Wiz-begging for assistance

I’ve tried to live by a few rules in my time here at Wizbang, and the time has come to put them to the test. Specifically, the ones about “if you want to appear smart, only write about things you know a bit about,” and “I might be smarter than any given reader, but I’m nowhere near as smart as all of them put together.”

With that in mind, I’m going to ask for a bit of help.

I’m working on another essay, and I find that to prove my point, I need some rather esoteric knowledge.

I’ve always been a World War II buff, but I am woefully ignorant on the First World War. It’s always seemed a bit muddled and, well, primitive to me, so it’s left me cold. But now I need someone who has as much fascination with The Great War as I do about the sequel.

More specifically, I need information about the geopolitics both leading up to the war and in the aftermath. The elements I need are about just how the nations chose sides, with a bit of special attention paid to the Ottoman Empire.

If anyone knows a bit about this, or knows of a good online source, or can refer me to some good books, please e-mail me or mention something in the comments. I’ve already made plans to get my hands on a copy of Massie’s “Dreadnought.”

And thanks, in advance. Naturally, anyone who helps me will get full credit (unless they want full deniability — which I accept is a distinct possibility.)

Update: No, Bernard Higgins is not unnaturally prescient. I intended this piece to publish itself at 5:00 a.m. Saturday, but neglected to change the date to the 17th. Bernard made his comment between I hit “scheduled” and when I went back and changed the date, “un-publishing” the piece for about 6 hours.

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