Our own Jack Beatty joins us on the Great War, the war to end all wars, the First World War, and how it all could have been different.
They called World War I the “Great War.” The war to end all wars. It was bloody and brutal and massively murderous. Trenches. Mustard gas. Bodies heaped in the millions. It ended what we remember as an age of grace and ushered in a century of mechanized, total war.
In school, we’re taught that it’s beginning, in the summer of 1914, after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, had a kind of inevitability to it. In a new book, my colleague Jack Beatty says no. That the Great War, all wars, come as a choice.
This hour, On Point: a century on, the lessons of the summer of 1914.
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and author of The Lost History of 1914: Reconsidering the year the Great War began. You can read an excerpt of the book here.
From Tom's Reading List
Nashua Telegraph "In taking a new and unique look back at the political landscape of Europe in 1914 and the circumstances that were to be the prime catalysts in igniting the bloody conflict that came to be known as “The Great War” and “The War to End All Wars,” Beatty has fashioned a thoughtful book that’s decidedly different from many of the standard – and often dry and tedious – historical volumes."
Associated Press "World War I histories typically focus on the tragic decisions of European political leaders like Joseph and mind-numbing carnage as 19th-century military strategies ran into the mechanized death machines of the 20th century."
Video: Footage From The Battle Of The Somme
Here is some rare film taken at the Battle of the Somme in November 1916. After six months of fighting, the German, French and British armies suffered a combined one million casualties, making it one of the bloodiest military operations in history.
Excerpt: The Lost History of 1914
It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary by Coldstream Guards Regimental Band
Over There by Nora Bayes
Pack Up Your Troubles by Murray Johnson
Boys in Khaki, Boys in Blue by F. Wheeler
This program aired on February 28, 2012.