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World War I: The War
That Changed Everything

Wall Street Journal, by Margaret MacMillan

Original Article

Posted By:earlybird, 6/22/2014 4:58:46 PM

A hundred years ago next week, in the small Balkan city of Sarajevo, Serbian nationalists murdered the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary and his wife. People were shocked but not particularly worried. Sadly, there had been many political assassinations in previous years—the king of Italy, two Spanish prime ministers, the Russian czar, President William McKinley. None had led to a major crisis. Yet just as a pebble can start a landslide, this killing set off a series of events that, in five weeks, led Europe into a general war.The U.S. under President Woodrow Wilson intended to stay out of

Comments:
There is much to be learned in studying WWI. A cautionary tale.

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: earlybird, 6/22/2014 5:02:26 PM     (No. 9895922)

A friend recently recommended her book Paris 1919, which he has read twice. Recommends it for anyone interested in knowing how the Middle East became such a mess. It´s on my Must Read list.

A visit to her page at Amazon reveals a long list of interesting sounding works, many on WWI.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: earlybird, 6/22/2014 5:08:16 PM     (No. 9895928)

Don´t miss the slideshow (linked in article) of photos taken by officers and men on small hand-held cameras.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: wetenschapper, 6/22/2014 5:17:50 PM     (No. 9895943)

FTA: "...attempts by the German government to encourage Mexico to invade the U.S. enraged public opinion,"

Well, they´re 100 years late, but finally doing the Kaiser´s bidding.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: wetenschapper, 6/22/2014 5:34:13 PM     (No. 9895956)

I thought I´d add this note:
Living as I do in a Belgian village not far from Brussels, I have a unique (for an American) window on WWI. During August and September of 1914, the front line ran right through our village, as the Belgians attacked the right flank of the German column. Eventually, the Belgians succumbed to superior numbers and firepower, but the brave Belgian offensive managed to slow the Germans column down sufficiently that the French could prepare a defense of Paris. Belgian losses were horrific, 80% of the homes in our village were destroyed, and about sixty civilians were executed for such trivial crimes as hoarding food.

Since moving here with my Belgian wife twenty-five years ago, I´ve spend many weekends scouring the fields with a metal detector, finding bullets, cases, regimental buttons, and shrapnel that have helped build up a picture of where the lines were and where specific regiments were positioned. In some places, there is almost one lead shrapnel ball for every square meter of ground.

This information will be presented in October as a part of the local historical society´s WWI exhibition commemorating the outbreak of the war. On a more personal note, in 1914 the captain of the local Civil guard lived in the house where my wife and I now live. Buried in the garden, we found his Belgian Mauser, complete with bayonet. One of the first things the Germans did after conquering Belgium was implement "common-sense gun control".

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Reply 5 - Posted by: IdahoSky, 6/22/2014 5:36:00 PM     (No. 9895958)

Terrific article. Thanks for posting.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Penney, 6/22/2014 5:41:21 PM     (No. 9895963)

The WWI Museum at Kansas City´s Liberty Memorial is a MUST SEE! It has an informative web site with photos & more info.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: reilly, 6/22/2014 5:45:44 PM     (No. 9895970)


Good vacation reading would be "The Guns of August" by Barbara Tuchman and "The Great War and Modern Memory" by Paul Fussell. Read them in the 70s.


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Reply 8 - Posted by: horacer, 6/22/2014 5:58:52 PM     (No. 9895992)

This is an excellent read with some valuable insights which can be applied to our current mess. Unfortunately we have no foreign policy under Obama.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: BigGeorgeTX, 6/22/2014 6:15:28 PM     (No. 9896006)

I´ve been a student of history, but had never made the connection of the armistice being responsible for the tragic flu endemic that killed 50 million people worldwide. It now seems so obvious. More people died because of that than did during the war.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: steph_gray, 6/22/2014 7:05:18 PM     (No. 9896049)

It´s a good scholarly article but there is a tinge in its conclusion of an attitude that somehow WWII was the fault of American exceptionallism. Maybe I read it wrong but I didn´t care for it...

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Reply 11 - Posted by: kono, 6/22/2014 7:18:15 PM     (No. 9896061)

The headline´s absurdity makes me reluctant to read the article. For something that "changed everything" seemed to leave the nature of things mostly the same as they´ve always been.

That´s about par for the course with regard to WWI hyperbole, though... Somehow the "war to end all wars" didn´t even come close.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: MeiDei, 6/22/2014 7:18:24 PM     (No. 9896062)

Excellent article, & #4 thank you for the insight from Belgium.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: thelmalou, 6/22/2014 7:21:29 PM     (No. 9896067)

Ditto, #4 - thanks for the insight!


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Reply 14 - Posted by: Bogeegolf, 6/22/2014 9:11:23 PM     (No. 9896151)

Yes thank you 4. Personal accounts like yours. Are a big reason I love this site

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Reply 15 - Posted by: chumley, 6/22/2014 9:41:07 PM     (No. 9896173)

Thank you #4. There is nothing like being there and finding the artifacts to bring reality to what has over time become a mere academic study.
As has been shown over and over again, what we forget we will repeat.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: JoElla Bee, 6/22/2014 10:46:18 PM     (No. 9896204)

Thanks for posting, OP, and thanks very much for your interesting comments, #4. Personal insight, such as that shared here in your comments, is one of my favorite things about L.com.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: afherkdriver, 6/22/2014 11:51:59 PM     (No. 9896230)

Much as WWI changed the world forever don´t ever forget the Woodward Wilson is the beginning of the Progressive bunch we now have in power in DC. So the beat of destruction goes on.

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R_DBL_B
  


 
Reply 18 - Posted by: SoCalGal, 6/22/2014 11:55:45 PM     (No. 9896231)

Re #11, we all know that headline writers are the ones who write the headlines, not the authors.

