Category Archives: 20TH CENTURY HISTORY
The [British] royal family had not been that concerned by the wars of the 1860s and 1870s when children found they were on different sides. All those wars, however, had been relatively minor. This would change after 1910. The events of that decade prompt an unanswerable question: if Kaiser Wilhelm had not felt embittered about his English mother, would he have tried to stop Germany declaring war on Britain?
The Allies agreed that the establishment of a second front in north-west Europe was essential to defeat Germany. The Soviets had been calling for a Second Front since the German invasion of their country in 1941. But it was not until the United States entered the war, bringing its huge reserves of manpower and resources, that such an operation became feasible.
The Russian army in 1914 was considerably larger than that of Germany at 5 million men against the 4.5 million of Germany. Even when the 3.35 million men of the Austro – Hungarian empire are included in the total, only war on a single front would give the Central Powers enough strength to attack Russia with any chance of success.
For German families living under the threat of mass bombing, many experiences of everyday living were similar to those known in Britain. The blackout was strictly enforced, for example, and people had to get used to finding their way round in the dark, sometimes wearing luminous patches or using feebly glowing torches. Gas masks were issued and German children, like their british counterparts, took furtive delight in blowing rude noises through their rubbery cheek pieces.