World War I Essay

1076 words - 5 pages

World War I, also known as the First World War, the Great War and the War To End All Wars, was a global military conflict, which took place predominantly in Europe from 1914 to 1918. The war had a devastating death toll of 16 million, which includes military and citizens. The primary cause of the war was the June 28, 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who was heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, by Gavrilo Princip. It goes down as one of the deadliest conflicts in history, causing major political changes, including revolutions, which involved many countries including Australia. Australia got involved in the war when Great Britain called upon them for aid in the fight against the ...view middle of the document...

Finally, many of the troops believed that by Christmas, the war would be over, and hence took the opportunity of a lifetime to visit Europe.

While the initial response to the war was one of extreme enthusiasm, which resulted in 50,000 young men enlisting within a year of recruitment commencing in August 1914, support began to waver not long after the landings at Gallipoli. With the first lists of casualties, the Australian public were hit with the sudden realization that not only was war not a ‘great adventure’, but that many of their husbands, fathers, brothers, sons and friends may not return safely home, as was previously expected. The public’s attitude towards the war turned quickly, and with subsequent conflicts like the Battle of Fromelles in France, in which Australian casualties reached 5513 in the space of 24-hours, raking in huge death tolls, more and more people were beginning to see it in more of a negative light, which was reflected in weakened recruitment figures not long after. Those who did enlist after the casualty lists from Gallipoli were published most often did so out of a sense of duty to their country and comrades, and saw war not as a ‘great adventure’, as many had done before, but as a serious decision made for reasons of morality and responsibility rather than pride and ambition.

In response to this, the Australian government decided that strategies needed to be implemented in order to encourage more people to enlist in order to answer the request given by the British for more men. In July 1915, for example, the government amended many of the standards for enlistment so as to allow more men to be recruited, with the minimum height requirement being lowered to 158 cm, and the age limit being raised to 45, so as to allow men to enlist who had been ineligible before. Also, in that same month a two-week recruitment campaign was run in Victorian to persuade people to enlist, in which campaign meetings were held where injured war heroes gave patriotic speeches, often, and film was shown of heroic action taking place in Gallipoli and other areas. Propaganda...

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