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The seminal event of the 20th century, the origins of the First World War have always been difficult to establish and have aroused deep controversy. Annika Mombauer tracks the impassioned debates as they developed at critical points through the twentieth century. The book focuses on the controversy itself, rather than the specific events leading up to the war. Emotive and emotional from the very beginning of the conflict, the debate and the passions aroused in response to such issues as the ‘war-guilt paragraph’ of the treaty of Versailles, are set in the context of the times in which they were proposed. Similarly, the argument has been fuelled by concerns over the sacrifices that were made and the casualities that were suffered. Were they really justified?
James Joll's study is not simply another narrative, retracing the powder trail that was finally ignited at Sarajevo. It is an ambitious and wide-ranging analysis of the historical forces at work in the Europe of 1914, and the very different ways in which historians have subsequently attempted to understand them. The importance of the theme, the breadth and sympathy of James Joll's scholarship, and the clarity of his exposition, have all contributed to the spectacular success of the book since its first appearance in 1984. Revised by Gordon Martel, this new 3rd edition accommodates recent research and an expanded further reading section.
A study of the influence of German Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke, 1906-1914.
Europe's adoption of new 20th-century weaponry increased its land-based military power and influenced international affairs during the series of diplomatic crises that led to the First World War. Historian David Herrmann draws on documentary research in military and state archives in Germany, France, Austria, England, and Italy to provide the most complete study of this subject to date. Illus.
The First World War has been described as the "primordial catastrophe of the twentieth century." Arguably, Italian Fascism, German National Socialism and Soviet Leninism and Stalinism would not have emerged without the cultural and political shock of World War I. The question why this catastrophe happened therefore preoccupies historians to this day. The focus of this volume is not on the consequences, but rather on the connection between the Great War and the long 19th century, the short- and long-term causes of World War I. This approach results in the questioning of many received ideas about the war's causes, especially the notion of "inevitability."
In a major reinterpretation, Sean McMeekin rejects the standard notion of the war’s beginning as either a Germano-Austrian pre-emptive strike or a miscalculation. The key to the outbreak of violence, he argues, lies in St. Petersburg. Russian statesmen unleashed the war through policy decisions based on imperial ambitions in the Near East.
This book illustrates the relationship between British military policy and the development of British war aims during the opening years of the First World War. Basing his work on a wide range of unpublished documentary sources, David French reassesses for the benefit of students and scholars alike what was meant by ‘a war of attrition’.

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