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A General Sketch of the European War The First Phase   By: (1870-1953)

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A GENERAL SKETCH OF THE EUROPEAN WAR

BY HILAIRE BELLOC

THE FIRST PHASE

THOMAS NELSON & COMPANY LONDON, EDINBURGH, PARIS, AND NEW YORK

First published June 1, 1915 Reprinted June 1915

CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTION 7

PART I.

THE GENERAL CAUSES OF THE WAR.

(1) THE GERMAN OBJECT 17

(2) CONFLICT PRODUCED BY THE CONTRAST OF THIS GERMAN ATTITUDE OR WILL WITH THE WILLS OF OTHER NATIONS 23

(3) PRUSSIA 27

(4) AUSTRIA 39

(5) THE PARTICULAR CAUSES OF THE WAR 50

(6) THE IMMEDIATE OCCASION OF THE WAR 64

PART II.

THE FORCES OPPOSED.

(1) THE GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION OF THE BELLIGERENTS 80

The Geographical Advantages and Disadvantages of the Germanic Body 86

The Geographical Advantages and Disadvantages of the Allies 121

(2) THE OPPOSING STRENGTHS 136

The Figures of the First Period, say to October 1 31, 1914 145

The Figures of the Second Period, say to April 15 June 1, 1915 151

(3) THE CONFLICTING THEORIES OF WAR 164

PART III.

THE FIRST OPERATIONS.

(1) THE BATTLE OF METZ 316

(2) LEMBERG 322

(3) TANNENBERG 345

(4) THE SPIRITS IN CONFLICT 365

INTRODUCTION.

It is the object of this book, and those which will succeed it in the same series, to put before the reader the main lines of the European War as it proceeds. Each such part must necessarily be completed and issued some little time after the events to which it relates have passed into history. The present first, or introductory volume, which is a preface to the whole, covers no more than the outbreak of hostilities, and is chiefly concerned with an examination of the historical causes which produced the conflict, an estimate of the comparative strength of the various combatants, and a description of the first few days during which these combatants took up their positions and suffered the first great shocks of the campaigns in East and West.

But in order to serve as an introduction to the remainder of the series, it is necessary that the plan upon which these books are to be constructed should be clearly explained.

There is no intention of giving in detail and with numerous exact maps the progress of the campaigns. Still less does the writer propose to examine disputed points of detail, or to enumerate the units employed over that vast field. His object is to make clear, as far as he is able, those great outlines of the business which too commonly escape the general reader.

This war is the largest and the weightiest historical incident which Europe has known for many centuries. It will surely determine the future of Europe, and in particular the future of this country. Yet the comprehension of its movements is difficult to any one not acquainted with the technical language and the special study of military history; and the reading of the telegrams day by day, even though it be accompanied by the criticisms of the military experts in the newspapers, leaves the mass of men with a most confused conception of what happened and why it happened.

Now, it is possible, by greatly simplifying maps, by further simplifying these into clear diagrams, still more by emphasizing what is essential and by deliberately omitting a crowd of details by showing first the framework, as it were, of any principal movement, and then completing that framework with the necessary furniture of analysed record to give any one a conception both of what happened and of how it happened... Continue reading book >>




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