Wednesday, May 26, 2010

World War One

World War One: A Short History World War One: A Short History by Norman Stone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Chapter 1 (Outbreak) weaves together the various factors that made Europe a place where war was waiting to happen. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was ‘the inevitable accident’. Years later the murderer said that if he had not done it, “the Germans would have found another excuse” (23). "The generation that emerged into maturity around 1890 has much to answer for…the greatest mistake of the twentieth century was made when Germany built a navy designed to attack [Great Britain:]” (10-11).

“No war has ever begun with such a fundamental misunderstanding of its nature” (36).

“The noise of German movements was concealed by, of all things, the croaking of frogs in the Aisne, and the surprise was almost complete” (168-9). 

“The real disaster, in all of this, was that Germans did not think that they had been defeated” (189).

Prophetic words of Lloyd George: “if peace were made now, in twenty years’ time the Germans would say what Carthage had said about the First Punic War, namely that they had made this mistake and that mistake, and by better preparation and organization they would be able to bring about victory next time” (189).

“The way was open for a Second World War even more terrible than the First” (190).

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