Hello and a warm welcome to my page. IF you get a pop-up from Microsoft asking you to click on an ADD-ON, do it and safely, for you will need it to see the many pie charts on this page.

I, like so many of you have always had a fascination of WW1, and that really came from having men in my family, who actually fought in that war.  So too did members of my wife's family, which makes my interest that much greater. Again, like most, I was besotted by the "popular" bits, biased to the army and navy, and infrequently to the war in the air. The names of all battles are known to me, even battles which didn't involve the British Empire but which were nevertheless proverbial blood-bath's like Verdun for example, and the naval battles [and for that matter, the Royal Naval Divisions' which fought on land as foot soldiers in the trenches] the navy being my main interest.  The stories [some of which I have on my website] of the Falklands, Coronel, Jutland, Dogger Bank, Heligoland, Zeebrugge/Ostend etc, are so well known that I cannot believe there is a person out there who is not au fait with their outcomes. It is not my intention to mention them here, nor of the land battles or the air battles which I admit are rather vague to me.

A couple of weeks ago [2008], as our thoughts and minds were beginning to be polarised towards the "11th of the 11th of the 11th 1918", I decided I would write a little page about that Great War which would be different from that which we see [and hear of] regularly - LONG MAY THAT BE THE CASE - which tells of the defeat of the Central Powers [Germany and her Allies] but in a way not generally well understood.  You may have guessed that WW1 [but also wars per se which involve my/our country] is my particular favourite [if that is an accepted word in this context] and yes, I do read much about it, and delve into places of interest not normally visited by the 'man on the street'.

Whatever form my page took, it had to be SHORT, INFORMATIVE and FACTUAL, so I decided to Compare the DEFEAT of Germany in WW1 and WW2 and then look at Britain for a closing comparison.  This is the final draft of my many ideas and scribbling. Please be aware that I know the legendary stories of war and sacrifice as well as most, this forged deeply into my heart from my own long Naval service which involved me in conflict in Egypt, Cyprus and in Indonesia, so what follows does not ignore our national pride in what was achieved, or those who gave their lives, but sometimes, we are in danger of missing the detail, and the story is in danger of being historically incorrect.

1.     Whatever the WW1 battle and irrespective or the severity of it, or wherever it was fought in France, Belgium, North Africa or Turkey, the German Army lost battles, but, as a 'fighting machine' it was never defeated by the Allies.  It was certainly 'defeated' by its own people back home in the Fatherland, in which, no battles were ever fought.  The Army was offered up {some say sold out} as part of the Armistice, and largely went back to Germany where its disgruntled soldiers roamed the towns and cities in gangs, fermenting, throughout the 1920's and into the early 1930's, what was to become the NAZI party and the roots of WW2. Its early members, Hitler included, wrote the script for WW2 as a revenge for the sell-out in 1918, part instigated by the many prosperous Jews in Germany, the majority of whom had not taken up arms in defence of the Fatherland.

2.     Despite the many sea battles chief of which was at Jutland, the German Navy was never defeated by the Allies, but was offered up as a part of the Armistice to surrender, to be taken to Scapa Flow in the Orkneys under their own steam, and where they themselves scuttled the ships as an act of defiance. By so doing of course, the German Navy was now no longer and remained in this state until rearmament began in the 1930's. The German Navy was rendered impotent by the Royal Navy and was 'defeated' by its own people back home in the Fatherland.

3.     As a result of 1 above, the Allies were not victorious in the true meaning of the expression.  It, like the German Army, had expended countless thousands of lives needlessly for the gain of just a few hundred yards, which proved indecisive from beginning to end, even until the 11th hour cease fire last bullet was fired.

4.     As a result of 2 above, the German Naval units which had gained the high seas were destroyed and the sea-routes of the world were free of hazards after these destructions.  However, these were largely surface units which were destroyed leaving free, the German Submarines to continue their destruction for virtually the whole of the war years, acting as pirates and murderers.  See my webpage on German submarine warfare HERE

5.     The German Air Force fighting with bi-planes over the battlefields and with Zeppelin airships over the UK, were a menace rather than a power to be reckoned with.  I have no further comment on that, save that the Air Force capitulated because of pressure from the Fatherland.

