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by Stephen Yellin

This is part of a series of daily articles that covers the run-up to the catastrophe of World War I in July 1914. The diplomatic crisis exactly 100 years ago was sparked by the murder of the main force for peace in the Austro-Hungarian Empire – Archduke Franz Ferdinand, together with his wife Sophie – by a Serbian terrorist. Backed by Germany’s offering of unconditional support in using force to retaliate against Serbia – the infamous “blank check” – the Viennese authorities began preparing a list of demands for the Serbian government to accept or face war. The demands were deliberately made to ensure war would occur.

The ultimatum was finally issued on July 23, 1914, over 3 weeks after the Archduke’s murder. The 12 days that followed are the focus of this series.

Feel free to refer to my list of important figures in keeping track of who's who.

Previous days:
Thursday, July 23rd - the fuse is lit
Friday, July 24th - "c'est la guerre europeene"
Saturday, July 25th - "we stand upon the edge of war"
Sunday, July 26th - “War is thought imminent. Wildest enthusiasm prevails.”
Monday, July 27th – “You've cooked this broth and now you’re going to eat it.”
Tuesday, July 28 – “To try and avoid such a calamity as a European war”
Wednesday, July 29th – “I will not be responsible for a monstrous slaughter!”

Thursday, July 30 - "The responsibility of Peace or War"
Friday, July 31 - "Everything is finished. There is nothing left to do."
Saturday, August 1 - "There must have been some misunderstanding"
Sunday, August 2 - "A great country does not wage war by halves"
Monday, August 3 - "It has not been possible to secure the peace of Europe."

-----------------------------------

Tuesday, August 4 - Drawing the sword

August 3rd had seen the German ultimatum to Belgium - let its troops through the neutral country Berlin had publicly pledged to protect, or be attacked themselves - swing both public opinion and the government's in Britain from staying out, to getting into the European-wide war that was now officially underway. All that remained for the decision-makers of the "Great Powers" of Europe was to convince their people that the war was a just one, and to get their assent for spending the money deemed necessary to fight it.
August 4th saw the first shots fired on the Western Front, the death of the socialist Second International, and reckless comments from the German chancellor that would forever haunt his nation when it came to assigning blame for the war he'd helped create.

Brussels - "The sacred gift of our forefathers"

At 8:02 AM on Tuesday morning, the first wave of Germans soldiers, wearing the new field-grey uniforms designed to avoid making them easy targets for machine guns and artillery, crossed the Belgian border at Gemmenich. These 6 infantry brigades and 3 cavalry divisions have orders to seize Liege, a major fortified city along the Meuse River that barred the way into the rest of Belgium. Despite receiving reports that the Belgians had reinforced the city, Field Marshall von Moltke orders the attack in accordance with his pre-war plan.

The attack is a fiasco - the Liege forts hold despite artillery bombardment and the Belgians blow up the Meuse bridges, forcing the Germans to retreat as they lack pontoons to bridge the river. One brigade reaches Liege but suffers heavy losses from well-entrenched Belgian defenders, still wearing brightly colored uniforms from the 19th century, and is forced to retreat like the others.

Upon hearing the news King Albert I asks to speak to the Belgian Parliament at 11:00 AM. He is greeted by cheers of support as he rides his horse from the palace, wearing not the royal regalia but a plain field uniform. Upon reaching the Parliament dais he says, in part: the following:
 

Albert I, King of the Belgians from 1909-1934.
King Albert. He would personally command the Belgian army through the end of World War in 1918, leading a triumphal return into Belgian territory towards its close.
Gentlemen:
Never, since 1839, has a more solemn hour struck for Belgium: the integrity of our territory is threatened...

But if our hopes [for peace] are betrayed, if we are forced to resist the invasion of our soil, and to defend our threatened homes, this duty, however hard it may be, will find us armed and resolved upon the greatest sacrifices.

Even now, in readiness for any eventuality, our valiant youth is up in arms, firmly resolved, with the traditional tenacity and composure of the Belgians, to defend our threatened country...

If the foreigner, in defiance of that neutrality whose demands we have always scrupulously observed, violates our territory, he will find all the Belgians gathered about their sovereign, who will never betray his constitutional oath, and their Government, invested with the absolute confidence of the entire nation.

