1914-1918: The History of the First World War - download pdf or read online
By David Stevenson
In the summertime of 1914 Europe exploded right into a frenzy of mass violence. The warfare that had worldwide repercussions, destroying 4 empires and costing thousands of lives. Even the successful international locations have been scarred for a iteration, and we nonetheless this day stay in the conflict's shadow. during this significant new research, released a few 90 years after the 1st international struggle started, David Stevenson re-examines the factors, direction and effect of this 'war to finish war', putting it within the context of its period and exposing its underlying dynamics. His publication presents a wide-ranging overseas background, drawing on insights from the most recent study. It bargains compelling solutions to the foremost questions about how this bad fight opened up: questions that stay disturbingly correct for our personal time
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Extra info for 1914-1918: The History of the First World War
After the crisis Serbia promised not to permit subversive activities on its soil. Yet propaganda bodies such as the Narodna Odbrana (or ‘People’s Defence’) continued to support Serbs outside Serbia, as did the Belgrade press, and the Black Hand (‘Union or Death’), founded in 1911, a secret organization committed to unifying all Serbs by violence. The Sarajevo assassins belonged to a group known as ‘Young Bosnia’, largely composed of school students. They wished to destroy Habsburg authority and unite all South Slavs (including the independent states of Serbia and Montenegro and the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes within Austria-Hungary) in a new Yugoslav federation.
The imperial (or Reich) government could levy only indirect taxes, and dealt mainly with diplomacy and the armed forces. Army strategy was a matter for the Great General Staff (Grosser Generalstab or GGS), which was independent of the chancellor and reported directly to the emperor, as did the admiralty staff, its naval counterpart. Appointments and promotions in the services were handled by the military and naval cabinets in Wilhelm’s personal household. In these circumstances harmonizing foreign and military policy was peculiarly difficult, and as the Reich had no co-ordinating body like the Committee of Imperial Defence in Britain (or the National Security Council in the post–1945 USA), the responsibility rested with Wilhelm, who discharged it incompetently.
Otto von Bismarck, the first chancellor of united Germany, recognized that it stood to gain nothing from a new war, unless it be to forestall French recovery after 1870; but the French rebuilt their defences and the moment for pre-emption passed. 38 In 1888, however, Moltke retired, and in 1890 the newly installed Wilhelm II dismissed Bismarck; no later chancellor had comparable authority. 39 Yet this influence was erratic. Wilhelm was intelligent and open-minded but was also a restless and neurotic poseur who spent much of his reign sailing and hunting, and his officials found ways to work round him.
1914-1918: The History of the First World War by David Stevenson