In France both World War I and the postwar difficulties caused even more serious dislocation than they did in Britain. France had lost proportionately more in human lives and in material damage than had any other major belligerent.
Two million Frenchmen in the prime of life were either killed or so seriously mutilated as to be incapable of normal living. In a land of only 39 million with an already low birth rate, this human loss affected all phases of activity. Three hundred thousand houses and twenty thousand factories or shops were destroyed.
In a land of conservative economic organization where most work was done without large-scale machinery, this material setback would long be felt. Psychologically, victory did not compensate for the traumatic losses of the four years of struggle.