I have faith in our destinies; a country which is defending itself conquers the respect of all; such a country does not perish!

Then, in a spur-of-the-moment call to arms the King concludes by shouting
Gentlemen, are you unalterably decided to maintain intact the sacred gifts of our forefathers?
All reports show that the Parliament rose in unison, many openly in tears, and shouted "Oui! Oui!" They knew the odds - outnumbered at least 10:1, lacking in the heavy artillery needed for a strong defense of their fortified cities, they chose to resist rather than be subjugated and let its neutrality willingly be violated. They knew they would not stand alone, however: France had already agreed to support Belgium in their mutual fight, and Great Britain was about to follow.

Berlin - "The wrong we thereby commit"

As the last of the German units engaged at Liege make their way back to their camp, Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg arrives at the Reichstag to defend his government's actions. Germany's constitution, like those of France and Great Britain, requires the Reichstag to approve any financing of a war by granting "war credits" to the government. With the Social Democratic Party - the largest in the Reichstag as of the 1912 elections - publicly opposed to such a war as part of the Second International's policy, and officially committed to launching a mass workers strike to prevent it, Bethmann hopes to persuade them to come on board now the war has started.

Like Sir Edward Grey's speech to the House of Commons the day before, Bethmann's surprising display of eloquence helps to move his audience. His theme is that Germany has been forced to fight due to Russian aggression against Austria-Hungary, aggression stiffened by French collaboration in their efforts to "encircle" Germany.

German Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg
Bethmann-Hollweg. He would remain Chancellor until 1917, when discontent over the cost of the war in the Reichstag forced him to resign.
[Only] in defense of a just cause shall our sword fly from its scabbard...Russia has set fire to the building [i.e. Europe]. We are at war with Russia and France - a war that has been forced upon us.

On the threat posed by Russian mobilization, a threat even German socialists shared with their fellow citizens:

Were we now to wait further in patience [before mobilizing] until the nations of either side of us chose the moment for their attack?
"No! No!" came replies in the Reichstag. Bethmann goes on to declare that French troops had crossed into Germany despite their public pledge to stay 10 kilometers back from the border. Then the problem with the German case for defensive action reared its head: rather than wait for a French attack, Bethmann awkwardly explains, "we were forced to ignore the rightful protests of the Governments of Luxembourg and Belgium." He goes to make the incalculably disastrous - if honest - confession that Germany has violated international law by invading Belgium. He further stuffs his proverbial foot in his mouth by adding:
The wrong - I speak openly - the wrong we thereby commit we will try to make good as soon as our military aims have been attained...he who is menaced as we are and is fighting for his highest values, can only consider how he is hack his way through.
This public admittance of wrongdoing, while earning "great and repeating applause" from the Reichstag is rightly regarded by the commander of the Imperial navy, Grand Admiral Tirpitz as "the greatest blunder ever spoken by a German statesman." By publicly stating his country has wrongfully violated the rights of a small, neutral country it has publicly pledged to defend, and invaded it for good measure, Bethmann ensures that Germany will lose the public relations battle against the Allies to win sympathy and support from the unaligned nations of the world - chief among them the United States. German atrocities that will soon unfold in Belgium and Northern France, including massacres of innocent civilians and the needless destruction of the medieval city of Louvain, will only reinforce the portrayal of "German barbarism" that Allied propaganda used to woo America into the struggle. Otto von Bismarck, the ruthlessly pragmatic Chancellor who'd founded Germany, would have been appalled.

Nevertheless, on August 4th Bethmann gets unanimous approval for the "war credits" Germany needed to wage the struggle he'd played a vital role in unleashing. Even the Social Democrats vote for war, completely disregarding its pledge to fight against a war as part of the Second International. Friday had seen the Kaiser publicly proclaim his forgiveness to all the politicians who'd opposed his regime up to that point. Such unanimity, typical of the countries that went to war in August 1914, will not last.  

