One comment-giver during the Rules study, remarked that WW1 was predicted by WT to arrive in 1914, despite the fact that everyone expected an era of unparalleled peace.
This was something continuously drilled into our heads - how peaceful everything was prior to WW1.
When you look at WT Library under 'World War I' - "unexpected" - the results are all offline - there are no recent references ( unexpected: re 106; w92 5/1 4-5; yb87 124; w86 2/15 5; w86 11/1 6 )
The offline quotes are as follows:
Rev Climax page 106
“The 19th century’s faith in progress received its fatal blow in 1914. The year before the outbreak of war, Danish historian and politician Peter Munch wrote optimistically: ‘All evidence is against the probability of a war between the great European powers. “The danger of war” will also disappear in future, as it has done time after time since 1871.’
May 1, 1992 Awake page 4
Suddenly, in August
“The spring and summer of 1914 were marked in Europe by an exceptional tranquillity,” wrote British statesman Winston Churchill. People were generally optimistic about the future. “The world of 1914 was full of hope and promise,” said Louis Snyder in his book World War I.
True, for many years there had been intense rivalry between Germany and Britain. Nevertheless, as historian G. P. Gooch explains in his book Under Six Reigns: “A European conflict appeared less likely in 1914 than in 1911, 1912 or 1913 . . . The relations of the two governments were better than they had been for years.” According to Winston Churchill, a member of Britain’s 1914 cabinet: “Germany seemed with us, to be set on peace.”
1987 Yearbook page 124
IN EXPECTATION OF 1914
Since 1876, the attention of the Bible Students had been directed to the year 1914 as a turning point in history. The 2,520 years known as the Times of the Gentiles were then to end. (Luke 21:24) Sister Berta Obrist remembered how her family often scoffed at her when she told them about a war that was due to occur. “Now stop talking about this 1914!” her grandmother would say angrily. But how surprised and impressed her grandmother was when war really did break out in 1914!
The parents of little Hulda in Schaffhausen just could not believe that a big change in world events would take place in 1914 as an acquaintance repeatedly explained to them from the Bible. But Sister Hulda Peter remembers that her mother was really beside herself when the war did break out.
Watchtower Nov 1, 1986 page 6
For over three decades before 1914, Jehovah’s Witnesses called attention to the significance of this date. Interestingly, however, the book International Crisis, by Eugenia Nomikos and Robert C. North (1976), says that there was “little or no evidence of a steady rise or a ‘snowballing’ of conflicts and tensions leading directly to the outbreak of war.” On the contrary, “by late 1913 and early 1914 . . . relations among the major powers appeared to be more settled than they had been for many years.”
Feb 1, 1986 Watchtower page 5
The 1914 Generation
Referring to “the relatively peaceful and prosperous Victorian age of Great Britain,” former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan said that he considered ‘the world he was born in’ to be one that would get “better and better.” But “suddenly, unexpectedly, one morning in 1914 the whole thing came to an end.” Calling it the end of “100 years of peace and progress,” Macmillan recalled how World War I signaled “the end of an era” and the “start of the confusion that is still happening.” Many others, particularly those who lived through 1914 and are still alive, know this to be true.
Yes, as this magazine has drawn to the attention of its readers over the years, the evidence points to the 1914 generation as the generation spoken of by Jesus. Thus, “this generation will by no means pass away until all these things [including the apocalypse] occur.”
Even though more than 70 years have gone by since 1914, there are still individuals around who lived through that era.
Now, this is a quite concise summary of history leading up to WWI.
Small wonder why WT is again rewriting its past (although it is still passed around verbally).