Did WW1 really have a reason?

Discussions on all aspects of the First World War not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
glenn239
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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by glenn239 » 18 Feb 2021 18:32

Sid Guttridge wrote:
18 Feb 2021 12:27
Hi Guys,

One wonders how it would have played out if Germany had not given the UK its invasion of Belgium as a casus belli? The cabinet was less than united on the issue before this.
If France invaded Belgium then Britain would be forced into the war against Germany on the reasoning that it must protect the neutrality of Belgium, and war with France was completely unthinkable. Assuming France does not invade Belgium then the British press would start posting stories of German and Austrian war atrocities and Britain would be in the war in no time. This type of reporting and propaganda, (sometimes true, sometimes false, but always believed by the target audience) is very powerful and can easily overcome the residual stiffening of already fluid spines of a few cabinet members.

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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by Skysoldier80 » 18 Feb 2021 19:24

This is a simplistic answer, but a family quarrel. They were all related with different ideas on how to govern.

Not a complete answer, but worth peeling the onion on.

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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 18 Feb 2021 21:24

glenn239 wrote:
18 Feb 2021 18:24
Terry Duncan wrote:
18 Feb 2021 11:10

Austria tried to humiliate Russia by taking advantage of the assassination to take land from Serbia and crush her politically, whilst Germany wanted to use the same excuse to try and forcibly detach Russia from the Entente with Britain and France if they failed to support Russia. Curiously the alliances held up pretty much exactly as prediced as even the non-involvement of Italy was predicted, hence urging Austria to give up anything needed to secure Italian involvement.
Hmmn. Sounds like reasoning why Belgium meant little to the overall trajectory of British intervention, which by your description was clearly hinging upon Russia's continued participation in the Entente.
It seems to me glen must to change to much on real history for to make glen imagination story plausible.

On morning 2.august 1914.year Britain cabinet was have "non-intervention" policy. "Non-intervention" policy was because majority fraction mens on cabinet was against idea Britain on war. Opinion on "non-intervention" was be so much strong on fraction that they was agree for Germany army was can go through Belgium on attack France.
On 4 August Lloyd George told C. P. Scott of the Manchester Guardian that "up to last Sunday only two members of the Cabinet had been in favour of our intervention in the War . . ,"
In his memorandum of the proceedings of the morning Cabinet of 2 August, however, Runciman wrote:

Grey proposes definitely
(I) to announce to France and Germany that if the German ships enter the Channel we should regard that as a hostile act.
(II) on Belgian neutrality, we do not commit ourselves at present. We are consulting Parliament.

Crewe would not hesitate to go to war over the English Channel. Several others agreed.
What accounts for the readiness of Crewe and others to go to war over the English Channel, and for the disposition of those who met at No. 11Downing Street at 10.15 a.m. on Sunday, 2 August (Lloyd George, Harcourt, Beauchamp, Simon, Runciman, Pease) and agreed that "we were not prepared to go into war now, but that in certain events we might reconsider [the] position such as the invasion wholesale of Belgium"? Were their motives connected with the 'march of events' ? The Cabinet on 31 July was told of the exchange between Bethmann-Hollweg and Grey ofthe previous day - of the German bid for British neutrality, on which Sir Eyre Crowe, assistant under-secretary at the Foreign Office, minuted: "It is of interest to note that Germany practically admits the intention to violate Belgian territory", and of the foreign secretary's response:
to make this bargain with Germany at the expense of France would be a disgrace from which the good name of this country would never recover. The Chancellor also in effect asks us to bargain away whatever obligation or interest we have as regards the neutrality of Belgium. We could not entertain that bargain either.
When position on morning 2.august 1914.year was be so strong on "non-intervention" how can to be was change mind ?

Answer was not be was clearly hinging upon Russia's continued participation in the Entente.

Answer on reason change mind was be selfish domestic politics.
Answer on justification on war intervention was be German was attack Belgium.

