Sunday, December 05, 2004

Shares of War

Before Dawn has a look at the inertia created by arms manufacturers leading to World War One.
Historians were unable to disprove one claim the Nye commission made: arms firms increase tensions between nations. Though Krupp, Armstrong, and Vicker, all lead by perfectionist engineers who cared about quality above profit (marginally), believed their weapons would make wars shorter, and therefore won with less bloodshed, the weaponisation of Europe increased the tensions between the five Great Powers (Britian, Russia, Austria-Hungry, Germany, and France) and the one "should-be Great Power" (Italy). As they moved into defensive alliances and the Bismarckian alliance system of isolated France with neutrality treaties between Germany and all the other Great Powers (and Italy) the steel altillery, machine guns, repeating rifles, and dreadnoughts almost gauranteed a bloody war when it broke out. This was entirely against the wishes of Krupp, Armstrong, and Vicker whose profits were hurt, and then their reputations destroyed, by the war.


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