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The Unnecessary War,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Guns of August (Taschenbuch)
Initially referred to as 'The Great War' and then later as 'World War I', I have concluded that the 1914-1918 War should be called 'The Unnecessary War' after reading "The Guns of August". Mrs. Tuchman is clearly one of the most talented authors to ever put pen to paper. She takes the events that most history text books have reduced to boring drivel and makes them very real and very relevant to modern times.
Mrs. Tuchman's accounts of German inflexibility and Allied complacency lead one to the inescapable conclusion that not only was the war entirely avoidable, but once started needn't have been nearly as long and bloody as it turned out to be: The German refusal to halt war preparations once they began simply because it was too inconvenient. The French failing to anticipate the German sweep around their left flank. The naive Belgian insistence on nuetrality even in the face of imminent attack. The British refusal to commit enough troops to make a real difference. The failure to update tactics to match the new technology on all sides, but particularly the Allied side. It all adds up to a colossal failure of both political and military leadership that would ultimately cost millions of lives.
One other effect of this book on my thinking is that I felt much less sympathy for the Allies than I had before reading it. The arrogance and incompetence of the French in particular make it very difficult to feel sorry for them. I now question whether this was a war in which the U.S. should ever have become involved. After all, our entry was instrumental in the defeat of Germany and the subsequent Versailles Treaty. As we all know, the seeds of the Second World War were sown with that ill conceived document.
At the very least, this book will make you think critically about the monumental events of the time. It is most enlightening and, I must say, as entertaining as any fiction novel I have ever read. This book is a must for all well informed citizens of any country.