Gloomy Thoughts for the Week
There are (for the purposes of this post, at least) two types of war. There are wars that start suddenly and unexpectedly, seemingly with little or no warning. World War I is perhaps the best example of this. On June 27, 1914, the day before the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, Europeans were planning their summer vacations. By early August, in all the major European powers, they were marching to war.
The second type of war are foreshadowed for years before the actual fighting begins, and move towards actual hostilities slowly and agonizingly, with the major contenders marshalling their forces, heightening their rhetoric, and counting their grievances before blood is spilled. World War II, or if you prefer to keep Hitler out of it, the American Civil War is the best example of this type of war. Whatever other emotions people had on September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, or when General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (love that name!) commenced shelling Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, surprise was low on the list.