Cousins at War

As I pointed out in an earlier LRC Blog, one hundred years ago today began the War of the Cousins. This family feud was between cousins Georgie and Nicky on one side, and cousin Willi on the other. In their youth they all used to get together with their grandmother for family events and celebrations.

Queen Victoria was sometimes called the Grandmamma of Europe, and there was hardly a Continental court that did not boast at least one of her relations. During World War One there were no less than seven of the old Queen’s direct descendants, and two more of her Coburg relations, on European thrones. Before it happened, can anyone blame this family of kings, or their subjects, for assuming that a war between these crowned cousins was all but impossible?

Ultimately, more than 70 million military personnel including 60 million Europeans, were mobilized in one of the largest wars in history. The total number of casualties in World War I, both military and civilian, was about 37 million: 16 million deaths and 21 million wounded. The total number of deaths includes 9.7 million military personnel and about 6.8 million civilians.


10:43 am on June 28, 2014