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Nations had bor rowed heavily to finance their war efforts, and they spent years following the war struggling to repay their debts.
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Armies counted the cost of waging war in terms of casualties—the total number of men killed, wounded, taken prisoner, or missing.Whichever figure is closer, there is no doubt that the cost was staggering.These figures count the costs of productive lives lost, ships sunk, buildings and farms destroyed, and many other costs of war.Several economists, however, have attempted a rough estimate.Shortly after the war, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace estimated that the war cost the world over 7 billion; a later estimate, quoted by Niall Ferguson in The Pity of War, sets the cost at 8 billion.o matter how they are measured, the costs of World War I were enormous.Undoubtedly, the most tragic and devastating of the losses caused by the war was the loss of life.The combatant countries threw millions of dollars into the war effort, straining their economies during the war and for years thereafter. Was anything settled by this four-year killing contest?In the aftermath of the war, Europe was in worse shape than it was when the war began.In his war novel A Farewell to Arms, American writer Ernest Hemingway expressed the sense that old truths had been destroyed.One of the main characters in the book, an American ambulance driver on the Italian front, reflects: I was always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious, and sacrifice and the expression in vain.