World War I plays a pivotal behind-the-scenes role in The Awakening of Miss Adelaide. Consequently, my research into the horrid event was extensive. It brought interesting facts and insights to light.
The World War I Parties
World War I, or the Great War, began in 1914. A political dissident assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire‘s throne, in Bosnia.
Tensions had been brewing across Europe for years. In particular, in the Balkan region of southeast Europe. Alliances among the Ottoman Empire, Russia, and other parties long had existed. But Bosnian, Serbian, and Herzegovinian political instability threatened to destroy them.
Enter Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. On June 28, 1914, this dissident assassinated the duke and his wife Sofie. Princip and others were fighting to end Austro-Hungarian rule over Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Thereafter, the assassination set off a rapidly escalating chain of events. Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbian government for the attack. They hoped to use the incident as justification for settling the question of Serbian nationalism once and for all.
This was the spark that ignited the world. It’s amazing that an angry 19-yr-old could light a flame that engulfed the world and took over 16 million lives worldwide.
The Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire) fought against the Allied Powers (Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan, and the United States).
World War I Trench Warfare
I knew trench warfare was terrible. But I had no idea how horrible until I researched The Awakening of Miss Adelaide.
Imagine trenches–dark dugouts–filled with soldiers. Deep mud. Filthy water and sewage underfoot. Rats. Trench foot (rotting feet) and other diseases. Limited rations. And poison gas.
And several hundred feet beyond, the enemy’s trenches. Between the two, “no man’s land.” Hundreds of feet of barbed wire, mines, and traps. Enemy firepower whizzing: artillery, rapid rifle, and machine-gun. And poison-gas bombs lobbed into the trenches. Tragically, only 1 in 2 men returned from the trenches alive and unwounded.
World War I was brutal in every sense, taking 16 million lives worldwide at its conclusion on November 11, 1918.
I’ll be giving away a print or digital copy (winner’s choice) of The Awakening of Miss Adelaide on August 14. So be sure to join the conversation.
Initially, readers glimpse Adelaide Fitzgerald in the last few pages of The Calling of Ella McFarland. The beautiful, raven-haired opera star makes another entrance in The Mending of Lillian Cathleen. This story opens on the day the archduke is assassinated. Soon Adelaide leaves the comfort and safety of home to travel to Italy in the midst of war.
Adelaide’s purpose in Italy is revealed in the first few chapters of The Awakening of Miss Adelaide. Thereafter, the Great War in Europe and the women’s suffrage movement in America join hands in drawing Adelaide into conflicts not of her making.
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Lord, may Your mercy and grace shine through the images of disease, discord, death, and destruction in this story. ~ For Jesus’ sake