In response to:

Guided Tour from the February 3, 1966 issue

To the Editors:

There is at least one exception, aside from Sir Edward Grey’s outcry, to the general air of complacency which Barbara Tuchman describes so vividly in her new book as having been the dominant European mood on the eve of the First World War [Feb. 3]. It comes from an unexpected source: a memorandum which the Grand General Staff of Germany sent to the Imperial Chancellor on July 29th, 1914. After analyzing the mechanics of the balance of power which made the outbreak of a general war inevitable, the memorandum concludes that “the mutual butchery of the civilized nations of Europe will begin,” and adds, “After this fashion things must and will develop, unless, one might say, a miracle happens to prevent at the last moment a war which will annihilate for decades the civilization of almost all Europe.” (Max Montgelas and Walter Schuecking, eds., Outbreak of the World War. German Documents Collected by Karl Kautsky New York: Oxford University Press, 1924, pp. 307, 308.

Hans J. Morgenthau

Council of Foreign Relations,

New York City