France - The birth of the "Union Sacree"

Tuesday morning sees the funeral of the great Socialist and anti-war leader Jean Jaures, murdered by a right-wing fanatic last Friday evening. Despite their fallen leader's stance, his death ironically served to rally the Socialist movement behind the government and in favor of war. "It was as if Jaures had been the first victim of the war," Sean McMeekin notes. Leon Jouhaux, leader of the combined French trade unions claims to speak at the funeral for "all the working men" when he says "we take the field with the determination to drive back the aggressor."

Prime Minister Rene Viviani, who made the case for war to the French parliament on August 4th. He was ousted in 1915 as the war dragged on.
The French Socialists, like their German counterparts abandon their pledge to lead a workers strike to stop such a war, voting with the rest of the French parliament to give the government the "war credits" needed to fight it. What was called the "Union Sacree" (the Sacred Union) was forged that day; all political party activity is halted in order to stand as one against German aggression (as the government puts it; the German invasion of Belgium and Luxembourg makes this case easy to make). Like Bismarck's ghost in Berlin, one must imagine Jaures would have been mortified by the death of the anti-war cause he'd spent his career trying to build.
Jean Jaures, leading French socialist and powerful speaker against war and militarism.
Jean Jaures. He remains a beloved French hero to this day.
London/Berlin - "Just a scrap of paper"

The British Cabinet, having made the fateful commitment to war the day before, now takes 2 critical actions that day. It begins its debate on sending a British Expeditionary Force to the continent, something that the anti-interventionists, having already committed to naval action to protect the French coast, reluctantly go along with. As the shrewd French ambassador had told his government 2 days before, "a great nation does not go to war by halves" - having sent in the navy, Britain will now send 2 infantry corps together with cavalry units to join the French army. Needing a new War Secretary capable of rallying the country behind the war, Prime Minister Asquith appoints the famous Lord Kitchener - the victor of Omdurman and Britain's foremost military leader in 1914. Kitchener is one of the few leaders in Europe to recognize the war to come will be a long one, and it is thanks to him that Britain will be able to fight it in the 4 years to come.

The other action the Cabinet takes is the approval of an ultimatum to Germany as conceived by Sir Edward Grey. Germany has until midnight, August 4/5 to withdraw its troops from Belgium and pledge not to invade it again.

Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary, 1905-1916.
Sir Edward Grey. He remained Foreign Secretary until December 1916 when David Lloyd George removed him upon the latter supplanting Asquith as Prime Minister.
When Ambassador Goschen presents the ultimatum to German Foreign Secretary Jagow, he makes clear Britain's intentions by stating that refusal will require him to ask for his passports: Britain will be at war with Germany. Jagow points out the obvious: even with such little time for a reply, Germany cannot back down at this point. In his report back to London Goschen then reports the following scene:
I then said that I should like to go and see the Chancellor [Bethmann], as it might be, perhaps, the last time I should have an opportunity of seeing him. [Jagow] begged me to do so.  I found the Chancellor very agitated.

[Bethmann] at once began a harangue, which lasted for about twenty minutes.  He said that the step taken by His Majesty's Government was terrible to a degree; just for a word - "neutrality," a word which in war time had so often been disregarded - just for a scrap of paper Great Britain was going to make war on a kindred nation who desired nothing better than to be friends with her.
[Emphasis mine]

"A scrap of paper": the 1839 Treaty of London protecting Belgian neutrality that Prussia (Germany's legal predecessor) had signed along with Great Britain, France, Russia and Austria. Those words, part of a emotion-fueled outburst by a mentally overburdened man, would forever be associated with Bethmann and the decisions he made in July and August of 1914. What makes Bethmann's decisions even more astonishing is that this same man had intervened on the side of peace in the previous European crises: in 1905/6, 1908/9, 1911 and 1912/3, Bethmann had sided with the Kaiser in putting the brakes to a European-wide war. The best explanation for this about-face is a tragically personal one: Bethmann's beloved wife had died a few months before after a long illness, leaving him deeply depressed and greatly affecting his judgment in consequence.

His loss would prove to be the world's.
-------------------------

That same day saw the German ambassador to London, the ardent Anglophile Prince Lichnowsky, is photographed as he forlornly walks back to the German embassy after receiving his passport. Sir Edward Grey, as a token of respect to his old friend, arranges for a military guard of honor to salute him as he departed.

