There are a thousand facts which historians have avoided, and the public tended to just skip....in a review of WWI.
We can bring up the murders of a couple members of the Hapsburg royal family (the Austrian-Hugarian Empire).
We can bring up the actual text of the Hapsburgs direct message to Serbia after the crown-prince was murdered on the streets. It really wasn’t anything different than what most countries would have expected. Serbia didn’t even pause to think over a couple of simple actions....they just went direct to Russia and enacted their secret defense treaty.
The French fell into this whole because they finally thought....with the Russians and English....they could win an actual war against Germany (three miserable defeats throughout the 1800s weren’t enough for them).
The Germans knew every single weakness of the Russians and exploited it. Communism only arrived....because the Germans allowed to be a apart of their entire strategy in defeating Russia.
Lousy military leadership and strategy from the British and French...accomplished almost nothing for the war.
And Wilson arriving for peace talks? He was marginally in any health to travel, and even less to focus on the issues. In the end....Wilson being there, merely triggered the causes for WW II to occur.
I’m kinda hoping for this anniversary next year to drag out all these topics and refocus history professors on the subject.
Oh, and I should add....after the war, and the US legislature all hyped up to look good....sat up the GI-bonus deal....roughly a $1 a day for each day of service, but payable around 1945 (two decades away). This single act....triggered the Anacosta Flats riots in DC, and condemned the Hoover campaign to loose in 1932. This event is almost completely lost in US history, but reshapes the nation with FDR and his failed economic policy.
Each of those points of history have probably had multiple tomes and treatises published, each properly filed and forgotten by most. Your post makes excellent points, most of which I studied in college as part of two history courses, one on WW2 and the other on the diplomatic history of the US in the 20th Century. Both courses were taught by the same professor who regularly taught the class in various costumes of the time.
I especially commend your comment on Wilson as I think it is an under-studied area. I only recently read “When the Cheering Stopped” to get a better sense of that time and that presidency.
Dear Mr. Pepsionice,
thank you very much as well, especially your reference to President Wilsons feeble health.
But I thought that his health problems did not occur until the end of the Versailles peace conference.
I could be very wrong, though...
‘Lousy military leadership and strategy from the British and French...accomplished almost nothing for the war.’
Utter crap. The myth of British generals being ‘butchers and bunglers’ is just that. Whilst mistakes were made, Haig and the British in fact fought many campaigns successfully and skilfully, esp in the last year of the war. Where, contrary to myth, the British Army bore the major brunt of the Western Front fighting (the Kasierschlact and the 100 Days Offensive). And used ground breaking tactics. The use by the British of tanks at the Battle of Cambrai in 1917 impressed General Pershing so much that he ordered the creation of a tank force to support the AEF’s infantry, for example.
Americans who think Pershing waltzed in and showed the Limeys and Frogs how to fight need to think again. The Americans themselves in their (few) months of fighting made strategic and tactical errors.