By 1914, it was apparent that the next European war would be terrible and destructive in a way never before experienced. Some argued that this had made war impossible, that it would bankrupt the countries that fought it, or that neither the armies nor their societies would stand the strain. Military plans were based not on being properly equipped for a stalemated and attritional war of trenches, for the excellent reason that this was not the kind of war that any country wanted to fight. Instead, each placed its hopes in winning a quick victory by rapid movement, to end the war 'by Christmas'.


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