A War of Peoples 1914-1919 by Adrian Gregory

By Adrian Gregory

A conflict of Peoples, 1914-1919 offers a brand new viewpoint at the First global struggle, delivering a concise narrative of the battle from the 1st army activities in July 1914 till the signing of the peace treaty by means of Germany in July 1919. Adrian Gregory considers the assets of data on hand to historians and the ways that historians have written concerning the conflict for over fifty years.

This quantity will charm both to individuals with very little familiarity with the occasions of the warfare and to those that already imagine they find out about it. It provides a thought-provoking account which displays the adjustments to historians' knowing of the warfare. there's a good deal of emphasis on element of the struggle that are much less known to English-speaking audiences, relatively the struggle in japanese Europe, within the Balkans, and at the Italian entrance. A conflict of Peoples, 1914-1919 concludes in 1919 with a research of the fraught and complicated technique of peace making, an issue that is frequently missed ordinarily surveys that finish on Martinmas 1918.

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The tactical potential of defensive firepower did not lead directly to trench warfare. It was only in mid-September when the Germans made a deliberate strategic decision to dig in on parts of the front in France that the tactical problem posed by trenches really became apparent. The Germans had first done this to free up reserves for mobile offensive operations in Belgium and elsewhere, it was not yet a strategy in itself. But as the autumn wore on, all sides began to halt and dig. In part this was an inevitable reaction to the sheer pace and intensity of earlier operations.

An unfortunate side effect was a developing obsession with this sector, particularly by the commander of the British defence, Sir Douglas Haig, which was out of proportion to its real strategic importance and would have baleful results later. The battle petered out over the next few weeks as the weather deteriorated. One German volunteer wrote on 18 November, ‘Wellbeing is here nothing else than not having to launch an attack across meadows that are completely flooded and poisoned by the odour of putrefaction, but rather to be able to sit peacefully and quietly in a trench with straw that is not completely soaked yet.

But nationalism would underpin and sometimes undermine the willingness of populations to endure the terrible ordeal ahead. Indeed it was the war itself that embedded nationalism in European societies both through the unrelenting propagandizing of wartime populations in the national cause and in the counter-reactions of nationalisms against multi-national empires. A war that had begun as a pre-emptive strike against Serbian nationalism would end up unleashing nationalism throughout Europe on an unprecedented scale.

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