Axis History Forum

This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations and related topics hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research, Christoph Awender's WW2 day by dayand Christian Ankerstjerne’s Panzerworld.

Skip to content

If you found the forum useful please consider supporting us. You can also support us by buying books through the AHF Bookstore.

The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Discussions on all aspects of the First World War not covered in the other sections.
Hosted by Terry Duncan.

The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby peterhof on 22 Jan 2012 06:23

On Thursday, July 30th, 1914, at 6:00 P.M., Russia ordered the full mobilization of the totality of her armed forces. Sergei Dobrorolski, Chief of the Mobilization Division of the General Staff, recalls the historic moment:

“Every operator [in the Central Telegraph Office] was sitting by his instrument waiting for the copy of the telegram, in order to send to all ends of the Russian Empire the momentous news of the calling up of the Russian people. A few minutes after six, while absolute stillness reigned in the room, all the instruments began at once to click. That was the beginning moment of the great epoch.” (Die Mobilmachtung der Russischen Armee 1914. Berlin, 1921)

Pro-Entente historians have left no stone unturned in their efforts to minimize, trivialize, belittle, dismiss, or disparage the fatal Russian step as noted by Fay:

“What were the reasons for this fatal decision to order general mobilization? The Entente Powers in their efforts to excuse and justify it have often alleged various reasons – which are false.”

Mobilization meant war as Dobrorolski himself made crystal clear:

“The whole plan of mobilization is worked out ahead to its end in all its details. When the moment has been chosen, one only has to press the button, and the whole state begins to function automatically with the precision of a clock’s mechanism . . . The choice of the moment is influenced by a complex of varied political causes. But once the moment has been fixed, everything is settled; there is no going back. It determines mechanically the beginning of war."(Dobrorolski, P. 92)

Bethmann was increasingly alarmed about Russian mobilization measures and had earlier telegraphed to Pourtales:

“Kindly call M. Sasonov’s serious attention to the fact that further continuation would force us to mobilize, and in that case a European war could scarcely be prevented.” (Bethmann to Pourtales, July 29, 12:50 P.M.; received at St. Petersburg at 4:35 P.M.; K.D., 342)

Any remaining doubts about Russia’s intention in ordering general mobilization are answered by the statements of the Russians themselves which were immediately communicated to Grey. Just hours before departing for Peterhof to obtain the Czar’s consent to general mobilization, Sasonov told Buchanan and Paleologue:

“If Austria rejects this proposal (to eliminate from her ultimatum points which violate the sovereign rights of Serbia), preparations for a general mobilization will be proceeded with, and a European war will be inevitable. For strategical reasons Russia can hardly postpone converting partial into general mobilization, now that she knows Germany is preparing, and excitement in the country has reached such a pitch that she cannot hold back if Austria refuses to make concessions.” (Buchanan to Grey, July 30, 1:15 P.M.; received 3:15 P.M., B.D., 302)

Sasonov makes no mention of Bethmann’s heavy pressure upon Vienna to negotiate of which he had been informed, and ignores the fact that Berchtold had promised a formal reply to Bethmann the very next day. But Sasonov was dermined to forge ahead and neither France nor Great Britain objected. S.B. Fay wrote:

“Buchanan evidently made no effort to deter Sasonov from his purpose of converting partial into general mobilization. His failure to do so must have been an encouragement to the Russian Minister.” (The Origins of the World War, Vol 2, P. 471)

Indeed! Just the day before, Buchanan had explicitly warned Sasonov that general mobilization would “probably” trigger a German declaration of war.

Finally, two hours before the order for general mobilization went out over the wires, Baron Schilling quotes the Czar and Sasonov as follows:

Czar: “Think of the responsibility you are advising me to take! Think of the thousands upon thousands of men who will be sent to their death!”
Sasonov: “It only remains to do everything necessary to meet war fully armed and under the conditions most favorable to us. Therefore it is better without fear to call forth a war by our preparations for it, and to continue these preparations carefully, rather than out of fear to give an inducement for war and be taken unawares.

Please note that these statements confirm that for Russia – as for everyone else – mobilization meant war, which in turn means that the Triple Entente started the war. S.B. Fay confirms (P. 479):

“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 (see above) and the Tsar’s long hesitation to assume the terrible responsibility. 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 troops to the frontier with the greatest dispatch, when it had finally concluded that war could no longer be avoided.”

