The war that didn’t end all wars

100 years ago, it seems that everyone all over Europe was itchy as all hell, and all that was needed was a tiny spark.

Enter stage left, a troop of idiots students* who figure that killing the Archduke Ferdinand would be a just dandy way of getting the sweetties they’ve been stamping their foot about all along. This crazy is well matched on the Archduke’s side, who after being narrowly missed by a bomb in the morning sticks around town instead of getting the hell out**.

And even then all would have been well for Franz Ferdinand had they not got lost to the tune of accidentally finding Gavrilo where he sat nursing a cup of coffee, a grudge and a gun.

Not that anyone much cared.

But Europe was spoiling for a fight, and the finger poking and name-calling and posturing escalated. Germany had a long-polished plan to invade France which, by all accounts, it didn’t really want to use at the time, but then France went and tweaked Germany’s tail and then the trouble started.

Or at least, that’s how we mostly see things. Because history is written by the winners.

Nevertheless, the result was major bloodshed. Would they really have done it had they known what the price would be?

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

100 years later, and there’s still no end to itchy idiots, military posturing or war.



* Repeating myself, of course.

** In the finest tradition of some authors whose work I like, I will mention that the whole story is exquisitely explained on Wikipedia, for the low low price of free.