The true facts on the complicated matter the Great War ultimately is and remains, seem doomed to remain shrouded in mists forever. As one turns the pages of this book with increasing interest, the reader frowns at the stubbornness by which nations and generals keep the wheels of violence in motion. The more so, as it appears how widespread was the apprehension among European heads of state to give in so unavoidably to the battle call in the first place. A major reflection any reader will make is that perhaps, eventually, generals 'simply' see their own resourcefulness running out, so giving way to separate and half-criminal enterprises of senseless slaughter. As far as the Balkan history of conflict goes, Keegan succeeds in unravelling the complexity of this long-standing hotbed in the history of modern regional conflict. Though perhaps the book could have done with a rather more extensive map section, one of its greatest merits is to be found in its objectivity and the subdued tone with which the author builds up his survey. Qualitatively speaking, it must be about impossible to overrate the value of this book. No reader of this will deny Mr Keegan the reference point value he has so rightly achieved in the field of military history over the years.