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Terry Duncan
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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by Terry Duncan » 19 Feb 2021 14:38

glenn239 wrote:
18 Feb 2021 18:24
That train could always reach its station, via France.
By involving France, by definition this is beyond a British participation in a war between Germany and Russia. Unless France is involved my point of no method for direct British involvement stands.
glenn239 wrote:
18 Feb 2021 18:24
Britain continued with the illusion of Splendid Isolation, ('Splendid Illusion?') all the way up to 1914, and as Ferguson successfully argued, could have actually implemented this type of neutrality policy in 1914. So, in answer to your question, the country that ended Splendid Isolation was none other than Great Britain itself.
Ferguson successfully argued what? Mostly he wrote rubbish to incite controversy as he tends to do, and his conclusions are supported by almost no mainstream historians of WWI. If 'Splendid Isolation' continued the Entente's couldnt have existed, and as we know they did, Ferguson is wrong, again.

The nation causing the end of Splendid Isolation was mostly Germany when it supported the Boers, armed them, and led continental opposition to the war. It made Britain aware it needed allies, not isolation.
glenn239 wrote:
18 Feb 2021 18:24
There was indeed an overarching, single potential reason for Britain and Russia to go to war with Germany; the elimination of the continental frontrunner.
Potential. Sadly for reality, in 1914 this played no part in why either nation went to war. They had far more direct reasons relating to actual events taking place at the time.
glenn239 wrote:
18 Feb 2021 18:24
If Russia had limited itself to measures short of partial or general mobilizations, Austria's 3rd Balkans War would have run its course and ended perhaps even as quickly as in a few months. What would it have looked like? Perhaps a bit like Stalin's war on Finland in 1939. Whatever the outcome, it is doubtful the Austrians would emerge stronger.
If Austria had not insisted on war. Why does Austria have to be allowed to go to war?
glenn239 wrote:
18 Feb 2021 18:24
Well, for Britain the answer was that it's continental doctrine was supporting the weak against the strong, and Austria was the weaker party.
The balance between France and Russia verses Germany and Austria-Hungary was very close in 1905-1907, with the former likely being weaker due to the Russo-Japanese war and revolution of 1905. That is the point the alliances were set. By 1914 the balance was far closer. The deciding factor for Britain was that Germany had openly declared itself a threat with its naval program. There are a good three hundred years of British history of opposing the nearest naval rival, and Germany openly embraced that role, the result was inevitable.
glenn239 wrote:
18 Feb 2021 18:24
For Russia, the answer is that the Tzar probably, I'm guessing, wanted to avoid he and his entire family being brutally murdered by revolutionaries and his dynasty exterminated from history thereby.


That is quite some reaching going on there. Even by 1916 the overthrow of the Tzar was not inevitable, if he had taken a different approach to riots or even not assumed control of the army he may well have kept his throne. His death is even more removed from the reality of options in 1914, and but for an outbreak of measles, could have been avoided even after he abdicated.
glenn239 wrote:
18 Feb 2021 18:24
So, uppsies in both capitols to let the 3rd Balkans War fizzle out all of its own.
Given both Wilhelmine Germany and Austria-Hungary cease to exist in 1918, I would suggest they would gain most from no war at all in 1914.
glenn239 wrote:
18 Feb 2021 18:24
Hmmn. Sounds like reasoning why Belgium meant little to the overall trajectory of British intervention, which by your description was clearly hinging upon Russia's continued participation in the Entente.
I cannot recall ever claiming British policy was dependent upon Belgium? British support for Russia alone was negligable in 1914, the overall support was for not having a war at all, but when British interests in western Europe were combined with the potential loss of an ally in eastern Europe as well as an attack on an ally in the west, British involvement becomes reality. Britain may not have directly gone to war over Russia in 1914 but it was always going to directly go to war if Germany attacked in the west.

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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by Terry Duncan » 19 Feb 2021 14:47

glenn239 wrote:
16 Feb 2021 19:10
Grey was in quite the pickle by 1914. About the best that can be said was that he tried to disguise even from the Russians the blank cheque they actually held.
I meant to comment on this but forgot.

