FROM THE BALKAN WARS TO THE WORLD WAR I: STUMBLING INTO A EUROPEAN CATASTROPHE
Few issues in modern history have received as much attention as assigning responsibility for the outbreak of the World War in 1914. Certainly Great Power tensions were widespread in Europe 1914, and those tensions caused the rapid spread of the war after it broke out, but many previous Great Power crises had been resolved without war. Why did this particular episode, a Balkan crisis that began with a political murder in Bosnia, prove so unmanageable and dangerous?
Marking the coming anniversary of the First World War Professor Erwin A. Schmidl (University of Innsbruck) is going to lecture an overview of the period leading to the outbreak of the war in the summer of 1914, from an Austrian perspective. This includes the Balkan Wars and the establishment of Albania as an independent state. While international efforts at crisis management proved successful in 1912-13 and before, they eventually failed in 1914.
About Professor Erwin A. Schmidl:
- Born 1956 in Vienna, studied history, anthropology and history of arts at the University of Vienna, Dr.phil. 1981.
- Served in various functions in the Austrian Ministry of Defence, since 2001 head of the Department of Contemporary History of the National Defence Academy’s Institute for Strategy and Security Policy.
- 1991-92 seconded to the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs (UN Department); 1994 UN observer in South Africa; 1995-96 Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington D.C.
- Lecturer at the University of Innsbruck since 1996, habilitation 2001.
- Secretary General of the International and President of the Austrian Commission for Military History.