Friday, August 7, 2009

Losing history

The last living link to World War One, the war to end all wars, has died. He passed on July 25th and his funeral was yesterday. His name was Harry Patch and he was the last surviving veteran of World War One.

The Daily Mail has an article online, complete with pictures.

WW 1 was not the war to end all wars, as so many believed. Rather it was the war that started it all. Every conflict of the 20th century can trace its roots back to WW 1. Yes, *every* conflict. Even the fighting in the Balkans, the debacle in Bosnia, and the split of what used to be known as Czechoslovakia.

One of the books in my research pile is "King, Kaiser, Tsar" by Catrine Clay. Kaiser Wilhelm II, Tsar Nicholas II and King George V were cousins. Nicholas' wife Alexandra was George's niece, Wilhelm's cousin and one of Victoria's favorite granddaughters. Victoria called her Sunny. These three men found their fates intertwined. Only one survived the war with his kingdom and throne intact.

I've often wondered how family could do that to each other. George refused his own niece asylum and Wilhelm financed the man who was ultimately responsible for the deaths of the Romanovs. Here in the South that sort of treachery against one's own family is unthinkable. This whole relative thing is one of the dynamics that makes the World War One so fascinating to me.

1 comment :

  1. Thanks a lot for a bunch of good tips. I look forward to reading more on the topic in the future. Keep up the good work! This blog is going to be great resource. Love reading it.
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