How Many French Soldiers Died In Ww1 – The map above shows the rather emotional side of the First World War. While most of the attention in Western Europe and North America is focused on trench warfare in Northern France and Belgium, it shows that Western European countries were far from suffering the worst casualties of the war.
Instead, you have to look south to the country where the fighting started, Serbia. Sources say that Serbia’s death rate during the war may have been as high as 27.78%, or 1.25 million people.
How Many French Soldiers Died In Ww1
For comparison, here are World War I death tolls as a percentage of pre-war populations for other countries (source: Wikipedia – check ranges given where sources disagree):
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In absolute terms, Russia and the Ottoman Empire were the worst, with over 3 million deaths each dooming both empires. The German Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire would also cease to exist at the end of the conflict.
In all, the war cost 37 million soldiers and civilians, 17 million of whom were killed and another 20 million wounded. The unnecessary conflict should not have happened, but the German Chancellor Otto von Bismark had already predicted 36 years earlier (1878):
Today Europe is an ashtray and its leaders are like smokers in an arsenal… One spark can cause an explosion that will eventually destroy us all… I can’t tell you when the explosion will happen, but I can tell you. where the explosion happened… some infernal stupidity in the Balkans will start this war. The border battles at the beginning of the First World War were not as famous as Verdun or the Battle of the Somme, but more French soldiers died on one day than on any other day. Every other day in history.
Despite four years of fierce and bloody fighting, it was the heaviest French casualty in a single day.
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On August 22, 1914, as many French died as in the entire Algerian War from 1954 to 1962.
Historian Jean-Michel Steg, who has written extensively about the military disaster that halted Germany’s Schlieffen Plan, said he was “disgusted” by the fateful date and confused as to why it was delayed. from national consciousness.
Jean-Michel Steg: The deadliest months of the war were between August and October 1914. There are many reasons for this. First, they were dealing with an incredible number of soldiers at once. That day, hundreds of thousands of soldiers on both sides were found dead.
The French had five legions, from east to west, from Alsace and Lorraine to the Belgian border. For various reasons, all these armies launched 15 separate attacks on the same day without coordination with each other.
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In each battle the French lost a considerable number of points and were left with many wounded because they were not sufficiently trained in defensive warfare and their artillery was overused.
There are many hard lessons of static warfare yet to be learned. Unfortunately, this lack of experience can cost many lives.
There is also a class of army officers who, though very brave, are willing to sacrifice their lives and the lives of their men rather than make a strategic retreat as they ought to do.
J-M S: The colonial infantry division – composed mainly of men from Brittany and the south of France rather than colonial troops – faced great difficulties. His commander, General Raphael Nel, went mad. He went into battle alone and was soon killed. His men panicked and the men of the division, left without orders, were exterminated as the Germans surrounded them. It was a total disaster. Up to 7,000 people died in this small area, but many more died north of Charleroi.
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J-M S: Tactically, the Germans had the upper hand. Both sides engaged in a chaotic face-to-face battle. Although the morale of the French army was on the offensive, the Germans quickly established strong defensive positions. They would stay in place, spot the French artillery and deploy their artillery to deliver devastating blows, forcing the French to move quickly under fire.
At that time the French army also had a very strict rank system. Nothing could be done without sending a runner to collect the order, which took a long time. The command structure of the German army was less centralized, junior officers were briefed on battle plans and given more autonomy to exercise their own initiative. As a result, a German unit could move faster and gain a clear advantage.
J-M S: When German troops entered Belgium, atrocities were committed against civilians. Thousands died in the summer offensive of 1914. There was a feeling among the Germans at Rossignol that the civilians were joining the French in firing on the German soldiers. This is not true. However, the Germans took dozens of civilians to the fields and left them without food for two days. They were then put into cattle cars and driven east to kill them. What happened next was a terrifying precursor to what would happen in Poland during World War II. Civilians were initially taken hostage to ensure the cooperation of the local Belgian population. But when a locomotive could not be found to transport the cattle cars, a policeman decided to shoot them all.
Q24: Why is this day in history overshadowed by other battles like the Marne and Verdun?
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J-M S: It’s surprising, but there is no real answer to this question. It was recently featured in a documentary on France2 called “Revelations”, and was also mentioned by French President François Hollande in Liège, Belgium, on the centenary of the war. I am glad, because in the village of Rossignol itself there is no memorial to the thousands of French soldiers who died there. On August 22nd I will go there to lay a wreath at the Orée du Bois cemetery, where thousands of young Frenchmen are buried, along with the grandson of a soldier who fought and died there. A scary place, haunted, full of ghosts. I always came out of it in terrible pain. Home Games and quizzes History and society Science and technology Biography Animals and nature Geography and travel Art and culture Money Videos
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Henri Bidou employee of Le Journal des Débats (Paris). Knight of the Legion of Honor. His article on the Battle of Verdun first appeared in the 13th edition of the Encyclopedia in 1926,…
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The Last To Fall
The Battle of Verdun took place from February 21 to December 18, 1916 during the First World War.
France and Germany participated in the battle of Verdun. During the battle, the French army repulsed a massive German attack.
The Battle of Verdun occurred because the French fortress of Verdun and the fortifications around the Meuse River threatened Germany’s main lines of communication. The fort was also a prominent point in the French defense and its loss would have been a major blow to French morale.
The Battle of Verdun was one of the longest, bloodiest and most brutal battles of the First World War. About 300,000 people died and many more were injured.
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The Battle of Verdun (February 21 – December 18, 1916) saw France repulse a major German offensive in World War I. It was one of the longest, bloodiest and most brutal battles of the war. The French were about 400,000 people and the Germans about 350,000. About 300,000 people died.
German general Erich von Falkenhayn believed that the war would be won or lost in France, and believed that a policy of subversion was the best hope for achieving Germany’s goals. In a letter to the German Emperor Wilhelm II in late 1915, he considered Britain the most powerful of the Allies, but also admitted that Britain was not a weakness apart from submarine warfare, like the British West. Which is what Line War Zone did. Unsuitable for offensive operations (an assessment proven correct at the First Battle of the Somme). In Falkingham’s opinion, Britain’s “real weapons” in the war were the armies of France, Russia and Italy. He believes that Russia is paralyzed and the Italians are unlikely to repeat the same mistakes.
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