In this module we will be addressing the topics of the impact of total war on cities and rebuilding the modern city. By the end of this module you should know the following:
- Describe the impact of modern total war on the urban environment
- Explain the challenges faced by civic authorities tasked with rebuilding European cities after World War II
- Explain how the challenges of rebuilding were overcome
Based on the readings and visual sources in this module, describe the impact of modern total war on European cities and the urban environment. Given the nature of the destruction, what do you think was the biggest challenge to rebuilding European cities after World War II? Be sure to cite evidence from the readings and sources to support your position.
Impact of Modern Total War on European Cities and Biggest Challenge to Rebuilding the Cities
The World War II was the classic total war of modernity. The degree of mobilization of resources by the warring parties, the contested battlespace, the number of soldiers that were raised, the active targeting of each other’s properties, and the overall disregard of mutual destruction marked total war on a scale never witnessed before in the history of warfare. Against this back drop, this essay will discuss the impact of modern total war on European cities and the urban environment, and the biggest challenge to rebuilding European cities after World War II.
Impact of Modern Total War on European Cities and the Urban Environment
European cities witnessed a lot of injuries and deaths of their residents. According to Diefendorf, most of the victims were from direct air raids while others were injured and others died when buildings collapsed on them (Diefendorf, 11). In addition, European cities witnessed destruction of houses which left millions homeless. Diefendorf expound that in Hamburg, the raids left more than 50% of the city’s 1.6 million population homeless (11). Moreover, though most of the buildings that were destroyed were apartment houses, European urban environment changed as a result of destruction of historical churches, historic monuments, schools, museums, and other public buildings. Similarly, commercial establishments such as factories, warehouses, banks, retail establishments, restaurants and others were destroyed (16). Administrative buildings were not spared either as such buildings which housed government agency functions such as town halls were damaged thereby affecting service delivery. The cities also witnessed damage to utilities infrastructure such as water, gas, telephone, electricity and sewer lines. All in all……………………..
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