A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the by Geoffrey Wawro

By Geoffrey Wawro

The Austro-Hungarian military that marched east and south to confront the Russians and Serbs within the establishing campaigns of global struggle I had an excellent prior yet a pitiful current. conversing a mystifying array of languages and lugging outmoded guns, the Austrian troops have been hopelessly unprepared for the industrialized struggle that might presently eat Europe.

As prizewinning historian Geoffrey Wawro explains in A Mad Catastrophe, the doomed Austrian conscripts have been an unlucky microcosm of the Austro-Hungarian Empire itself—both both ripe for destruction. After the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914, Germany goaded the Empire right into a struggle with Russia and Serbia. With the Germans massing their forces within the west to interact the French and the British, everything—the process the conflict and the destiny of empires and alliances from Constantinople to London—hinged at the Habsburgs’ skill to overwhelm Serbia and retain the Russians at bay. notwithstanding, Austria-Hungary have been rotting from inside for years, hollowed out by way of repression, cynicism, and corruption on the maximum degrees. Commanded via a death emperor, Franz Joseph I, and a querulous famous person normal, Conrad von Hötzendorf, the Austro-Hungarians controlled to bungle every little thing: their ultimatum to the Serbs, their declarations of warfare, their mobilization, and the pivotal battles in Galicia and Serbia. through the top of 1914, the Habsburg military lay in ruins and the result of the conflict appeared all yet made up our minds.

Drawing on deep archival examine, Wawro charts the decline of the Empire prior to the warfare and reconstructs the nice battles within the east and the Balkans in exciting and tragic aspect. A Mad Catastrophe is a riveting account of a overlooked face of worldwide struggle I, revealing how a once-mighty empire collapsed within the trenches of Serbia and the japanese entrance, altering the process ecu historical past.

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Within the American conservative coalition, however, such reservations occasioned memories of the 1980s, when another idealistic president had proved the supposedly wiser, more learned and sceptical counsels of Nixon and Henry Kissinger wrong. 5 Among liberals, however, the embrace of a values-laden foreign policy exposed the fundamental strategic and tactical dilemmas confronting post-Cold War American leadership. That is, if the promotion of democratic forms of governance and America’s ability to intervene to prevent genocide was contingent on the prior approval of other states and the concurrence of the civilian and military leadership in the Pentagon, such occurrences would probably be rare, inconsistent and ill-effective.

One of them was Britain’s long-standing rivalry with Iraq and its guarantee of an independent Kuwait, which helped prod the US to take action against Iraq in the Gulf War of 1991. In addition, Britain has been the only European country consistently to support the Bush administration’s policies against international terrorism in general and the Middle East in particular. Blair endorsed the invasion of Iraq as a ‘just cause’, just as he subsequently supported American strategies of post-war reconstruction and democratization.

In this sense, 9/11 offered a particular coalition of operatives within the Republican Party a series of enticing opportunities to advance objectives, priorities and strategies and tactics that they had long held dear. Conceiving of themselves as the functional equivalents of the Truman administration at the outset of the Cold War, the main foreign policy 16 Singh players in the administration envisaged the post-9/11 world – and America’s place and role within it – to be at an historic turning point of epochal dimensions.

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