Chapter 3[image] Blueprints for a Bloodletting

In This Chapter
  • European prosperity on the eve of war
  • Allies vs. Central Powers: population and resources
  • The armies and navies
  • The new technology of war in 1914
  • The great national war plans

Bound by competing alliances, some public and others secret, and armed to the teeth, the European family of nations was highly dysfunctional. As with any dysfunctional family, the potential for a tragic explosion was great.

This chapter sets out the economic and military assets and liabilities of the nations about to go to war, together with their plans for that war.

European Balance Sheet

On May 23, 1916, a French lieutenant at ...

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