HST 101 12:00 Tue,Thurs
A mobilized war
The First World War from 1914 to 1918, also known as the Great war was considered to
be the first total war in history. What began as a dispute over the equality of power between the
alliance of France, Britain and Russia and on the other side the central powers of Germany and
Austria-Hungary. It soon became a global conflict in Europe as well as their own individual
colonies established contributed to the war effort. A total war can be defined as a conflict that
fully mobilizes a nation for their resources such as, people, industrial tools, agriculture and
military for a global war effort. This in turn led to the idea that common civilians could
potentially be subject to warfare at home risking a new danger that no other war has been
through before, as well as the continuous propaganda and more governmental control leading
nations into mobilizing the war effort as far as their colonies abroad, and technological warfare
are new ideas introduced in this total war of the world.
Aerial bombardment was a new fear of the First World War. It was the first conflict in which the
aircrafts were involved other than just surveillance and played a significant role in combat.
However, it blurred the lines between homefront lines and the frontlines of battle. Strategic
bombing is a definite aspect of a total war. It was an attempt to destroy the ability to utilize
combat by possibly killing civilians and obliterating the infrastructure of the enemy. “And in the
air, are no streets, no channels, no point where one can say of an antagonist, “if he wants to reach
my capital he must come by here”. In the air all directions lead everywhere” (Wells 1908, 49).
Although the planes’ first use were for surveillance, they took a violent turn in 1915 and as this
quote says, directions in the air lead everywhere. This means that anyone or anything that was in
the other side’s way must be bombed in order to advance in the war. This was by all means a
total war tactic and was controversial in that even civilians could potentially be a target with no
The use of propaganda was prominent during the total war. Propaganda was utilized on a
global scale and is a tactic for war effort. Unlike previous wars fought, this was the first time in
which whole nations were locked in complete combat and they weren’t completely professional.
The fighting nation’s main reason for propaganda was war mobilization but the underlying
reason was to mobilize hatred towards the enemy, to convince the civilians that the horrors that
they caused were for the greater good. “Posters advertising bonds were a key part of the
propaganda that sought to link civilians and combatants experiencing this total war” ( Grayzel
2013, 13). The sole use of governmental propaganda was to create a sense of nationalism for all
of the countries utilizing this total war tactic.
Governmental control was a large part of...