The “Spanish Girl” and the Plague’s Influence on War

  In 2009, the economic crisis had not yet bottomed out, and the world was in yet another trouble. Since April, “Influenza A H1N1” has become the hottest topic in the world. The re-emergence of the global influenza reminds us of the shocking disaster caused by influenza in history. In 1918, at the end of the First World War, the world was thrown into another unforeseen catastrophe. A flu swept across the world within a few months, killing countless lives and dying, leaving behind Cries, shouts, sighs and the messy sight of the flu raging all over the place.
  In 1917, a crucial year in the First World War, at the end of February of this year, the American ambassador to the United Kingdom, Page, received a telegram from Zimmerman, saying that Germany promised to assist in the war if Mexico declared war on the United States. The American Southwest was returned to Mexico. Anyone familiar with the First World War knows that in the early days of the war, Germany used its own advantages to deal with Britain with submarines and cut off its foreign aid to isolate the British Isles. Later in the war, coupled with the deteriorating socio-economic situation at home, Germany decided in early 1917 to resume its strategy of unrestricted submarines. The strategy claims that all ships in British waters, whether enemy or neutral, will be sunk by German submarines. However, this greatly affects the normal passage of American merchant ships and is accompanied by the sinking of American merchant ships. As a result, the relationship between the United States and Germany gradually deteriorated. At this time, the United States already had the idea of ​​declaring war on Germany. In April 1917, the United States, which has always pursued isolationism, wanted to take the opportunity to develop its own power, so on the grounds that Germany violated submarine warfare, it officially joined the Allied powers and fought against the Allies. Using the Zimmerman telegram as an excuse, the United States officially declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917.
  In April 1917, the French army launched the “Spring Offensive” against the German army on the western front. The French army and the German army fought between Reims and Soissons. After that, there was still not much progress, which caused many French soldiers’ commotion and anxiety, and the battle was at a stalemate. The French army was unable to defend due to internal turmoil, so the British army was responsible for the defense of the Western Front. In the second half of 1917, the supplies and equipment provided by the United States arrived in Europe one after another, so the British army launched a fierce attack on the Western Front. Although they paid a heavy price, the war still did not progress. At the end of 1917, the October Revolution took place in Russia on the eastern front, and it withdrew from the war, which reduced the pressure on the originally tense situation of the German army. As a result, the German army began to concentrate its forces on the Western Front, with the intention of defeating Britain and France before the American troops arrived in Europe in the summer of 1918, in order to reverse the entire war situation. This battle, known as “Operation Michael”, was fought extremely beautifully, and the British and French forces suffered a lot. At this time, the United States also decided to send troops to Europe, which made the situation extremely unfavorable for the Allies. In the spring and summer of 1918, the German army launched five consecutive large-scale offensives on the western front. The U.S. military has already reached Europe, greatly increasing the strength of the Allied powers. At the end of May of this year, the German army launched the third offensive. This time, it successfully broke through the French defense line and advanced to only 37 kilometers away from Paris, but it could not annihilate the main force of the British and French coalition forces. , The German army lost more than 130,000 troops. In mid-June, the Germans launched a fourth attack, which tried unsuccessfully to link the German forces at the two points of Amiens and the Marne to form a favorable situation in order to concentrate their forces on Paris. In mid-July, the German army, relying on its resolute combat style, inherited the fine tradition of tenacious combat, launched the fifth large-scale offensive, but the result was the loss of 15 divisions, and finally had to retreat to the Hindenburg line of defense. Can be passive defense. Although the outcome of the war is determined by the strength of both sides, we still cannot avoid the influence of the “Spanish girl” on the European battlefield.
  The “Spanish Girl” began to give people a kind of beautiful imagination. In fact, it is a kind of influenza virus, and it is the devil that caused tens of thousands of deaths. The virus first emerged in the US military’s Foster Barracks, but due to the urgency of the war and the limitations of the medical level at that time, the US military sent sick soldiers to Europe without regard to isolation and treatment. At the same time, the US military also adopted a strict news blockade. The US troops who landed in Spain brought hope to the Allies, but also brought disaster to them. Within a month of its landing, nearly 8 million people in Spain contracted the flu, and a large number of people died. Innocently bear the crime of influenza, and euphemistically called “Spanish girl”. After that, the flu began to ravage Europe. In England and Wales, the death toll reached 200,000. It is said that in less than a year, nearly 400,000 people died of the flu in France. The United States, a belligerent nation, was not spared either. By October 1918, its death toll had reached 500,000. From March to August 1918, the German army lost nearly 800,000 people under the heavy blow of influenza and opponents. Insufficient troops, low morale, and constant influenza attacks, by September, Bulgaria, Turkey and Austria-Hungary among the Allies had withdrawn from the war; in November, Germany finally decided to make peace, and the Allies were also exhausted from the contest with their opponents, so The two sides signed an armistice agreement. In the face of the virus, the common enemy of mankind, the original hostile countries can only put aside their interests and fight to deal with this sudden disaster.
  The “Spanish Girl” had an important influence on the course of the First World War, which is recognized in the history of war. However, in textbooks, the success or failure of the First World War usually only highlights the balance of power between the two sides, and analyzes and evaluates it with justice and injustice, and rarely consider other factors. When analyzing the success or failure of World War I, World War II, and Napoleon’s expedition to Europe, we must also take this issue seriously. Napoleon’s 600,000 troops who fought in Eastern Europe were almost wiped out. Of course, Napoleon’s own strategic mistakes, natural environment factors and the bravery of the Russians, as well as the mystery of buttons considered by the academic circles, etc., there is also an extremely important factor. Typhoid fever cannot be ignored, it killed far more people than the war, which is an important reason for its failure to conquer Moscow; we know that the plague that occurred around 1338 AD, it was first caused by the Central Asian steppe A regional plague caused by a major drought in the region. It later spread westward from the city of Addition. Adda is a small town on the Crimean peninsula on the coast of the Black Sea. It is controlled by Italian merchants. It belongs to the Eastern Roman Empire. Nearby is the Golden Horde established by the Mongols. At that time, the Mongolian army was marching westward all the way, and the small town of Jiafa was likely to fall at any time. In 1345, in this city, some Italian merchants and local Muslim residents had a quarrel in the street and led to a conflict, so the Muslims asked their allies for help, the Mongols who were planning to conquer the entire Crimea Peninsula. Taking this opportunity to send troops, the Italian merchants and the defenders of the Eastern Roman Empire were besieged in the city of Adda. However, the strong Jiafa city and tenacious defenders prevented the Mongolian army from taking Jiafu for a whole year. At this time, the plague that originated in the Central Asian steppe began to spread among the Mongolian soldiers outside the city of Jiafa. A large number of soldiers died of the plague. When the Mongols attacked the city of Jiafa again, they used trebuchets. Fired the bodies of many sick and dead Mongol soldiers into the city of Adda. Soon, many people in the city were infected, and the patients began to have chills, headaches and other symptoms, followed by fever, delirium, coma, then extensive skin bleeding, malignant sores, and respiratory failure; within a few days, they died. After the patient died, the skin turned black and purple, so people called this terrible plague the “Black Death”. Within a few days, the Jiafa people in the city were also killed, plagues and corpses were everywhere. A once prosperous commercial city has instantly turned into a hell on earth. It can be said that the destructive power of this plague is no less than the power of Mongolian iron cavalry.

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