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Remembered Today:

Dare Call it Treason


andigger

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I am reading this book for the second time, and since I didn't know about the forum the first time I am takig full advantage of clarifying a few things......

One of the lines early in the book that I found very interesting, was, " In Paris (t)here were no cheers, no crowds surrounding the Elysee Palace to cry "A Berlin!," few thundering demonstrations with the mob pelting the departing troops with flowers. Instead, all was quiet, calm, and subduded."

Is this true... I thought all the capitals of Europe were eager for the 'short' war where they were going to seak revenge or put the enemy in his place. I thought the patriotism of all nations was high enough that no place could have been considered quiet, calm, or subduded.

Other thoughts? Andy

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I can't comment on your quotation, but in France, Germany and Britain there was a"war fever" that broke out and patriotic fervour was much in evidence. The French journalist and poet , Charles Peguy, was moved to write in reference to the send-off given to troops , " Who hasn't seen Paris today and yesterday, hasn't seen anything". Peguy was killed just six weeks later.

As a counter-balance to this, there were anti-war demonstrations . In the UK, on the 2nd August 1914, an estimated crowd of 100,000 people, mainly socialists, demonstrated against the impending war and a letter appeared in the Times, signed by some sixty Oxbridge academics, decrying war with Germany. Both groups had very very different reasons for doing so however. Similar demonstrations also took place in Germany.

The "short-war" thesis, did have some basis in fact however. Over the previous half century or so, most wars had been relatively short. The principle exceptions were the Crimea, the US Civil War, and the South African War 1899-1902. For Britain at least, most of her conflicts were short-term, and colonial in nature. There were some more far-sighted people who saw the dangers of a prolonged European war, but previous experience militated against this view. Even the economic gurus's of the day believed that none of the potential beligerents would risk their economies in pursuing a long war. Few people though, foresaw what is now termed as "Total War" - where the belligerents in the end ,threw all their economic, industrial and human resources into the fray - essentially prepared to bankrupt themselves in the process.

Terry Reeves

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  • 3 weeks later...

Pals... this is the book my discussion group is going over. I have attached the book notes we are going use, incase anyone wanted a summary.

I really liked this book, and although my notes focus more on the military aspects of th emutiny, Watt does go into the social and political events of 1917. It is a well written and clearly organized read.

Andy

Dare_Call_Treason.doc

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I think one of the countries who didn't want to go to war at all was Belgium. Soldiers were mobilised, that gave a lot of emotions... But not happy ones :(

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