July 1914, Sir Edward Grey and World War I

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By 1914, with the adults von Bismarck and HM Queen Victoria out of the room, a number of French, German, British, Russian & Austro-Hungarian officials seemed less focused on mastery of gov't than on mastery of a timeless leisure, whose role was playing at gov't.

References  Page 2
June 28-July 1914: The Strategy of Hope
Causes of World War I
Sir Edward Grey: Delayed Telegrams June-July 1914
Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey on the Causes of World War I
Winston Churchill on the June 28-July 1914 Crisis
June 29th-July 1914, Wagons-Lits to the French Riviera
July 13, 2019.

Summary

The June 28-July 1914 Crisis that ignited World War I.

From Sunday, 11:30am June 28th through July 1914, European/British govt's underwent the most destructive political meltdown in human history, trillions of times worse than the "absolute chaos" inside atomic-reactor Unit II's control room caused by a shocking bolt-from-the-blue Loss-Of-Coolant-Accident (LOCA) at Three Mile Island, 4:00am Wednesday, March 28, 1979 onwards.

Nobody died at TMI, but European/British gov't officials in 1914 - the same ones presumably responsible for preventing large-scale European war - got into the fiercest imaginable political squabble, and with every side deploying revolutionary Maxim machine-guns like battlefield lawnmowers, along with relentless overhead industrial-scale heavy-artillery bombardment, slaughtered an estimated 9 million soldiers & 6 million civilians.(1)

June 28-July 1914's European/British political collapse ignited WWI, delivering on a platter the all-time worst century in the history of the human race: WWI destroyed the Austro-Hungarian, Russian, German & Ottoman Empires, left the French and British Empires dead-men-walking, spawned the Russian Revolution, the rise of Communism & Fascism, the sprawling Soviet Union, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, World War II, uncorked a now-tumultuous Middle East & the Cold War, which unleashed the fearsome Atomic Age.

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"I also want to highlight that in Austria-Hungary, there is [starting June 28, 1914] very much a sense of genuine popular outrage. Although Franz Ferdinand was not a beloved figure with most of the population, his death, and particularly the murder of his wife, was a sincere outrage."

"It was very much like the climate after 9/11 in the United States. It was an act of terror, which the Austrians knew the Serbian government was behind."[italics added] (2)
John Schindler [Professor of National Security Affairs, U.S. Naval War College, formerly NSA]

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Post-WWI:
July 16, 1945: Trinity
Effects of Atomic Detonations: Hiroshima, Nagasaki
Japan: Feasibility of Atomic Demonstration-Test in 1945
USAF Boeing B-52 Stratofortress

Iconic Foreign Secretary Edward Grey arbitrating a Balkans Crisis in 2013:

"If the Conference could not get an agreement Austria might launch an ultimatum, or even take peremptory action against Serbia. Then the whole prestige of Austria and Russia in the Balkans would be at stake, and so would the peace of Europe.

"The details with which we dealt were insignificant — in themselves mere sparks; but we were sitting on a powder-magazine."

"The Conference was allowed to dissolve. We seemed to be safe. In reality it was not so; the set of the current was the same, and in a year’s time we were all swept into the cataract of war."[italics added] (at 258, 267).

  • Introduction: "The secret of war lies in the communications."-Napoleon

As the terse foreign secretary perfectly put it: "We seemed to be safe. In reality it was not so.." The outbreak of World War One was preceded by an intense crisis in the Balkans region. The crisis began Sunday morning, 11:30AM, June 28, 1914, and accelerated rapidly throughout July 1914.

The Balkans Crisis' sudden expansion into World War I was greatly fueled by electric telegraph cables (the first electric telegraph war was probably the American Civil War). Foreign Secretary E. Grey himself cites a previous case when relying mainly upon electric telegraph cables made gov't officials think a British-French war unavoidable:

"It seems incredible that two great European nations should have become nearly involved in war about anything so ephemeral...two incidents that, for twenty-four hours, were thought to make war between Great Britain and France inevitable." [italics added]
Foreign Secretary Edward Grey.

Besides its use in organizing a conference for settling crises - or accidentally igniting intense crises - the electric telegraph could just as easily be used for yet another purpose: in any suitable crisis, inviting distant-but-heavily-armed allies to join in, which without warning could boot up a vastly wider, more dangerous conflict.