6.     What did destroy Germany in WW1 was the Royal Navy with, almost from day one of the war, its tight blockade of German sea ports, and ports [Dutch for example] which could be used by the Germans.  The strangle hold of the Royal Navy brought Germany to her knees and the German people, once a proud [too proud] nation, became a hapless bunch of starving cowering and fundamentally lawless people, pre-occupied at any cost [understandably] in personal survival. Without this blockade, which for the most part involved semi-peaceful coercion  in turning merchant ships away from entering European waters in the vicinity of Germany, Holland and the Low Countries, the German High Seas Fleet, given a bloody nose at Jutland [and only that, with the outcome as to who won and who lost contentious even today], might have escaped to the open sea, and the German nation would have received war raw material and food thereby giving her the strength, wherewithal and dignity to continue with the war. But because of the Royal Navy and its blockade, Germany, as a whole, turned into a rebellious and mutinous country where the very need for food and survival were of greater importance to her civilian population than the aspirations of the Kaiser, of Ludendorff and the German High Command, and would, and did, at any cost, exchange her pitiful existence  for a forced peace no matter the shame or the bondage which was bound to follow. So Germany fell to her knees. 

After the war, when the pens started to record it for posterity, a man called The Right Hon C.F.G. Masterman, former Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and a Member of the British Cabinet wrote an article which he called:-

"The internal conditions of Britain and Germany during the War: a comparison." Masterman was a member of the inner circle when it came to factual intelligence and relevant information,  and he writes his account in a scholarly manner.

It is a profoundly sad read on the German side of the coin, but a morale booster for the British people who were not blockaded, had the use without hindrance of the largest Fleet in the world, were far from starving although controlled by well managed central food restrictions, and had above all else, a feeling that a victory would be theirs, as a just and Godly reward, and that they would face no charges of bestiality, or murder and rape when the reckoning came, as would Germany and her Allies.   Although they were shocked, angry, distraught and melancholy, and profoundly saddened at the losses sustained by her Armed Forces,  they were also loyal to king and country, grateful for their shrewd politicians and conscious that their military leaders were doing the best they could in the circumstances: Haig's so called 'blunders' {and the ambiguous actions of others} were not fully revealed or understood until after the war.

I have made a PDF file of Masterman's 'comparison' which will open your eyes to let you see just how badly the Germans fared under the British Naval blockade.  I am sure that you will fully understand the advantage of having a large and strong fleet, even today, because we too, as an island, depend fully upon the sea and its supply routes for our survival.

That PDF Files can be read by clicking HERE.

Now whilst Germany was defeated by its own starving masses wanting food and living instead of bullets and death, the same cannot be said of Germany in WW2. Here there are many different factors.

7.     Germany's war machine was utterly defeated by the Allies on land, sea and air.

8.     The German surface fleet was destroyed by the British Navy/New Zealand Navy and British Air Force rendering the threat to our convoys [our means of survival] from surface raiders null and void. The U-Boat threat was being fully addressed by the time the war came to an end, but it was, as in WW1, a weapon which could so easily have brought us to our knees. The search for and destruction of U-Boats, unlike that for the surface fleet, was a multi nation task engaging ships and aircraft mainly in the north and south Atlantic areas and the Mediterranean, on a twenty four hour a day basis, every day of the year, which wore out ships and men to the point of fatigue or utter exhaustion.

9.     The German people were far from starved of food or made to go without.  This came in abundance from the plundered lands her vile Armies had raped.

10.  Until the very end, the arrogant German people certainly did not give in, and having continuously listened  to Herr Goebbels and his propaganda, thought that they would win the war on all fronts.  Moreover, when the Army started to shows strain and collapse, the youth of Germany [Hitler Youth] showed their enthusiasm.

11.  Germany was not starved to death by the Royal Navy, it was blasted to submission by Allied Air Forces, and then personally mauled [hand to hand fighting] to death by Allied troops especially the long suffering Red Army.

