The July 1914 Crisis that ignited World War I.
It seems in July 1914 Europe experienced a complete political meltdown, a trillion times worse than the 'absolute chaos'(1) during the severe 5-day atomic reactor accident at Three Mile Island in March 1979. Nobody died at TMI, but the July 1914 political pandemic settled right down to business, using industrial Maxim machine guns and artillery to massacre almost 9 million soldiers in siege warfare and 6 million civilians.(2)It destroyed the Austro-Hungarian, Russian, German and Ottoman Empires, which laid the groundwork for the rise of Communism, Hitler, Fascism, Stalin, World War II, the Cold War, and then the Thermonuclear Age, which exposes the human race to general annihilation.
___________________________________________________________________________________________References Page 2 3 4"This war would never have come unless, under American and modernizing pressure, we had driven the Habsburgs out of Austria and the Hohenzollerns out of Germany. By making these vacuums we gave the opening for the Hitlerite monster to crawl out of its sewer on to the vacant thrones. No doubt these views are very unfashionable....
Winston Churchill, 8th April 1945(3) "If the Allies at the peace table at Versailles had allowed a Hohenzollern, a Wittelsbach and a Habsburg to return to their thrones, there would have been no Hitler. A democratic basis of society might have been preserved by a crowned Weimar in contact with the victorious Allies."
Winston Churchill, 26th April 1946(4)
- Introduction:All roads lead to Rome. VV Putin's nuclear-armed Russia did not pop into existance out of nowhere: it came straight out of the Cold War. NATO and the EU came from the Cold War. North Korea came from the Cold War. The Cold War resulted from WWII, which came from the Treaty of Versailles and WWI. And WWI sprang out of a fierce political meltdown in July 1914, the singular point at which Western Civilization went completely off the rails.
"I came to see World War I...as the great seminal catastrophe of this century--the event which...lay at the heart of the failure and decline of this Western civilization."(4a)
George F. Kennan [architect of U.S. Cold War Policy]
"The Last Days of Mankind: 28 June-4 August 1914. It [WWI] was nothing less that the greatest error of modern history."[italics in original]
Niall Ferguson, The Pity of War(4b)
"The war of 1914 had such profound, and predominantly negative, consequences -- four years of industrial-scale slaughter all but destroying western faith in human progress, the violent break-up of empires which had endured for centuries, the bloodletting begat by the Russian Revolution and Civil War, the rise of fascism, Nazism, and all the rest... The First World War was a complex man-made event..."
Sean McMeekin [author, July 1914: Countdown to War](4c)
Since WWI was such an unexpected catastrophe, semi-hidden agendas were ascribed to several of the countries involved: Germany was plotting to go to war while they were still strong enough, France was plotting to take back Alsace-Lorraine, Britain was plotting to encircle Germany (the iron ring), Russia was plotting to move against Austria-Hungary to protect the Balkans and secure the Ottoman Straits etc.
Suppose all of them to be true. Did any single country's alleged secret war plans account for the possibility of 15,000,000 dead, some 9,000,000 injured, the demolition of the Austro-Hungarian, Russian, German and Ottoman Empires and the rise of Communist Russia? Impossible.
At least one historian reports 25,000 books and articles printed on on WWI. Since World War I was a global catastrophe that nobody anticipated, so those at the helm in July 1914 were motivated to flee the scene, and pleaded vehemently for minimizing their direct role in the catastrophe.
- Officials in the capitols of Europe/Britain during July 1914:
And when you read their accounts you notice many of the principals involved wrote as if the events of July 1914 were occurring in some very distant land. No matter who you read, almost all make an identical argument: they weren't close enough to events to be able to affect them. It's tantamount to listening to each of the 50 different members of an opera singing in perfect unison.
