Every war is ironic because every war is worse than expected. Every war constitutes an irony of situation because its means are so dramatically disproportionate to its presumed ends. … But the Great War was more ironic than any before or since. It was a hideous embarrassment to the prevailing Meliorist myth which had dominated public consciousness for a century. It reversed the Idea of Progress. Paul Fussellht The Enlightened Economist
We have a different view of the First World War in Ireland. As the newly released military archives remind us, thousands of Irish men fought in the Great War and then in a 'greater' war for Ireland's independence. So the irony of war was lost on the Irish because the 'Meliorist myth' became a reality. Sort of.