As an example of where all this is taking us, one imagines that Boris Johnson rather startled himself with the vehement response to his suggestion that the modern European superstate envisaged by the grey men of Brussels was essentially what Hitler had in mind. If Boris had a clue about these things, he would in fact have suggested that in fact the way that the EU is heading mirrors the German justification for World War 1.It may deliver fewer headlines than a spectral swastika but infinitely greater resonance.Not, it must be admitted, big History with a capital ‘haitch’ that discusses kings and queens, Spinning Jennies or the Cold War.The commemorates sport, transport and adventure in the first half of the Twentieth Century (and only as much of that as time permits). And right now history, great and small, is being trampled into the mud.
Painful, too, is the desertion of his retainers except for his young kinsman Wiglaf. It is also part of the broader tradition of heroic poetry.
In 1913, Germany was the powerhouse of the European economy.
She generated double the electricity of any other European nation; she produced two thirds of all European steel and was the centre of excellence as far as scientific advances went – from pharmaceutical and chemical research to automotive and aeronautical design.
This was a draft treaty prepared by the German chancellor, Theobald von Bethman Hollweg, in anticipation of a swift military victory to the west.
Hollweg’s vision was of ‘Mitteleuropa’ – a free trade zone stretching between the Russian border and the English Channel and from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean.