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  • “How Cancer Caused World War I”

    Posted by Jonathan on July 1st, 2014 (All posts by )

    Via Michael Kennedy in a comment on another post, this short monograph is worth reading.

    “What if”, or as they call it now, path dependency, is an eternal question. In this case it seems justified.


    3 Responses to ““How Cancer Caused World War I””

    1. David Foster Says:

      Bio of Frederick III, looks interestingüller-ebook/dp/B006JMPQL6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404219710&sr=8-1&keywords=our+fritz

    2. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      I readily grant that the early death of Frederick III and the elevation of Wilhelm II made the Western Front portion of WW-I inevitable in 1914. However, the Balkans were [and are still today] a tinderbox. I tend to blame the Hapsburg foreign policy actually more than the Germans for the outbreak of the war at that time. They tried to use the assassination to bring the Serbs to heel and went several demands too far for Serbian sovereignty. Which triggered the system of interlocking alliances that brought Russia, France, Germany and England in.

      I think that there still eventually would have been war, revolution, or civil disorder in the Balkans that probably would have started a larger conflict. The question would be whether it would have triggered the alliances. The key would have been whether Russian would have felt it had to jump in to protect its role as defender of all Slavs. It did not in the First and Second Balkan Wars in 1912 and 1913, when the Ottomans were involved.

      Subotai Bahadur

    3. Michael Kennedy Says:

      There was a very good book written a long time ago by Hans Zinser called, Rats, Lice and History , which is still in print since 1935. Plague has also played a major role in history, possibly ending the age of serfdom, at least in England.