Five lessons to remember (never to forget) of the Great War, 1914-1918. 1 of 2: Michel Viahos. @JHUWorld Crisis.

Dec 01, 04:31 PM

AUTHOR.

(Photo: French bayonet charge, Battle of the Frontiers; by the end of August, French casualties exceeded 260,000, including 75,000 dead.

Georges Scott - L'Illustration & RMN

Dessin de Georges Scott représentant une charge à la baïonnette.

Public Domain

File:Georges Scott, A la baïonnette !.jpg

Created: 31 December 1913)

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Five lessons to remember (never to forget) of the Great War, 1914-1918. 1 of 2:  Michel Viahos. @JHUWorld Crisis.

1.  The narrative everyone knows — in fact the only reified public narrative we have on the Great War. It is, to wit: It was a horrible, terrible, reach-for-your-handkerchiefs tragedy. It was, of course, all this and more, but that is our current collective takeaway — and worth preserving.

2.  People were ready and eager for war in 1914. They relished the prospect and onset of great struggle and sacrifice. When people want to fight, and more important, like the idea of fighting, you (meaning, the nation) is in real trouble.

3.  Elites were dialing it in. They had offloaded the whole thing — planning, mobilization, war management — to the general staffs. To ruling elites, war would take care of itself. Well you know, it did just that.