MERCHANTS OF DEATH
1. TIES TO A WINDFALL
In the spring of 1914 a cold chill swept over Europe with the news of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, pretender to the ancient Hapsburg throne of Austria-Hungary. Within hours, the cold war of intrigue and market rivalry that had gripped the capitals of Europe in fear and suspicion for over a decade heated up with stormy ultimatums that flashed like lightning over the breadth of the continent, turning its landscape into fiery holocaust. Only after five years of firestorms and mass murder would ten million bewildered refugees finally emerge from the poisoned smoke, wandering in shock over the shattered continent, groveling in rubbled craters that once were cities, stumbling into bloody ...