The costs of the First World War were staggering. For more than four years some of the wealthiest and most highly developed industrial countries in the world had devoted their resources, both human and material, to total war. The casualties (10 million known dead and twice that number wounded), the destruction, the indebtedness, and the inflation that resulted were unparalleled. Attempts to calculate the total costs of the war have had only limited success. What was spent for military purposes by the belligerent governments—and that is a figure in the vicinity of $200 billion—is only part of the total. It is far more difficult to arrive at an accurate figure for the destruction of life and property. Efforts have been made, but the issue has been seriously complicated by controversies over reparation payments (see Part III: The Postwar Crisis). The selection below is taken from a report prepared in December, 1918, by the American Red Cross, which makes a preliminary estimate of the war damage in France. It was approved by the French government, but is not to be taken as a definitive statement of the amount of destruction.
KeywordsBrick Masonry Stone Masonry French Government Total Destruction Electric Power Station
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Report prepared by George B. Ford, head of the Research Department of the American Red Cross, Current History, Vol. IX, Part II, No. 3 (March, 1919), pp. 516–519, with deletions.Google Scholar