The impression is as if every single principal during July 1914 was staring through a high-resolution telescope watching events 1,000-3,000+ kilometers away. Some predelegated catastrophic amounts of official responsibility to somebody else. Another highly popular alibi all of them plead is they were not informed of or were not aware of specific events until it was too late to intervene. It was as if the moment an official pre-delegated gathering vital information to somebody else, the official was relieved of his responsibility to stay informed himself.
If we accept all these arguments, what we have is a group of principals who were never really in charge of keeping the peace, that is, preventing a general war in Europe/Britain. That is, if everytime something goes wrong all the principals are allowed to flee the scene, in what sense can these people be said to be in charge? And one answer is that they weren't, they were just standing at the helm, like dime-store mannequins, as if they were in charge. The moment anything goes wrong, suddenly they are nowhere to be found.
Their writings create the impression that as long as everything is running fine, the wheelhouse of each of the capitols of Europe/Britain is busy with officials typically pushing to expand their influence. July 1914 appears like a Category 5 hurricane making landfall and each reverses course, striving to telescope, or collapse the significance of their office or post, preferably to the point where each has virtually no discernable role or responsibility whatsoever.(4d)
After July 1914's total meltdown and the boot-up of World War I, each gov't official strove to appear to the outside world a definite high-toned, moral & compassionate but distracted bystander. Before July 1914 each official strove to stand out and gain recognition. From July 1914 onwards each official reversed, striving to fit in, or disappear completely from public scrutiny.
"...the July Crisis ensued; world war broke out in August, with all of the fearful and long-lasting consequences mentioned above. All of these world-shaking events were man-made. They are therefore quite properly subject to human judgement."[italics added]
Sean McMeekin, July 1914 Countdown to War(4e)
Obviously World War I could not have occurred without these officials on site during July 1914. The remedy was clear. Each pretended to be profoundly afflicted with a short or non-existant attention-span. Each official utilised the horror of WWI as a firewall to hide behind, as if to say to alarmed-but-sober queries, "How insentitive it is to ask me to revisit in my memory that disasterous month of July 1914 which led to the awful conflagration in which so many of our people perished."
This tactic was used to discourage a systematic query of everybody's official duties and actions for each and every single day, starting on June 28th and running to the end of July 1914.
July 1914's quasi-puppet show was not leadership nor anything resembling sober responsibility and in fact was the diametrical opposite. This stunning political abdication of even the slightest official responsibility is how Hitler gained power in Europe. This is how Europe's WWII started. This is how Stalin came to power. This is how the thermonuclear/ballistic-missile balance-of-terror ("deterrence") spread across the entire Earth. Because this July 1914 idiocy was permitted to pass for responsible European/British statesmanship the wheels fell off Western Civilization, never to be put back to this day.
"To me, it is, if anything, more unsettling that a conflict of such world-shattering proportions could be conjured up by such a small handful of men."(4f)
What if we let a nobody-in-charge small handful of men like these regulate the operation of the New York Stock Exchange, or determine control room design for sudden emergencies in atomic reactor Loss-of Coolant-Accidents (LOCA's), or formulate exact design codes for high-altitude commercial aviation, Golden Gate Bridge-sized suspension bridges or VLCC/ULCC's (global ocean-transport very large/ultra-large crude carriers, of which there are many thousands world-wide).
What if a July 1914-style mentality was allowed to determine the required strength of steel and concrete for constructing 100-floor tall skyscrapers in New York, Chicago, Singapore, London, Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai and Dubai? It'd be a hell of a spectacle, there'd be a catastrophic collapse of a 100-floor skyscraper in a major city of the world every other month.
This was the political mentality at the helm in July 1914. Install this July 1914-style brain-trust in any other large-scale command-and-control engineering project across the civilized world and the result would be identical. Virtually instant fighting, disagreements & pandemonium leading directly to widespread mayhem and catastrophic ruin.
How about the command and control of nuclear weapons? What about the very scary Soviet air-raid alerts that occurred at North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) over several years?
