Bri­tain’s blun­der into war

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - COMMENT -

Sir, – Bri­tain’s en­try into the First World War was the great­est er­ror it made in its first two cen­turies of ex­is­tence.

Apart from nearly one mil­lion ser­vice­men lost, the cost was cat­a­strophic. It was left in a much di­min­ished state both strate­gi­cally and eco­nom­i­cally with vast debts and many of its highly skilled work force crip­pled.

Even if Ger­many had de­feated France and Rus­sia, the new Ger­man­dom­i­nated Europe would have been much weaker than the Bri­tish empire in naval and fi­nan­cial terms.

Given the re­sources we had in 1914, a bet­ter strat­egy would have been to wait and see what tran­spired be­cause the Kaiser was no Hitler.

Of course ar­gu­ments about hon­our res­onate to­day, as they did in 1914, but too high a price can be paid for

me­dieval no­tions of chivalry.

Bri­tain had a tra­di­tion of re­al­ism in for­eign pol­icy and the fact is it would have been far bet­ter to con­sider the na­tional in­ter­est rather than an out­dated treaty with Bel­gium.

Rev Dr John Cameron. Howard Place, St An­drews.

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