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It is not an untold secret that the World War I and the World War II are undoubtedly the major events in the history of modern world. Although the causes of the outbreak of both wars were different, the consequences were brutal and devastating. Thus, it can be easily said that both wars had profound impact on the world as millions of people lost their lives as well as their assets and property.
The World War I was started in 1914 and continued for four years till 1918. The major causes of the War include the assassination of Francis Ferdinand, the Austrian Archduke, in 1914 (Ross 6). The prevailing imperialistic system, nationalism, militarism, and alliances also became the major factors behind the war’s commencement (Ross 29). The conflict was between the Central Powers that included Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Turkey and the Allied Powers that included Britain, France, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States of America. According to estimations, the number of casualties was huge in the World War I as seven million civilians and ten million military personnel lost their lives. The warfare methods employed in the World War I were conventional. The opponents confronted each other from trenches. This war is often remembered as trench warfare as military used to spend long hours sitting in trenches (Ross 8). The use of machine guns, tanks, poisonous gas, and airplanes was also a usual warfare practice during the First World War. Thus, the war lacked warfare sophistication. The purpose of the World War I was the acquirement of resources, or territories, or colonies. For this reason, this event is also called The War of the Nations. In the end, Germany lost the war.
On the other hand, the World War II started in 1939 and continued for six years till 1945. The cause of this brutal war was Germany’s unstable economic and political conditions. After the end of the First World War, Germany had to sign Treaty of Versailles. However, its harsh conditions proved to be one of the main reasons World War II started. In addition, Adolf Hitler’s power and his coalition with Japan and Italy for opposing Russia also became the major triggers of World War II. The mentioned countries fought against the Allied Powers that included Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States of America. The consequences of the World War II were beyond imagination as more than sixty million people lost their lives during this ruthless historical event. As far as military technology is concerned, World War II can be easily distinguished from World War I. This is because the Second World War employed advanced military technology that consisted of submarines, missiles, nuclear power, tanks, and Blitzkrieg fighting methods. Whereas the First World War was mostly fought on ground, the Second World war principally an aerial one whereby countries with superior air forces gained the strategic advantage over their weak opponents (Duignan & Gann). An important difference between the two wars is the participation of women. In the First World War, women remained at homes. However, the female participation gained momentum in the Second World War due to the 1930s women suffrage movement.
Duignan, Peter, and Lewis H. Gann. World War Two in Europe: Causes, Course, and Consequences. Stanford: Stanford U, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, 1995. Print.
Ross, Stewart. Causes and Consequences of the First World War. London: Evans, 1997. Print.