And finally (p. 554-5), Fay concludes:

“It was the hasty Russian general mobilization, assented to on July 29 and ordered on July 30, while Germany was still trying to bring Austria to accept mediation proposals, which finally rendered the European War inevitable . . . Russia’s responsibility lay also in the secret preparatory military measures which she was making at the same time that she was carrying on diplomatic negotiations. These alarmed Germany and Austria. But it was primarily Russia’s general mobilization, made when Germany was trying to bring Austria to a settlement, which precipitated the final catastrophe, causing Germany to mobilize and declare war.”

Dobrorolski’s own personal, detailed explanation of the Russian general mobilization may be seen at

http://www.vlib.us/wwi/resources/archives/texts/t040831b.html

This includes contributions by

Graf Pourtalès. Formerly German Ambassador in St Petersburg.
Retired Colonel D. von Eggeling. Formerly German Military Attaché in St Petersburg.
We have met the enemy and he is us.
peterhof
Member
United States
 
Posts: 682
Joined: 05 Sep 2011 00:18
Location: Laguna Woods, CA

Re: The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby Terry Duncan on 23 Jan 2012 01:58

It would appear that you are unable to cite a single modern author to support your claims, the sources you cite are eighty years old now and somewhat replaced by more modern works where the authors have had access to all the documents, including the ones kept secret until after 1946 when the German archives were opened for all to see.

Would it be fair to say that your entire case revolves around two revisionist authors, as well as employees of the German Foreign Office War Guilt Section writing to clear Germany of responsibility for WWI in order to attempt to get the reparations payments reduced, decided that Germany didnt start the war on her own? Even then Fay blamed Austria most for the war - as do I.
User avatar
Terry Duncan
Forum Staff
United Kingdom
 
Posts: 3625
Joined: 13 Jun 2008 22:54

Re: The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby peterhof on 24 Jan 2012 02:09

Terry Duncan wrote: Even then Fay blamed Austria most for the war - as do I.


Here is what Fay said about Austria:

"Austria was more responsible for the immediate origin of the war than any other Power. Yet from her own point of view she was acting in self-defense - not against an immediate military attack, but against the corroding Greater Serbia and Jugoslav agitation which her leaders believed threatened her very existence. No State can be expected to sit with folded arms and await dismemberment at the hands of its neighbors. Russia was believed to be intriguing with Serbia and Rumania against the Dual Monarchy. The assassination of the heir to the throne, as a result of a plot prepared in Belgrade, demanded severe retribution; otherwise Austria would be regarded as incapable of action, "worm-eaten" as the Serbian Press expressed it, would sink in prestige, and hasten her own downfall. To avert this Berchtold determined to crush Serbia with war."

Compare this heavily qualified statement with the relatively straightforward statement about Russia:

“It was the hasty Russian general mobilization, assented to on July 29 and ordered on July 30, while Germany was still trying to bring Austria to accept mediation proposals, which finally rendered the European War inevitable . . . Russia’s responsibility lay also in the secret preparatory military measures which she was making at the same time that she was carrying on diplomatic negotiations. These alarmed Germany and Austria. But it was primarily Russia’s general mobilization, made when Germany was trying to bring Austria to a settlement, which precipitated the final catastrophe, causing Germany to mobilize and declare war.”

About Germany, Fay wrote:

"Germany did not plot a European War, did not want one, and made genuine, though too belated efforts, to avert one . . . It is true that would have hardly embarked on his gambler's policy unless he had been assured that Germany would fulfil the obligations of the alliance, and to this extent Germany must share the great responsibility of Austria. But when Bethmann realized that Russia was likely to intervene, that England might not remain neutral, and that there was a danger of a world war in which Austria and Germany would appear to be the instigators, he tried to call a halt on Austria, but it was too late . . . "

Fay does not explain why German efforts were "too late" or why Russia could not delay her general mobilization by a few days. From his own words, it appears to me that Fay is putting most of the blame on Russia, and, by extension, France and England.
We have met the enemy and he is us.
peterhof
Member
United States
 
Posts: 682
Joined: 05 Sep 2011 00:18
Location: Laguna Woods, CA

Re: The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby Terry Duncan on 24 Jan 2012 02:52

Terry Duncan wrote: Even then Fay blamed Austria most for the war - as do I.



Here is what Fay said about Austria:

"Austria was more responsible for the immediate origin of the war than any other Power.


