Knowledge of history may help us avoid making the same mistakes

Empires at outbreak of WW1

Today 100 years ago Britain declared war on Germany.

Alarmingly many of the circumstances that led us to war then are being repeated today.

During the early 1900s the Empires of Austria-Hungary, Russia and Germany could not reach agreement over the Balkans. The Ottoman Empire was shrinking. Alliances between the various countries obliged support in the event of war.

Russian political manoeuvring in the region destabilised the situation. Unrest among the Serbs, Croats and Bosnians led to local militia seeking to establish control.

Demands were made, which when not fully met justified Austria-Hungary declaring war against Serbia on 28 July 1914.

The Russians weren’t prepared to lose their influence so they partially mobilised on the 29th.

The Germans mobilised on the 30th so the Russians responded by fully mobilising.

The Germans declared war against Russia on the 1st August 1914.

On 4th August, Belgium sought neutrality and refused to allow German troops to cross its borders, Germany declared war on Belgium so that day Britain honoured its alliance.

Does any of this resonate with the current situation in Ukraine?

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>