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Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Discussions on all aspects of the First World War not covered in the other sections.
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby Sid Guttridge on 11 Oct 2011 16:12

Hi Glenn,

Even odder,

1) Nobody has claimed that the Austrian cabinet did order "the mobilization of the Russian and French armies".

2) It couldn't do so anyway.

What, exactly, is your source of misapprehension on this point?
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby glenn239 on 11 Oct 2011 18:06

MajorT wrote:Hi Glenn,

Even odder,

1) Nobody has claimed that the Austrian cabinet did order "the mobilization of the Russian and French armies".

2) It couldn't do so anyway.

What, exactly, is your source of misapprehension on this point?


MajorT, you stated that Austria and Germany caused the war. But the world war was caused by Russia mobilizing its entire armed forces and thereby creating triggering the casus belli with Germany. Therefore, you must think that Austria ordered the Russian mobilization. It did not, and did not wish it.

If you are instead to argue that an Austro-Serbian kafuffle must cause a world war, then this idea stands in defiance of all Great Power precedent between 1815 and 1913 - where such minor dust ups never once caused a world war, and only once (in 1854) even caused a war involving more than two Great Powers. If the Boer War, for example, had started a world war then it would be absurd to imagine that either the Boers or the British would be responsible for that! The responsibility would lie with whatever Powers spread the flames from Africa.
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby Terry Duncan on 11 Oct 2011 19:16

But the world war was caused by Russia mobilizing its entire armed forces and thereby creating triggering the casus belli with Germany.


This is clearly not true. After Russia had mobilized, nobody was at war that had not already been at war prior to the decision. The decisions to go to war were taken in Austria and Germany.

Therefore, you must think that Austria ordered the Russian mobilization. It did not, and did not wish it.


Austria insisted on a course of action she knew would lead to Russia mobilizing, and she was rather ambivalent about the entire subject of war with Russia as she expected Germany to take care of that.

then this idea stands in defiance of all Great Power precedent between 1815 and 1913 - where such minor dust ups never once caused a world war


I believe we are still waiting for you to point to a precedent where a Great Power deliberately forced a war against a client state of another Great Power when the latter had made it perfectly clear it would not accept such flagrant disregard of its interests. Austria was not following any precedent, so suggesting that such criteria must bind Russia is to say the least somewhat dubious.
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby Sid Guttridge on 12 Oct 2011 15:30

Hi Glenn,

What I actually wrote was:

"However, this need not prevent us from identifying who decided to risk turning yet another Balkan diplomatic crisis into a war that grew into WWI.

It was the Austro-Hungarian cabinet on 7 July, with German foreknowledge and support
."

Perhaps you would care to give the date of delivery of the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia and the date of the Russian mobilization?
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby glenn239 on 12 Oct 2011 18:26

MajorT wrote:Hi Glenn,

What I actually wrote was:

"However, this need not prevent us from identifying who decided to risk turning yet another Balkan diplomatic crisis into a war that grew into WWI.

It was the Austro-Hungarian cabinet on 7 July, with German foreknowledge and support
."

Perhaps you would care to give the date of delivery of the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia and the date of the Russian mobilization?


MajorT, the world war occured because Russia mobilized at Germany. The Austrian dispute with Serbia was no excuse for Russia to start a world war. Between 1815 and 1914 not one Great Power used a minor war as a pretext to trigger a global conflict. You cannot argue against this fact - history speaks for itself. Russia did so in 1914.

I ask you again - if the Boer War had caused a world war, do you really think it would be Britain and the Boers that were responsible? Or would you blame the third party that used the Boer war as an excuse, a pretext, for aggression?
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby Terry Duncan on 12 Oct 2011 18:47

MajorT, the world war occured because Russia mobilized at Germany.


No it did not. Russia mobilized, the process was not directional as such, and nobody was at war, the decision to use it as an excuse for war was taken in Germany. Austria mobilized several times prior to 1914, so it is perfectly clear that mobilization only meant war when Germany decided to say so.

The Austrian dispute with Serbia was no excuse for Russia to start a world war.


Just as well Russia left the starting of a world war to Austria and Germany then.

Between 1815 and 1914 not one Great Power used a minor war as a pretext to trigger a global conflict.


Given no Great Power declared war on the client state of another - maybe because everyone knew this would start a major war - and Austria accepted her actions would force Russia to act as she did.

Or would you blame the third party that used the Boer war as an excuse, a pretext, for aggression?


