July 28

Ep. 0016: The First World War, part 1

Since World War I officially began 100 years ago today (that is, July 28th 1914), I decided it would be an opportune time to kick off a multi-part series on this conflict.  (As of right now, I’m not 100% sure how many episodes this will encompass, but I think probably around 4.)

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • Why he thinks WWI is actually the single worst thing that ever happened in modern history
  • Origins of the war, in terms of immediate causes as well as long-term, deep-seated ones
  • The alliances, rivalries, and plans that made Europe a powderkeg just waiting for ignition
  • The spark that lit it, and how the dominoes fell until every Great Power of the time was at war
  • Some thoughts on why the war ultimately proved more costly than prior wars (the state’s software is actually more important than its hardware, Prof CJ thinks)
  • The Christmas Truce of 1914 and its implications
  • War against civilians in terms of illegal, total blockades (which the British, not the Germans, started first)

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Posted July 28, 2014 by profcj in category "Military History", "Modern World History", "Podcasts


  1. By be free on

    Yes, it’s wicked, love your passion!

    I recently read “Wild Bill” Donovan’s autobiography, you know, the father of CIA. He was a poor young Irish lad turned attorney, and those guys couldn’t wait to go over and fight. They bought their own horses, their own guns and financed their own efforts and volunteered for the war.

    The less well off however, went over to Europe without even proper boots. I could never quite understand what the urge came from? They ended up shielding their feet with burlack sacks from French farms, for crying out loud. What were they thinking? Was the propaganda that effective. Or was it some mindless hype? It just seems insane to me.

    1. By Daniel on

      The propaganda was very, very effective. Everyone was told the Germans were unabashedly sinking ships with civilians on them and wanted to take over all of Europe (both of which had a grain of truth to it, but like all war propaganda, was a double-standard on part of the creators).


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