In an alternate history, the June 1914 assassination of the heir-apparent to the Habsburg Empire may have led to nothing more than a regional squabble. A policing action, in the Balkans.
As it was, mutual distrust and entangling alliances combined with slavish obedience to mobilization timetables, to draw the Great Powers of Europe, into the vortex. On August 3, the “War to End All Wars” exploded across the continent.
Many of the soldiers who went off to war in those days, viewed the conflict as some kind of grand adventure. Many of them singing patriotic songs, the men and boys of Russia, Germany, Austria, England and France stealing last kisses from wives and sweethearts, and boarding their ships and trains.
Believing overwhelming manpower to be the key to victory, British Secretary of State for War Lord Horatio Kitchener recruited friends and neighbors by the tens of thousands into “Pal’s…
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