According to "British Documents on the Origins of the War, 1898-1914", at 5:00pm, June 29, 1914, J. F. Jones, British Vice-Consul in Serajevo, sent a telegram received by Foreign Secretary Edward Grey at the British Foreign Office in London at 5:45pm, 45 minutes later.

British Vice Consul Jones' telegram traveling ≈ 1800Km in just 45 minutes to Foreign Secretary E. Grey in London indicates just how immediately various radical military/political elements in the Balkans/Vienna - starting Day-1, at 11:30am, June 28, 1914 - could have secretly contacted sympathetic Great Power allies asking for all kinds of military support:

"We say, surprise lies at the foundation of all [military] undertakings without exception...Secrecy and rapidity are the two factors in this product..."[italics added]
von Clausewitz, On War (CH IX. THE SURPRISE).

The argument advanced here is the June 28th Balkans Crisis could only safely be considered a "local crisis" if none of the parties involved had potentially highly-motivated, very sympathetic, industrial-strength military allies. British Vice-Consul Jones' telegram to Foreign Secretary Edward Grey indicates that possibly as early as ≈ 1:00-2:00 PM, the same day of the regicide, June 28, 1914, very angry or very frightened (or both) radical military/political elements in the Balkans/Vienna could have sent telegrams to Russia, Germany and/or France asking for heavy military support.

Or even faster:

In 1911, a telegram "...left the dispatch room on the 17th floor of the Times building in New York at 7 p.m. on August 20. After it traveled more than 28,000 miles, being relayed by 16 different operators, through San Francisco, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Saigon, Singapore, Bombay, Malta, Lisbon and the Azores–among other locations–the reply was received by the same operator 16.5 minutes later."

Sending a telegram 28,000 miles, or 45,000Km in 16.5 minutes is over 2,700Km a minute, ≈ 163,620Km/hr. That would slice the telegram speed from Sarajevo's Consul Jones to London's Foreign Secretary E. Grey to something like 40 seconds.

Starting about 11:30 am, Day-1 of the regicide, June 28, 1914, the central problem was an awful risk of telegrams from the Balkans/Vienna traveling up to 2,700Km/minute to extremely heavily-armed Russia, Germany and/or France, who overnight could send thousands of rifles, or Maxim machine-guns with millions of rounds, or could dispatch millions of soldiers/heavy-artillery via shiny new railways directly to the Front.

In the Balkans Crisis, whomever in the Balkans/Vienna could reach St. Petersburg, Berlin or Paris the quickest stood a chance of getting a hearing for gaining the support of millions of soldiers/industrial artillery. That would seem a strong motive to make the effort.

Even though all this was known, that the Balkans region/Vienna had lightning-fast telegraph cables spilling out in every direction, connected directly to potentially highly-motivated, dangerous industrial-strength heavily-armed allies, technological newcomers known as European/British gov't officials, all of whom were born in the Victorian mid-to late 1800's, mis-identified the onset of the June 28, 1914 Crisisas just a "geographical local crisis", that is, one that could be confined locally, with the result that it was not taken seriously and promptly stopped in it's tracks.

[Right, European telegraph cables, 1903]

Initially, the Balkans Crisis was split into two opposing but very unequal factions: the major one sitting on the sidelines hoping the local crisis would stay localized & blow over, because if it didn't they had the greatest catastrophe on Earth staring them in the face. And a very minor faction was equally determined to widen the Crisis via electric telegraph cables to drag one or more of the Great Powers into it.

"The secret of war lies in the communications."
Napoleon

1914 Europe was an armed camp. Starting Day-1, 11:30am June 28, 1914, every single day that passed only increased the chances of radical military/political elements in the Balkans/Vienna gaining military backing from one or more of the Great Powers.

"War is the province of chance. In no sphere of human activity is such a margin to be left for this intruder, because none is so much in constant contact with him on all sides. He increases the uncertainty of every circumstance, and deranges the course of events..."
von Clausewitz, On War (CH III).

By the last week in July the chances of arbitrating the Balkans Crisis had been all but destroyed: One or two Great Power military preparations for defense had been misinterpretated. The uncertainty forced opposing countries to assume the worst. This ruined the very significant trust painstakingly built up by previous lengthy Great Power Conferences at London, the Hague etc. The foreign secretary explains:

"The distinction between preparations made with the intention of going to war and precautions against attack is a true distinction, clear and definite in the mind of those who build up armaments. But it is a distinction that is not obvious or certain to others.

