History can often turn on the actions of a single individual, either singly or over a period of time. Personality traits and the whims, especially of absolute monarchs, for either ill or good, can shape our world. Such could be said of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.
On the 1st of April 1815 a little boy was born in Kniephof, Prussia, a little boy destined to be known by history as “The Iron Chancellor”. A man around whom history would pivot, a man who would be the subject of many historical “What Ifs” with regard to his demise at the hands of the unstable “Kaiser Bill” and the path to World War I.
Wednesday the 18th of January 1871 was a bitter cold day. At noon, with the smell of smoke in the air from nearby Paris, burning under the Prussian siege and bombardment, a fateful gathering took place in the Palace of Versailles. An event that would play on the minds of the French 43 years later and help to propel Europe’s slide into World War I.