Saturday, June 28, 2014

Centennial Of World War I Begins

The Daily Telegraph (London) reports the news of the day in 1914
The assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz-Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo, Bosnia - occupied by Austria-Hungary at the time - took place on this day one hundred years ago. Within weeks, the event exploded into war across the face of Europe. Although the United States remained neutral throughout most of the conflict Germany's unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917 brought American soldiers into the conflict. In eighteen months the U.S. suffered almost 325,000 casualties including just over 116,000 deaths. 

Europe was devastated by the war. Over 8,500,000 soldiers died. More than 21,000,000 were wounded. The conflict not only impaired a generation but it's end in the draconian provisions of the Treaty of Versailles (1919) seeded even more conflict ending in World War II two decades later.

Today's coverage by The Telegraph provides an extensive multimedia look at the assassination. Readers can expect excellent interpretation from this site over the next four years. For a bit more of an American perspective, the outstanding KCET/BBC co-production of The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century is available here.

For an in-depth history of the conflict, Power Line's Scott Johnson recommends Winston Churchill's The World Crisis as essential reading.

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