So exactly as I noted earlier. Austria was the Power most responsible for the outbreak of the war in 1914. This is what Fay means by immediate origin. This does not mean she was most responsible for the events that led to 1914, only that it was Austrian actions in 1914 that caused the war to begin.

From his own words, it appears to me that Fay is putting most of the blame on Russia, and, by extension, France and England.


Ever a casual reading of the quotes you have posted will show that Fay is not putting most of the blame on Russia, let alone France or Britain - after all, it that were true you would have been posting the segments about those two Powers also! You obviously missed reading the section about Germany you posted, as it contains the following;

It is true that would have hardly embarked on his gambler's policy unless he had been assured that Germany would fulfil the obligations of the alliance, and to this extent Germany must share the great responsibility of Austria.


There is something wrong with the structure at the start of this statement, a word missing maybe. However the rest reads perfectly clear, Fay is noting that Germany and Austria were gambling with the situation because each was sure the other would stand by them in any war, and because of this;

Germany must share the great responsibility of Austria.


From the quote already provided by you, we know Fay's opinion of what share of the guilt rested with Austria, namely;

Austria was more responsible for the immediate origin of the war than any other Power.


So for all the responsibility Fay suggests Russia has for events leading to war, he still holds Austria most responsible, and notes that Germany must share that responsibility because she was running a gamblers policy and gambling with European war as a direct consequence of a policy freely entered into be Germany.
User avatar
Terry Duncan
Forum Staff
United Kingdom
 
Posts: 3625
Joined: 13 Jun 2008 22:54

Re: The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby peterhof on 24 Jan 2012 03:57

With all due respect to Sydney Bradshaw Fay, I do not agree with him in everything. His conclusions about Austria and Russia with regard to war-guilt are incompatible. He assigns the blame on the Russian mobilization without qualification whilst at the same time assigning "most" of the blame to Austria. He also wrote:

"Although Buchanan at St. Petersburg in the early part of the crisis attempted to exercise restraint upon Russia, no such effort was made from London. (my emphasis) The British Foreign Office took the stand expressed in a minute by Sir E. Crowe on July 25th:

The moment has passed when it might have been possible to enlist French support in an effort to hold back Russia.
It is clear that France and Russia are decided to accept the challenge thrown out to them. What ever we may think of the merits of the Austrian charges against Serbia, France and Russia consider that these are the pretexts, and that the bigger cause of Triple Alliance versus Triple Entente is definitely engaged.
I think it would be impolitic, not to say dangerous, for England to attempt to controvert this opinion, or to endeavor to obscure the plain issue, by any representation at St. Petersburg and Paris . . .
Our interests are tied up with those of France and Russia in this struggle, which is not for the possession of Serbia, but one between Germany aiming at a political dictatorship in Europe and the Powers who desire to retain individual freedom.'"
(B.D., 10)

Remember, this was written before Serbia had replied to the Austrian Note and proposed to disregard any evidence of Serbian or Russian complicity which might be produced by Austria. Sir Eyre Crowe – author of the earlier Crowe Memorandum – was Sir Edward’s closest adviser and held the highest position in the British Foreign Office, second only to Grey himself, is actually proposing that Grey allow the situation to devolve into a European war. This is exactly what happened.

So who, according to Fay, is mostly responsible? Fay hedges his bets - perhaps due to political and/or career considerations. According to me (as you know), the responsibility lies with a handful of influential British statesmen who used the Franco-Russian alliance to act upon their "misreading" of German ambitions.
We have met the enemy and he is us.
peterhof
Member
United States
 
Posts: 682
Joined: 05 Sep 2011 00:18
Location: Laguna Woods, CA

Re: The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby Terry Duncan on 24 Jan 2012 04:42

Curiously in a thread about Russian mobilization you are now turning the subject to British foreign policy, whereas in almost every other thread, including that on British foreign policy, you turn the subject to Russian mobilization. Is there any hope this subject will actually stay on topic?
User avatar
Terry Duncan
Forum Staff
United Kingdom
 
Posts: 3625
Joined: 13 Jun 2008 22:54

Re: The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby peterhof on 24 Jan 2012 05:34

You first mentioned Austria, but this is not necessarily off-topic. Fay states that the Russian general mobilization made the war "inevitable." He states this at some length and without qualification, and then states that Austria has the single-most responsibility for the war. I am simply pointing out that these two statements are incompatible. They cannot both be correct.

