We Were Right to Stand Up to the Germans in 1914

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), August 11, 2013 | Go to article overview

We Were Right to Stand Up to the Germans in 1914


Claims that the Great War was futile and is 'no cause for celebration' cannot go unchallenged.

For example, we simply do not know that the war led to fascism and Communism, or the Cold War.

The Great War is riddled with a long list of myths and falsehoods that have become increasingly ingrained in the popular imagination.

One major myth is that it was an unnecessary war.

Of course it wasn't unnecessary. We had no territorial ambitions in Europe, nor any designs on any of Germany's colonies.

But what we simply could not accept was a Europe dominated by a potentially unfriendly power, particularly if that power subjugated Belgium and controlled our historic trade routes.

If France had been defeated, then Germany would have posed a threat to the UK and the Empire.

If France had won without our help, we would have suffered opprobrium on a massive scale.

Many people ignore the fact that national honour in 1914 was a very important factor.

Respect for treaties was regarded as central.

Colonel Barry Clayton (retired), Cleveleys, Lancashire Bellicose nationalism meant that the quiet voices of calm sanity were drowned out in 1914.

No one knew what 20th Century warfare would mean, or lead to, but rabble-rousers deemed it absolutely essential to show that Britain 'would not flinch'. …

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