MacMillan is a highly respected historian who has written a great deal about WWI and its part in what has come afterward.

To disregard her writing is a mistake.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Japanorama, 6/23/2014 12:11:15 AM     (No. 9896236)

The other day, I chatted with a sample lady at Costco. She said she was 94, so she was born during WWI. Suddenly WWI didn´t seem that long ago.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: Democracy First, 6/23/2014 1:25:30 AM     (No. 9896247)

Try this excellent new book , Lawrence IN Arabia, by Scott Anderson. Now in paperback at Costco. Shows the duplicity by French and British hacks posing as diplomats. Now we are reaping the bad seed they have sowed.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: anonymous, 6/23/2014 1:33:06 AM     (No. 9896250)

Gavrilo Princip was the 19 year old Bosnian Serb who succeeded in assassinating Austria´s Archduke Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo nearly a hundred years ago. He did it to avenge the annexation of Bosnia by the Austro-Hungarian empire. He was a determined student drop-out who suffered from tuberculosis and who had something to prove to those who had rejected his application for military service on account of being physically weak and small.

In response to the assassination, Austria declared war on Serbia and then Russia came to the aid of the Serbs. Austria had thought it could easily squash the Serbs in a localized skirmish. How wrong it was.



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Reply 22 - Posted by: seminolesecure, 6/23/2014 8:27:44 AM     (No. 9896374)

my paternal grandmother was born in England 1900. Every one of her male relatives under the age of 50 was killed during the war. The only exception was her younger brother who was too young. I think it was 25+ relatives.

mister

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Reply 23 - Posted by: GO3, 6/23/2014 10:27:07 AM     (No. 9896518)

Good article,but communism just didn´t spring forth all by it´s lonesome. The Germans, realizing they could not win a war of attrition on two fronts, smuggled in Lenin to Russia to specifically foment rebellion and take Russia out of the war. It served its purpose at the time, but talk about huge negative consequences for the world, and for Germany in particular in WWII.

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Reply 24 - Posted by: squid, 6/23/2014 1:10:58 PM     (No. 9896750)

My grandfather was a member of the AEF, was transferred into the First Division just after Cantigny and was wounded the first day of the Soissons offensive. Best thing was that he kept a diary. We all have edited Transcripts, that is, the transcript´s english and grammar is uncorrected; maps, notes, pictures were added to provide context.

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Reply 25 - Posted by: Marzon, 6/23/2014 1:26:01 PM     (No. 9896765)

My family´s WW I connection: My grandfather was a young dirt poor Canadian fisherman in 1917. By then most of the young men of his village had been called up and the majority of them has alrady been killed or wounded. The Brits seemed to take a liking to launching the attacks with fresh colonial troops which resulted in horrendous casualties amongst them. By 1917 my grandfather knew he would be called up soon but by then the US had entered the war and offered citizenship to anyone who joined up and went overseas. He figured he´ have a much better chance of getting back in one piece if he went with the Americans, and so he did. He fought in the field artillery serving one of the famous french 75 mm guns. He survived the war unscathed but caught the flu that went around afterwards and very nearly died. He was not healthy enough to come home until late in 1919 and when he did he settled in the US and claimed his citizenship. And thus my family "immigrated" to the US.

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Reply 26 - Posted by: dman, 6/23/2014 2:19:54 PM     (No. 9896835)

An interesting take. But the 19th Century was not exactly "peaceful", and WWI was more a culmination of forces already at play. (Karl Marx, for example, died in 1883.) We here in America dealt with the War of 1812, the Civil "Kerfuffle" in the 1860s, and the "disagreement" with Spain in 1898.

IMO it was what happened after the war: from Versailles to the excesses of the "Roaring 20s" to the re-drawing of the map in the ME, that "changed everything". It was a parallel on a global scale to what happens on an individual scale: "It´s not what happens in life that matters, as much as your reaction to it."

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Reply 27 - Posted by: snakeoil, 6/23/2014 7:09:14 PM     (No. 9897134)

Woodrow Wilson won reelection using the snappy phrase: He Kept Us Out of the War. As soon as the election results came he worked overtime to get us into the Great War where over 50,000 American soldiers lost their lives. It was billed as The War to End War. This would be the last war in human history. Yes the Germans sank the Lusitania. It was a British vessel on the high seas in a time of war and was packed with so many munitions that it blew up after only one torpedo. Rather than solve anything our involvement made things much worse. We should have left the European War to the Europeans. So what lesson is there in this for all of us? Never trust a democrat.

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Fort Worth Star-Telegram, by Bob Ray Sanders    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 7/13/2014 6:35:35 AM     Post Reply
The “ugly American” has gotten a lot uglier over the past few weeks, from the streets of California to the halls of Congress and state houses around the country. A growing number of our fellow Americans have taken on grotesque features, in looks and sounds, in reaction to the thousands of children from Central America who have crossed our borders as they flee poverty and violence in hope for something better. Sadly, the arrival of these youngsters has been greeted by flag-waving, sign-carrying, Bible-thumping and Constitution-quoting citizens demanding that they not be received here and that they be returned immediately to their

Jon Voight Lashes Out Against
Obama In Lengthy Televised Statement

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Hollywood Reporter, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 7/13/2014 5:21:34 PM     Post Reply
In remarks framed as a message to the American public, actor Jon Voight emotionally aired his political grievances for several minutes in a televised statement on Saturday. Those grievances range from (but are not limited to) Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the "targeting" of conservative filmmaker Dinesh D´Souza, illegal immigration, the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case, the treatment of war veterans, the chaos in Iraq and deep reservations about President Obama. "Five years ago, I stated that Obama would take the country apart piece-by-piece, that he would cause a civil war in this country," Voight read on Saturday in a statement on


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