Ioan Bolovan, Sorina Paula Bolovan

Warfare in the 19th-20th Centuries and Its Effects: A Necessary Evil? (Case Study: World War I)

Ioan Bolovan, Sorina Paula Bolovan

Article information

Volume: XI Issue: 2, Pages: 35-56
Ioan Bolovan
Babeş-Bolyai University, Faculty of History and Philosophy, Romanian Academy, Centre for Transylvanian Studies, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Sorina Paula Bolovan
Babeş-Bolyai University, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Cluj-Napoca, Romania


Wars did not leave a bright page in the history of humanity, as the countless deaths, the physical and psychological suffering of the invalids and of the families affected by the terrors of war, the destruction of material and spiritual goods represent, without a doubt, the darkest facets of our distant or more recent past. And yet, beyond death and suffering, mutilations and destructions, specialists have been able to detect, both during the conflicts and in their immediate aftermath, a constant concern on the part of the military and civilian authorities, of the Church, of physicians and other scientists to reduce, as far as possible, the people’s suffering, to better treat the wounds of the soldiers and the civilians injured in wars, to find solutions to prevent certain situations that are dangerous to people’s health and safety. It is from this perspective that we have formulated the interrogation in the title. In what follows, we will try to provide examples through which we do not aim to justify the notion that the Great War was a necessary evil or that people caused it deliberately in order to fuel innovation and development, but rather to identify those consequences that contributed, in the very midst of the war or after its conclusion, to the progress of scientific knowledge and the improvement of the life of those who survived the conflict.

Keywords: Great War, epidemics, health, casualties


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