First Paper Influenza Pandemic

Submitted By ashleypaxanna
Words: 989
Pages: 4

Influenza: Why Germany Lost WWI The Great War or World War I was unlike any before it. It was the first total war in human history causing many deaths worldwide. Along with the deaths left in its wake, World War I used up numerous resources from society. Although World War I stole many lives and many different countries played their part in the proceedings, the major player in World War I was Influenza. The exact number of people killed due to the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 is unknown. Because of the severity, and ferociousness of this unforgiving disease, people are said to have lost count of the high death tolls. The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919, is said to have taken the lives from as many as 30 Million to 100 Million individuals worldwide 1.Those numbers do not include those who suffered from the disease and recovered only to be left with detrimental after effects, including mental symptoms or even the knowledge that a loved one did not make it through 2. Although World War I is the event that is ingrained into memories throughout the world with Great Britain, France, and the United States being the countries to come out successful against Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. In the end, others would argue that the most powerful entity throughout the first total war was not a country, but the Influenza Pandemic. Taking down strong countries and leaving the men, women and children from any social or political status, killed, sick, mentally unstable and emotionally battered. Ultimately, Influenza took down Germany, a strong country who otherwise could have come out above Great Britain, France, and the United States.
Although Germany started out as a very strong world power at the beginning of World War I, they were taken down, not by a country, but by a pandemic that swept its way across the world. Being that World War I was a total war that required a country’s full resources to effectively fight, losses at the home front due to influenza were debilitating to both civilian life, and soldier life. The war needed to be supported by to the country’s economy and therefore, when Germany’s economy was affected by illness the country’s war efforts were hindered by an inability to support their needs. Many large countries were affected in different ways; including factory shut downs, hospital department closures, as well as bank closures3. With these closures it meant that all sorts of supplies required for the war effort were compromised. Production of weapons in factories would be lower, including guns, ammunition, cannons. In addition, production of uniforms would be lower. One of the largest effects of influenza would be the loss of medical supplies and personnel. The number of nurses and doctors able to go to war would be much lower due to the fact that so many of these individuals were needed in at the home front in order to keep Germany going. Although all of these resources were still used towards World War I, they were not used to the extent that they would have been able to if the Influenza Pandemic had not struck the world.
Germany was not the only country affected by Influenza. How can it then be explained that, that is the reason for their loss when every country struggled with similar hardships? One difference is how Germany dealt with the crisis in contrast to other countries. Other countries warned their citizens and gave tip on how to beat Influenza, some tips were accurate and some were not. Some if the tips included were to get a lot of fresh air, wash your hands, and clean and boil and used clothing or handkerchiefs4. Germany on the other hand seemed to downplay the situation more. They tended to reassure people that Influenza was being exaggerated it seems, in order to reduce…