The Shot That Still Echos 100 Years Later

Posted June 27th, 2014 by Iron Mike

How many high school kids can tell you about Gavrilo Princip – the teenager who fired that fatal first shot – 100 years ago today?World War I Starts in 1 Hour

How many adults can tell you about the events of the next few weeks?

You who fail to study History – are DOOMED to RELIVE IT!

Europe 1914

The rulers of Europe then were either royalty – or from the aristocracy – all men of enormous wealth, – in way over their heads [like Obama] with barely muted disdain for their own citizens [the Russian aristocracy all spoke French – not Russian], and [like Obama] had not studied warfare in any serious way.

von Schlieffen Plan

The pistol shots in Sarajevo caused events to catapult at a pace they could not grasp, and national leaders became underlings [or rubber stamps] to their own generals.

1914 Germans attack

Worse, the last war the generals had studied was our own Civil War – still being taught in the military schools of Europe. 

But weaponry and technology had overtaken the tactics of 1865.

Chief of the German General Staff – Alfred von Schlieffen [easily the most evil man of the 20th Century] spent the last 17 years of his life planning Germany’s conquest of Europe. But that damned pistol shot came 5 years too early. Germany was short 5 infantry divisions needed to complete the encirclement of Paris.

And the British arrived early – moved rapidly to blocking positions – strung barbed wire where they knew the German cavalry would come, and covered the wire with machine guns and deadly accurate rifle fire.

BEF  Aug 1914

In heroic stands at Le Cateau, Charleroi, and Mons, the all-crucial right hook of the German advance was halted.

Men and horses rotted where they fell

For the next four bloody years men would be fed into the quagmires of the Western Front – to die by the thousands per hour – by the tens of thousands per day.

the dead went untouched

Very few leaders – civilian or military – ever had a true grasp on the fighting, – or the wisdom to see beyond the end of it.

Imagine the smell

The world marveled for a moment over the ‘Christmas Truce’ – the unofficial meeting in No Man’s Land on Christmas Eve 1914;  but as trench warfare became an expensive meat grinder – there were very few acts of chivalry to follow.

Hundreds – then thousands of square miles if countryside became lined with trenches, – then turned into mud swamps by artillery fire – where men and horses were left to rot where they fell. Desperate, both sides would resort to poison gases.

1960s anti war sticker

Anybody think you can stop evil with a bumper sticker?

There were mutinies – on all sides. They were kept secret, except in Russia – where Communists fomented them, and they became the seedlings of the Russian Revolution. World Communism got its start in the harsh winters of 1916 and 1917.

Russian Revolution

Deep suspicions of Western intentions – which had started with Napoleon, then the Kaiser’s army, the US occupation of Murmansk and Archangle, and finally Hitler’s invasion in 1941 [Operation Barbarossa, 73 years ago] – fueled Russian paranoia throughout the Cold War – and to this very day. Thus Putin’s interest in keeping the Ukraine solidly within the Russian sphere of influence.

Jutland

You should keep in mind that BOTH Russia and China are building modern navies – to challenge the US. Has naval power been a cause of war before?

 British Grand Fleet at Jutland

The “Great War” saw the first use of airplanes – first for scouting and artillery spotting, then for strafing trenches, then for aerial combat.

wwi air aces

World War One would claim a total of 12 million troops killed, 8 million missing [dead], and 7 to 8 million civilians killed outright or starved.

WWI KIAs

The United States would lose 116,708 military and 757 civilians. [In 1913 before the war – the entire US Army was just 90,000 officers and enlisted.]

To the East in Russia, the killing was just beginning….

Almost ALL of the officers and NCOs who survived WWI – from ALL the armies – would go on to key positions of national leadership and military / naval leadership in WWII.

Future Leaders

And when the “War to End All Wars” was over, we packed up and came home – leaving the wounded European countries to lick their wounds, salvage their economies, and rebuild their military forces for the inevitable next war.

We didn’t leave a single American soldier in Europe.

Where have you seen this stunt repeated – recently?


QUESTIONS: Reading this posting – looking at the pictures – have you recalled any of your history lessons?

Or is some of this absolutely new to you?

Do you think our American schools do a good job of TEACHING and EXPLAINING history, – or are they giving it lip service, – leaving our kids uninformed and programmable pawns in the hands of Bill Gates and his damned Common Core?

If you don’t know History, – you cannot understand current events!

It’s why so many Democrats cannot understand Benghazi!

3 Responses to “The Shot That Still Echos 100 Years Later”

  1. Tom Gilroy

    There is a museum in Sarajevo in a square with competing banners on the outside, one of Archduke Ferdinand, the other with Princip. There is controversy in the town because the two are shown so close together. Princip is compared to John Wilkes Booth, but Frdinand was no Lincoln and Booth didn’t start a war. I remember most of this from high school and college history or my readings later but I am sure today it may be taught in an honors or AP class but you can be sure it is not in CC curriculum.

  2. Varvara

    … Both China and Russia are building modern navies…

    And our 0bama wants to turn part of the Pacific Ocean into a sanctuary for fish. He wants the US Navy not to sail there. What do you think will happen?

    Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

  3. Casey Chapman

    Back when I was in high school, lo these many decades ago, our history teacher went directly from the civil war to the great depression. Skipping around 70 years of history in the process. I have read a few books on the first world war, but that has been since graduation. The kids today don’t get taught real history. Doesn’t conform to common core, don’t you know.

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