The Magazine

How It All Began

A historian assigns the blame for World War I.

Nov 18, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 10 • By HENRIK BERING
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The dominance of Europe was Germany’s aim, and the 6,000 civilians massacred in Belgium and northern France did not speak well of their intentions.

No doubt, in Germany, some may interpret Catastrophe 1914 as British German-bashing: While Germans are willing to assume responsibility for World War II, they generally consider the Great Powers to be equally at fault for World War I. But no one can accuse Max Hastings of engaging in triumphalism here, and, as he has argued elsewhere, ignoring the historical record serves no one.

Henrik Bering is a writer in Copenhagen.