Pre August the flu pandemic arrives in Europe. The flu may have started on a Kansas farm and been brought here by American troops. Another possibility is that the 96,000 Chinese workers taken to the Front to work behind the lines (so many men were now dead that a new workforce was needed for mundane duties such as taking away bodies from the battlefield), may have brought the disease from China, where most bird to human originated flu viruses come from.
August – the flu virus mutates into something far more deadly. It decimates both sides in the Great War conflict, both in the trenches and on the Home Fronts. The Allied Home Front is struggling badly but the relative success of its rationing and other food related systems such as the allotment campaign and national kitchens, is a boon to morale at just the time it’s most needed. Germany morale at home, in comparison, plummets under the stresses and strains put upon it, not just by the Allied Blockade, but by the “Spanish” Flu.
Both sides in the conflict are lying about the extent to which the flu is affecting them. Only Spain, whoa re not in the war, are telling the truth about so it appears that they have the outbreak far worse, hence it became known as the “Spanish” flu.
The failure of the German Home Front starts to affect it at the fighting front. The Allied offensive begins with the Battle of Amiens. 500 new Allied tanks attack. The Germans are unable to respond by building their own such tanks. Their Home Front can’t feed itself let alone the German war effort. The Allies defeat the Germans at Amiens. The last great battle of the Western Front is over.
By September the Allies force the Germans back across the Hindenburg line. Mid September sees Austria-Hungary request peace negotiations. The offer is rejected by the Allies. Late September sees huge Allied gains. The Spanish Flu spreads worldwide.
See Blog 2 for what was happening in the war and with the Spanish Flu exactly 100 years ago in mid October.