Read e-book online 1914-1918: The History of the First World War PDF

By David Stevenson

ISBN-10: 0131172263

ISBN-13: 9780131172265

ISBN-10: 0140268170

ISBN-13: 9780140268171

In the summertime of 1914 Europe exploded right into a frenzy of mass violence. The struggle that had worldwide repercussions, destroying 4 empires and costing hundreds of thousands of lives. Even the positive international locations have been scarred for a new release, 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 international conflict started, David Stevenson re-examines the reasons, path and effect of this 'war to finish war', putting it within the context of its period and exposing its underlying dynamics. His e-book offers a wide-ranging foreign historical past, drawing on insights from the most recent learn. It bargains compelling solutions to the most important questions on how this bad fight opened up: questions that stay disturbingly correct for our personal time

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Example text

Given Russia’s position, this latter was indispensable. Austria-Hungary had long competed with the Russians in south-eastern Europe, but in 1897 the two powers reached an understanding to keep the Balkans ‘on ice’, and for a decade, while the Russians focused their attention on Asia, they kept to it. Here again, however, the Bosnian annexation crisis, if a short-term triumph, exacerbated Austria-Hungary’s plight in the longer term. In 1908 the Russians, still reeling from their defeat by Japan, could do nothing to support their fellow Slavs in Serbia, but they did not forget their humiliation.

The First World War became a global struggle, but originated in Europe. It shattered a century of peace. Since the defeat of the French Revolution and Napoleon in 1792–1815 – the struggle hitherto known in English as the ‘Great War’ 1 – there had been no general conflict involving all the great powers. European governments and peoples were accustomed to prospective wars of the imagination, in the scenarios of military planners and the bestselling future-gazing literature that proliferated in the pre-1914 decades.

From the 1890s armies introduced the quick-firing field gun, equipped with a hydraulic piston that restrained the recoil of the barrel. It fired up to twenty high-explosive shells a minute without needing repositioning. But the field gun was as useful for the defensive as the offensive, to add to the havoc wrought by machine guns and rifles, whereas modern heavy artillery that could blast out the defenders developed much more slowly. Changes both in naval and in land technology militated against short, cheap, and decisive conflicts.

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

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