"Each Government, therefore, while resenting any suggestion that its own measures are anything more than precaution for defence, regards similar measures of another Government as preparation to attack...

"Fear begets suspicion and distrust and evil imaginings of all sorts, till each Government feels it would be criminal and a betrayal of its own country not to take every precaution, while every Government regards every precaution of every other Government as evidence of hostile intent."[italics added]
Foreign Secretary Edward Grey (at 88-90).

This misinterpretation of defensive military preparations as possibly offensive created a massive erosion of trust, and had a devastating impact on the Great Powers capacity to arbitrate the Balkans Crisis before it ignited a World War.
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Starting Day-1, June 28, 1914 the problem seemed to be two-fold: electric telegraph cables out of the Balkans/Vienna able to accelerate up to 2700Km/minute encrypted messages desperately pleading with DEEPLY sympathetic, heavily-armed Great Powers for all manner of military support.

And the second problem was initial defensive military maneuvers, as they may be misinterpreted by opponents as hostile. Such anbiguousness prompted an extraordinary risk of Great Power military commanders beginning to fight for control of foreign policy with their duly-constituted Great Power political officials. The supreme danger of this fight cannot be over-emphasized.

The argument advanced here is such a whip-sawed, electric telegram cable-driven, topsy-turvey political/military Balkans Crisis was vastly too unstable to continue on for long, all of which point to the argument that the 11:30am, June 28, 1914 Balkans Crisis had to be arbitrated promptly.

There was literally no time to waste. It was only a matter of several weeks before initial defensive military maneuvers made everybody suspicious, and began to quickly erode the trust between the Great Powers. And once that trust was gone, no arbitration of the Balkans crisis was possible.

In the June 28th Balkans Crisis, the minor faction capitalized on the unprecedented passivity of the opposition, which gave it free reign to electronically solicit - at any time it wanted - giant military allies and widen the Crisis.

Since it encountered almost no resistance (most of the opposition were sitting on the sidelines), the minor faction succeeded in enlisting in more and more radical military and political elements & in a couple weeks dragged in all the Great Powers, which produced World War I, the end of which satisfied almost nobody.

This led the govt's of Europe/Britain, already about as stable as a bowl of jello, straight to the most violent century in human history.

(There are mind-boggling informal estimates of 25,000-30,000 books on WWI, yet its exact causes have not yet been positively ID'ed. Possibly it's because the right crews - those already highly trained in large-scale investigations - have yet to take a look at it.)

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Ypres, France

"The war [WWI] really did change everything: not just borders, not just governments and the fate of nations, but the way people have seen the world and themselves ever since. It became a kind of hole in time, leaving the postwar world permanently disconnected from everything that had come before."[italics added]
G. J. Meyer: A World Undone

  • The Balkans, 1903-1914:

Since WWI unhinged Western Civilization, leaving the world to spiral further and further away from any reasonable international order, it prompts the query whether in the initial stages was the June 28, 1914 Balkans Crisis at any point amenable to prompt arbitration?

The Balkans region was tightly packed with often fiercely antagonistic ethnic groups and small nationalities. From London, Foreign Secretary Edward Grey stated the Great Powers were "sitting on a powder-magazine." That statement can readily be extracted from an easily readable, detailed timeline of a shocking & furious cascade of political/military events in the Balkans circa 1903-1911. And: "The Balkan Wars and their aftermath, 1912-June 1914."

There had been many political crises in the Balkans region that were settled, but in a very disorderly manner; specifically, each crisis was handled purely in an ad hoc, case-by-case fashion.

In the next Balkans crisis/London settlement, who would would gain influence and territory and who would lose influence/territory? Nobody knew.

[(right) Balkans map indicating 18 distinct ethnic groups]

At one settlement, ink flowed and an entire country (Albania) popped into existance out of thin air.

Possibly such disorderly although well-intended ad-hoc, case-by-case settlements may have had the opposite effect, and perversely encouraged Balkaneers eager for greater influence and territory to boot up more disputes/local crises in hopes of receiving favorable settlements from London, the Hague, etc.

