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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:26 pm 
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The gang that couldn't shoot straight met the driver who couldn't read a f***ing map, and Europe blew up.

If, in 1913, you'd pitched a "technothriller" with an opening like this to a publisher in London, you would've been laughed out of his office--especially when you got to the part about the High Seas Fleet getting away twice and three battlecruisers going up in magazine explosions . . .

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:39 pm 
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Yup. The fuse was lit. The powderkeg explodes July 28/29.

With the passing of the veterans, and many heirs, grandheirs and even great-grandheirs of the principals, the war is now the domain of the historians. So much of who we are, and why we're here, came from the Great War. It's about time those who fought it got their due.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:57 am 
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For those that like/listen to podcasts I highly recommend Dan Carlin's Hardcore History: Blueprint for Armageddon (parts I-III) currently available. They're about 3.5-4 hours each and very well done. At the end of part 3 he's only at the end of the battle of the Marne.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:30 am 
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Theodore wrote:
Monday, June 29, 1914

Vienna - the upper echelons of the Austro-Hungarian government begin discussions on how to respond to the assassinations. The army favors immediate war against Serbia; the foreign ministry fears Russian intervention and wishes to consult Austria's ally Germany.


And probably the worst miscalculation of the whole fiasco, was Willie giving Austria a free hand.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:42 am 
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I've always thought Austria's failure to act quickly and decisively was critical. Germany couldn't have given Austria a free hand, with everything that entailed, if she hadn't asked for it.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:12 am 
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Theodore wrote:
I've always thought Austria's failure to act quickly and decisively was critical. Germany couldn't have given Austria a free hand, with everything that entailed, if she hadn't asked for it.


You ignore the fact that the Austrian government had been specifically molded to operate as the antithesis of those two things you expect from them over a century.

The general rule was to create so much red tape so that by the time any decision over a crisis could be formulated the crisis had already been defused and had passed.

What you're pretty much asking of them is for them to have magically become Prussian clones shortly before the Congress of Vienna.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:50 pm 
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The problem is that Vienna HAD already reached a decision - war. Both Austria, and Germany, felt that this was their best shot at winning the Great European War, and, if they waited, the odds would be stacked worse against them.

What Vienna lacked was the ability to rapidly execute said decision.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:59 pm 
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I finished reading Max Hasting's Catastrophe last week, about the beginning and 1st Year of the Great War and he talked about how all the actions of the various states fed into each other and how there motives were misinterpreted. Like how the Serbs saw the actions of Princeps vs the Austro-Hungarian one.

And as Beastro says, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was the opposite of efficient.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:09 am 
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Theodore wrote:
Monday, June 29, 1914 Vienna - the upper echelons of the Austro-Hungarian government begin discussions on how to respond to the assassinations. The army favors immediate war against Serbia; the foreign ministry fears Russian intervention and wishes to consult Austria's ally Germany.

That would have been the early 20th Century version of Shock and Awe. The problem here, as always, is that initial success isn't necessarily a clear sign that a lasting victory has been achieved.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:50 am 
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Scott Brim wrote:
Theodore wrote:
Monday, June 29, 1914 Vienna - the upper echelons of the Austro-Hungarian government begin discussions on how to respond to the assassinations. The army favors immediate war against Serbia; the foreign ministry fears Russian intervention and wishes to consult Austria's ally Germany.

That would have been the early 20th Century version of Shock and Awe. The problem here, as always, is that initial success isn't necessarily a clear sign that a lasting victory has been achieved.


As one wag put it, Iraq went from "Shock and Awe" to "Aw, s***t" in a breathtakingly short period of time.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:33 pm 
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My MilHist Book Club this month read Sean McMeekin's "July: 1914", which had some rather interesting things to say about who knew/did what when.

I thought the part about just how the Austro-Hungarian gummint screwed up by not coordinating between the foreign and war ministries especially illuminating.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:15 pm 
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Theodore -

How long are you going to do the milestones thing? I'm quite interested in what has been posted so far. WWI has been of interest to me, but not nearly like WWII is.

Dare I hope that you plan on doing something like this until November 11, 2018?

Belushi TD


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:32 pm 
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Belushi -

I hope to do just that. I can't promise I'll manage a post every day, but I'm sure going to try.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:03 pm 
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ATMahan wrote:
My MilHist Book Club this month read Sean McMeekin's "July: 1914", which had some rather interesting things to say about who knew/did what when.

I thought the part about just how the Austro-Hungarian gummint screwed up by not coordinating between the foreign and war ministries especially illuminating.


One must always bare in mind the incredibly complex internal situation that the AHE faced.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:27 pm 
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I think this deserves pinning to the top.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:54 pm 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
I think this deserves pinning to the top.

Some more suggestions:

(1) The first post in the thread should be updated with the text of every new entry; and

(2) as each new entry is made, Theodore should highlight the text of the entry in bold and in a different color so that it is distinctive from the commentary responses.

This is more work for Theodore, but we know he has lots of time on his hands.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:57 am 
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So, if done correctly, the thread might end on, oh, 28 June, 2019? :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:29 am 
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Jotun wrote:
So, if done correctly, the thread might end on, oh, 28 June, 2019? :)

It gets better. If one views WWI and WWII as the same war with a long pause between major phases, then it could go out to October 16th, 2046.

I can't remember which British comedy I was watching at the time -- possibly it was Doc Martin -- but one character asks another character as part of a mental acuity test, when did World War II start?

The reply he gets from the other character is "June 28th, 1919."


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:39 am 
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Tell you what, I'll run this one through November 11, 2018, take 21 years off, and start again on September 1, 2039. :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:21 pm 
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For me, the two most interesting bits of WWI have been the run up to the start, and the geopolitical consequences of its ending. I'm liking Theodore's "this date 100 years ago" posts.

Somewhere, maybe "July 1914," I read that the Archduke actually favored a more liberal policy toward the Balkan states and AHE territories. It is quite possible that some of the movers and shakers in Vienna were, in fact happy to have Ferdinand and Sophie gone. Hence, the shabby funeral.

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