In the search for the deeper causes of the ‘War to end all wars’ the reading public has been presented with countless titles by military, diplomatic and intellectual historians. Some of these have, however, been motivated by a desire to show how their authors would have preferred the past events to have been, so as to promote some present-day agenda. This is the fallacy of ‘presentism’. John Moses was trained at the Universities of Munich and Erlangen by professors committed to the Rankean tradition of showing ‘how it actually was’, as far as humanly possible, based on diligent archival research and with the strictest objectivity and emotional detachment. Consequently, both Moses and Overlack have been at pains to identify the essential peculiarity of the Kaiser’s Germany and have focused sharply on the question of how its war planning impinged on Australasia.
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