Neither is it off-topic to point out that the Russian general mobilization was ordered after consistent and repeated encouragements from France (see the Isvolsky Correspondence) and a conspicuous lack of objections from England even though Grey had admitted that general mobilization "would, in my opinion, precipitate a crisis."

Finally, I would point out that Fay, after stating that "Austria was more responsible for the immediate origin of the war than any other Power" immediately launches into a page and a half of qualifications and justifications of Austria's actions.
We have met the enemy and he is us.
peterhof
Member
United States
 
Posts: 682
Joined: 05 Sep 2011 00:18
Location: Laguna Woods, CA

Re: The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby Terry Duncan on 24 Jan 2012 15:00

You first mentioned Austria, but this is not necessarily off-topic.


Entirely on-topic as the Austrian actions are the reason Russia mobilized.

With all due respect to Sydney Bradshaw Fay, I do not agree with him in everything.


The problem here Peter is that you do not agree with any historian worth the name - and yes, this does exclude the dishonest Barnes - and refuse to look at the evidence that has come to light since 1946, and instead rely on works from before 1930.

So who, according to Fay, is mostly responsible? Fay hedges his bets - perhaps due to political and/or career considerations.


No. Fay blames Austria most and notes Germany must share that guilt. This does not mean Russia does not also share the guilt, only that she was not the Power Fay decided was most to blame.

According to me (as you know), the responsibility lies with a handful of influential British statesmen who used the Franco-Russian alliance to act upon their "misreading" of German ambitions.


It is rather hard to tell, on the original History Channel site you started by blaming Russia and France most, the change to blaming Britain can far later. This is both amusing and self-defeating, as a far better case can be made against Russia and maybe even France.
User avatar
Terry Duncan
Forum Staff
United Kingdom
 
Posts: 3625
Joined: 13 Jun 2008 22:54

Re: The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby peterhof on 24 Jan 2012 18:00

Terry Duncan wrote:. . . on the original History Channel site you started by blaming Russia and France most, the change to blaming Britain can far later.


This is true, though I did cite House early on ("Whenever England consents, France and Russia will close in on Germany and Austria"). My opinion then was based mainly upon Poincare's numerous 'blank checks' to Russia and the Isvolsky Correspondence, as well as the Russian mobilization. But this was before I had studied the diplomacy of king Edward VII - particularly his telling tete-a-tetes with Leon Gambetta while still Prince of Wales.

Part of the problem with "modern" historians is that they often fail to mention the Isvolsky Correspondence even though much of this is available in the original Russian script, handwritten by Isvolsky. At the same time they downplay or minimize the Russian general mobilization, while ignoring Edward VII altogether, and, with the exception of Niall Ferguson, do not measure up to the thoroughness of Fay. More recently discovered documents, moreover, do not substantially alter the picture produced by the earlier official release of diplomatic documents,
We have met the enemy and he is us.
peterhof
Member
United States
 
Posts: 682
Joined: 05 Sep 2011 00:18
Location: Laguna Woods, CA

Re: The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby favedave on 24 Jan 2012 19:11

Blaming the Russians for doing exactly as they were expected to do in this situation (Austria and Serbia at war) a full month before the mobilization took place, and making no attempts (other than last minute bullying by the Kaiser) to forestall Russia's expected reaction, puts the blame squarely on Franz Josef for doing it anyway and the Kaiser for giving his full support to Vienna on the 6th of July.
favedave
Member
United States
 
Posts: 487
Joined: 10 Aug 2011 16:55

Re: The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby Terry Duncan on 24 Jan 2012 19:24

But this was before I had studied the diplomacy of king Edward VII - particularly his telling tete-a-tetes with Leon Gambetta while still Prince of Wales.


Talking to somebody 30-40 years before the war started is hardly a signficant factor in the origins of WWI, especially as both people were long dead by 1914. Would you accept Moltke the Elder stating that he wanted to crush France to such an extent she would never attain Great Power status again as proof Germany started WWI? That dated from 1878, so is just as relevent as the future Edward VII talking to Leon Gambetta.

Part of the problem with "modern" historians is that they often fail to mention the Isvolsky Correspondence even though much of this is available in the original Russian script, handwritten by Isvolsky.


Probably because Isvolsky was a minor figure in the July Crisis, one who had little influence and no actual control over events. Perhaps you would like the war-like utterings of Tschirschky during the July Crisis? Isvolsky had no ability to make Austria adopt a policy that lead to war, nor could he force Germany to support such a policy, so blaming him for the war is absurd.