12.  The German leader, Hitler, committed suicide as did other of his lieutenants, whilst others who didn't  escape to South America were ceremoniously hanged. In WW1, the Kaiser was given safe haven by the Dutch where he lived and died retaining his Royal personage.  Other WW1 German leaders were treated with civility by the conquering Allies.

13.   British losses were less in WW2 than in WW1, and our victory was real and sweet, and as it has proved, lasting against the German's.  The defeated German army went back home to their destroyed buildings and families not wanting any further involvement with militarism, humbled and conscious of their disgraced and vilified nation.

14.    And Britain after WW2; well we owed the US a great debt financially for the money we had borrowed and for the munitions we had received from the States, just as we did after WW1.  We owed them a great debt for their support and for their sacrifices made upon European soil, when simultaneously, they were shedding their blood fighting the equally barbaric and hated Japanese nation in Asia. In WW1, Britain's economy, hitherto, sound and robust, suffered badly with the following salient points:-

          a.     all gold coins had been called in and it was illegal to trade in them
          b.     currency notes for the pound and ten shillings had taken the place of the sovereign and half sovereign
          c.     three days after the war finished [14th November 1918] 8,742,000,000 had been voted towards the cost
                  of the war [8.74 billion is worth in 2007 {latest figures} using this calculator

                  Measuring Worth - Relative Value of UK Pounds
 

305,192,740,990 using the retail price index
411,775,253,929 using the GDP deflator
1,507,076,054,218 using the average earnings
1,806,196,507,117 using the per capita GDP
2,364,634,072,216 using the share of GDP

 

                     and using only the Average Earnings comparison, in today's money this would have cost the country
                  1 trillion, 507 billion, 76 million, 54 thousand and 218 pounds
- monopoly money !

           d.    before war broke out, financial experts had bewailed the fact that the national debt amounted to
                  661,473,765
           e.    for the year 1917-18 the war then not ended, it had reached the figure of 4,011,445,908
           f.    the following year 1918-19, when these figures were a little more in relation to war expenditure,
                 they were 5,871,850,637
           g.   then in the next year, yet a little nearer the actual facts, they were 8,075,000,000                  

15.    We owed our Commonwealth an unpayable debt for their sons blood spilt upon European battlefields.  These same Commonwealth soldier fought in many theatres, not just in Europe, as they did during WW1.  Nothing had changed their mind as to who had the good and just cause to defend themselves, to fight for freedom, even unto death.

Well that is my little input.   The WW2 bit is much better known that the WW1 bit, especially the defeat of Germany and the subsequent repercussions.

Below, I complete my story by giving a small presentation of WW1 and its belligerents.  It will help you to understand the terror, the lost hope, the end of the world feeling, held and experienced by not just those in my figures below, though that in itself is shocking, but by as many and more civilians whose end we will never know about.  Thus potentially 100 million people were involved in someway or other, the vast majority being adversely affected in emotional terms for the rest of their lives.

NOTE. You may need to have EXCEL to read some of my pie-charts.  If that is the case, simply open this link then click on the Download button Download details: Excel Viewer 2003 - it is FREE !

The BELLIGERENTS of World War 1 [The Great War] or [The Great European War] as it was known.

