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Total War
(813 words)

Total War

This expression first appeared in the French press in 1917 as la guerre totale, meant to stir the French to their ultimate war effort. “Total war” and related expressions played a major role in international discussions concerning military policy in the 1920s and 1930s. The Italian General Giulio Douhet and German General Erich Ludendorff in particular promoted total war as the warfare of the future. In the Second World War the call for total war became a thoroughly universal phenomenon. Joseph Goebb…

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Förster, Stig, “Total War”, in: Brill’s Digital Library of World War I. Consulted online on 06 December 2022 <>
First published online: 2015

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