Would that be like Austria used the assassination as a pretext for her actions, like Russia used the Austrian actions as a pretext for hers, or like when Germany used the long expected Russian mobilization as a pretext? Do pretexts only exist or count if they support your ideas?
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby Sid Guttridge on 14 Oct 2011 18:37

Hi Glenn,

Let's keep this clean.

You write:

"I ask you again - if the Boer War had caused a world war, do you really think it would be Britain and the Boers that were responsible? Or would you blame the third party that used the Boer war as an excuse, a pretext, for aggression?"

When did you ever ask me this before?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We know when Austria-Hungary, with Germany foreknowledge and support, decided to escalate its dispute with Serbia from the diplomatic to the military plane: at the cabinet meeting of 7 July.

I ask you again: "Perhaps you would care to give the date of delivery of the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia and the date of the Russian mobilization?"
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby Terry Duncan on 14 Oct 2011 19:16

Far more key is the fact that Germany had decided to mobilize before she had any certain knowledge of Russian mobilization, so it cannot have been decided on because of that act. Glenn is unlikely to answer you as it doesnt fit with how he wished to show events, the fact that Russia only acted at all becuase of Austria is not helpful to him.
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby peterhof on 14 Oct 2011 19:49

Terry Duncan wrote:Far more key is the fact that Germany had decided to mobilize before she had any certain knowledge of Russian mobilization, so it cannot have been decided on because of that act.


You have made this statement before (on the HC board) and more than once. You were corrected each time. Where is your proof for this outlandish statement?

In the mid-afternoon of July 31st, Berlin sent this message to St. Petersburg:

"In spite of negotiations for mediation which are still in the balance, and although we ourselves up to now have taken no measures of mobilization, Russia has mobilized its whole army and fleet, that means against us. These Russian measures have forced us for the security of the Empire to proclaim the ‘imminent danger of war’ which does not yet mean mobilization. But mobilization must follow if Russia does not suspend all warlike measures against us and Austria-Hungary within twelve hours."
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby Terry Duncan on 14 Oct 2011 20:39

You have made this statement before (on the HC board) and more than once. You were corrected each time


You are not qualified to 'correct' amyone, even if you did manage to stumble across a modern book.

Where is your proof for this outlandish statement?


Read Strachan's The First World War: Vol I, To Arms as it contains all the details and you did post a thread on it once claiming ot have read it - though it appears at that time you only had the part work, not an easy mistake to make!

The rest of your quote is the somewhat less than honest Ultimatum sent to Russia that somewhat shoots down your 'mobilization means war' argument as it does not mention this as a consequence, indicating tha the civilian government in Germany obviously considered that there was still time to talk after mobilizing. It is either that or they deliberately lied to Russia about the consequences?

However, it only says that Germany has not yet acted, it does not say she has not already decided to act. Go and study the actual timeline of events. The final decision to mobilize in Germany was taken five minutes before the news of Russian mobilization was received.
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby peterhof on 14 Oct 2011 21:35

Here is Strachan:

"Moltke had returned to his desk on 25 July, and the minister of war, Falkenhayn, did so on 27 July. The latter was alarmed by Moltke’s lack of resolution, and felt that by 29 July the point had been reached when military considerations should override political. Given the indications of mobilisation elsewhere in Europe, and aware of how crucial time would be because of the dangers to Germany of a two-front war, he wanted the preliminary stages of German mobilisation to be put in hand. Moltke was aware that for Germany, if not for the other powers, mobilisation would mean war. At first, therefore, he respected the chancellor’s wish to await Russia’s response. But by 30 July he was prepared to hold on no longer. Then the Germans heard of the Russian decision to mobilise."

Strachan, Hew (2005-04-05). The First World War (Kindle Locations 490-495). Penguin. Kindle Edition.

You will note that neither Moltke nor Falkenhayn were decision makers. Bethmann-Hollweg had decided - firmly - that Germany would undertake no mobilization measures until officially notified of Russian mobilization.

Strachan is plain wrong to state, as he does, that mobilization had been used before to buttress diplomacy. He forgets to inform us that these were PARTIAL mobilizations. Germany had not objected to Russia's PARTIAL mobilization. The meaning of Russia's general mobilization were made crystal-clear by Sasonov and the Czar themselves.

