Professor Gary Sheffield, University of Wolverhampton, is speaking on "Not sleepwalking: The origins of the First World War revisited". He is taking to task of "The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914" for the view that nations stumbled into WW1.
Professor Sheffield is the author of numerous war history books. He suggested the idea of WW1 happening by accident is part of a current disillusionment with the effectiveness of the use of military force and not a reading of the history of the early 20th century. In contrast he argues that WW1 was caused by contrast Germany and Austria.
These issues are not just a matter of historical interest. Australia currently has military forces in the middle east and the Prime Minister of Australia has accused Russia of being complicit in the murder of 28 Australians and threatened to physically assault the President of Russia. Wars have been started over smaller incidents.
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