History of the World War - Vol. 2

History of the World War - Vol. 2

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History of the World War - Vol. 2

History of the World War - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Excerpt

From August, 1914, to the closing days of April, 1915, the history of the World War is the history of the German attack upon France and of the consequence of the failure of this attack in that great battle of arrest, the struggle at the Marne. The gigantic conflicts in France, in Belgium, the struggles in Poland, East Prussia, Galicia, these were but logical consequences of the decision of the German General Staff to stake all, risk all, win or lose all, on the narrow front between the Straits of Dover and the Swiss frontier.

When the German General Staff made this decision, sweeping away all moral and political considerations involved in the violation of Belgian neutrality, there was a clear perception by them that if they failed, a thing unthinkable of itself, it was conceivable that Russia would destroy Austrian military power and in addition invade East Prussia. Six weeks of immunity from attacks in the east, six weeks in which Paris might be taken and the French military establishment destroyed, this was the calculation of the German military power, a calculation that at moments seemed almost realized, but in the end escaped all realization, when Kluck turned back from Paris for Soissons.

Thenceforth the war became a confused and involved series of battles, great in themselves but indecisive in their character, and inexplicable to a world public still seeking a Sedan or a Waterloo and far from realizing that Europe was just on the threshold of one of the long complicated wars, in which exhaustion rather than military decision might in the end terminate the fighting.

Actually, what occurred in these months is unmistakable. The failure of Russia at Tannenberg permitted the Germans to ignore the eastern . . .

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