A Mad Catastrophe

Un libro in lingua di Geoffrey Wawro edito da Basic Books, 2014

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The Austro-Hungarian army that marched eastward in the opening campaign of World War I was as disordered a force as the world had ever seen. Speaking a mystifying array of languages and carrying outdated weapons, the troops were hopelessly unprepared for the mechanized warfare that would soon consume the entire continent.

As prizewinning historian Geoffrey Wawro explains, the disorganization of these doomed conscripts perfectly mirrored Austra-Hungary itself. For years, the Dual Monarchy had been rotting from within, hollowed out by complacency and corruption at the highest levels. Germany goaded Austria into a longed-for fight with Russia and her allies before the monarchy collapsed completely, but the severity of the fighting was too much for the weakened Empire. By the time 1914 ended, the Habsburg army lay in ruins, and the course of the war seemed all but decided.

Reconstructing the climax of the Austrian campaign in gripping detail, Wawro offers a riveting account of how Austria-Hungary plunged the West into a tragic and unnecessary war.

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