Another difficulty with all these so-called Balkan "settlements" is with many ethnic nationalities and countries potentially involved, after each "settlement" it was not uncommon to have one or more of the losing parties feeling aggrieved, e.g., Russia after the 1908-9 Balkans crisis settlement:

"[1908] Oct.06 > Austria annexes Bosnia: THE BOSNIAN CRISIS to Apr.1909 - Austrian Foreign Minister Aehrenthal dupes Russian Foreign Minister Izvolsky - Russia, Serbia, the Turks, and Italy are enraged - ~Serbian agitation against Austria intensifies."[emphasis in original]

Each attempted Balkans "settlement" may have unwittingly multiplied the layers of severe underlying ethnic grievances and resentments. For every Balkans crisis "settled," the argument could be advanced that in reality the opposite was happening: the more volatile and unstable the region was becoming.

Possibly the Great Power Conferences had been unwittingly engaged in assembling a vast, multi-layered, increasingly-combustible ≈ 1/2 million-square-kilometer "powder-magazine." Suppose that by 1914 Foreign Secretary Edward Grey, French Ambassador Paul Cambon and their foreign ministry colleagues were sitting on the rim of a 200-megaton Krakatoa-scale volcano, a Spain-sized IED (200+% larger than Britain), with the Russian Steamroller as Serbia's protector and heavily-armed France as Russia's closest ally?

[February 2, 1914]: "The Serbian Prime Minister Pasic meets with the Czar in St. Petersburg, and is told 'For Serbia, we shall do everything.'"

  • Great Powers' Balkans Crisis Arbitration 1908-1913:

Moreover, some local conflicts seemed to take monumental amounts of time to arbitrate:

"Shortly after my arrival in London, at the end of 1912, Sir E. Grey proposed an informal conversation to prevent the Balkan War developing into a European one...

".. and during the eight months or so of the negotiations his goodwill and his authoritative influence contributed in no small degree to the attainment of an agreement."[italics added]
Prince Lichnowsky [1912-1914 German Ambassador stationed in London]: My Mission to London 1912-1914, at 10.

"The friendly personal relations between us could not prevent our proceedings from being protracted and sometimes intolerably wearisome.

[(right) Savador Dali]

"It was said after the first few weeks that Cambon [Paul Cambon, French Ambassador stationed in London], when asked about the progress of the Conference, had replied that it would continue till there were six skeletons sitting around the table."
British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey (at 256).

A conference to settle one Balkans crisis reportedly started Sep't 1912 but an agreement wasn't reached until 30 May 1913. That seems like a very considerable period of time.

To scale this in the modern world: 5 Rocketdyne F-1 engines generating 160 million horsepower burnt over 15 metric tons of oxygen/kerosene fuel mix per second to lift a 363-foot-tall NASA Saturn-V rocket off the launch-pad at Cape Canaveral, and sped Apollo 11 384,400Km to the Moon, where jubilant American astronauts got out, spent a couple hours cavorting on the Moon's alien lunar surface, got back into Apollo 11 and voyaged 384,400Km back to Earth - all in 8 days. That's ≈ 0.03% the time the London Conference took.

In the years leading up to the July 1914 Crisis, it was almost as if European/British gov't foreign offices embraced some kind of backwoods, or luddite concept of time. (Luddites were adverse to technological progress).

The British Foreign Secretary explains:

"Those of us who grew to maturity in the nineteenth century acquired our sense of values and formed our first opinions in the latter part of the Victorian age."

"The general point of view in domestic affairs was already changing rapidly before 1914.

"The war may be regarded as the division between two epochs in foreign affairs as well. We, who were in foremost places in 1904, belonged to one epoch and have lived on into another.

"We are now confronted by problems that are new to us, our vision may be rendered unsteady by things that seem disquieting or alarming, because they are strange to us."[italics added]
British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey (at xxi).

Another iconic Britisher of the very first rank put it this way:

[Q:]"So it's patience."

[(right) Men-An-Tol, Cornwall, England]

[A:]"Lots of patience.
"The famous story goes, 'How do you make these beautiful British lawns?' and the answer is, 'Oh, you just roll them for 200 years.'
They've never thought of things in terms of quick returns."[italics added]
Freeman Dyson, (British) physicist, IAS [Institute for Advanced Studies], Princeton.

The wheel is perhaps the supreme exhibit of Luddite technology. The deservedly famous British physicist shows a commendable attitude, but the point made here is when the archduke was assassinated on June 28, 1914, a sitting patiently on the sidelines was precisely what allowed radical elements in Europe to very quickly turn a local crisis into a much wider conflict.

