By Marianne Scully | [email protected] | Posted November 11, 2018 at 7:00
April 29, 1917: Scottish troops advancing in the attack near Arras during the Battle of Somme. British troops recorded a record loss of life on the first day of the fight with 57,470 casualties. (Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images)
For the Americans, ended on the 11th day of the 11th day, with a ceremonial shot by the dudeboys of the E battery, 11 field artillery.
"Men were too exhausted to cheer," writes Kevin Hymel for ArmyHistory.org, but were relieved to have survived one of the toughest battles ever seen in US military history. "The First World War was a war like none other, for both Allied and Axis forces, who remained in muddy trenches for four years, flesh being the example of the absurdity of the war.
Technological advances – machine guns and poison gas – bitten and killed in unprecedented numbers. Farm fields have been transformed forever into cemeteries. Some reasons remain too toxic for use after 100 years.
Despite the terrible number of deaths – 9.7 million soldiers and 10 million civilians – it would not prove war to end all wars. Instead, it seemed to trigger a series of events that, like deadly dominoes, would change the course of history.
In this photo of 1918 provided by the Heath National Museum, flu victims are in an emergency hospital at Camp Funston, a subdivision of Fort Riley in Kansas. Increasing fears about an avian influenza pandemic force US officials to face the problems with the flu vaccine industry in the country. President Bush, together with the heads of six vaccine manufacturing companies and federal health officials on Friday, October 7, 2005, urged him to raise production to counter the bird flu threat. (AP Photo / National Health Museum, File)
Great flu pandemic
In 1918, "World War I and flu have collaborated," according to public health reports. "The war has stimulated the disease by creating conditions in the cuts in France, which some epidemiologists believe have allowed the influenza virus to evolve into a killer of global proportions." The conditions in the military camps, even those in the war zone, and the soldiers bring home the virus all over the globe. About 500 million people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's estimates, are infected at some point during the 1918-1919 pandemic. This is an amazing third of the global population. As death is the countdown from the war itself, the flu kills about 50 million, including 675,000 Americans. This remains the worst pandemic in recent history.
FILE In this photo, the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II, placed second on the left, Czarina Alexandra, behind the center, and their family, are shown in this undated photo. Row from left to right, Princess Olga, Tsar Nicholas II, princess Anastasia, prince Alexei and princess Tatiana. The upper row from left to right, princess Maria and princess Alexandra. A commission of the Russian Orthodox Church who looks at the 1918 killing of Russia's last landlord and his family said he was investigating whether it was a ritual crime – a statement that has fueled Jewish groups. (Photo AP, file)