When the war broke out, most of the population of the belligerent countries was enthusiastic. It was probably a “We’ll show them!” mentality, and most people thought the war would be over in a few months. What would they have done differently if they had known what a bloody horror it would be? Someone would have had to blink, but it’s hard now to imagine who that someone might have been.
Here’s a report from blogger Military Berlin on the outbreak of the war in Germany: