Amazingly after, 100 years, still nobody knows exact cause of WWI.
It was an era of amazing innovation, entrepreneurship and big finance proceeds from expanding empires.
After the preceding 100 years of industrial revolution, transport was transformed from horse to steam rail to petrol road, to aircraft, from sail to steam ships, coal to oil fired and massive in size, and electronic communications replacing semaphore flags.
Everybody had to have the best technology for their military. Does this sound familiar?
Just a very few decades before, weapons were muzzle loaded, black powder into the open end of a barrel, rodded down with wadding and shot.
The third age had arrived, with automatic manufacturing machinery.
Full metal jacket cartridge ammunition was a huge advance.
Portable battlefield machine guns, by Hiram Maxim, fired 600 rounds per minute.
Brits were given first refusal for an exclusive deal but declined.
So Hiram sold licences to manufacture to all and sundry. Brits acquired a few samples, while early in WWI, Germany already punched out 450 per month.
Movies don’t show that machine guns are most effective when fired across the path of advancing troops, mowing them down with a wall of lead.
Field guns are obviously much faster to fire and more mobile than cannons, easily shifted as troops moved into towns off the battlefield, leading to collateral damage, way back when.
Scores for casualties were enormous, as many as 60,000 in a single day, on the Western Front. Surely this scale of hi-tech industrialised mutilation and death should be remembered as a day of shame for our species?
Instead, we get so much pomp and ceremony, baubles and bangles, latest, fastest, noisiest killing machines in the sky, myths of honourable deeds and the only certainty in next month’s budget is unquestionable $200 billion for even more big military weapons.
Defence White Paper identifies main threats as terrorism and cyber security.
The only real and credible threat is climate change, which amounts to our species self-righteous enough to destroy all species and the whole planet.
Will homo ever be sapiens?
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island.