Starting June 28, 1914, those officials in each of the capitols of Europe/Britain had four straight weeks to make certain the political effects of the regicide in Sarajevo did not expand into a more general conflagration, and it still wasn't enough time. Such 2-dimensional cartoon-like "officials" would be immediately escorted by US Air Force military police out of the Cheyenne Mountain Aerospace Defense Command Complex for posing a manifold and present danger to the security of the United States Government and the entire country writ large, as well as to all US allies worldwide, and possibly to the entire human race.
- The superstitious and violent background of Europeans/British:
This was the problem in July 1914. All Europe/Britain was being led by gov't officials who, if their writings can be believed, seemed to have no real idea what their actual responsibility was. It's the same region of Earth that grew up having tens of thousands of knights in armor on horseback roaming the area looking for battle.
If European/British history books can be believed, people milled around for 20 centuries dead certain the Sun orbited the earth. Christopher Columbus was begged by allegedly sophisticated Europeans not to depart for fear his ships would fall off the "ends" of the Earth. Almost every major country was almost constantly either preparing for or prosecuting the most violent wars with every other one.
Then there's the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Bubonic Plague, dozens of overwrought Vatican popes across many centuries issuing cruel ex cathedra edicts, fierce religious battles between Protestants and Catholics, some battles for 100 years. The famous European oil painters depicted the intense superstitution and total confusion of the era.
Scientists (astronomers) were burnt at the stake. Thousands of supernatural beliefs and truly idiotic fables sprang up our of nowhere and spread across the continent, inflaming the peasantry. Many thousands (the Flagellants) armed with torture devices would invade entire cities, literally whipping themselves with metal spikes in the belief that if they lost enough blood and suffered like Christ they would be spared the Black Death and later go to heaven.
Reportedly hundreds were burnt at the stake out of a great fear the flagellants would demoralize society. The Black Death wiped out 1/3 of the European/British population because everybody was too busy praying to try sanitation. Its own writings leave the impression life in Europe/Britain must have been - at best - a part-time madhouse.
- A leisure-class attitude pervades the gov't houses of Europe/Britain:
The desire to escape centuries upon centuries of unspeakable experiences must have affected every strata of society. Acquiring the means to distract oneself without limit became practically the end-goal of European/British high society, and by 1900-1914 was full-tilt. In the capitols of Berlin, Paris, London, St. Petersburg and Vienna, high gov't oficials act as if a near-constant recreation and diversion were an imprimatur of high office competence.
In a stunning reversal of usual method of gaining high competence, which everybody knows is assidious work for many years at the job or post, it was as if as if the more often each official was able to leave his post (to go off to do what he really wanted) the more acclaim and unquestioned authority he was accorded upon returning to his post.
By 1914 the leisure-class reaction to 15 centuries of awful European/British fighting, wars and plagues had taken hold of the wheelhouses of the capitols of Europe/Britain.
The President of France Raymond Poincare was at Longchamp Racetrack June 28, 1914, when he received word of the killing of the Archduke Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. President Poincare had an aide draft condolences for Austria-Hungary and then stayed on to enjoy the rest of the races.
Eighteen days later, as the regicide ramps the Austrian-Serbian Crisis into a Category 5 hurricane, Poincare takes a leisurely state visit on his yacht to Russia. The Germans block many telegrams from his ship. Poincare returns to Paris on the afternoon of July 29th, strolls into his offce and is shocked to discover how close (measured in days) the entire country of France - the country he himself is supposed to be in charge of - is to war.
Poincare wasn't alone. It seems almost the entire French nation was consumed by the notorious Caillaux Trial sucking all the oxygen out of the Paris newspapers. His Prime Minister René Viviani, who had accompanied Poincare to Russia, reportedly avidly followed the Caillaux telegraph reports throughout the voyage. As for Lonchamp, the supra-popular diversion started in 1857 in the presence of Napoleon III:
"War games: Finishing touches for the first big fashion show were briefly interrupted by conflict. On 3rd August 1914 Germany declared war on France. Would the show be cancelled? Bien sûr que non! Races and Fashion are indelibly imprinted in Paris’ genes."It's obvious what had happened: the desire to escape or distract oneself from a thousand years of superstition, fighting and wars became overwhelming among the masses and upper classes, and this relentless desire infected and held even the highest officials firmly in its talons.
