Superb historical detail !
I’ve made the point here more than once that it’s a serious error to view the coming of the First World War as some sort of mistake or accident. The European-wide conflagration that broke out in the summer of 1914 was the product of conscious, if terrible, choices, by more than one country. It was no mere error or misunderstanding.
Similarly, I’m regularly at pains to point out that the “lions led by donkeys” mantra that informs so much popular culture about the Great War is wide of the mark. There were bad generals in the 1914-1918 conflagration — there are in every war — but there were good ones too, and those tend not to get a lot of credit in popular memory. The wreckage of U.S. military decisions since 9/11 ought to remind that military incompetence didn’t stop a century ago and is not just associated with…
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