I’ve just finished reading The Lost History of 1914 by Jack Beattie.
Utterly fascinating, and if someone put this in a work of fiction I say they were being ridiculous.
- The Austrian government hated the dead ArchDuke Franz Ferdinand (whose assassination started the whole thing) so much that they celebrated at his death, then went ahead and declared war on Serbia to avenge it.
- The German Army leaders knew perfectly well that the war would drag on for years. They lied to their own government to get the Kaiser to declare war.
- In August 1914 the UK was poised for a civil war, with the Ulster Protestants about to break away to form a separate state, and the Catholic South joining with the British Government against Ulster to keep the UK together.
The Ulstermen telegraphed their leader in London to say they were ready, but before he got round to replying the Great War broke out. It was that close!
- There should have been a left-wing, pro-German government in France, but the obvious Prime Minister was involved in a murder case where his current wife had shot his previous wife. She got off on the excuse that she had aimed not at the other woman, but at the floor. Unfortunately the other woman fell down into her line of fire. And the jury believed her. (And incidently the seals on the box of randomly selected jurers had accidently been broken.)
And there’s much more.
Just proves how incompetant our leaders were.
How glad we must be that none of our present leaders of great nations would never do anything so stupid as to start a war based on sloppy thinking or even barefaced lies, or just to distract the people from the problems at home.
Still if I ever get round to writing more Alternative History stories, then I know where to come for ideas. Or maybe not – maybe nobody would believe it.