Grey was not Germany's nursemaid. In 1914 he made attempts to secure peace, something nobody in the Central Powers attempted (other than Wilhelm but his effort was killed off by his own Chancellor!), despite being the one person who did not even have support from his own government as a certainty. Grey was the one person making decisions who was accountable to a parliament where he needed to have a majority. Grey could not commit to war over Russia, and it was unlikely to have had support in parliament. He could commit to war over France. Russia held no blank cheque.

Grey made suggestions to secure a peaceful settlement, it was the Central Powers who refused this outcome.

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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 19 Feb 2021 15:25

Hi Skysoldier80,

You post, "his is a simplistic answer, but a family quarrel. They were all related with different ideas on how to govern. Not a complete answer, but worth peeling the onion on."

They were not all related to each other, The Serbian royal family was home grown. The French had a Republic. Some of the most diverse regimes, such as Czarist Russia and Republican France, were pre-war allies. Furthermore, I am not aware of plans by any of them in 1914 to change the system of government in any of the others.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by jluetjen » 19 Feb 2021 15:45

Going back to the original question, I've continued to work through some of the excellent presentations on YouTube that look at this question. I found Michael Neiberg's presentation enlightening, but I think that the best point comes at the very end. Specifically, that in almost all cases the politicians in 1914 Europe treat the military like "tech support". To paraphrase Neiberg: They largely ignore the military (in regards to actions, capabilities, plans, etc.) until something breaks. When something breaks they call in the military because they know that they can fix it. They don't understand how, and they know that it will be expensive. But they are confident in the military's ability to fix the problem. This observation does appear to be consistent with the way that many of the politicians were acting at the time.

Sebastian Rosato has some interesting thoughts from a Political Science perspective. Once again I think that the "pearl" in the presentation comes at the end during the question and answer portion when he describes the outbreak of the war as stemming from uncertainties regarding the other powers.

This has brought be full circle back to base principles about human nature, which I think is best summed up by the Christian apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans (emphasis is mine):
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
The causes of WWI seem to have more to do with the human nature that Paul struggled with almost 2000 years ago than any specific action. While most within Europe's leadership did not want war, they still took the actions that marched the world to war. They were collectively and individually unable to take the actions (or inactions) needed to stop the march to war who's after-effects we still suffer from today.

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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 19 Feb 2021 16:29

Terry Duncan wrote:
19 Feb 2021 14:38
glenn239 wrote:
18 Feb 2021 18:24
If Russia had limited itself to measures short of partial or general mobilizations, Austria's 3rd Balkans War would have run its course and ended perhaps even as quickly as in a few months. What would it have looked like? Perhaps a bit like Stalin's war on Finland in 1939. Whatever the outcome, it is doubtful the Austrians would emerge stronger.
If Austria had not insisted on war. Why does Austria have to be allowed to go to war?
Yes. Glen imagination story can to be most strange.

I was read more topics on forum on subject ww1 and how it was be start. Much times i was read glen was write same ideas.
1) Russia was be guilt on start ww1 because not allow Austria on destroy Serbia.
2) Britain was be guilt on start ww1 because not allow Germany on destroy Russia and France.

It seems to me glen was not be happy on Austria and Germany was not be allowed on destroy other peoples and countrys.

And when he was make mostest tosh comment like Whatever the outcome, it is doubtful the Austrians would emerge stronger. it must be mostest clear glen imagination story must not be plausible. On real history Austria Empire was destroy on ww1. How can not be stronger when decide not start war ?

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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by jluetjen » 19 Feb 2021 23:04

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
I was read more topics on forum on subject ww1 and how it was be start. Much times i was read glen was write same ideas.
1) Russia was be guilt on start ww1 because not allow Austria on destroy Serbia.
2) Britain was be guilt on start ww1 because not allow Germany on destroy Russia and France.
3) A quasi-official organization in Serbia (The Black Hand) assassinates a senior state official of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This was not even the first major assassination carried out by the Black Hand -- they murdered King Alexander and his wife, Queen Dhad in 1903, carried out a bombing campaign in Montenegro in 1907, and attempted to assassinate Bosnian governor Baron Marijan Varešanin in 1910. Then there is the forgotten genocide of Albanians in 1912. While the details of the story are behind a paywall, you can see the headline here. The Black Hand was significantly financed by the Serbian government. One of the speakers that I referenced above quoted the court transcripts as saying that the Black Hand conspirators only went forward with the assassination of the Arch Duke after getting approval and clearance from their Russian backers.

