The First World War...or Was It?

Mar 2019
106
Victoria, Australia
#21
In regards to the involvement of certain countries in the World Wars. the likes of China, Japan, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Cuba, Thailand, Burma, Nepal, Oman were barely even involved and in my opinion should barely even be counted.

China did send numerous 'aides' to man factories or whatnot, but they were not really a combative country. Japan declared war again Germany and seized a few places in the Pacific area belonging to Germany, but it did not really do much in the greater aspect. A lot of these countries were "at war" simply by name but in reality, they didn't really contribute anything significant to the war effort or anything significant to them or the efforts that they could have put in. Thailand did send some men to fight in the Western Front and also some men to do some labouring, which is often forgotten. But that was not much.

The USA only entered the war in 1917 and was not really a major presence in the front until at least 1918, arguably more around mid(ish) 1918. And in the overall war aspect. their only major contribution is their equipment and money towards the allies and not the fighting they did considering germany had already lost the war by the time they arrived en-force based on 'number of rifles' in the front, lack of resources, growing dissidents and opposition to the war and lack of faith in obtaining a victory by the generals of the army - some of which had commented that they had lost the war in 1914 after the battle of the Marne.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,323
Sydney
#22
" Japan declared war again Germany........but it did not really do much in the greater aspect "
as per their treaty obligations
The Imperial Japanese Navy did a fair bit of escort duty , including patrolling the Sea-lanes all over the Western Pacific ,
escorting troops carriers and merchants from Australia , Ceylon to Cape town .
At the request of the British government they even supplied a battle group to provide escort in the Mediterranean , based in Malta

while the actual fighting was low key , the Imperial Japanese Navy allowed the Royal Navy to concentrate on the north Atlantic
 
Nov 2011
8,861
The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
#23
The term "World War" became popular in the mid/late 19thC among philosophers and political commentators on the basis that "any war between Great powers would inevitably be a 'world war' (The People's Journal: 1848). It was picked up by that turgid scribbler Karl Marx who was stinking up the reading room of the British Museum library about that time and incorporated into a number of his tracts from 1850. The term also entered popular fiction towards the end of the century, the original title of August Niemann's book, The Coming Conquest of England, was, The World War: German Dreams.
As an official description of the 1914-1918 conflict, the term did not come into popular usage until the end of the war which was usually called "The World War" in the USA and "The Great War" in the English-speaking Commonwealth. A bit confusing for future historians as plenty of other wars have been called " the Great War" by its contemporaries.
 
Likes: Picard
Oct 2018
132
Sweden
#24
Why are these wars called "world" wars anyway? The West started those wars and they should take the blame. Why is the entire world made to look bad for something the rest of the world had absolutely no responsibility for? These should be called by their right names First Western War and Second Western War. Or actually more correctly and as implied by the OP the Millionth Western War.
They are called world wars because the conflicts spanned on every continent of earth.
 
Feb 2019
441
Serbia
#25
When World War 1 broke out, it was known as "the great war" or the "war to end all wars" and the likes. They didn't call it "World War 1" since they didn't know about "World War 2" yet.

Anyway, I think personally the term "World War" refers to the implication of most superpowers and great powers in the world, and active in at least three or four different continents. For this purpose I usually consider China as a separate continent due to the vastness of the territory and that it had typically been ruled by some unified (or unifying) nation for most of its history.

By that category, Most wars of the XVIII century certainly fall in this category. The Napoleonic wars not so much, since these where almost purely euro-centric or restricted to one theatre/area each.

Arguably I'd say that a lot of the wars in the XVII century certainly was "world war" material.

Depends how you count the Napoleonic Wars. If you count the coalition wars and minor theatres as 1 war each then It makes sense. However if you count the war between Britain and France and their allies as 1 continuous conflict from 1803-1815 then it was certainly a World War. There were naval and land battles everywhere around the world with several non-European powers such as the USA, the Ottomans, the Maghreb countries, Egypt and Persia. The involvement of the Ottomans and the USA was not minor so even if we look at ''they participated minimally so they don't count'' these would still count. Beside that there were many colonial theatres and battles between Europeans. The Invasion of Rio de la Plata, Mauritius campaign, the capture of South Africa and the East Indies battles to name but a few, not counting naval battles which occurred everywhere in the world. So if we look at the Napoleonic Wars as a single 12 year conflict with changing alliances then I would say it fits the definition of the World War. It was also one of the first cases of mass mobilisation and early total war, it was also larger than anything that came before.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,323
Sydney
#26
there is no contest that those were "world wars"
similarly the one hundred years war didn't last one hundred years or was one war , it was many
the cognomen was coined to link the first set of battles with the second set twenty years later
both are one set act 1 then act 2
any successor should be called act 3 or possibly something else , if anyone doesn't have more immediate problems
 
Mar 2019
106
Victoria, Australia
#27
I don't consider the Napoleonic Wars or the Hundred Years War as a single conflict. Rather, I consider them as a series of separate conflicts or wars, of usually similar purpose and origins, all grouped into together in a certain timeframe. A bit similar the World War 2 - I consider the 'Pacific Theatre' (Japan) and the 'European Theatre' (Italy & Germany) as being separate wars. I should say that in these 'eras' like the Hundred Years War is certainly of similar original and the conflict is of a similar nature. This is something that seems to be very much a hallmark of these 'eras'.

If we do consider the Napoleonic wars a single conflict, then should we not then consider World War 1 and 2 in the same conflict? WWII is in many ways a direct successor of WWI. The time between the Caroline and Lancastrian phase of the hundred years was longer than the time between WWI and WWII.
 
Feb 2019
222
Thrace
#28
By number of deaths, the Three Kingdoms Period, Mongol conquests , European colonization of the Americas ,Taiping Rebellion , Transition from Ming to Qing , Second Sino-Japanese War and An Lushan Rebellion., all surpassed WW1, even tough preceding it in time. All tough, only 3 of these should be comparable conflicts(the last 2 and the Taiping Rebellion) because the rest were carried across decades and even almost 2 centuries.

Relative to its own time, the An Lushan Rebellion was unbelievably deadly.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,749
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#30
" Japan declared war again Germany........but it did not really do much in the greater aspect "
as per their treaty obligations
The Imperial Japanese Navy did a fair bit of escort duty , including patrolling the Sea-lanes all over the Western Pacific ,
escorting troops carriers and merchants from Australia , Ceylon to Cape town .
At the request of the British government they even supplied a battle group to provide escort in the Mediterranean , based in Malta

while the actual fighting was low key , the Imperial Japanese Navy allowed the Royal Navy to concentrate on the north Atlantic
I once read about a Japanese destroyer in the Mediterranean that was torpedoed by an Austro-Hungarian submarine in WWI.
 
Likes: sparky