Many years ago, Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck said “If a general war begins, it will be because of some damn fool thing in the Balkans“.
The Chancellor got his damn fool thing on a side street in Sarajevo, when a tubercular 19-year old leveled his revolver and murdered the heir-apparent to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his wife on June 28, 1914.
In another time and place, such an event could have led to limited conflict. A policing action, in the Balkans. Instead, mutually entangling national alliances brought mobilization timetables into effect, dictating the movement of men and equipment according to precise and predetermined schedules.
German troops, leaving for the front
The hippie subculture of the 1960s produced an antiwar slogan based on the title of a McCall’s Magazine article by Charlotte E. Keyes. “Suppose They Gave a War and No One Came.” In 1914, the…
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