While the war had many opportunities to be averted after the assassination, the Black Hand (and their Russian backers) certainly seemed to be doing everything in their power to start trouble. In this case they finally succeeded -- more than they anticipated. The fact that the communist government of Serbia starting in the 1950's raised statues to the assassin Gavrilo Princip is telling.

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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by Don71 » 20 Feb 2021 00:09

Terry Duncan wrote:
14 Feb 2021 18:04
glenn239 wrote:
12 Feb 2021 21:43
Terry Duncan wrote:
10 Feb 2021 19:23
. As an example, Britain didnt fight to support Serbia over the assassination, and not really to support Russia either, but she did fight to ensure Germany couldnt defeat France and reduce her to a second rate power status, and also to uphold Belgian neutrality. In that order too.
So if the British fought to protect France and Belgium, but not Russia and Serbia, then it follows that the easiest way for Britain to achieve that end is offer British neutrality to Germany in exchange for the Germans agreeing not to violate the neutrality of Belgium. Without this invasion route, the Germans could not break through the heavy terrain of the French fortified belt, and this would ensure that France would not be defeated. The Germans would leave a garrison in the west and then turn east, crushing Serbia in the fall of 1914 and defeating Russia in 1915 to end the war. This method had a doctrinal precedent; it is precisely the path chosen during the 1870 war when Great Britain signed two identical treaties, one with Prussia, one with France, that assured neither warring power would violate Belgium.

So then the question is, if Britain indeed had the aims you suggest, then were is the British offer to Germany as outlined above, to achieve it?

With regard the situation in the west, France is a critical interest for Britain and Germany cannot go to war with her without involving Britain, as it would be easy for Germany to attack Russia and defeat her, then turn west. Therefore, Germany cannot fight in the west at all. This is the answer to the many years of Germany asking 'please tell us how we can go to war with France and not see Britain involved', that Germany failed to take the hint is where her policy failed. Germany thinking 'there must be a way' does not make it so.
Really, the bad Germans who always wanted to go to war with France?
Then the big question is why, according to the relevant scientific game theories, these bellicose Germans did not attack France in 1904/05 when Russia was at war with Japan or was recovering from it and the UK military was in a deep reorganization and restructuring after the Boer War. Why did the Germans not use the best possible rational opportunity to attack France?

Wasn't it the other way around, that France became more and more aggressive since the failure of the German-English alliance negotiations 1900-1902 and the building of the Entente and then the Triple Entente? Hasn't every arms race been initiated by France since 1904? Who financed most of the Russian military expenditures and senseless railway routes (except for troop transports) and above all who financed the Serbs in 2 Balkan Wars?
Oh yes, it was the peace-loving French who absolutely had to be protected by the British and who laughed to death when they could use the British and Russians for their own war plans.

The Great War didn't start because of a third Balkan war with A-H und Serbia, it started because Russia did a full mobilization with the intention to start the Great War backed up by France!
On the morning of July 24, 1914, Russian Finance Minister Peter Bark called Sazonov. He was not present, but his Chief of Staff Schilling.
Bark asked directly about the likelihood of war. Schilling's reply is remarkable: "Sasonov regards war as inevitable."

Then they talked about financial transactions to deduct state funds from Berlin and that already on 24.07. In the morning. The Council of Ministers had not met at that time. The Serbian answer to the ultimatum of Vienna was not yet known; which took place only on 25.07. Of course, the Russians already knew about this before handing over the ultimatum and reacted accordingly.

