Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve 1917


It had been 918 days since the assassination in Sarajevo. The war that it triggered had evolved dramatically over that time. What started out as a European civil war had quickly morphed into a world war, fought in multiple continents and on all the planet's oceans. Then the demands of modern industrial scale war combined with new weaponry deepened the struggle into total war, involving the entire populations and economies of nations. Civilians, their factories, and their communities were now considered fair targets.

Strangely, the Great War continued to metastasize. The blood lettings and resource draining of the 1916 campaigns—Verdun, the Somme, the Brusilov Offensive, and more—promoted the undermining of the legitimacy of the governments now clearly depopulating and draining the wealth of their countries through their policies. The life and death of nations and empires would be the stakes of the 1917 Game of Thrones.

Probably few of the monarchs, politicians, and aristocrats who were toasting the New Year a hundred years ago anticipated that what came next was to be even more horrid in almost every respect than 1916. Perhaps a few months later, however, when the Romanov dynasty fell during the February Revolution—the first of four royal houses that would collapse due to the war—they would experience a premonition of impending doom. Then again, maybe they were just as surprised and puzzled as everyone else when things began utterly collapsing.

In 1917 the Tsar Would Be Forced to Abdicate
In 1918 He and His Entire Family Would Be Murdered


5 comments:

  1. And America had still not yet entered the fray. A handful of Americans had volunteered and were serving as ambulance drivers and aviators in France. When American troops finally joined the battle the following year, complementing the industrial might that was already being supplied as the monarchies collapsed, the stalemate on the battlefields would not last.

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    1. A handful of Americans had volunteered serving as ambulance drivers and aviators very true., but let us not forget the Americans who were fighting in the British , Canadian and Australian armed forces from 1914. Their names are to found on the many memorial and cemeteries around the world.

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  2. Boy what a puss on the Czarina, looks like she could stop a clock

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