Was World War I worth it?

Jun 2017
2,560
Connecticut
#21
To be honest, the Ottomans weren't exactly saints in their policies either (for example, the Armenian Genocide). However, you are correct about WWI resulting in both Bolshevism and Nazism.
The Ottomans weren't saints and the Armenian genocide was a terrible crime that has been handled disgracefully by the Turks. However the Middle East since the time of Cyrus had been ruled by one or two major powers and the destruction of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the imaginary states or Iraq and Syria created a great deal of hardship, not to mention the creation of Saudi-Arabia and the Israel-Palestine dillema that the British could not have possibly screwed up worse. The downfall of the Ottoman Empire has had a huge consequence in the world, would have been prevented if the Ottoman Empire or some large pan Middle Eastern Empire still existed.
 
Jun 2017
2,560
Connecticut
#22
True. I can see only one 'massive' gain out of WW1. That was the end of the Ottoman empire, but that should have been accomplished much before, by letting Russia do it, if the West wasn't willing take up the task itself.

The breakup of the Austro-Hungarian empire was inevitable with or without the WW1, I believe.
This is an utter myth. Austro-Hungarian collapse was not inevitable. Bohemia was the most unstable region and had been that way since the Thirty Years War. Bosnia had been added several years earlier. The rest of the empire was stable with Croatia and Slovakia having been part of Hungary for almost a millenia etc etc.
 
Likes: Futurist

Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,408
Athens, Greece
#23
Worth it? WWI was perhaps the most nonsensical and destructive -as far as consequences are concerned- war in human history. Huge loss of life and a whole generation destroyed for the major powers involved, but aside that, it was the most self-destructive event in European history, signifying the end of European global primacy - directly causing or accelerating it. It ushered Europe in decades of instability and cataclysmic events, paving the way for Bolshevism and Nazism and the titanic conflict between those two, the major theme of WWII, in essence a continuation of WWI and the open wounds it left.

WWI was also the utter expression of human hubris; booming empires, a golden age of seemingly ever-increasing prosperity, bright prospects ahead, and yet, all these thrown in the air because even larger slices of the cake were desired. Ambition and greed, not real necessity or a noble cause - like tragic protagonists the European powers gouged their own eyes out, causing their nemesis of immeasurable pain and death and a continent exiting the world stage broken and in smoking ruins after 1918, and finally and most decisively after 1945.

It was also the most thunderous example of human miscalculation and failure to comprehend the implications of military technological advancement as well as the implications of war between the great powers of Europe in the new reality that dawned with the 20th century. 1914 was not 1870 or similar to any other 19th century conflict, the militarism of the past and the view of war as a continuation of politics by other means would cost Europe dearly. In 1914 Europe was still stuck to a past that was not there anymore, politically thinking in terms of the 19th century. Outpaced by time and history, this asynchronous political mentality and poor judgement would create history's most bitter and tragic farce for those expecting a drive to Paris or Berlin within a few months and whole new fields of glory and power.
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
8,970
here
#24
Worth it? WWI was perhaps the most nonsensical and destructive -as far as consequences are concerned- war in human history. Huge loss of life and a whole generation destroyed for the major powers involved, but aside that, it was the most self-destructive event in European history, signifying the end of European global primacy - directly causing or accelerating it. It ushered Europe in decades of instability and cataclysmic events, paving the way for Bolshevism and Nazism and the titanic conflict between those two, the major theme of WWII, in essence a continuation of WWI and the open wounds it left.

WWI was also the utter expression of human hubris; booming empires, a golden age of seemingly ever-increasing prosperity, bright prospects ahead, and yet, all these thrown in the air because even larger slices of the cake were desired. Ambition and greed, not real necessity or a noble cause - like tragic protagonists the European powers gouged their own eyes out, causing their nemesis of immeasurable pain and death and a continent exiting the world stage broken and in smoking ruins after 1918, and finally and most decisively after 1945.

It was also the most thunderous example of human miscalculation and failure to comprehend the implications of military technological advancement as well as the implications of war between the great powers of Europe in the new reality that dawned with the 20th century. 1914 was not 1870 or similar to any other 19th century conflict, the militarism of the past and the view of war as a continuation of politics by other means would cost Europe dearly. In 1914 Europe was still stuck to a past that was not there anymore, politically thinking in terms of the 19th century. Outpaced by time and history, this asynchronous political mentality and poor judgement would create history's most bitter and tragic farce for those expecting a drive to Paris or Berlin within a few months and whole new fields of glory and power.
But without WWI doesn't this human hubris and "asynchronous political mentality," just continue?

It seems to me that WWI is what put to death the old order of things. "It's gonna get worse before it gets better," and "you gotta break a few eggs to make a omelette," are somewhat appropriate/helpful, I think, cliches for the sentiment I'm trying to convey.
 
Likes: Kotromanic

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,651
SoCal
#25
I'm real sure that the families of the 16 million dead would never agree that the war was worth their loss. The question and responses are quite different if you had skin in the game.
Do you think that the families of those who were killed in the Texas War of Independence, the Mexican-American War, and the American Civil War would have said that their deaths were worth it?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,651
SoCal
#26
It would have taken a revolution in Russia to break that empire.
Yes, but that was a very real possibility even without WWI.

Germany would have never conceded any self determination for the Poles and Kashubians in the eastern marches.
Not even home rule if Germany will become more liberal?

Also, even if so, if Russian Poland would have broken away, the German Poles who really wanted to escape German rule could have simply moved there.

A-H was becoming balkanized, but would that have led to some kind of conflict?
Theoretically, it could have resulted in a World War--though I certainly don't think that the collapse of Austria-Hungary was preordained.

The Ottomans were being removed from Europe. I don't see the same thing occurring in the Middle East among the Armenians, Arabs, Kurds, Jews, etc. Foreign intervention by Britain or France would have led to a reshuffling of colonial power, as we saw after the war ended in 1918.
TBH, had the Ottoman Empire been partitioned peacefully, it would have been a lot less bloody for everyone involved.
 
Likes: Rodger