Fay writes:

"Partial mobilization might be undertaken by a Great Power without leading to war, as had happened on several occasions in Russia and Austria in the preceding years. But general mobilization by a Great Power was generally understood to mean that it had only resorted to this final step of putting the great military machine in motion, with the automatic movement of the troops to the frontier with the greatest despatch, when it had finally concluded that war could no longer be avoided." The words of Sasonov and the Czar confirm this."

Did you think, Terry, that you could make your threadbare canard [about this supposed German mobilization] come true by sheer force of repetition? (BTW: Germany did not "negotiate" after the Russian mobilization. Germany gave Russia twelve hours to suspend. This is hardly "negotiation."
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby Terry Duncan on 15 Oct 2011 00:19

Peter,

Firstly lets look at one gem you have posted here, remembering that when you post to cite a source on something you become an advocate for that view;

Moltke was aware that for Germany, if not for the other powers, mobilisation would mean war.


So, mobilization did not necessarily mean war for anyone but Germany, therefore the same logic must apply to those other powers and that when they mobilized it was not because they had decided to go to war. After all, if that were the case, maybe you would like to answer who Belgium had decided to attack when she mobilized?

Strachan, Hew (2005-04-05). The First World War (Kindle Locations 490-495). Penguin. Kindle Edition.


I may be wrong but I believe this is the part work, not the full book. Certainly when you posted on THC board you had not seen the full book as you were unaware exactly what Strachan had written, and I was told at the time that the full version was not available on Kindle. Obviously that can change, but either you have the part work still, missed the important part about the timing of decisions, or decided not to admit to what was said.

Strachan wrote;

The emphasis on speed of mobilization, the interaction of war plans, and Germany’s central geographical position meant that a chain reaction became possible. But the interlocking sequence of mobilizations can be exaggerated; Serbia decided to mobilize ahead of Austria-Hungary; Austria-Hungary settled for general mobilization before Russia’s position was known; Russia’s move to mobilization preceded Germany’s and yet Germany’s decision was made before it was aware of the Russian position; Britain responded to Germany before it had decided to honour any commitment to France. The imperative of the alliance system was not one of altruism. But of brutal self-interest: Germany needed Austria-Hungary; France’s military position was dependant on Russian support; British diplomacy was unsustainable if it allowed the Entente to shatter.


Strachan – The First World War: Vol I, To Arms. Page 100 This is available on Google books to view for free here;

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=zv8Z ... e&q&f=true

So please, no more claiming Strachan did not say Germany decided to act before she knew what Russia had done.

Strachan is plain wrong to state, as he does, that mobilization had been used before to buttress diplomacy.


No he is correct in saying this, Austria had done so in the Balkan Crisis of 1912/13 and threatened war was certain if Serbia did not relinquish access to the sea!

Your quote from Fay does not say quite what you think it does, please look at the following segment;

But general mobilization by a Great Power was generally understood to mean that it had only resorted to this final step of putting the great military machine in motion, with the automatic movement of the troops to the frontier with the greatest despatch, when it had finally concluded that war could no longer be avoided."


So Russia was acting because she concluded war could not be avoided, not because she had decided to attack anyone as such, but because war was the only option left. That would of course have been the situation because Austria was not talking or ceasing her war on Serbia. Nothing about Russia deciding to attack Germany, and considering Fay's general line through his work, this is interesting as he would not have failed to mention it if he had felt it to be the case.

The words of Sasonov and the Czar confirm this."


Sazonov's words to the Austrian ambassador make it perfectly clear who was causing the chian of events leading to war;

I know what it is. You mean to make war on Serbia. . . . You are setting fire to Europe. It is a great responsibility that you are assuming, you will see the impression that it will make here and in London and Paris and perhaps elsewhere. It will be regarded as an unjustifiable aggression. . . Why was Serbia given no chance to speak and why the form of an ultimatum? The monarchic idea has got nothing to do with it. . . . The fact is you mean war and you have burnt your bridges. . . . One sees how peace loving you are, seeing that you set fire to Europe.


Did you think, Terry, that you could make your threadbare canard [about this supposed German mobilization] come true by sheer force of repetition?


No, I am perfectly happy to produce undoctored evidence as demonstrated.

(BTW: Germany did not "negotiate" after the Russian mobilization.


I have never said she did. I have said that she could have done so if she had wished to do so, as there were three days between declaring war and taking any action that required a state of war to effect.

Germany gave Russia twelve hours to suspend.


Moltke's own estimate was that it would take Russia at least 48 hours to cease the mobilization, so a 12 hour limit looks to have been set to create an excuse, as supported by the two declarations of war - Russia had not answered, or Russia had given an unsatisfactory answer!

