In last week's New Yorker, the cartoon issue, Tom Reiss wrote an article about the literary thrillers of 19th century Britain and how they pre-figured the responses to various historical calamities, from World War I to the atomic age. (The article doesn't seem to be online anymore.) But his literary survey can also be seen as a shorter version of the first chapter of Niall Ferguson's The Pity of War, which came out in paperback in 1999. That chapter, "The Myths of Militarism," catalogs the many writers who inflamed English anti-German feelings and Germanophobia in the years leading up to World War I.
Ferguson lays out in great detail the immense plans for men and materiel that were necessary to wage that war, economic and well as physical, and lays bare the ravages that followed. While 2,000+ US soldiers dead in Iraq thus far is nothing be lightly brushed aside, it doesn't really compare to Britain's loss of 159,000 soldiers in 39 days, those landing between April and May, 1917. Check it out.