Sasonov successfully enforced the so-called partial mobilization at the meeting of the Council of Ministers. General Dobrorolskii commented that such an arrangement was ill will. Plan 19 provided for a joint mobilization against Austria-Hungary and the German Reich. If only against Austria-Hungary is mobilized, then one could not use the railway junction Warsaw, otherwise Berlin would be alerted. Without use of Warsaw but according to Dobrorolskii a mobilization, which should be directed only against Austria-Hungary, not feasible.

Source: Sean McMeekin, Russia's Path to War, p.96 ff

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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by Terry Duncan » 20 Feb 2021 02:30

Don71 wrote:
20 Feb 2021 00:09
Really, the bad Germans who always wanted to go to war with France?
The fail is strong in this argument.

The Germans had been planning for war with France from the moment the French repaid the reparations imposed after 1871 upon them in under ten years that were meant to cripple them for a generation, maybe you would like to remind us how many of the German plans were defensive in nature?
Don71 wrote:
20 Feb 2021 00:09
Then the big question is why, according to the relevant scientific game theories, these bellicose Germans did not attack France in 1904/05 when Russia was at war with Japan or was recovering from it and the UK military was in a deep reorganization and restructuring after the Boer War. Why did the Germans not use the best possible rational opportunity to attack France?
Because until the Entente was agreed upon Germany didnt think France posed a threat. As soon as the Entente was agreed Germany prompted the Morocco Crisis in an attempt to split it up almost instantly. War with France was acceptable, it was war with Britain too that made Germany back off.
Don71 wrote:
20 Feb 2021 00:09
Wasn't it the other way around, that France became more and more aggressive since the failure of the German-English alliance negotiations 1900-1902 and the building of the Entente and then the Triple Entente? Hasn't every arms race been initiated by France since 1904?
So the French Three Year Law of 1913 prompted the German army increases of 1912?

The German 2nd Naval Law of 1900 started the arms race with Britain, whilst the 1912 Naval Law ruined any hope of rapproachment on this subject pointlessly as Germany wasnt able to afford the ships the laws allowed for?
Don71 wrote:
20 Feb 2021 00:09
Who financed most of the Russian military expenditures and senseless railway routes (except for troop transports) and above all who financed the Serbs in 2 Balkan Wars?
Strange how Austria and Germany had no problem arming Serbia to the teeth up until the 1903 coup when Serbia sought cheaper French guns, or indeed that Germany was not supplying guns until 1912 herself.

With Russia you have a point about France spending her money there, but there is no law preventing you make your allies army more effective.
Don71 wrote:
20 Feb 2021 00:09
The Great War didn't start because of a third Balkan war with A-H und Serbia, it started because Russia did a full mobilization with the intention to start the Great War backed up by France!
Oddly Moltke himself pointed out the world war was inevitable from the moment Austria declared war on Serbia.
Don71 wrote:
20 Feb 2021 00:09
On the morning of July 24, 1914, Russian Finance Minister Peter Bark called Sazonov. He was not present, but his Chief of Staff Schilling.
Bark asked directly about the likelihood of war. Schilling's reply is remarkable: "Sasonov regards war as inevitable."
As we have Sazonov's own accounts of events it would seem strange to use what Bark thought Sazonov thought, even then omitting why he thought this way.Then again you only need to see who you are quoting to see why.
Don71 wrote:
20 Feb 2021 00:09
Of course, the Russians already knew about this before handing over the ultimatum and reacted accordingly.
What ultimatum did Russia hand over?
Don71 wrote:
20 Feb 2021 00:09
Sasonov successfully enforced the so-called partial mobilization at the meeting of the Council of Ministers. General Dobrorolskii commented that such an arrangement was ill will. Plan 19 provided for a joint mobilization against Austria-Hungary and the German Reich. If only against Austria-Hungary is mobilized, then one could not use the railway junction Warsaw, otherwise Berlin would be alerted. Without use of Warsaw but according to Dobrorolskii a mobilization, which should be directed only against Austria-Hungary, not feasible.

