Saturday, July 26, 2014

World War I Begins, 1914

Europe went to war and the Charlotte Daily Observer provided readers with profiles of the major players. It gradually became clear that this was going to be 'the greatest conflagration the world has ever known'.

                                                     July 29 - August 5, 1914

Rulers of Nations in Conflict and Map of War Territory
Lower Picture, King Peter of Servia; above, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria
'Vienna, July 29 - Although enormous pressue is being brought to bear on Austria and Servia by the powers in an attempt to settle without war the differences that threaten to involve all Europe in the conflict, both countries are going ahead with their military preparations. The best the powers now hope to be able to accomplish is to confine the fighting to the two countries, Austria and Servia, and to prevent general warfare.'

August 2, 1914.

Will He Involve All Europe in War?
Czar Nicholas of Russia
'The giving of a single order by Czar Nicholas of Russia may throw all of Europe into a war that will be the bloodiest in the world's history. By restraining that order the Czar has the power to confine the present conflict to Austria and Servia. The order that would bring about an all-European conflict is the order to send Russian troops across the Austrian or German borders. Russia's position is a peculiar one. Were she to enter the war and win, her borders would be carried to the Carpathians on the Southwest and she would again seize the ancient Polish lands of Posen and East and West Prussia from Germany. Also when Austria is crushed and Germany is defeated nothing could restrain her from her long-dreamed occupation of Constantinople. If defeated Russia has little to lose. For these reasons the indications are that then Czar will not hesitate to plunge all Europe into war.'

August 3, 1914

Cause of the European Conflagration
   'Franz Josef is the oldest of the monarchs and rulers of the six  Powers of Europe. In all humanexpectation he cannot live more than a few years. He is now celebrating the end of a long life by causing the greatest conflagration the world has known. Once Russia is driven to strike to save Servia the European war will be on.
   Germany, bound by the agreement of the Triple Alliance, must go to the aid of the aged Emperor. Italy, another member of the alliance, must follow Germany.
   Thereupon France and England, the parties with Russia to the Triple Entente, must help the Czar.
Unless the peaceful counsels of Sir Edward Grey, foreign minister of Great Britain, prevail, the six Powers of Europe, and several of the smaller Nations, will be drawn into the greatest war history has known.
   King George of Great Britain is comparatively a young man. The Czar is also young as rulers go. The Kaiser is a little past the meridian of life. Victor Emmanuel of Italy has not yet reached his prime, and the President of France has just reached it. The aged ruler of the dual monarchy, who reigned with the fathers of the present monarchs, who saw Queen Victoria and her son Edward VII pass, who has seen three Czars, two Emperors of Germany and many Presidents of France, will have been the cause of the world's greatest war before his reign comes to an end - if Russia strikes the blow the world looks for now.'

England's King and Man who heads British Fleet
King George V and Admiral Callaghan. Photograph taken on flagship's deck on the occasion of the King's recent visit to fleet at Spithead.
   'Admiral Sir George Ashtley Callaghan, K.C.B., an Irishman, is the man who heads the British fleet, the largest in the world, which has started westward through the North Sea under sealed orders. The supposition is that the fleet carries orders to find and engage the German flotilla, second only to the English Navy.'

 August 5, 1914

Europe's Least and Most Experienced War Chiefs Who May Face Each Other
Crown Prince Alexander of Servia (at left) and General Von Moltke.
'Credit for any victories gained by the Servians over Austria's troops must go almost entirely to the young Crown Prince, Alexander, who, when his father King Peter, fled from the Capital, took complete charge of Servia's troops. Although he has had little previous military training his movements thus far have been those of an experienced fighting man. With Germany in the fray, Servia's troops will face those of General Von Moltke.'