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Word Count: 1,857
You will be home before the leaves have fallen from their trees As in most war the first casualty was the truth When Europe slid from a nervous peace into raging war almost everyone anticipated a brisk spectacular and triumphant campaign In the summer of July 1914 war was a great and glorious suggestion Not yet real a good ole biff was a glamorous image that appealed to soldiers and civilians alike Indeed attitudes towards war were most enthusiastic and joyous amongst almost everybody in both Britain and Germany It had been a long time since either side had experienced a real war For Britain it had been a century since any large-scale violence Not since 1871 had any German seen a bloody battle As it was not even anybodies great grandfather could tell the people what it is like to live in war By 1914 enough time had passed for the ugliness of war to be clouded by romanceA joyous crusading mood swept Europe as the righteousness of each nation was indubitable It was built into the psyche of Britain and Germany that it was the other side that was up to no good and stirring for a fight Everybody willfully accepted that it war guilt was completely on the hands of the enemy Prime Minister Asquith of Britain announced to parliament No nation has ever entered a great conflict with a clearer conscience or stronger conviction to defend principles vital to the civilized world Ironically claims to righteousness were echoed in Germany Popular culture in the form of poetry novels and cartoons celebrated the arrival of a chance to show the greatness of your nation In Germany in particular the whole population had embraced the culture of war with books and poems celebrating its glory topping the best-seller lists British writers and artists also exploited the hunger for war Patriotism bordering on racism was the theme of almost everything Thomas
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