Austria, Britain, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Poland and the United States
Poems from the Home Front: Marian Allen and Vera Brittain
World War I is believed to be one of the most tragic events of the twentieth century on account of the fact that it brought more casualties and devastations than all the wars that had come earlier. The statistics show that approximately sixteen million people lost their lives during its course. What is more, the Great War was “the first truly global conflict between several major powers, ranging across Europe, Africa, Asia and, hence, over the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans” (Simkins et al. 2003: 9). Occurring on many fronts extensively and contemporaneously, “the war challenged political and military leaders in a way in which no other conflict had since the Napoleonic Wars in the nineteenth century” (2003: 7–10).
Women had their own front during the First World War: it was not the Western Front, that is, the warfare activities outside Great Britain in the areas of France and Belgium, and commonly associated with abhorrent trenches,1 but the so-called “Home Front,” where they were fighting with their emotional states caused by the loss of beloved people. Interestingly, the Great War initiated significant changes in the roles of women. Because of manpower deficiency, women were urgently needed to perform a wide range of labor previously destined for men: “Over 7,310,000 women were in paid employment by July 1918. The 947,000 who worked in munitions production represented 90 percent of that industry’s workforce, while 117,000 were employed in transport and another 228,...
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