Dieselpunks.org | April 6, 2013
The kerfluffle over the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand has set Europe aflame! Will this madness spread to the entire world?
What a mess! To attempt to summarize this amazing cluster of alliances and enmities that are happening here, Austria declared war on Serbia, so Russia declared war on Austria, so Germany declared war on Russia, so France declared war on Germany, so Germany invaded Belgium, who just wanted to be left alone, so Great Britain declared war on Germany and managed to piss off the Ottomans who threw in their lot with Germany & Austria! And meanwhile the ever-mercurial Italy is sitting on the sidelines, apparently holding out for the best offer.
So far, with their end-run through Belgium, Germany looks likely to repeat their lighting victory of the Franco-Prussian War from your pappy’s time. There seems to be a running fight in the Marne valley as the Kaiser’s boys and the French troops race to outflank one another. Folks are starting to dig in for the moment as some of these new weapons of war, like machine guns and quick-fire cannons, seem to be making quite a mess of the poor SOBs in the fields. Casualties are horrendous!
Meanwhile in the east the Russians seem to be overrunning Prussia and Hungary with waves upon waves of ill-equipped soldiers. Both sides are saying the war should be over by Christmas, though, so with luck this stupid slaughter won’t last forever.
The stakes are high, though, as whoever winds up on top should be able to pretty much dictate terms in Europe for the next century. This could easily degenerate into the type of mess we thought everyone had left behind after Napoleon.
Here in America we’re thankfully mostly spared the immediate violence, though ethnic tensions between those of English or French or Russian background and those with German or Austro-Hungarian background are increasing, and the Kaiser’s U-boats are making their presence felt on the high seas. It’s only a matter of time before some fallout happens there. Already, eager young American men are flocking to their old world nations’ armies or running off to Canada to join the fight.