This is hardly "negotiation."


No, Germany had decided to abandon negotiation and seek war.

I do not blame Germany for taking action, I think she was too quick to declare war and could have mobilized and used those three extra days to try for a peaceful settlement if sufficient will to do so had been present, but that does not mean her judgement was sound. Russia was certainly acting badly, and for a cause few would consider fully justified, but so was Austria, and it was Austrian action that started the descent to war and Austrian intransigence that destroyed the last hopes for peace. France could have tried to talk restraint to Russia early in the crisis, but if we criticise France for this then the same must be applied to Germany and Austria who also did not practice any talk of restraint until it was far too late. You are the one trying to create some fantasy where one alliance was entirely blameless, and the facts do not support this - unless you act like Barnes and doctor them heavily first!
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby peterhof on 15 Oct 2011 03:52

I see you have not forgotten your old trick of misquoting people. Previous mobilizations for the purpose of buttressing diplomacy had been PARTIAL mobilizations as Fay mentioned. PARTIAL mobilizations are distinct from general mobilizations which had not been ordered in the cases of which Strachan was speaking.

Fay said: "Mobilization means war." He said this without qualifications of any sort. He even used the phrase as a chapter heading and quotes the Russian Chief of the Mobilization Division to the effect that mobilization means war

Fay eloborates:

"By ordering general mobilization about 6:00 P.M., on July 30, Russia had now taken the step which military men everywhere clearly understood almost certainly meant war. This was also clearly understood by Sasonov and the Tsar, as appears from Schilling's account of their conversation at Peterhof and the Tsar's long hesitation to assume the terrible responsibility."

The conversation to which Fay refers is Czar Nicholas saying "You [Sasonov] are asking me to send thousands upon thousands of men to their death." I think "thousands upon thousands" of dead soldiers means war, don't you?

Now for Mr. Strachan. He asserts that "Russia’s move to mobilization preceded Germany’s and yet Germany’s decision was made before it was aware of the Russian position." This is so patently false that it calls into question the rest of Mr. Strachan's conclusions. Precisely the opposite was true. Despite vehement objections from Moltke and Falkenhayn, Bethmann was absolutely adamant that any German mobilization would come only after receiving OFFICIAL notification of Russian general mobilization.

Show me a shred of evidence (other than Strachan's wrong-headed notion) that the German decision to mobilize came "before it was aware of the Russian position."

(BTW: The book to which your link points, is the same book I have on my Kindle-for-PC)
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby Terry Duncan on 15 Oct 2011 04:30

I see you have not forgotten your old trick of misquoting people.


Please cite where I have done this. I am serious, I wish to see where I have done what you say. I see no mention of any distinction of mobilization, partial or full, until you introduced it in your post of 14 Oct 2011 20:35. I have looked over the posts and cannot see where your accusation can be substantiated.

Fay said: "Mobilization means war." He said this without qualifications of any sort.


Then Fay was clearly wrong. If Mobilization means war, tell me who Belgium had decided to fight at the end of July and prior even to getting the ultimatum from Germany!

This is so patently false that it calls into question the rest of Mr. Strachan's conclusions.


Please cite something to support this conclusion. Strachan is usually considered the foremost expert on WWI, the very reason his book was so well recieved and turned into so many part works.

Show me a shred of evidence (other than Strachan's wrong-headed notion) that the German decision to mobilize came "before it was aware of the Russian position."


Look at Albertini to see another account. Would you prefer Fischer? How about people like Mombauer, Herwig, or even Fromkin? Giess? Joll? Lichnowsky? Eulenburg? You have dismissed all as wrong or worse, so there seems little point especially as you do not seem to read the books anyhow if you think they say something you do not like.

(BTW: The book to which your link points, is the same book I have on my Kindle-for-PC)


Does this mean you deliberately posted something knowing Strachan had said otherwise? That is extremely dishonest if so. It is not as though you have not seen me quote this exact passage before, so it should have at least got you looking for it.
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Re: Who Really Murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Postby glenn239 on 15 Oct 2011 15:30

MajorT wrote:Hi Glenn,

Let's keep this clean.

You write:

"I ask you again - if the Boer War had caused a world war, do you really think it would be Britain and the Boers that were responsible? Or would you blame the third party that used the Boer war as an excuse, a pretext, for aggression?"

When did you ever ask me this before?



You didn't answer the question.
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