At the same time they downplay or minimize the Russian general mobilization,


Because Austria had already started the war against Serbia, knowing this would force Russia to react, and that Austria had already correctly identified the reaction from Russia would be mobilization and war if Austria insisted on war with Serbia.

At the same time they downplay or minimize the Russian general mobilization


Most I have seen actually note that the Russian attitude was militaristic from the outset, and say that this led to a hightening of the crisis. It was still a move short of war.

with the exception of Niall Ferguson


As an historian that ignores entirely all matters concerning Austria, and blames Germany for the war, it is amusing you bother to keep citing him.

do not measure up to the thoroughness of Fay


Albertini certainly surpasses Fay, which is why his works are still cited by most historians whilst Fay's are far less so, and people like Strachan, Herwig, Joll, and Stevenson are all known for their thoroughness as well as having full access to all the documents not available to everyone when Fay wrote. Of course we cannot be sure if Fay saw them, but we can be certain he did not even mention many of them, which means Fay's work is based on less than the full facts.

More recently discovered documents, moreover, do not substantially alter the picture produced by the earlier official release of diplomatic documents,


Actually they show Germany was far more willing to go to war than Fay would have people believe. Whilst you do not like Mombauer, she has unearthed a lot of information to indicate the German government and military were working with the full knowledge their policy might end in a full European war from early July onwards - notably a point where other powers were not even talking about war.

If you wish to consider the shared guilt view of events, the actions or all the powers fit into place, but to persue a strange agenda that aquits one side entirely is not only absurd, it relys on ignoring historical events and documented evidence. History is only able to be correctly assessed when all the evidence is considered, and never when attention if focused on only one faction. For every example you cite against the Entente, there are just as many that can be cited against the Central Powers. Quote mining is somewhat unproductive, especially when reason and balance are lacking.
User avatar
Terry Duncan
Forum Staff
United Kingdom
 
Posts: 3625
Joined: 13 Jun 2008 22:54

Re: The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby peterhof on 24 Jan 2012 20:36

favedave wrote:Blaming the Russians for doing exactly as they were expected to do in this situation (Austria and Serbia at war) a full month before the mobilization took place, and making no attempts (other than last minute bullying by the Kaiser) to forestall Russia's expected reaction, puts the blame squarely on Franz Josef for doing it anyway and the Kaiser for giving his full support to Vienna on the 6th of July.


You have apparently forgotten that when Sasonov first learned of the Austrian ultimatum, his response was: “This means a European war!” (“C’est la guerre Européenne!”) This was on the 24th of July when Serbia had not yet replied. The very next day, a Ministerial Council came to the decision to mobilize the four military districts of Odessa, Kiev, Moscow, Kazan, and the Black and Baltic sea fleets. Furthermore, the Minister of War was “to proceed immediately to gather stores of war material” and the Finance Minister was directed to call in all Russian money from Austria and Germany!
At a second Ministerial Council on July 25th, it was further decided to cancel all scheduled military maneuvers throughout Russia and to recall troops from their summer camps. All of this was decided before Austria’s partial mobilization against Serbia! Paléologue has written that he and Isvolsky agreed (on July 25th) that war was now inevitable. Dobroloski, the Russian Chief of the Mobilization Division of the General Staff confirms:

"On the evening of July 24th, 1914, a meeting of the Committee of the General Staff took place at which it was decided to declare at once a preparatory mobilization period and further to declare a state of war over all fortresses and frontier stations. War was already decided on and the whole flood of telegrams between the governments of Russia and Germany represented merely the stage setting [mise en scène] of an historical drama."

Sasonov's plan for partial mobilization was changed because it would interfere with the anticipated general mobilization against Germany. Austria had nothing to do with it. In the days and hours before general mobilization, Sasanov cited German preparations and excitement in Russia. The Austrian declaration of war against Serbia was not mentioned. Neither was it mentioned during the afternoon of July 30th at Peterhof.