1. THE ALLIES

BRITISH EMPIRE
AFRICA ATLANTIC ISLANDS AUSTRALASIA AND PACIFIC OCEAN AMERICA INDIAN EMPIRE INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS MIDDLE EAST WEST INDIES ASIA EUROPE
[Anglo-Egyptian Sudan]
Basutoland
Bechuanaland
[British East Africa (Kenya)]
[British Gold Coast]
[British Somaliland]
Egypt
Gambia
Nigeria
[Northern Rhodesia]
Nyasaland
Sierra Leone
South Africa
[Southern Rhodesia]
[Uganda and Zanzibar]
Ascension
[Sandwich Islands]
South Georgia
St. Helena
[Tristan da Cunha]
Falklands
Antipodes
Australia
Borneo
Bounty
Campbell
Chatham Islands
Christmas Island
Cook Islands
Ducie
Elice Islands
Fanning
Flint
Fiji Islands
Gilbert Islands
Kermadec Islands
Macquarie
Malden
New Guinea
New Hebrides
New Zealand
Norfolk
Palmyra
Pitcairn
Phoenix Islands
Solomon Islands
Tokelau Islands
Tonga
Canada
Bermuda
Aden
Burma
Ceylon
India
[Andaman Islands]
Cocos Islands
Mauritius
[Nicobar Islands]
Seychelles
[Arabian (Protectorates)]
Kuwait
Oman
Bahamas
Barbados
[British Guiana]
[British Honduras]
Grenada
Jamaica
[Leeward Islands]
St. Lucia
St. Vincent
[Trinidad and Tobago]
Singapore Cyprus
[Great Britain]
Malta
Gibraltar
FRANCE
ITALY
BELGIUM
RUSSIA Until October 1917
USA from  April 1917
JAPAN
ROUMANIA [pre 1918 spelling]
MONTENEGRO
GREECE
PORTUGAL
SERBIA

2. THE CENTRAL POWERS

GERMANY
AUSTRIA-HUNGARY
BULGARIA
TURKEY

THE DEATH CIRCLE PIE-CHART AS A PERCENTAGE OF THOSE KILLED OUT OF A TOTAL OF 7,781,826 COMBATANTS. {Clockwise from 1200/2400}

   Missing: Microsoft Office Web Components
 
This page requires the Microsoft Office Web Components.

Click here to install Microsoft Office Web Components..

This page also requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 or higher.

Click here to install the latest Internet Explorer.
 

on this side of the page, with actual numbers in descending order of percentage severity showing numbers killed overall :- and on this side of the page, the table shows the numbers killed as a total on each side Allies or Central Powers. It can clearly be observed, that the Allies who were the declared victors, lost nearly 2 million  [1,957,150] men dead more than the Central Powers, the vanquished.
Russia 21.85% 1,700,000   Allies numbers killed 4,869,478
Germany 20.7% 1,611,104 Central Powers numbers killed 2,912,348
France 17.47% 1,385,300 Ratio of deaths of the total count:-  
Austria-Hungary 10.28%    800,000 Allies lost 0.626
British Empire 8.89%    692,065 Central Powers lost 0.374
Italy 5.91%    460,000 or in percentage terms  
Serbia 4.13%    322,000 Allies lost 62.58% dead
Turkey 3.86%    300,000 Central Powers lost 37.42% dead
Bulgaria 2.59%    201,244 However, as a percentage of numbers mobilised by each opposing force, the Central Powers came off the worst.
Roumania 2.57%    200,000
USA 0.87%      67,813 Central Powers mobilised 19,500,000 men and lost 2,912,348 dead = 14.93% killed
Montenegro 0.38%        3,000 whereas, the Allies mobilised 39,676,864 and lost 4,869,478 dead = 12.27% killed
Belgium 0.26%      20,000 Note the enormous difference in numbers mobilised, with at one stage, the Allies having 20 million more men that did the Central Powers.
Greece 0.19%      15,000

All figures throughout sourced from official US records.

Note  WW1 spelling of Roumania

Portugal 0.05%        4,000
Japan 0.0039%           300
TOTALS 100% 7,781,826

THE WOUNDED CIRCLE PIE-CHART AS A PERCENTAGE OF THOSE INJURED OUT OF A TOTAL OF 18,681,257 COMBATANTS. {Clockwise from 1200/2400}

   Missing: Microsoft Office Web Components
 
This page requires the Microsoft Office Web Components.

Click here to install Microsoft Office Web Components..

This page also requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 or higher.

