Disarmament A Basic Guid
The nature of conflict and the weaponry used to fight it have changed dramatically in the past 100 years. Before the twentieth century, few countries maintained large armies and their weapons—while certainly deadly—mostly limited damage to the immediate vicinity of battle. Most of those killed and wounded in pre-twentieth century conflicts were active combatants. By contrast, twentieth-century battles were often struggles that encompassed entire societies and, in the case of the two world wars, engulfed nearly the entire globe. World War I left an estimated 8.5 million soldiers dead and 5 to
2 Disarmament: A Basic Guide 10 million civilian casualties. In World War II, some 55 million died. Weapons with more and more indiscriminate destructive power—weapons of mass destruction—were developed and used, including chemical and biological weapons and, for the first time, nuclear weapons, which were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945.