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Word Count: 2,862
At the start of the First World War in the summer and early fall of 1914 German troops poured across neutral Belgium and into France behind the thunder of artillery the lightning of explosions a rain of shells and a hail of shrapnel The effects were both immediate and long term and they encompassed all aspects of life in Northeastern France Certain environmental effects of the war on the French countryside and cities were immediate and attributable to the destruction that is normally associated with war Some of the consequences were temporary lasting some 1-year to 2 decades Others were of medium term consequence enduring for about half a century And a few of the repercussions have import which affect the area even today and are expected to continue into the foreseeable future These effects run the gamut from the unceasing uncovering of unexploded ordnance to the psychological effects of the stress of the Front on soldiers and civilians alike to the political and cultural changes instituted in Elsass-Lohringen Alsace-Lorraine to changes in agricultural fertility demography and the economic impact of the war The initial phases of the war it is a most important article of interest that the movement of the armies was constrained by the technology of the early Twentieth Century While much has rightly been made of the fact of railroad involvement in the transportation of troops and materiel and the mobilization ability which the rail systems of France and Germany provided was surely of great import to the initiation of campaigns and offensives at the end of the Twentieth Century when high mobility was the norm it was difficult to catch that the speed of the advance that was forced Rail lines were extended as close to the Front as possible a combatant would deny the use of their rail lines to an attacker by destroying the lines if they came under imminent danger of falling into the enemys hands thereby
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