Monday, August 04, 2014

Ottoman overkill...

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red is an installation at the Tower of London's dry moat and "it will continue to grow throughout the summer until the moat is filled with 888,246 ceramic poppies, each poppy representing a British or Colonial military fatality during the war." Link

The war to end all wars...the Great War. It certainly wasn't the former but there are those who don't wish to call it the latter either; I disagree, I know vocabulary usage changes but really nobody thinks it refers to 'great' as in good. Yesterday, 100 years ago Germany attacked France; today 100 years ago Germany invaded Belgium and in response Belgium and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany (also, the USA declared its neutrality). The numbers are horrifying: almost ten million military dead (9,911,000), 7,750,000 missing (mostly presumed dead), over 21 million wounded. [Wiki]. Russia had the greatest number of deaths (civilian and military combined), almost 2% of the population but some countries lost over 10% of the entire population (Serbia); an oft forgotten or ignored fact is that in the Ottoman Empire lost almost 15% of its then population: in fact taking civilian deaths from all causes (military action, crimes against humanity, malnutrition, disease etc.) the Ottoman Empire accounts for 33% of the total civilian deaths of WWI. Obviously this includes the deaths from the 'policy of extermination' i.e. Armenian Genocide and other ethnic groups like the Assyrians and Greeks, similarly attacked by the Ottoman Empire during the WWI period.

When we remember the military dead, soldiers making the ultimate sacrifice, please remember too the not inconsiderable 7.5 million civilians who lost their lives.

P.S. I donate monthly to The Royal British Legion, please help too if you can.

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