This is a second-hand copy of the book Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 by Max Hastings.
Condition: this is a used book in good condition. As a used book it does have some minor shelf wear, especially on the corners of the cover and a half-dozen pages are a little dog-eared.
Publisher: William Collins Author: Max Hastings Year: 2013 ISBN: 9780007467648 Format: trade paperback Pages: 628 Weight: 0.926 kg Condition: used (good)
From the blurb:
On the centenary of the twentieth century's first terrible act of self-immolation - what was then called 'The Great War' - Max Hastings seeks to explain both how the conflict came about and what befell millions of men and women during the first months of strife. He finds that Austria and Germany must accept principal blame for the outbreak, and, while what followed was a vast tragedy, he argues that the war was worth fighting. It was vital to the freedom of Europe that the Kaiser's Germany should be defeated.
Contrary to images of the war as simply mud, wire, trenches and steel helmets, Hastings describes how the French Army marched into action amid virgin rural landscapes, in colourful uniforms, led by mounted officers, with flags flying and bands playing. The bloodiest day of the entire Western war fell on 22 August 1914, when the French lost 27,000 dead. Four days later, at Le Cateau the British fought an extraordinary action against the oncoming Germans, one of the last of its kind. In October, at terrible cost they held the allied line against massive German assaults in the first battle of Ypres. By Christmas the Germans, Austrians, Russians and Serbs had inflicted on each other three million casualties.
This book offers answers to the huge question 'what happened to Europe in 1914?', through Hastings's accustomed blend of top-down and bottom-up accounts from a multitude of statesmen and generals, peasants, housewives and private soldiers of seven nations. For readers gripped by the author's international bestseller All Hell Let Loose, this will seem a worthy successor.
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