"The popularity of Longchamp attracted increasingly large crowds; all ranks and classes, le Tout-Paris attended the races. Quick to grasp an opportunity, Parisian couturiers sent models wearing their latest designs, off to mingle with society ladies and gentlemen. Longchamp became one large, bubbling catwalk."
As late as 1917, during (surprise) World War I, an American astronomer at Mt. Wilson discovered the Sun was NOT at the center of our galaxy. This discovery crushed out of existance forever the childlike vanity of those Europeans and Brits, who for 15-20 straight Centuries fancied themselves at the veritable center of all existance itself, believing with unshakable certainty the most unimaginable gibberish on the Nature of Reality.
- Petit-Eichmannism:So 2 Boeing 747's collide, killing 583, and no expense is spared to examine the wreckage and compare testimonies so as the determine the direct and proximate cause which drastically reduces the chances of any possible repeat on all future commercial flights. July 1914's political meltdown of a small number of officials kills not 583 but 25,000 times more, that's 15 million people and there's no direct and proximate cause?
"On March 27, 1977, a pair of fully-loaded Boeing 747's, Pan-Am and KLM, collided on the runway at Tenerife. 583 died, the worst commercial aviation disaster in history.
But what makes it particularly unforgettable is the startling set of ironies and coincidences that preceded it. Indeed, most airplane crashes result not from a single error or failure, but from a chain of improbable errors and failures, together with a stroke or two of really bad luck. Never was this illustrated more calamitously — almost to the point of absurdity— than on that Sunday afternoon almost forty years ago."[italics added]
That is appeasement par-excellence, and a just-minted alibi used in Neville Chamberlain's later conduct toward Hitler at Munich and in Nuremberg's petit-Eichmannism. Unless the lives of 15,000,000 European and British soldiers and civilians, as well as soldiers from many other countries don't matter, the political meltdown of July 1914 was no more an "accident" than Hitler's rise to power was an "accident."
WWI apologists are more interested in spreading gov't official accountability as widely as possible, grinding it to a fine powder - dust, really - so no one, or specifically the principals of their chosen country, could be positively ID'd as AWOL from June 28-July 31, 1914.
The motives of such people must be viewed with suspicion, as a nobody-in-charge-here alibi is also a wonderful-if-inadvertent explaination for how these same people and nations found themselves enmeshed in virtual non-stop wars and invasions for 1,000 years, as well as how the 1914 Maxim machine gun/artillery annihilation of millions of European/British soldiers/civilians was ever permitted to commence.
World War I was called the Great War by those not at the Front. After successful resolution of the 1898-1899 Fashoda Crisis, the Moroccan Crises of 1905-1906 and 1911 and the Balkan Crisis of 1912-1913, the query is how on earth did the European/British alliance systems collapse so suddenly in July 1914?
- Otto von Bismarck's warning that for peace Russia and Germany must be balanced:
Otto von Bismarck, the first German Chancellor, said Russia and Germany were the two great land powers on the eurasian continent, and for the peace of Europe it was vitally important to keep them equally balanced. Bismarck implied any attempt to weaken one would only dangerously enbolden the other.
By 1914 Europe had forgotten Bismarck's stern warning. In 1901 the equally stern "Grandmother of Europe" HM Queen Victoria passed away. Europe's two greatest leaders were dead, and with the adults out of the room the continent fell into a kind of schoolyard frivolity, with HM Queen Victoria's often rebellious son, aka Edward-the-Caresser (1901-1910) hedonistically leading the race to the bottom.
