The First World War

LOL I got confused with all the legit WWI talk.

I still appreciate your willingness to sit for an interview. It was important to hear the German perspective. :grin:

I’m on Ep 9 of this coincidentally The First World War (TV series) - Wikipedia. It’s free on the Roku and Pluto TV apps.

1 Like

I think the most interesting things about world war 1 are

A) the transformation of war fare from something resembling the American Revolution to something resembling world war 2 in a hurry

B) the medical practices inability to keep up with the technology of war fare

C) verdun May have been the worst place to exist in the history of the world

D) the immediate and long lasting impact on Europe and the free world

E) the rise of communism

F) the “live and let live” policy on the western front. There are stories of soccer games happening in no mans land on holidays.

1 Like

Apparently, the term “cooties” originated as slang for lice during trench warfare.

Edit: no information on what children who contacted the opposite sex got prior to this.

Great thread! Would agree that WWI was the most important event of the 20th century. And the irony isn’t lost on me that fascism, which arose during that time, is alive and well a hundred years later.

I also read Dead Wake by Erik Larson @ a year ago. Larson is great in general and I learned a lot about the sinking of the Lusitania and U-Boat warfare. That didn’t go down (pun intended) the way I envisioned it at all before reading.

The flu hastened the end of this war.

Just finished the book Escape Artists. Great read.

https://www.amazon.com/Escape-Artists-Daredevil-Pilots-Greatest/dp/0544937112/ref=nodl_

1 Like

I was about 20-25% through Dead Wake when I paused and decided to read Catastrophe 1914. Will finish Dead Wake once I finish Catastrophe. I will also watch the documentary referenced in this thread. I’ve been waiting on that one for a while, but decided I wanted to read before viewing.

https://www.amazon.com/Catastrophe-1914-Europe-Goes-War/dp/0307743837

Britain joining the war was an economic decision that made the war worse and longer. It resulted in the early fall of the British Empire and the eventual collapse of British financial dominance.

Change my mind.

The creation of the Federal Reserve was the greatest event of the 20th century. Without it, America does not become America the world superpower.

Plus the Christmas Day truce. Complete with the two sides singing Silent Night together:

Good stuff here, folks. Who would have guessed there was so much interest in history on NN.N?

Britain was treaty bound to enter the war. Not only through their alliance with France and Russia, but also through their agreement with Belgium. Now, as for the idea that the British Empire was worse off for the experience, I agree. In general, the old imperial system was aging out across the board. So was the old-world style of government. Look at the governments that collapsed as a result of the war: Germany, AH, the Ottomans, Russia. All old-world style governing structures. Compare that with those that survived (and won): Britain, France, the United States. Representative Democracies.

Britain had no treaty obligations to join the war with France and Russia. The Entente Cordial was a series of non-official secret promises vaguely approved by Sir Edwin Gray (Foreign Secretary of UK) without a cabinet vote applied to it. It was nothing more than a bunch of paper what-if scenarios. Just a few years earlier Britain and Russia almost went to war over the Russo-Japanese War (Britain did have a treaty with Japan, specifically aimed to counter Russian influence in the far east and India). The idea that Britain would ever have a formal treaty with Russia (or their committed allies like France) flew in the face of the whole point of Splendid Isolation.

As for the 1839 London Treaty, Bulow wasn’t wrong that it was a scrap of paper. Had France entered Belgium instead I seriously doubt Britain would have joined Germany in war against France for violating “tiny Belgium”. It was a convenient excuse to join the war and curb growing German industrial power that was already outpacing Britain in several key areas like steel and coal production. Germany was upsetting the international economic balance Britain had carefully established. Both were being outpaced by the US in growth, but Germany was fast becoming the economic hegemony on the continent. British industrialists applied huge pressure to the British government to find a way to get the Germans out of “their” markets and a blockade worked great for that.

I’m not the expert on it that some are here but I always though the invasion of Belgium is what brought them into it.

Don’t forget the climate at the time though. Germany had risen in power rather quickly since 1871. It was fear of Germany that had prompted their great naval build up. All the paper what-if scenarios appeared to be coming true. Britain was highly unlikely to sit and watch Germany expand its influence over continental Europe any more than it already had.

Technically it did. They didn’t need much prompting though.

Agreed, Britain wanted to protect “their” market shares. Had their been no economic incentive Britain would have waited to see which way the wind blew and try to “limit” the victory of the victor, most likely by involving themselves in the peace talks as mediators. Instead, with such a prominent threat to their money in front of them they immediately sided with the Entente, expecting a short war like everyone else that would curb German markets internationally and keep a blockade on the North Sea to extract German concessions.

Instead, advancements in technology favored defense in this war and the result was the worst recorded bloodshed up to that point in history, the crippling of the British economy (most of the World economy really), and the hastened downfall of the British Empire.

I stand by my original point, Britain joined the war for economic reasons, turned a European war that probably would have ended at least a year or two sooner without their direct involvement into a world war by doing so, and hastened their own demise by doing so.

I am not a history buff, but at least this is better than arguing about facemasks. :+1:

3 Likes