Tuesday, August 05, 2014

100 Years On

The centenary commemorations for World War One are a chilling reminder of how quickly a continent can slip from a long peace to industrial slaughter. I'm inclined to agree with the current orthodoxy on the causes of the war- that it was a result of German military expansionism.

Whether the UK should have entered the war is harder to say- if the Asquith government had stayed out, Germany would likely have won and an unrestrained aggressive nation could well have threatened Britain- with no France or the Low Countries between Germany and the UK. Yet it's hard to imagine any greater damage would have been inflicted than hundreds of thousands dead that were inflicted.

An awful even but one that offers no easy lessons.


JohnM said...

What annoys me about most of the "we should have stayed out" arguments is the implicit hindsight. They look at the known outcome and determine that the people who took the decisions should have known what was impending. As if it was obvious to everyone including the Kaiser, the Czar and the Sultan.

Ross said...

I agree to a point but the sheer uncertainty of what will happen is one of the reasons to be extremely cautious about entering a war.

James Higham said...

Yes, Ross. It was time for them all to have a war, it seems.

Laban Tall said...

Let's hope then that we stay well away from Ukraine. We'll probably have to leave the EU for that though. Though at the rate Cameron's going we won't have any troops or aircraft to send!

Still, at least our policy of supporting the opposition in Syria is paying dividends, with a vicious and sectarian leader being forced from power. Admittedly he was leading Iraq, not Syria, but sometimes these things take time and a few goes to get right.