Figure 11.1 Wreckage of War.Australian artillery soldiers walked through the ruins of Château Wood outside Ypres, Belgium, in 1917. (credit: modification of work “Chateau Wood Ypres 1917” by Australian War Memorial/Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)
World War I served as a clear demarcation line. By separating the world of empires from an emerging and more modern world, the conflict set the stage for a redrawn map of Europe. It featured many characteristics that have since become common in warfare—total war, civilian losses, massive numbers of troops in armies, and warfare that relies on military technology as well as the courageous charge of soldiers against enemies (Figure 11.1). The war was a surprise to many and was welcomed by some when it broke out in 1914. Its level of destruction, however, came to shape public opinion about war for decades.