The steep discontinuity between the Old World and the New will be explored in much greater detail. For the moment, to clarify: for "Old World" London reps to arbitrate a local Balkans crisis took longer to settle than SIXTY space flights of NASA's Saturn-V Apollo 11 to the Moon, or ≈ the estimated flight-time of NASA's Apollo 11 spacecraft, departing Venus, to cross the orbit of Mercury, voyage to the Sun, and then departing the Sun, re-cross the orbit of Mercury and voyage all the way back to Venus.

Possibly the tolerant and patient 1914 Great Powers were fundamentally geared to handle local crises with extremely patient and forgiving fuses.

The gas giant Jupiter, at just over 3/4 of a billion kilometers from the Sun, is on the opposite, deep space side of Earth, with Mars situated between. The "Old World" 1912-1913 London conference took ≈ as long to settle a local Balkans crisis as NASA's Apollo 11 spacecraft, departing Mars, would take to cross the orbits of Earth, Venus and Mercury and voyage to the center of our Solar System.

Possibly British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey was right. Maybe those of us alive today have no idea how 1870-1904 Europe/Britain conceived space and time. None.

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  • 1914: A general willingness to believe "war was something that was not going to happen in Europe.":
  • Nevertheless, such impossibly-lengthy London settlements appear to have misled Paris, Berlin, London, Vienna and St. Petersburg gov't officials into believing that if they were arbitrated with a near-unlimited, deity-like patience, all local crises could be successfully settled:

    "My object was indeed to preserve the Entente, for British interests, I thought, required this; but the intention and hope were that the Entente and the Triple Alliance might go on side by side and preserve peace by settling diplomatically each difficulty as it arose."
    Foreign Secretary Edward Grey (Vol II, at 258, 267).

    Except starting Day-1, June 28, 1914, a "settling diplomatically each difficulty as it arose" is precisely what didn't happen. For over 3.5 straight weeks, aside from some European/British newspaper acknowledgements, the reaction was more like dead silence.

    "In discussing the situation with Nicolson [Sir Arthur Nicolson, British Permanent Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs], it had been agreed between us that at an opportune moment, or as a last resort, we should propose a Conference."
    Foreign Secretary Edward Grey (Vol I, at 305).

    "[O]r as a last resort." There it is. Starting Day-1, June 28, 1914, for over 3.5 straight weeks other European Great Powers adopted the same tactic and sat on the sidelines. As far as the Balkans was concerned, the Great Powers may have well as been staring through the equivalent of NASA's Hubble Telescope watching events in a tiny corner of another galaxy.

    The wealthy and powerful European/British Great Powers, by a dismissive wave of the hand, had rendered the Balkans beyond insignificant, and by a faith that would astonish even the Vatican, assumed no local European crisis requiring prompt arbitration would occur:

    "...I think also in society at large [in 1914 there was a general willingness] to believe that war was something that was not going to happen in Europe."(2a)
    Professor MacMillan, University of Oxford, 2015.

    The assumption proved quite wrong: the June 28th-July 1914 Crisis went from zero to World War (peak mobilization of ≈ 45,000,000 men) in under 5 weeks flat.

    "[Continuing] That of course in a way was dangerous."

    Sombebody's playing coy. WWI's 15,000,000 dead delivered the worst imaginable evidence to every historian that heavily-armed 1914 Europe/Britain foolishly playing around with utopian revisionist views was extraordinarily high-risk. It was anything but "in a way" dangerous.

    For the last thousand years no region of the world has been more addicted to warfare & fighting than Europe/Britain. Worse, by 1914 France, Germany and Russia had built up the largest land armies on Earth, and Britain had the most heavily-militarized maritime fleet in the European hemisphere. (2b)

    To pretend otherwise, to pretend that in the decades leading up to 1914 a veritable miracle had occurred, that heavily-armed Europe/Britain, with no conceivable earthly explaination, had morphed through the Looking-Glass into peace-loving model countries is to defy 1,000 years of European/British reality.

    [(right) The Selling of the Bulbs.
    Only days before the spectacular crash of the 1637 Dutch Tulipomania market, the Semper Agustus (depicted) fetched the highest prices.]

    In 1636-7 the Dutch believed they discovered the key to non-stop wealth. In 1914 Europe/Britain believed they discovered the key to non-stop peace:

    "... they rushed to the tulip-marts, like flies around a honey-pot. Every one imagined that the passion for tulips would last for ever, and that the wealthy from every part of the world would send to Holland, and pay whatever prices were asked for them. The riches of Europe would be concentrated on the shores of the Zuyder Zee, and poverty banished from the favoured clime of Holland.

