Thursday, August 5, 2010
Two hundred years ago, there was no such thing as a united German state. There was just a shambles of what were in many cases hardly anything more than city-states. The city of Hanover was owned by Britain, as 96 or so years before 1810 the Elector of Hanover was asked to be the king of England, thus preventing the catholic Stuarts from taking over. Prussia was a great kingdom but it had recently been humbled by Napoleon, as had Austria-Hungary, the erstwhile Holy Roman Empire. The breakup of that nation by Bonaparte had left the Germans a heap of tiny countries. But the Prussians eventually sealed them all into one kingdom. But some aspects of this made it seem like it was done with masking tape, the Prussians going so far as to retain the kings of some of the incorporated nations! And this was the nation that fought the First World War! But shambles or not,the Germans managed to make a very strong Army, and to make a fleet that almost rivaled Britain's. They had awesome warplanes and infamous flyers. And most of all, they managed to make a stand against the Allies for four years of total war.