A War to Prevent War

Archduke Ferdinand's assassination served as a pretext for an "immoral" preventive war.

Opinions concerning the origin of the war and the responsibility attaching to various personages in various states for the outbreak of hostilities vary a good deal. My view is that the general staffs of the Central Powers deliberately determined on what they called a preventive war, in order to forestall the moment when Russia’s impending military reorganization was likely, if not certain, to prevent the accomplishment of those ambitious projects on which nearly all Germans or the ruling caste had set their hearts …

A pretext was soon found in the Austrian archduke’s murder at Sarajevo; and from that moment until all Europe was aflame the Germans steadily blockaded all practicable avenues to peace.

A preventive war is the most immoral of acts and the most detestable of political crimes. To drench the world in blood because something may happen which has not happened, is both criminal and foolish; and so it was always considered by Bismarck.

Originally titled "The Direction of the War"