Monday, 28 July 2014

The Slide to War ...

Today marks the one hundredth anniversary of the Austrian declaration of War against Serbia, the moment the world began an inexorable slide into the mud, blood and slaughter that engulfed the world. The initial Austrian attack into Serbia went disastrously wrong, in part thanks to the fact the head of their Military Intelligence was actually working for the Russians and passing all the military plans to his Russian paymasters - who forwarded them to the Serbs.

The Austrians had several problems. Their troops were poorly trained and led, the artillery largely antiquated and their troops ran into problems with the weather as well. On the Serbian side there was, initially, a problem of discipline, and they were out numbered. Both sides ran into difficulties, but the Austrians faced the bigger problems and their initial attack soon ran into trouble.

Unfortunately, the dominoes were already starting to tumble, turning what should have been, and remained, a 'local' squabble, into a global conflict. One can only wonder what the world would have looked like had Russia, Germany, Britain and France stayed out of it. One thing is certain - the death toll would not have been numbered in millions.

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