Commerce between the Great Powers had dramatically lowered the risk of war, or so said a political theory then sweeping the continent. This bizarre theory, contradicted by all human military history, gained such currency that by 1910 a British member of Parliment reportedly claimed the Great Powers were so interlocked economically that a General European War was impossible.
Commerce was pushed to an extreme point while general European security measures were relaxed. There was no pre-set agreement for promptly arbitrating local crises in Europe. Such foreign policy neglect made it easier for radical political elements to rise up and struggle to push local disputes into more widespread crises before the Great Powers were fully aware of what was happening.
If Bismarck stated that they key to peace in Europe was to "make a good treaty with Russia", it might be said in 1900-1914 that the key to peace for Britain was to "make a good treaty with Germany." This view did not prevail, and, dismally, in only 3 decades, from 1914 to 1945, the greatest, most powerful and most stable maritime empire in the world fell off a cliff. When it picked itself up off the floor the island kingdom Britain discovered it had become a vassal state of NATO, a most inglorious end to what even the American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton had praised as "the greatest government in the world."
No doubt Whitehall circa 1914 must have felt that making a treaty with Kaiser Wilhelm and the German military would be exceedingly disagreeable. But for Britain to instead throw itself into the arms of the alien state of Russia seems fraught with peril.
The destruction of Bismarck's balance of power in Europe led straight to the rise of Russia as the dominant land power in Europe.
- Perilous post-war Britain's Geography:
The tiny island-kingdom of old England was geographically suitable for the days of wooden colonial sailing ships, miniature redcoat armies and knights in armor. Those days have diappeared.
Scroll forward to 2018 and instead of a boastful 1914 Wilhelm, the island mandarins of Whitehall are instead confronted with an incomparably more formidable Vladimir Putin and Russia, armed with some 5,000 nuclear weapons on fast ballistic-missiles, capable of striking and transforming the dimunitive island kingdom of Britain into a uninhabitable radioactive waste dump in about the time than it takes to have a cup of English tea.
Worse yet, only 150 kilometers north-west of Ireland, the North Atlantic Gulfstream plunges down almost 3,000 meters. The ocean floor in the Bay of Biscay just south of Brest, France, is almost 5,000 meters down. Russian ballistic-missile submarines have been on patrol in the North Atlantic's deep ocean between Ireland and Iceland for almost 50 years. And Russia's 2018 nuclear-armed ballistic-missile submarines are considerably quieter and deadlier.
American Trident II submarines can reportedly launch a missile 1,800 kilometers in just 7 minutes. Russian ballistic-missile submarines in the North Atlantic behind Ireland or in the Bay of Biscay can maneuver to within some 550-600 kilometers of London.
At that short range, Russian SLBM's using depressed-trajectory launches would compress the warning-and-assessment timeline for Britain's survival to a tiny moment. In an intense political/military crisis, Whitehall may have no more than 180-240 seconds to radar-detect an enemy missile, wait for redundant radar confirmation, and then contact the British Prime Minister. PM May will have about enough time for a quick application of lipstick before giving her decision whether to launch nuclear-tipped ballistic-missiles.
Post-July 1914, much has been made of Germany's alliance with Austria-Hungary. But in 1914 neither Germany nor Austria-Hungary were involved in plotting and carrying out a regicide. Serbia was, and it's protector was Russia. Furthermore, risking a war with Germany meant that if Germany lost, it was only a matter of time before the entire European Continent would be exposed to the Russian Steamroller. If Germany won, that is, if the Allied Powers had lost WWI, the entire European Continent and the island kingdom of Britain would be exposed to the German War Machine.
This was Bismarck's point. Russia and Germany had to be militarily balanced. Risking a war with Germany, and winning it, meant that Europe and Britain would sooner or later have to face the Russian Steamroller. And after the Allied Powers fought and "won" two World Wars against Germany, that's exactly what happened. The German-Russian balance of power that Bismarck worked so hard to balance was gone. The allies had unwittingly succeeded in making Russia the single strongest land-power on the Eurasian continent.