Source: Sean McMeekin, Russia's Path to War, p.96 ff
[/quote]

Try looking at a map? The Warsaw military district borders Germany, but also has a massive border with Austria too, so in order to even defend her own territory troops must mobilise in the Warsaw district to prevent Austria just walking in unopposed. So, even if Russia did only intend on action towards Austria, troops must be involved in the Warsaw district if only to defend it. In this, Dobrorolski was correct and a partial mobilisation was not really possible. Then again, he didnt write the war plans, that was Danilov so why not quote him as to what was possible and what was not? The Tzar gave his word personally to Wilhelm that his troops would make no aggressive moves against Germany, and we know the word of a monarch was enough for Wilhelm, though of course he would have needed to still be running the policy of Germany for that to apply.

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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by glenn239 » 22 Feb 2021 15:47

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
18 Feb 2021 21:24
It seems to me glen must to change to much on real history for to make glen imagination story plausible.
"glenn", not "glen". Use "Glenn" or "glenn239".
On morning 2.august 1914.year Britain cabinet was have "non-intervention" policy. "Non-intervention" policy was because majority fraction mens on cabinet was against idea Britain on war. Opinion on "non-intervention" was be so much strong on fraction that they was agree for Germany army was can go through Belgium on attack France.
On 2 August 1914 the British cabinet was in the midst of determining its policy, specifically, whether it would intervene or not. There were a number of hardcore neutralists, some undecided, and a number of hardcore interventionists. The interventionists held the advantage because these included the most powerful members of cabinet, and all the cabinet members that held the key portfolios necessary to intervene with a hung cabinet. Grey could control all diplomatic correspondence. Asquith could mobilize the army and issue orders to the military. Churchill could mobilize the navy and issue combat instructions. All could, and did, do so without prior cabinet approval in many instances.
(Lloyd George, Harcourt, Beauchamp, Simon, Runciman, Pease) and agreed that "we were not prepared to go into war now, but that in certain events we might reconsider [the] position such as the invasion wholesale of Belgium"?
You've included LG in this list, but in fact, LG's actual position on the matter was more of a cypher.
When position on morning 2.august 1914.year was be so strong on "non-intervention" how can to be was change mind ?
You seem to assume that the interventionists were willing to allow the neutralists to win. Grey had said he would already resign and Asquith said he would go with Grey. Asquith is the key. As PM, if he resigns, cabinet no longer exists. How does a cabinet that does not exist controls anything?

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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by glenn239 » 22 Feb 2021 16:00

jluetjen wrote:
19 Feb 2021 15:45
Going back to the original question, I've continued to work through some of the excellent presentations on YouTube that look at this question. I found Michael Neiberg's presentation enlightening, but I think that the best point comes at the very end. Specifically, that in almost all cases the politicians in 1914 Europe treat the military like "tech support". To paraphrase Neiberg: They largely ignore the military (in regards to actions, capabilities, plans, etc.) until something breaks. When something breaks they call in the military because they know that they can fix it. They don't understand how, and they know that it will be expensive. But they are confident in the military's ability to fix the problem. This observation does appear to be consistent with the way that many of the politicians were acting at the time.
That is an apt description, IMO. The militaries were assumed to be the experts in their field, and in policy discussions the civilian leaders did not try to argue a military case with the military officials. So, in the case of Moltke in Germany, his 'expert' conclusion was that Germany required the invasion of Belgium due to Germany's military predicament, stuck between two powerful adversaries. The diplomats coordinated to Moltke's requirements, and did not attempt to reset them. The exception was British neutrality - it appears quite likely that the prospects of such an offer would have seen the Kaiser override his generals in favor of his chancellor. We know this because when it appeared that the British were about to offer neutrality, the Kaiser took direct command of the army and ejected Moltke from the meeting. (Had this neutrality actually been achieved, it seems likely that Moltke would have been removed from his post before the army went east).
The causes of WWI seem to have more to do with the human nature that Paul struggled with almost 2000 years ago than any specific action. While most within Europe's leadership did not want war, they still took the actions that marched the world to war. They were collectively and individually unable to take the actions (or inactions) needed to stop the march to war who's after-effects we still suffer from today.
In North America in the recent election, both the US and up here in Canada society really started to stratify into pro and anti Trump factions. Anyone that has not seen this type of split even in a family doesn't know of the basic human nature that causes war, and to which you refer. Society divides into teams for the collision, and anyone trying to argue in the moderate middle risks being branded a 'traitor' on both sides.