Prince Karl Max von Lichnowsky, Germany Ambassador to Great Britain in 1914.
Lichnowsky on his walk back to the German embassy. He would publish a pamphlet in 1916 blaming German diplomacy for causing the war in 1914. He never saw Britain again.
The "Great War" had commenced. From it stems the rest of 20th century - 2 world wars, Fascist and Communist totalitarian nightmares, the Holocaust and smaller, equally repulsive genocides, the Cold War and the threat of nuclear Armageddon, today's crises in the Middle East and Ukraine - and much, much more besides. The dark legacy of the politically motivated murder of Franz Ferdinand his beloved Sophie in Sarajevo, and the decisions made by the "Great Powers" of Europe in the six weeks that followed still haunt, and will continue to haunt us, in 2014 and beyond.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Let me know what YOU think (17+ / 0-)

    Today's post marks the last day of my "Countdown to World War I" series. I will publish a wrap-up piece this weekend in which I will offer a pretty good argument for why World War I was not inevitable, plus a quick rundown of what happened to the various actors in this human tragedy.

    Thanks to everyone who's read and enjoyed them!

    "We are the leaders we've been waiting for." - Paul Wellstone

    by MrLiberal on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 12:29:10 PM PDT

  •  Speculatively, how might the middle east have (6+ / 0-)

    evolved? Perhaps Kemal Ataturk and the Young Turks revive the Ottoman Empire enough to keep what is now Syria and Iraq in it. No holocaust, Jewish immigration is more moderate into Palestine and German-Jewish contributions to German economy and science  lead to a tripartite condominium in Europe of Germany-Russia-UK?

    Of course, that leaves the other Sick Man of Europe---Austria-Hungary.

    •  Good question, some speculations (5+ / 0-)

      Almost certainly there would be no Jewish  state. Jewish immigration would have continued but without the holocaust at a more moderate rate. Furthermore without a holocaust there would be no momentum for founding a Jewish state and the ability to force people to choose between affirming anything it wants to do and being referred to as anti-semitic, the most powerful weapon in Israel's propaganda arsenal, would not exist.

      There might still be a sultan Caliph, though he would be a relatively powerless constitutional monarch. The Saudi's would still have oil, though they might not have been able to take Mecca and Medina from the Ottomans in the same way they took them from the Hashimites. A Caliph and the holy sites under control of Muslims less strict than the Wahhabis might moderate the extremism we now see in Islam. Furthermore with a decreased influence of the west demagogues would be less able to blame western culture for all the evils they see around them.  

      By keeping Iraq the Ottoman's would also have oil wealth enough to remain a power in the region. They could have built up a military force and used their wealth for regional economic development. Turkey is reasonably well off today because it has been reasonably well run for the past 90 years. Much of the rest of the region can't say that.

      These are just speculations, history might not have  turned out like this at all.

  •  Exceptional. This has been an absolutely fascin... (9+ / 0-)

    Exceptional. This has been an absolutely fascinating experience. Thank you for writing these.

  •  Magnificent series (10+ / 0-)

    of diaries.  You've covered the ground comprehensively, but not tediously, and offered insights into the players' motivations and states of mind, as well as the facts.

    Well done.

  •  I'll join the chorus of thanks (5+ / 0-)

    This has been a fascinating series, and I've been refreshing my browser all morning waiting for the final installment!

    Thanks again, and we'll all be looking forward to the wrap-up.

    Any group with the word "Patriot" in its name, probably isn't.

    by Senor Unoball on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:13:14 PM PDT

  •  I to add My Appreciation to This (8+ / 0-)

    series of informative diaries.  I'll add that as an avid amateur Historian who has devoted many hours to WWI you have added to my knowledge.  Thank You!

  •  Tonight (8+ / 0-)

    Here in Britain we have commemorations of the last hour of peace in 1914. Like many others, I will be putting a single (LED!) candle in my window at 10pm and turning off my other lights. At 11 everyone is asked to extinguish their light in memory of the words of the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey when he saw the street gas lights being lit late in the afternoon.

