would lead to infections.

It was very difficult to attack the other side in this manner because the area between the trenches was so open, and one would have to come out of the trenches in order to attack. Therefore, many sodiers died even if their attack would have been considered successful.

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tonyb42 | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted August 2, 2012 at 11:37 PM (Answer #6)

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If I'm taking the Holocaust into consideration, I would say that WWII was the worst. However, when thinking about the actual warfare and the way the wars were faught, I think WWI was worst. WWI centered around trench warfare. Conditions for soldiers were atrocious and fighting the war in this way was brutal. Each side would dig a trench, and they would fight from those trenches. The area between trenches was called "no man's land." Conditions inside these trenches were deplorable. Soldiers got "trench" foot, where their feet would rot from the water in the trenches, which would lead to infections.

It was very difficult to attack the other side in this manner because the area between the trenches was so open, and one would have to come out of the trenches in order to attack. Therefore, many sodiers died even if their attack would have been considered successful.

Thank you for this, it is very interesting learning about the trench warfare. Seriously enough i've never really been in a class discussion about them. Just short little talks about how it was bad.

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 3, 2012 at 2:23 PM (Answer #7)

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Analyzing the dynamics of trench warfare was always one of my favorite aspects of studying and teaching World War I (along with entangling alliances).  One of the more interesting elements was that the French trenches were little more than ditches because the refused to believe the war would be fought on their home soil.  The Germans, conversely, improved their bunkers with concrete and drains and overall were much more live-able.

This contrasting style of trenches was one of the reasons for the construction of the Maginot Line by the French once they believed further German aggression was inevitable.

 

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 3, 2012 at 3:05 PM (Answer #8)

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While World War II was more catastrophic in terms of human lives lost, which I think is the yardstick for questions like this, I do think we forget (largely because of the focus on the Western Front, trench warfare, etc) that World War I caused an enormous amount of civilian deaths. An estimated 7 million civilians around the world perished as a result of the war. These numbers include the Armenian genocide and enormous civilian deaths that took place in the intense, if often overlooked, fighting in Africa. Hundreds of thousands died due to famine, and even more were swept away by the Spanish flu that originated in WWI trenches. 

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 6, 2012 at 12:03 AM (Answer #9)

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More people died in World War II than in World War I, and there were such atrocities as the Holocaust. I note that none of the above posts mentioned Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were in and of themselves catastrophic. World War One was the most catastrophic war of its time because it was the first war in which nations were totally mobilized and in which killing occurred at such a wholesale level. Both wars had an obscene amount of casualties; however in terms of the actual deaths and destruction which occurred, World War II was the worst. The "newness" of World War I at the time was a major factor in its degree of destruction.

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karamvir934 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 6, 2012 at 3:52 PM (Answer #10)

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World War One, was probably the biggest shocker in he history of mankind. World War Two was more destructive, ofcource, with Hiroshima and Nagasaki being a textbook example. Movies and Videogames don't even begin to describe the horror of not knowing if you'd be alive the next minute, even as a citezin. My grandmother, who is now 94, has lived through both the wars, and tells me stories 'Call of Duty' would never be able to. I've deviated a bit, but I want to say that both wars were probably the most catastrophic events in human history, and are equally devastating in their own ways. I pray they never happen again.

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guigs97 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:43 PM (Answer #11)

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Although I think that both wars are bad, in my opinion, WW2 was worse as civilians were killed as well as soldiers. There is also the persecution of the Jewish by the Nazies.

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hayden1234 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted September 23, 2012 at 9:18 AM (Answer #12)

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for me it's ww2.

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astrosonuthird | Student | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:52 AM (Answer #13)

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The most disasterous war was World War 2. I have read about it. The Allies dropped 800,000 thousand bombs.

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astrosonuthird | Student | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted October 22, 2012 at 1:01 PM (Answer #14)

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World War 2, the deadkiest of all!!!
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acompanioninthetardis | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:10 PM (Answer #15)

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i would have to say WWI just because it lead to WWII, so it kinda holds the burden for both wars.

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atyourservice | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted May 30, 2014 at 2:55 AM (Answer #16)

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I believe world war 1 is actually worst because despite world war 2 having the bombings and the holocaust, world war 1 did lead to many deaths. Also actions taken during world war 1 led to world war 2.

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