Today Germany takes on France at the World Cup. One hundred years ago this summer, Germany and France would face each other on a very different field. This time, victory would not be decided by the question of goals but rather by the lives of young men of the same age that we see on the playing field in Brazil. The world looked on that summer of 1914 as events unfolded in Europe in much the same manner as the world looks on and awaits the outcome of this game. The outcome of the contest in 1914 would change the world though, unlike the outcome of this soccer game will.
The two countries (as did all the major players in Europe) eagerly embraced the coming war. French soldiers marched to the front clad in gaudy uniforms of blue coats and red pants. The Germans had their spiked helmets. Throngs of citizens cheered them and tossed flowers to the soldiers as the marched through Berlin, Paris, and London. If they had only known what was in store for the soldiers, for Europe, and for the world.
My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Half A$$ Historian. My little German redhead will be cheering for Germany in the soccer game and so will I. (In my case, it is more of a matter of self preservation than anything else!)