    The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime

    The National Theatre has produced this for the artwork, including a phone app, that has been showing videos the last couple of days, they are also available at Lights Out

    There is a national memorial to the horses, donkeys and other animals who served and died in war and armed conflicts on Park Lane, next to Hyde Park in London.

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:21:22 PM PDT

    •  Never knew about that memorial. How long has it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rmabelis, defluxion10, Senor Unoball

      been up? I'll have to visit it next time I'm in London. Btw, Doctor Who did a sort of allusion t6 WWI in one program (The Family of Blood) the ending has Martha Jones pinning a flower on The Doctor:
      (note: all the quotes below are from Tardis Data Core blog)

      Timothy [a schoolboy at the Public School the Doctor is teaching at---undercover] bids them goodbye and the Doctor gives him the fob watch to keep. One year later, during a battle in World War I, Timothy remembers a vision of a bombing and avoids being killed. Later, in Timothy's old age, he spots the Doctor and Martha in attendance at a Remembrance Day ceremony. Timothy, the Doctor, and Martha silently acknowledge each other as Timothy still clutches the watch.
      And while the series is more into WWII, there are some relating to the Great War in both tv shows and print materials:
      The Doctor and the war

      The First Doctor, along with his granddaughter, Susan Foreman, survived a Zeppelin air raid. (TV: Planet of Giants) The First Doctor also witnessed the Battle of Passchendaele and considered it an awful event. (PROSE: Byzantium!)

      In 1914, the Third Doctor, Tobias Philby and Thomas ended up in a No Man's Land in France, where they learned of a German artillery build-up and warned the British Army of it. (COMIC: The Amateur) The Third Doctor also claimed to have been wounded at Gallipoli. (TV: The Sea Devils)

      The Seventh Doctor, travelling with Ace and Hex, was drawn to the Forge's experiments at Charnage Hospital in 1917 and thwarted them. (AUDIO: No Man's Land) On another occasion, he offered one private the opportunity to travel with him but the man declined. (PROSE: Front Line)

      The Ninth Doctor visited at Christmas, 1914 with Rose Tyler. He started the football game between the opposing troops taking part in the Christmas truce. (COMIC: The Forgotten) The Fifth Doctor also visited a battlefield during the Christmas truce, during which he met Edward Woodbourne. (PROSE: Never Seen Cairo)

      The Tenth Doctor and Rose visited the war again and put a stop to the Warfreekz' observation of the battles. (COMIC: Warfreekz!)

      The Eleventh Doctor arrived at Hellcombe Hall in 1917 where, with help from Corporal Edward Anderson and Lord Hellcombe, he learned about the Dalek Project. He managed to help the Allied and German armies defeat the Daleks and their robotic drones before

      Hope this isn't off the topic too much and relatively non serious, but it does indicate the endurance of WWI in British memory---far more so than in North America.
      •  10 years (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Senor Unoball, TofG

        It was unveiled in November 2004. It consists of a curved, bisected wall. Approaching the portal are two donkeys carrying parts for a field gun. Beyond are a horse and dog. The wall has bas reliefs of other animals in war from pigeon to elephant. This page from Trip Advisor has a number of photos.

        "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 06:42:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Fantastic series of Diaries! (4+ / 0-)

    Thank you, MrLiberal! I learned a lot from these Diaries.

    I will miss these. And I await your conclusion Diary in a few days!

    Thank you again!

    "I have to remember that while Jesus dined with publicans, there is no record of his consorting with Republicans." -- entlord

    by thanatokephaloides on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:30:00 PM PDT

  •  Nicely done! (4+ / 0-)

    Will miss these,  but looking forward to the final wrap-up.

    As a school subject, history is often seen as tedious, but these diaries do a good job of showing that history is fascinating when we recognize that it's about people - fallible, flawed, imperfect people, just like the rest of us. It's a shame that the sanitization and bowdlerization of history in schools effectively 'borifies' or 'tediumizes' the subject.

    If only General Conrad had not fatefully met a married woman at a dinner party, the last hundred years may have unfolded QUITE differently! That's what history is really about - how humans affect the course of events, as humans and not just names printed on paper (or a computer screen).

    •  Exactly re: history as the stories of human beings (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Senor Unoball

      who, like us, are flawed and make mistakes but usually try to do what they think is the right course to take.

