THE RED HORSE and RIDER (war).
When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.
On this day 100 years ago the First World War started with Austria declaring war on Serbia over the assassination of the Archduke Prince Ferdinand heir to the Austrian throne. Three days later Russia, Serbia’s’ ally, mobilizes and the next day 1 August Germany declares war on Russia. Two days later Germany declares war on France and the following day declares war on neutral Belgium and invades. This action draws Great Britain into the war because she had guaranteed Belgium neutrality. On August 5th the first land battle is fought at Liege in Belgium and with that the 4 years of bloodletting began. The War that should not have been, erupted into being and millions would pay with their lives and other millions wounded in body and mind. This would be the first industrial war with the advent of bigger more powerful artillery, faster firing and more accurate rifles, barbed wire, and the machine gun. It would be a war of first, with the introduction of chemical warfare in the form of poison gas. The airplane would come into its’ own as a weapon, and the first tanks would snail crawl across the battle fields. From almost the outset it would be a war of stagnant lines with both sides dug into hundreds’ of miles of trenches from the North Sea to Switzerland. It would be a war where victory was calculated in the number of yards gained. It was a war where (at least on the allies’ side) the number of casualties seemed irrelevant, at the Battle of the Somme which lasted four and a half months the allies sustained over 600,000 casualties. The British had 60,000 casualties on the first day. In 1916 at Beaumont-Hammel the Newfoundland Regiment (Newfoundland was a separate Dominion and not part of Canada) of 780 Officers and men advanced towards the German line within 15 minutes they were decimated. Of the 780 personnel in the regiment only 110 enlisted men answered muster the next day, all the Officers were dead.
It was a war that encompassed the entire world from Europe, to Africa, to Polynesia, the Far East, the Near East, and the Americas. The Triple Entente which consisted of Britain, France, and Russia would grow to include Italy and Japan. The Entente also included all the colonies and Dominions of the three Great Powers. The Central Powers consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria. It too would draw in all its colonies and dependants. The British had the largest Empire ever known and after the war would be even larger as would the French and Japanese. Russia would surrender to Germany in 1917 and in October of that year the Bolshevik Revolution would turn the country Communists for 8 decades. The so called Western Front running from the North Sea to the Swiss border would be a see saw fight until the summer of 1918 when the Entente forces would begin pushing the Germans back. The last 100 days of the war were a series of defeats for the Germans and their allies. At 11:00 a.m. on the 11th of November 1918 it ended with the German surrender but in their zeal to punish Germany for the war the allies would sow the seeds of another greater conflict. The Red Rider on his Red Horse had done his job well and the Gods of War had feasted mightily on the more than 16 million dead, slaughtered in the past four years. Now sated they would rest for they knew the Horseman would ride again and the feasting would start anew but in ways that not even the Gods could foretell.
And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.