World War I death toll reached unprecedented levels. Launched by people who were willing to apply the full capacity of modern weapon technology to reach their goals, the war was a revolution in violence. As a result, World War I created hell on earth.
Episode 3 - Hell | the horror of 20 million WWI Deaths explained
September 1915. Millions of men are caught in the snares of a gigantic war. From the trenches in France to the Italian Alps and the Balkans, and beyond to the gates of the Eastern world, the whole of Europe is on fire. New weapons, new defenses; warfare has become industrial and chemical. Fighting reaches an unprecedented level of violence. Artillery relentlessly pounds the enemy. Attacks are launched with poison gas, flame-throwers and shrapnel, a mixture of gunpowder and pellets that destroys human bodies and faces. The assaults are terrifying, reckless. Ear-splitting storms of steel drive soldiers to madness. Wounds are atrocious, hygiene and living conditions in the combat zones are dreadful and the ensuing epidemics wreak havoc… This is hell on earth.
In February of 1916, in France, the Germans launch a major offensive on Verdun. The French lines hold on at all costs. The Battle of the Somme, the bloodiest battle of the war, begins on July 1, 1916. In only a few hours, the British army loses 30,000 men. 5 million men have already succumbed in just 16 months. But for the leaders, the human and material cost is so high that the enemy must pay and the war must go on.
The total number of WWI deaths was around 40 million. There were 20 million deaths and 21 million wounded. The total number of deaths includes 9.7 million military personnel and about 10 million civilians. The Entente Powers (also known as the Allies) lost about 5.7 million soldiers while the Central Powers lost about 4 million.
About the Series | Apocalypse World War I
In 1914 the world entered into a period of unimaginable conflict and suffering. How did such a cruel and far-reaching conflict occur? Why did the warring parties resort to trench warfare? How did humankind endure this atrocity for four long years? Could the sacrifice of an entire generation have been avoided?
Apocalypse World War I is the best and most complete documentary series about the first World War. A superb narrative feeds the audience over 500 hours of archival footage, much of it previously unseen, and now completely colorized. The series tells the story with compassion and brings us to the heart of battle. It covers the full story of the war, from the trenches in the North of France to the lesser-known fronts of Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and Palestine, as well as to the everyday life of civilians behind the lines. The narration brings to life the memories and the experiences of these men and women, and helps us better understand and feel how yesterday’s world was driven to apocalypse.