By most accounts, the summer of 1914 began as a pleasant one. However, military planning and political maneuvering behind the scenes over the previous quarter century had created a vast Rube Goldberg contraption designed to plunge the European continent into total war. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was just the first of ten million casualties in the first World War.
For more than four years, the ground was churned by trenching tool and explosive, trampled under the weight of a dozen national armies and – sadly – provided the final resting place for more than ten million men. Today, the ranks of the seventy million men who served from around the world have been reduced to six. Only one – Great Britain’s Harry Patch – actually served in the trenches.
So, the soldiers are almost gone, the ground has healed, but our world is still shaped from the so-called War to End All Wars. Tanks, flame throwers, aircraft (and thus anti-aircraft weapons) were developed in that war and used in the Middle East conflicts that had their origins in that conflict almost a century ago.