1914-1918: The History of the First World War by David Stevenson

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 nations have been scarred for a iteration, and we nonetheless at the present time stay in the conflict's shadow. during this significant new research, released a few 90 years after the 1st global conflict begun, David Stevenson re-examines the explanations, path and effect of this 'war to finish war', putting it within the context of its period and exposing its underlying dynamics. His booklet presents a wide-ranging foreign historical past, drawing on insights from the newest study. It deals compelling solutions to the main questions about how this bad fight spread out: questions that stay disturbingly suitable for our personal time

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But their underlying assumption was that if deterrence failed it would be perfectly appropriate to use them. And in fact between 1905 and 1914 the bases of deterrence crumbled as the two great alliances moved closer to military equality while armaments competition between them intensified and political antagonism – fuelled through a succession of diplomatic crises round the Mediterranean and in the Balkans – mounted. Although neither side saw war as inevitable, both were increasingly willing to contemplate it.

Battlecruisers carried comparable artillery to battleships, but were faster because they were more lightly armoured. The most modern capital ships were known as ‘dreadnought’ battleships or battlecruisers (c. 17,000 tons or more in displacement) if they had speed and firepower comparable to or greater than those of HMS Dreadnought (1906). However, in 1914 most navies operated both dreadnought and pre-dreadnought capital ships (or hybrid variants). Cruisers were divided into heavy (or ‘armoured’) cruisers (over 10,000 tons), intended to fight as scouting vessels in fleet actions alongside capital ships, and light cruisers (2,000–14,000 tons), less heavily protected and intended to guard trade routes or colonial outposts.

30 The army lacked rifles and the treasury was empty. But whereas Pai wanted time to re-arm, Apis feared an Austrian preventive strike and wrongly supposed Franz Ferdinand led the Habsburg war party. In reality the Archduke was the foremost advocate of restraint. The Serbian evidence confirms that Austria-Hungary had good grounds for rigorous demands. But it also shows that the Belgrade government was anxious for a peaceful exit from the crisis whereas the Austrians meant to use it as the pretext for violence.

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