The start of 20th Century signalled the demise of the 700 year old Ottoman Empire which was centred around modern day Turkey; it was a bloody end however and they went down fighting slaughtering over 2.5 million Macedonians, Armenians, Assyrians, Greek Pontians and Anatolian Greeks between 1903 and 1923.
In 1911 the Chinese revolution claimed 2.4 million lives, and the Mexican revolution between 1910 -20 a quarter of a million. The Balkan Wars between 1912 and 1913 cost 150,000 lives, culminating in the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Throne which led to the start of World War 1.
World War One was termed ‘the war to end all wars;’ yet even before it had ended the Russian Revolution was in full swing claiming five million lives. Then in1928 the Chinese Civil War started and continued for 9 years claiming 2 million lives. Italy invaded Ethiopia in1936 and 200,000 souls perished and in the same year Uncle Joe Stalin got busy purging the Soviet Union of the 13 million people that did not see eye to eye with him. 1936 was a very good year for armament company shareholders as the Spanish Civil war commenced and ran just long enough for Germany to test all its new weapons. Weapons testing was a dangerous business back then and a further half million lives were lost.
In 1937 Japan invaded China and another half a million died so setting the stage for the eastern chapter of World War 2. As the civil war finished in Spain, Germany flexed its muscles and invaded Poland in 1939, just after the hapless British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had stood on the steps of a plane announcing ‘peace in our time’ whilst waving a piece of what turned out to be used toilet paper.
World War 2 immediately started which according to Hollywood was won by the good old US of A. Hollywood in fact although bending the truth does have a point. America did not officially join the war until December1941 after Pearl Harbour, but instead initiated a programme called Lend-Lease. Supplies and munitions valued then at 50 billion dollars were supplied mostly free of charge to the Allies in support. By the end of the war Fifty five million people had perished including those in the holocaust.
The Chinese Civil War claimed 1.2 million lives straight after between 1946-9 and France waged war in Vietnam from the same time until 1954 leaving 600,000 dead. The partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 left a million dead in its wake. Colombia’s civil war started in 1948 and raged for 10 years killing 250,000. The creation of Israel ignited the Arab-Israeli War in 1948 which officially ended in 1975 with 70,000 dead.
In 1949 China invaded Tibet and 1.2 million people were killed, then in 1950 the Korean War commenced with a further million deaths up to its finish in 1953. This is just a potted history of the conflicts of the first half of the Twentieth Century; I have not shared any opinions as we will all have our own thoughts on the world we live in, 12 years into the 21st Century!