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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by waldo88 » 22 Feb 2021 16:49

"That is an apt description, IMO. The militaries were assumed to be the experts in their field, and in policy discussions the civilian leaders did not try to argue a military case with the military officials. So, in the case of Moltke in Germany, his 'expert' conclusion was that Germany required the invasion of Belgium due to Germany's military predicament, stuck between two powerful adversaries. The diplomats coordinated to Moltke's requirements, and did not attempt to reset them. The exception was British neutrality - it appears quite likely that the prospects of such an offer would have seen the Kaiser override his generals in favor of his chancellor. We know this because when it appeared that the British were about to offer neutrality, the Kaiser took direct command of the army and ejected Moltke from the meeting. (Had this neutrality actually been achieved, it seems likely that Moltke would have been removed from his post before the army went east)."

Two points in elaboration, both from Albertini, I think:

1. By Aug 2 Germany had concluded that it could not persuade Britain to remain neutral so nothing was lost by invading Belgium;

2. The Kaiser did suggest at the last minute that perhaps the army could be sent east against Russia if England and France could be persuaded to remain neutral but was told there was no mobilization plan for that eventually and so the matter was dropped.

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Re: Did WW1 really have a reason?

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 23 Feb 2021 13:27

glenn239 wrote:
22 Feb 2021 15:47
Ружичасти Слон wrote:
18 Feb 2021 21:24
On morning 2.august 1914.year Britain cabinet was have "non-intervention" policy. "Non-intervention" policy was because majority fraction mens on cabinet was against idea Britain on war. Opinion on "non-intervention" was be so much strong on fraction that they was agree for Germany army was can go through Belgium on attack France.
On 2 August 1914 the British cabinet was in the midst of determining its policy, specifically, whether it would intervene or not.
Not true.

You was write again imagination story.

Cabinet on 2.august 1914.year was not decide on intervention or not intervention.
glenn239 wrote:
22 Feb 2021 15:47
There were a number of hardcore neutralists, some undecided, and a number of hardcore interventionists.
Not true.

You was write again imagination story.

There was not one "neutralist" on cabinet. Not one man on 19 mens was propose for Britain must to be "neutral".
glenn239 wrote:
22 Feb 2021 15:47
The interventionists held the advantage because these included the most powerful members of cabinet, and all the cabinet members that held the key portfolios necessary to intervene with a hung cabinet. Grey could control all diplomatic correspondence.
Not true.

You was write again imagination story.

On all discussions and diplomat conversations Grey was must stay on boundary what was make cabinet.
glenn239 wrote:
22 Feb 2021 15:47
When position on morning 2.august 1914.year was be so strong on "non-intervention" how can to be was change mind ?
You seem to assume that the interventionists were willing to allow the neutralists to win.
Cabinet was be majority non-intervention. Non-intervention was not be same as "neutralist". Many on cabinet was be everything for peace.

Non-intervention majority was win cabinet on 2.august 1914.year.

On 1.cabinet on morning 2.august 1914.year cabinet was agree for to stay on 1912.year anglo-french naval agreement. It was be decision on situation must to stay the same.

On 2.cabinet on evening 2.august 1914.year cabinet was agree for to stay on 1839.year belgium neutrality agreement. It was be decision on situation must to stay the same.

Cabinet was not agree for to intervene on Austria v Serbia war.
Cabinet was not agree for to intervene on Austria v Russia war.
Cabinet was not agree for to intervene on Germany v Russia war.
Cabinet was not agree for to intervene on possible Germany v France war.

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On context july 1914.year "neutralist" = interventionist.

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