Here are people enjoying themselves at the beach in Ostend, Belgium, in 1913.
And here they are at summer’s end in 1914:
The term was coined during the Vietnam War, that hotbed of euphemism, to refer to civilians who got into harm’s way during a military operation (otherwise known as bombing the bejesus out of a village suspected of harboring the enemy).
But though there wasn’t always a phrase for it, preventing collateral damage has been a problem for armies since man discovered fire (and began burning the bejesus out of cave dwellings suspected of harboring the enemy). During World War I, 6-7 million civilians lost their lives. Disease and starvation took a huge toll, of course. I’m not sure anyone knows what percentage of them simply were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Of course, some were deliberately targeted. The Zeppelins that bombed Britain weren’t accurate enough for tactical use, they were a terror weapon against civilians. They killed 557 people and injured 1,358. (Another 857 people were killed by airplane raids, with 2,058 injured.)
And the Zeppelins indirectly killed this lady. She was just collateral damage.
This is a harmless Zeppelin, paying a benign visit to London in 1930. Still creepy-looking to me.
This is what Alice Howitt was afraid of:
Inside the lands between
News from the East End of London during the First World War, on this day 100 years ago.
We died 100 years ago in the War to end all War
London and Londoners in the First World War
The Great War 1914-1918
First World War Centenary
From Conflict to Cosmopolis: Commemorating the Great War in Milton Keynes
Digital projects around the First World War
Exploring Paris one blog at a time
A Monthly Narrative
A website to join ANZAC Centenary projects in the New England North West, NSW
a finder's journey
Our favourite frames from the BRITISH PATHÉ collection
Louise M. H. Miller. Writer. Historian. Reviewer.
Brand and Environmental Graphic Design
The WWI Graphic Anthology
My Audio Recordings for Librivox
This blog discusses strategic and security issues, both in general as well as specific to Singapore. Through this blog, I hope to encourage informed and reasoned debate on regional as well as national security issues.
The First World War in Greater Manchester