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Dale’s Daily Data: Armistice Day

Today marks the anniversary of the end of World War One – at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.  With the loss of manpower and supplies and faced with invasion, Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car in France ending what many said was the war to end all wars.  In four years, World War One left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded.  Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France and Great Britain each lost nearly a million or more lives.  In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation or exposure.  It was a war the United States wanted to stay out of, but the sinking of the British passenger ship Lusitania that killed a number of American citizens and the sinking of American cargo ships by German submarines forced us in.  Up to that point, the war had been a stalemate.  For months and months, neither side made much progress, but American troops and resources finally turned the tide in favor of the Allies.

Unfortunately, the peace treaty that officially ended the war–the Treaty of Versailles of 1919–forced Germany to pay reparations, destabilized Europe, laid the groundwork for blame and led to World War II.

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