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What the Americans thought of WW1

In examining the history of the WW1 hospital in Hale, one becomes aware that there were never any illusions about the war. "It will be over by Christmas" was a hollow claim. Everyone involved knew it wasn't going to be easy.

The war had nothing to do with America at the time, but what was their reaction?

It so happens that "Scientific American", a respected journal that was never afraid to criticise officialdom, has recently published editorials from a hundred years ago to mark the centenary of the outbreak of war.

They show the realism that was, perhaps, discouraged in the UK


August 1914
The Great War
"Not since wars began has so great a military people, with such a sublime confidence in its invincible prowess, played for so great a stake as that for which the German hosts are now battling on sea and land. Should the Teuton win, he will hold all Europe in his 'mailed fist,' and the flag of his ships of war and commerce will float undisputed upon the Seven Seas, with nothing to stand between him and worldwide dominance but the great English-speaking republic of the New World! Had Germany shown a less ruthless spirit in flinging herself against the rest of Europe in a defiance so bold as to appear almost contemptuous, she might hope, in the event of disaster, for reasonable terms in the great final accounting. As it is, Europe, if victorious, will take a heavy toll."




September 1914
The Great War
"To appreciate the stupendous character of the War of the Nations which is now in full swing on the continent of Europe, we must bear in mind two facts: first, that it is a war to the death; second, that in the full realization of the absolute finality of the result, every one of the contending nations has already called out or has stated that it will do so, the whole of its trained reserve, thus putting some sixteen millions of men under arms In the interests of humanity it is better that the nations which go down in absolute defeat should realize that the verdict is one against which there is no appeal."

September 1914
Another View of War
"People are so suspicious about wars nowadays. One wonders even if patriotism isn't rather stupid. One has the preliminary thrill; there is flag-wagging, the blast of a trumpet, the glorious traditions of the Fatherland, and then this vague but persistent vision of a fat, beady-eyed financier lurking in the background. We have been sold so many times, one becomes wary. One could fight whole-heartedly in a war for the end of war, but in no other sort of war whatever."






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