The various political machinations that lead to World War One are well underway...
Archduke Franz Ferdinand was murdered in early June... Austria-Hungary is unhappy.
Today, a century ago, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. In response, Russia, under Tsar Alexander the Second, begins to mobilize militarily.
In support of Austria-Hungary, Germany warns Russia not to continue mobilization. Russia's explanation that they are only mobilizing against
Austria-Hungary goes unheeded... On July 31st, Germany declares war on Russia.
Two days later, Luxembourg is invaded by German troops.
By August 4th, the United Kingdom and France have both declared war on Germany.
Within months, industrialized slaughter on a scale unimagined, though there were hints during the American Civil War, some fifty odd years before,
By 1918, millions lay dead on battle fields all over the world. The first truly global war. Millions more maimed, and homeless. A plethora of
diseases swept the world in the wars aftermath...millions more. A generation of Europeans bled white by the slaughter. Death on such a scale unseen
perhaps since the Black Death.
...and in its politicized aftermath? The stage was set for another, even more horrible, conflagration twenty years later. With many more millions
A century later? War seems to be looming yet again on the European horizon.
Seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Only now, we can destroy entire cities in moments. Render entire regions empty of life. Slaughter tens of thousands in moments with weapons
developed during the War To End All Wars.
My grandfather, along with so many millions of others, fought in the trenches of the Western Front. Maybe, at some point, he believed that this would
be the last war. Or rather prayed.
My grandfather passed away almost thirty years ago... I wonder what he'd think of these latest developments? ...and the timings of them.
He'd be disappointed, but not all that surprised.
Oddly appropriate poem...
edit on 7/29/2014 by seagull because:
(no reason given)