My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Now, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour,
And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping,
With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary,
Leave the sick hearts that honour could not move,
And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
And all the little emptiness of love!
Oh! we, who have known shame, we have found release there,
Where there’s no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending,
Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;
Nothing to shake the laughing heart’s long peace there
But only agony, and that has ending;
And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.
“But why would France attack Germany?”
“Revenge for 1871 … and the best moment for France would be when Germany is threatened, or actually attacked, by Russia.”
Page 131- 132:
On July 27th, 1914, after four weeks of threats, counter threats, entreaties, offers, negotiations, warnings and ultimatums, Austria declared war on Serbia. On July 30th Russia ordered general mobilization. On July 31st Austria and Germany followed suit. On August 1st Germany declared war on Russia, and demanded to know from France what’s France attitude would be in the Russo-German war. France replied that she would act in her best interests; and, the same day, ordered general mobilization. On August 2nd, Germany demanded passage through Belgium for her armies, since this was the route laid down in her Schlieffen Plan for a war on two fronts. Belgium refuses the demand. On August 3rd Germany declared war on France, and her armies entered Belgium, whose frontiers and independence she and others had guaranteed. Among these others was Great Britain, who now required Germany to withdraw her troops from Belgium at once. If Germany did not agree to do so by midnight of August 4th, Germany time, a state of war would exist between Great Britain and Germany.
Besides the historical background of World War I, the plot describes the stories of two English families – the Rowlands and the Strattons – and their turbulent lives during this tragical period of the Humanity.
- When Did World War I Start and End (wanttoknowit.com)
- World War I Centennial: France Tells Russia England Will Fight Germany (mentalfloss.com)