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Remembered Today:

Germany and the Spanish Flu

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Hi all,


I'm putting together a lesson for students looking at the reasons why Germany decided to stop fighting in WW1. 


Does anyone have any useful information on the effect of the flu outbreak on the German Army and/or home front? So far, everything I've looked at talks about the impact on the US. 


Was it in any way a significant factor, or was it too late?





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I happened to come across this article on academia yesterday: Die „Spanische Grippe“ in der deutschen Armee 1918: Perspektive der Ärzte und Generäle by Jörg Vögele


It had an influence of course in the fact that it further reduced the fighting strength of the German army which was already under a lot of pressure from all sides. But even without the flu, I think the German army had received some serieous morale blows in June/July, reducing its will to continue fighting at all costs.



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The number of German soldiers who died of influenza in 1918 was surprisingly small, given the overall impact of the disease.


If actual fatalities were relatively few, the demoralising effect of the illness, especially on troops who saw their attacks begin to fail, and more especially after the appallingly heavy battle casualties - about three quarters of a million in the first half of 1918 - is hard to exaggerate .



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