    Nobles, citizens, farmers, mechanics, sea-men, footmen, maid-servants, even chimney-sweeps and old clothes-women, dabbled in tulips. People of all grades converted their property into cash, and invested it in flowers."[italics added]
    Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Ch II.

    [(right) Wagon of Fools by Hendrik Gerritsz Pot, 1637.

    "Followed by Haarlem weavers who have abandoned their looms, blown by the wind and flying a flag emblazoned with tulips, Flora, goddess of flowers, her arms laden with tulips, rides to their destruction in the sea along with tipplers, money changers and the two-faced goddess Fortuna."]

    "The riches of Europe would be concentrated on the shores of the Zuyder Zee, and poverty banished from the favoured clime of Holland." In the decades leading up to 1914, Europe/Britain had morphed into a political version of Dutch Tulipomania: war had been (however temporarily) banished. Starting February 3, 1637, the value of Dutch tulips fell over 99% in 3 weeks. Starting June 28, 1914, the value of believing a European/British fantasy that war had been banished fell even further: 100% in under 5 weeks.

    When the June 28, 1914 Balkans Crisis struck, everyone feasting on DMT-strength, mushroom-spiked Alice-in-Wonderland politics virtually paralyzed Europe/Britain, making stopping the Balkans Crisis from quickly expanding into a wider conflict, and then exploding into a World War a far more difficult, if not impossible task.

    The single most heavily-armed/violent region of the world, with a 1,000 year history of virtually non-stop fighting/wars spawning a contradictory utopian fantasy seems almost faintly reminiscent of the compulsive serial killer, who during the brief periods of time he's not actively involved in plotting deaths/collecting weapons/killing considers himself actually a non-violent person, a veritable pillar of high-society.

    Recalcitrant Europe/Britain had 10 straight centuries - 1,000 years - to come to the table and least agree on a common language to arbitrate intense territorial disputes, and in 1914 unanimously refused to even consider it.(2c)

    [(right) Norman Angell's 1911 proclaimation that economic interdependency had eliminated the possibility of European/British war. " Four years later, World War One turned him into a laughing..." "In 1914...he announced to an American journalist, 'There will never be another war between European powers.'"]

    Agreeing to sit on a volatile Spain-sized powder-magazine while pretending one wasn't seems like a glide-path on autopilot to sudden large-scale war. The early breakout of World War I, the slaughter of 15,000,000 soldiers and civilians, the total collapse of four 1,000-year-old empires - seriously, does the professor need more destructive evidence than that?

    "[Continuing] Because what it meant was that when the crisis came, a lot of people thought it cannot have one - happen.

    "And perhaps they took it too much for granted that peace was something..."

    Thinking through the terrible consequences of those 2 sentances was something the professor appeared anxious to prevent: those lines of thought had the power to completely derail the lecture. The professor literally stops speaking in the lecture, unable to complete the sentances, as if the unlimited stupidity of the most heavily-armed/violent region of the world that at the same moment had seriously dismissed the possibility of a general war might become too obvious to the audience.

    The professor explains in plain sight how the local Balkans crisis was allowed to get completely out of control. The professor had just spent the first 20 minutes of the lecture trying to persuade the audience there were allegedly "good reasons" for 1914 Europe/Britain to utterly dismiss the possibility of war.

    When the professor apparently then realizes such a thoroughly monotropic and destructive belief would, of course, work like the devil to undermine any sober and responsible attempts to arbitrate the June 28th Balkans Crisis (so as to prevent it from igniting a cataclysmic World War), the professor instantly backs off, halting in mid-sentance, unable to go on.

    The exact problem the professor is grappling with is that to explain away Europe/Britain's comatose non-reaction to the outbreak of the June 28 Balkans Crisis required claiming it was "reasonable" to assume that "war was something that was not going to happen in Europe."

    Just weeks later, WWI flattened that suicidal assumption - to the last atom.

    Starting Day-1, June 28, 1914, a parallel universe smugly bragging "war was something that was not going to happen" became the witless, dedicated, sworn enemy of every official, sober, responsible & prompt attempt at Balkans crisis arbitrations to prevent the 200 megaton Krakatoa-scale "powder-magazine" each and every single one of them were then sitting on from exploding into a catastrophic World War and annihilating 15 million of us.

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