Tragedies of War

Class: Canadian History (CHC2D1)
Date: October 2004
The Assignment: Write an essay about the tragedies of war.

All wars result in many tragedies, some are known by the whole world, but no one knows the stories of all the men who fought. Whenever someone went off to war, the families were always affected. If a soldier came back alive, they would often be wounded, which would change their whole life. Without a doubt, the greatest tragedy of war is death of the innocent. The film “All Quiet on the Western Front” demonstrates some of these tragedies.

War did not only have an effect on troops lives, the families went through hard times as well. Most soldiers were away from home for a long time, and they wouldn’t always know what was happening with their family. When Paul was able to go back home, he learned that his mother had gotten sick. While he was fighting, he had no idea about this fact, and his mother could have died while he was away. In many families, all the males in the house would be away at war and weren’t able to support their family. Since the majority of women didn’t have jobs, they would be left with little or no money. For years, parents, spouses, children, siblings, and all other family members were concerned about the soldier’s safety. It could take a long time for the families to know if they were ever coming back. Though the families never knew what it was like to be at war themselves, they would have hardships of their own to faced because of the war.

If a soldier was lucky enough to survive war, they would certainly come out of it with great battle scars. Life would never be the same after losing an arm or leg. If Franz had lived after having his leg amputated, he would have to spend the rest of his days confined to a wheelchair. Since so many people were injured, the hospitals could not hold all of them and there were not enough doctors for each patient. After Franz died, they had to take him away immediately to make room for other wounded people. Injuries are not always physical though, shell shock was a common illness during the war. One of the young boys in the trench was not able to sleep because of all the noises. No one was able to leave the war without being affected in some way by the memories and experiences.

One of man kind’s greatest fears is death, and this fear became a reality for many men fighting in World War I. Lots of young men with bright futures were sent to war. Perhaps due to inexperience, many of them died, sometimes in only their first battle. When coming face to face with an enemy, Paul had to decide what to do. After killing the French man, he felt guilty. Paul also had to see his friends die beside him and there was nothing he could do to help them. If he had stopped on the battlefield, he would undoubtedly have been shot too. In war, everyone must forget their fears if they want to survive.

There are many tragedies as a result of war, these are only a few. Millions of lives were forever changed as a result of World War I. The soldiers, family members, and those who did not even take part in the war were affected. All of these people had to live their lives dealing with many emotional, physical and financial problems created as a result of the war. There was a great deal of money spent on the war, which could have gone towards better causes. In spite of these things, not much was learned as another World War took place a few decades later, and wars still happen today.