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The Hidden Reason Why the First World War Matters Today: The Development and Spread of Modern Management

Revisiting WWI
David Ahlstrom


World War I is often thought of in terms of trench warfare, appalling losses, and tumultuous political upheaval. France lost 1.4 million servicemen, and Britain 800,000. Germany lost two million, or 1,330 for each day of the 52 months of the war. A total of 10 million military personnel died on both sides in what became the first total war pitting entire societies against each other.1 By the war’s end, great empires were shattered, the capitalist and free trade system built up during the nineteenth century was facing serious challenge from aggressive totalitarian systems, and ethnic and religious conflict in Eastern Europe and the Middle East arose, which persists to this day.