Click here to install the latest Internet Explorer.
 

on this side of the page, with actual numbers in descending order of percentage severity showing numbers wounded overall :- and on this side of the page, the table shows the numbers wounded as a total on each side. It can clearly be observed, that the Allies who were the declared victors, lost nearly 4 million  [3,910,173] men wounded more than the Central Powers, the vanquished.
Russia 27.12% 4,950,000   Allies numbers wounded 11,075,715
Germany 20.21% 3,683,143 Central Powers numbers wounded   7,165,542
Austria-Hungary 17.54% 3,200,000 Ratio of wounded of the total count:-  
France 14.66% 2,675,000 Allies wounded 0.61
British Empire 11.17% 2,037,325 Central Powers wounded 0.39
Italy 5.19%    947,000 or in percentage terms  
USA 1.06%    192,483 Allies wounded 60.71%
Bulgaria 0.84%    152,399 Central Powers wounded 39.29%
Turkey 0.71%    130,000 However, as a percentage of number mobilised by each opposing force, the Central Powers came off the worst.
Roumania 0.66%    120,000 Central Powers mobilised 19,500,000 men and lost 7,165,542 wounded = 36.75% wounded
Belgium 0.33%      60,000 whereas, the Allies mobilised 39,676,864 and lost 11,075,715 wounded = 27.91% wounded
Greece 0.22%      40,000 Note that in the pie chart, the Japanese entry  is barely discernable because of their very small numbers wounded.
Serbia 0.15%      28,000
Portugal 0.082%      15,000
Montenegro 0.055%      10,000
Japan 0.005%           907
TOTALS 100% 18,241,257

THE PRISONER/MISSING CIRCLE PIE-CHART AS A PERCENTAGE OF THOSE CAPTURED OR MISSING OUT OF A TOTAL OF 7,080,610 COMBATANTS. {Clockwise from 1200/2400}

   Missing: Microsoft Office Web Components
 
This page requires the Microsoft Office Web Components.

Click here to install Microsoft Office Web Components..

This page also requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 or higher.

Click here to install the latest Internet Explorer.
 

on this side of the page, with actual numbers in descending order of percentage severity showing numbers taken prisoner/missing overall :- and on this side of the page, the table shows the numbers taken prisoner/missing as a total on each side. It can clearly be observed, that the Allies who were the declared victors, lost nearly 3 million  [2,831,856] men prisoners/missing more than the Central Powers, the vanquished.
Russia 35.31% 2,500,000   Allies numbers taken prisoner or missing 4,956,233
Italy 19.67% 1,393,000 Central Powers numbers taken prisoner or missing 2,124,377
Austria-Hungary 17.1%    772,552 Ratio of prisoners/missing of the total count:-  
Germany 10.92% 1,211,000   Allies - prisoners/missing 0.70
France 6.3%    446,300 Central Powers - prisoners/missing 0.30
British Empire 5.09%    360,367 or in percentage terms  
Turkey 1.84%    130,000 Allies - prisoners/missing 70%
Serbia 1.41%    100,000 Central Powers - prisoners/missing 30%
Roumania 1.13%      80,000 As a percentage of number mobilised by each opposing force, the Allies came off the worst.
Greece 0.64%      45,000
USA 0.2%      14,363  Central Powers mobilised 19,500,000 men and lost 2,124,377 prisoners/missing  = 10.89%
Bulgaria 0.15%      10,825 whereas, the Allies mobilised 39,676,864 and lost 4,956,233 prisoners/missing  = 12.49%
Belgium 0.14%      10,000  

All figures throughout sourced from official US records.

Montenegro 0.1%        7,000
Portugal 0.0028%           200
Japan 0.000042%               3 
TOTALS 100% 7,080,610

THE OVERALL TOTAL CASUALTIES CIRCLE PIE-CHART, OF ALL COMBATANTS NUMBERING 32,984,44, SHOWN COUNTRY BY COUNTRY AS THE TOTAL CASUALTIES SUFFERED AMONGST THEIR RESPECTIVE MOBILISATION.  {Clockwise from 1200/2400}

   Missing: Microsoft Office Web Components
 
This page requires the Microsoft Office Web Components.

Click here to install Microsoft Office Web Components..

This page also requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 or higher.

Click here to install the latest Internet Explorer.
 

on this side of the page, with actual numbers in descending order of severity showing numbers of overall casualties as a percentage of total mobilised in each country: in the totality of war, note the relatively low position of the British Empire.

