Helmuth von Moltke and the Origins of the First World War
By Annika Mombauer
Reviewed by Daniel Hindes
Explanations for the start of the First World War fall primarily into three categories. Fault is assigned either to the Germans, the English, or to everybody. The heart of the case against the Germans is that they clearly wanted a war and conducted their diplomacy accordingly. The case against England is built around evidence that the British Empire intentionally provoked Germany. And the case for blaming all sides incorporates the above facts and more. Frequently the view you find correct depends on national background, with the Allies blaming Germany exclusively, which is easy enough to do. Germans frequently point out the central role England played, especially in not de-escalating. And sober heads everywhere can see how it is possible that both views contain elements of the truth.