It is the object of this book, and those which will succeed it in the same series, to put before the reader the main lines of the European War as it proceeds. Each such part must necessarily be completed and issued some little time after the events to which it relates have passed into history. The present first, or introductory volume, which is a preface to the whole, covers no more than the outbreak of hostilities, and is chiefly concerned with an examination of the historical causes which produced the conflict, an estimate of the comparative strength of the various combatants, and a description of the first few days during which these combatants took up their positions and suffered the first great shocks of the campaigns in East and West.
g their insufficient military machine without any interference from us, grave as was the menace from them upon our Eastern frontier.
"It was evident that such a state of things could not endure. A nation so united and so immensely strong could not remain in a position of artificial inferiority while lesser nations possessed advantages in no way corresponding to their real strength. The whole equilibrium of Europe was unstable through this contrast between what Germany might be and what she was, and a struggle to make her what she might be from what she was could not be avoided.
"Germany must, in fulfilment of a duty to herself, obtain colonial possessions at the expense of France, obtain both colonial possessions and sea-power at the expense of England, and put an end, by campaigns perhaps defensive, but at any rate vigorous, to the menace of Slav barbarism upon the East. She was potentially, by her strength and her culture, the mistress of the modern world, the chief influence in it, and the ri