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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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...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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