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Who caused the First World War?


If a gas shell in the mud of Paschendaele in late October 1917 represents an absolute truth regarding the First World War, especially if you are perched behind a machine gun in a pill box just a few yards away, then this truth soon shifts as time passes, the gas is released and a morning breeze first backs, then slows, then changes direction moving ever further from the moment if truth. And thus, the politicians and historians play merry with the facts, in the form of official documents, as they are offered, revealed, exposed, disguised and refuted Try pegging where any of them stand on the truth of the causes of the First World War and you’ll have flags planted in every direction with little chance of getting back to the original point. And thus we have revisionists and anti-revisionists and their reasons for writing this way or that. The simple answer is that the problem Europe got itself into in 1914 was a mess. And from the perspective of a hundred years on I look through my timetelescope and want to damn the lot of them; but that was then, and now is now.

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