Central Powers in ORANGE Allies in BLUE

and on this side of the page, the table shows the overall numbers of casualties. It can clearly be observed, that the Central Powers took the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th places in terms of severity of casualties, whereas the Allies took the 2nd, 4th and 6th places.  As can be seen, the Allies took horrendous losses and paid an incalculable price for victory.
Country % Loss No's Mobilised Casualties  
Austria-Hungary 80.17%   6,500,000 5,211,000 Allies numbers of casualties 20,442,226
Russia 76.25% 12,000,000 9,150,000 Central Powers numbers of casualties 12,542,217
Bulgaria 66.11%      400,000    264,448 Ratio of prisoners/missing of the total count:-  
Serbia 63.61%      707,343    450,000 Allies 0.70
Turkey 62.5%   1,600,000 1,000,000 Central Powers 0.30
France 60.08%   7,500,000 4,506,600 or in percentage terms  
Germany 55.15%  11,000,000 6,066,769 Allies 70%
Roumania 53.3%       750,000    400,000 Central Powers 30%
Italy 50.9%   5,500,000 2,800,000 As a percentage of numbers mobilised by each opposing force, the Allies came off the worst, but it was the price to pay for a total victory over the Central Powers: note, not a total victory over German Forces !   However, hypothetically, put another way the Central Powers were out-numbered by 2.03 to 1 [Central Power mobilised 19,500,000 compared to 39,676,864 by the Allies].  Statistically, for every 2.03 Allied combatant casualty, there needed to be 1 Central Power casualty to match loss for loss - no gain, no deficit. Thus, the Central Powers should have lost 10,070,062 casualties [20,442,226 2.03] but in fact they lost 12,542,217 combatants as casualties, giving a 25% higher casualty rate than the Allies, effectively increasing the odds in favour of the Allies from the 2.03 to 1 ratio to something slightly higher that 2.03.
Greece 43.48%      230,000   100,000
British Empire 41.2%   7,500,000 3,089,757  

All figures throughout sourced from official US records and used by me to make these calculations and pie-charts.

Montenegro 40%        50,000      20,000
Belgium 33.7%      267,000      90,000
Portugal 10%      100,000      10,000
USA 6.43%   4,272,521    274,659
Japan 0.15%      800,000        1,210

Finally, a pie-chart showing the human sacrifice and especially that of the Allies who fought an enemy whose collective evilness caused the war, showing the face of demonic Germany so recently shown in the Franco-Prussian war, and soon to be repeated in the 1939-1945 war.  No other nation on earth has caused so much blood-shed and heartache, which emotionally destroyed countless lives, which had never been known until that time in the history of mankind. I have chosen the traditional naval colours for friend and foe which are orange for the enemy and blue for friendly forces.

   Missing: Microsoft Office Web Components
 
This page requires the Microsoft Office Web Components.

Click here to install Microsoft Office Web Components..

This page also requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 or higher.

Click here to install the latest Internet Explorer.
 

In this simple pie chart, the whole represents 59,176,864 Mobilised Combatants, which is just about the total population of the UK today in 2008.

The blue shows the 20,892,226 casualties of the Allies [62.49%] and the orange, 12,542,217 of the Central Powers [37.51%], a total of 33,434,443 [56.5% of the whole]; unbelievable figures even to this very day, 90 years on.

After I had produced this image, I saw in it an iconic figure of comfort. Instead of the imagine representing greater losses to the good, the blue, and less to the hated protagonists of war and evil, why not,  I thought, see it as the wide open blue mouth of goodness swallowing an orange coloured creature of unimaginable evil ?

I will leave that one with you to ponder upon.

 

 

Good bye, and I hope that you enjoyed reading this page and that you found it of interest.

Just a couple of interesting photograph's

Click to enlarge

 

Click to enlarge

 

Click to enlarge

 

Click to enlarge

 

Click to enlarge

 

Signing the Armistice Document WW1 Torpedo firing German captured naval gun WW1 hospital train with Royal Navy sick bay attendants in attendance. WW1 British submarine wardroom [officers mess]