Appeared in: Volume 9, Number 6
Published on: June 2, 2014
Great Wars and Great Peaces
The Strategic Consequences of the World War

The lessons of World War I are still with us a century later—for better and for worse.

Hew Strachan is author of The First Word War (Viking Penguin) and Chichele Professor of the History of War at Oxford. A French translation of this article appeared in Politique étrangère (Spring 2014).
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  • Anthony

    “If we can see past our blinders and take note of the telling parallels between then and now, the ways in which our world resembles that of a hundred years ago, history does give us valuable warnings.” The author lays out how World War I forced upon then world powers reconsideration of modern war fare (strategy had to be cognizant of three dimensions – balance, coordinate, and embrace). Essentially, Hew Strachan’s essay reminds that a century later lessons from World War I are available to the inquirer – changes in nature of war and its potential significance. “The past cannot provide us with clear blueprints for how to act, for it offers such a multitude of lessons that it leaves us free to pick and choose among them to suit our own political and ideological inclinations.” Thus, the strategic consequences of war.

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