      As you noted with the case of General Conrad, the arc of history is often shaped by 1 of a few people with the exact combination of power and motive to change its course. Tragically for the 20th century, General Conrad was one of those people.

      "We are the leaders we've been waiting for." - Paul Wellstone

      by MrLiberal on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:43:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this very interesting series ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... and I look forward to reading about why you think WW1 was not inevitable. Having had four previous European crises in the preceding 10 years (of which I admittedly know nothing) one would have thought that inevitability would rise each time.

    What if war was somehow avoided and Russia had completed its rearmament in 1917? Would there have been a "cold war" stalemate, or would Europe lurch from crisis to crisis until eventually the tinderbox blows and you have WW1 anyway, just a few years later?

  •  What an amazing series! Thank you! (6+ / 0-)

    Wow! All I can say. I read Guns of August a couple of times years ago; still have it on the shelf.  So I knew the rough outline of the story. But this series was very informative and well written.

    What a tragedy of errors and stupidity. What a tragic, unnecessary war. What a long bloody trail of consequences.

    That so many of the players were related is a whole dimension unto itself; a psychotic family feud.

    Speaking of family....

    My grandfather and his family emigrated here from Germany in 1912, when he was 6. While it must have been uncomfortable for them - at least - when the war broke out and the the anti-German propaganda started, they were never, in either war, treated as badly as the Japanese immigrants were in the 40s. In fact, my grandfather worked in war production in Detroit the whole Second World War without a problem, as did millions of other American Germans around the country.

    Thank you for spending the time and energy to write this. Great job.

    There is no Planet B, no spare Earth in the trunk. This is the only world we have. So stop screwing it up.

    by BobBlueMass on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:06:28 PM PDT

    •  Interestingly, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrLiberal

      a number of German-Americans tried to join the German Army at the outbreak of war.  Anti-British sentiment was greater than anti-German in the early years of the War.

      That changed, of course, but the "special relationship" between the UK and the USA wasn't so special until WW2.

  •  can't believe I missed this (4+ / 0-)

    I am working back through the posts as I only found your series today!
    Thank you for this work plus the observations at the end. I've always thought WWI was a bigger deal than we talk about in the US but your summation of all that came after is spot on! Plus, for the goldbugs, they have the whole gold standard issue that was created because of the huge debts run up by the wars of these decades.

  •  Great series - I've enjoyed it very much. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball, TofG, MrLiberal

    The sorrow that Prince Lichnowsky is feeling comes through in the picture.

    •  Thanks for reading! (0+ / 0-)

      And yes, Lichnowsky is one of the more sympathetic actors in the tragedy that unfolded in 1914. He was far from the only German to regard Britain as its natural friend, and vice versa, but the Naval race between the 2 countries significantly soured Anglo-German relations by making Germany a threat to Britain's Great Power status (Britain could not have been able to control its colonies without the Royal Navy).

      "We are the leaders we've been waiting for." - Paul Wellstone

      by MrLiberal on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 05:45:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A truly excellent series, Mr. Lib. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrLiberal

    I had to catch up at the beginning, but that's my fault.

    The machinations at the highest levels are something else, especially the manipulation of the various monarchs by their own subordinates.

    I'm not sure we've retained the lessons we should have learned from this time in history either, since we often seem to see the "spin" of the news far too late.

    And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

    by itzadryheat on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 05:54:41 AM PDT

  •  I came in about 6 days late (0+ / 0-)

    but I am so glad I found this series (and that I didn't have to wait EVERY day for a new article!)

    It is always fascinating to see how miscommunications, hubris, and how those lower down the chain can manipulate those above them into things they did not want to necessarily do.

    Your style was excellent, and left the hook in to keep wanting to come back for more!

    I believe you said somewhere that you would put this into a book? Yes? I would gladly buy it and recommend it to everyone. Little know how much The Great War really set the stage for how the world would be for the next 100 years. Everyone just assumes it was WWII.

    There is no "path" to choose. The path is what is behind you that led you to today. What lies in front of you is not a fork in the road - not a choice of paths to take, but rather an empty field for you to blaze your own direction.

    by cbabob on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 05:38:47 AM PDT

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