The First World War by John KeeganThe First World War created the modern world. A conflict of unprecedented ferocity, it abruptly ended the relative peace and prosperity of the Victorian era, unleashing such demons of the twentieth century as mechanized warfare and mass death. It also helped to usher in the ideas that have shaped our times--modernism in the arts, new approaches to psychology and medicine, radical thoughts about economics and society--and in so doing shattered the faith in rationalism and liberalism that had prevailed in Europe since the Enlightenment. With The First World War, John Keegan, one of our most eminent military historians, fulfills a lifelong ambition to write the definitive account of the Great War for our generation.
Probing the mystery of how a civilization at the height of its achievement could have propelled itself into such a ruinous conflict, Keegan takes us behind the scenes of the negotiations among Europes crowned heads (all of them related to one another by blood) and ministers, and their doomed efforts to defuse the crisis. He reveals how, by an astonishing failure of diplomacy and communication, a bilateral dispute grew to engulf an entire continent.
But the heart of Keegans superb narrative is, of course, his analysis of the military conflict. With unequalled authority and insight, he recreates the nightmarish engagements whose names have become legend--Verdun, the Somme and Gallipoli among them--and sheds new light on the strategies and tactics employed, particularly the contributions of geography and technology. No less central to Keegans account is the human aspect. He acquaints us with the thoughts of the intriguing personalities who oversaw the tragically unnecessary catastrophe--from heads of state like Russias hapless tsar, Nicholas II, to renowned warmakers such as Haig, Hindenburg and Joffre. But Keegan reserves his most affecting personal sympathy for those whose individual efforts history has not recorded--the anonymous millions, indistinguishably drab, undifferentially deprived of any scrap of the glories that by tradition made the life of the man-at-arms tolerable.
By the end of the war, three great empires--the Austro-Hungarian, the Russian and the Ottoman--had collapsed. But as Keegan shows, the devastation ex-tended over the entirety of Europe, and still profoundly informs the politics and culture of the continent today. His brilliant, panoramic account of this vast and terrible conflict is destined to take its place among the classics of world history.
With 24 pages of photographs, 2 endpaper maps, and 15 maps in text
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The Great War left more than 20 million soldiers dead and 21 million more wounded, which can be attributed to trench warfare and the number of countries involved in the war. Though the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was the direct precipitating event leading to the declaration of war, there were many other factors that also played a role in leading up to World War I WWI.
Six Causes of World War I
The steamer was, in fact, a former German passenger ship built by the German shipping company Norddeutscher Lloyd; it had been confiscated in New York at the start of World War I and had been transporting American troops to Europe since Upon arriving in the French port of Brest, President Wilson was given an enthusiastic welcome by masses of cheering people. Not only had US involvement decided the war, most people were also sure that Wilson would also bring lasting peace to Europe and the world. The president himself was more skeptical. On June 28, , there was hardly anyone around to actually defend the freshly signed Treaty of Versailles and its related peace agreements. This state of affairs was even more pronounced after World War II, at which point Versailles and the international order created by the treaties of were considered to embody an entirely failed peace.
This is a list of military engagements of World War II encompassing land, naval, and air engagements as well as campaigns, operations, defensive lines and sieges. Campaigns generally refer to broader strategic operations conducted over a large bit of territory and over a long period. Battles generally refer to short periods of intense combat localised to a specific area and over a specific period. However, use of the terms in naming such events is not consistent. For example, the Battle of the Atlantic was more or less an entire theatre of war, and the so-called battle lasted for the duration of the entire war. Another misnomer is the Battle of Britain , which by all rights should be considered a campaign, not a mere battle.
Military deaths by country  . Military deaths by country . Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, and the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe. By July , the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente —consisting of France , Russia , and Britain —and the Triple Alliance of Germany , Austria-Hungary , and Italy the Triple Alliance was only defensive in nature, allowing Italy to stay out of the war until April , when it joined the Allied Powers after its relations with Austria-Hungary deteriorated.
For many decades after the end of World War II WWII , a broad popular narrative—reinforced through thousands of films and books—cast the German military as unthinking tools of Nazi ideology. Only in recent years has a more nuanced view emerged, as represented in films like Downfall and the recent television series Generation War, both of which attempted to convey the war from the point of view of ordinary Germans.
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World War II
See others. Discover in a free daily email today's famous history and birthdays Enjoy the Famous Daily. Search the whole site. It is a commonplace that the war beginning in is a continuation of the one which ended in , much as European conflicts of the 18th century such as the Seven Years' War were often a return to unfinished business. In many respects the commonplace is true, and it is reflected in everyday vocabulary. No other wars are numbered I and II, like kings in a line of succession or blockbuster films in a series.