From a European War to World War
(3,650 words)

From a European War to World War

“This war will develop into a world war in which even England will engage. Only a few could form an idea of the beginning, the duration, and the end of this war. How this all should end, nobody can foresee today.”1 General Staff Chief Helmuth von Moltke confronted his adjutants with these words on the night of July 31, 1914, immediately before the outbreak of war, intimating that he regarded the approaching conflict as a world war from the very first. In his apprehension, Moltke in no wise stood alone. At lea…

Cite this page
Förster, Stig, “From a European War to World War”, in: Brill’s Digital Library of World War I. Consulted online on 17 February 2019 <>
First published online: 2015

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