Tony Barber's "The Causes of the First World War: How recklessness, unstable alliances and bad luck plunged Europe into crisis" in The Financial Times looks at three books about the Great War, which began 100 years ago this year.
On August 1, 1914, Germany's ultimatum to Russia expired at noon with Russia having not responded to it. That morning, Germany had alread drafted its declaration of war. French mobilization is ordered at 3:40 p.m. German general mobilization is ordered at 5:00 p.m.; Germany declares war on Russia at 7:10 p.m. claiming that Russians had crossed frontier in the afternoon and begun war. In fact, the Russians had not done so though they had begun mobilization.
My friend Simon Gregor is coordinating the Remembrance Image Project "a library of creative photographs which document key sites associated with the war."
The War That Ended Peace: How Europe Abandoned Peace for the First World War, by Margaret MacMillan, Profile Books, RRP£25, 704 pages
July 1914: Countdown to War, by Sean McMeekin, Icon Books, RRP£25/Basic Books, RRP$29.99, 560 pages
Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914, by Max Hastings, William Collins, RRP£30, 628 pages.