The Kaiser gave his support to Austria on July 6 for the purpose of preventing a European war. When Russian intervention threatened a European war, Bethmann leaned heavily upon Austria to negotiate - again for the purpose of preventing a European war

Like it or not, the Russian mobilization was not prompted by Austria's DOW. It was prompted by Russia's lust for the Straits. In a letter dated May 6, 1913, Sasonov writes the Russian ambassador at Belgrade that

“Serbia has passed only through the first stage of her historical career. To reach her goal she must endure another frightful struggle, in which her very existence will be staked . . . Serbia’s Promised Land lies in the territory of the present Austria-Hungary.” Just days later, the Serbian ambassador in St. Petersburg reports to his government that

“Sasonov told me again that we must work for the future, as we shall get a great deal of territory from Austria-Hungary.

Early in 1914, Sasonov writes:

“I must repeat that the question of the Straits can hardly be advanced a step except through European complications. To judge from present conditions, these complications would find us in alliance with France and possibly, but not quite certainly, with Great Britain, or at least with the latter as a benevolent neutral. In the event of European complications, we should be able to count in the Balkans on Serbia and perhaps also on Rumania.”

Get the picture? This - NOT Austria - was the reason for Russia's general mobilization.
We have met the enemy and he is us.
peterhof
Member
United States
 
Posts: 682
Joined: 05 Sep 2011 00:18
Location: Laguna Woods, CA

Re: The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby Terry Duncan on 24 Jan 2012 20:59

You have apparently forgotten that when Sasonov first learned of the Austrian ultimatum, his response was: “This means a European war!”


The full quote makes it somewhat clear waht Sazonov was saying;

'This is the European war! The fact is, you want war and you have burned your bridges. You are setting Europe on fire!' It would appear Sazonov also noted 'God will judge you' too. It is perfectly clear that Sazonov was pointing out to the Austrian ambassador that Austria's actions were going to cause a European War.

This was on the 24th of July when Serbia had not yet replied.


It was after the Rome embassy leak that told everyone Austria was looking for a war and did not want a peaceful settlement.

At a second Ministerial Council on July 25th, it was further decided to cancel all scheduled military maneuvers throughout Russia and to recall troops from their summer camps.


Germany and Austria had taken the same measures from 18th July onwards. Russia was far from alone at calling back all her serving officers and men to their depots.

Sasonov's plan for partial mobilization was changed because it would interfere with the anticipated general mobilization against Germany.


It was changed because there was no plan for partial mobilization, and such a notion made no sense from a military perspective as any move against Austria would be met by Germany declaring war. As your own favourite source, Dobrorolski confirms;

While it was still possible to doubt whether the Franco-Russian Alliance could be regarded as unshakeable, given the two totally different forms of government no doubt could arise as to the unity and solidity of Germany and Austria-Hungary. Their treaty of alliance was regularly renewed and officially published. Only 6 years before, the head of the Triple Alliance had solemnly assured Austria-Hungary, at the time of the annexation of Bosnia, that the faithful knight in shining armour would do his duty.

What purpose then would a partial mobilisation against Austria-Hungary only serve? A threat, not supported by a convincing display of force, must tempt them to disregard it. A partial mobilisation must result in precisely the opposite result of that intended.
User avatar
Terry Duncan
Forum Staff
United Kingdom
 
Posts: 3625
Joined: 13 Jun 2008 22:54

Re: The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby peterhof on 24 Jan 2012 21:10

"The fact is, you want war and you have burned your bridges. You are setting Europe on fire!'

You've got your quotes mixed up. The above was Sasonov's reaction to Austria's dow
We have met the enemy and he is us.
peterhof
Member
United States
 
Posts: 682
Joined: 05 Sep 2011 00:18
Location: Laguna Woods, CA

Re: The Russian General Mobilization of 1914

Postby Terry Duncan on 24 Jan 2012 21:28

"The fact is, you want war and you have burned your bridges. You are setting Europe on fire!'

You've got your quotes mixed up. The above was Sasonov's reaction to Austria's dow


I haven't, it would appear you have though. The fact Sazonov was excitable and rambled was covered in Szapary's report, as detailed by Albertini;

In his reports of the interview Szápáry said that Sazonov listened to him ‘relatively calmly’ and gave an impression ‘more of disheartenment than of excitement’, but his quotations of what Sazonov actually said produce the opposite effect. The stiffest demands of the ultimatum had roused him to protest:

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.


So, clearly Sazonov was talking about the Note and its terms. You can blame Sazonov for many things, but he clearly had the measure of Austria from the moment he saw the Note and its terms.
User avatar
Terry Duncan
Forum Staff
United Kingdom
 
Posts: 3625
Joined: 13 Jun 2008 22:54

Next

Return to First World War

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 1 guest