Causes of First World War - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The First World War (1914-1918).
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#14726706
MB. wrote:the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it was not necessarily "weak" nor liable to decline

The Austria-Hungarian empire was weak internally because of dissension among the different ethnic groups. The Slavs and Czechs wanted independence and the Serbs wanted to join Serbia. It was also weak because Austria and Hungary often couldn't agree on a common policy.

It was weak externally because it had lost the war against Prussia and because it was no match against the Russo-French military alliance. Serbia used as proxy by the French and Russians was a substantial threat to the Austrians.

The truth is that the militarists assumed control not long after the decision to go to war was actually authorized. Germany was ultimately to blame for this decision.

GB has been at war almost without interruption for nearly 300 years, even if the British see themselves as a peaceful nation.

British diplomats threatened to attack Germany directly if it dared expand its colonies in Africa. And the foreign secretary Grey persistently followed an anti-German policy. Knowledge of the military cooperation secretly arranged by Grey in 1905 between France and Britain was kept from parliament, where Grey announced that Britain was under no obligation to come to the assistance of France in the case of war. Double speak is second nature to the civil servants at Whitehall.

The pro-French league within the British cabinet was definitely going to stop Germany from securing the channel ports and this was exactly what the Admiralty attempted to do once the war started.

You mean Britain wanted to occupy Belgium and the North of France?

If Germany was able to embark on a continental war in 1914, it was exactly because it had given up all hope of competing with British naval forces.
#14726707
Atlantis wrote:Britain wasn't "forced" into the war. Britain used Belgium as a pretext to enter the war. The French and British wouldn't have hesitated to march their troops through Belgium in order to attack Germany.

The German idea was to have a quick success against the French in the West so they could concentrate on the Russians in the East. The only way to do that was by marching through Belgium (not invading it) and take the French defenses from the back. Engaging the French defenses from Germany would have guaranteed a long a protracted fight.

Well, thank you for laying out the absurdity of your claims. You try to justify your invasion of Belgium with a hypothetical "Britain would have done it too" (no evidence, of course, just your projection of German disregard of neutrality onto your opponents); and "but it was the easiest way to launch our war!".

You can look at the order of events: https://www.britannica.com/event/World-War-I
Austria sends demands to Serbia; Serbia agrees to many, and asks for arbitration for the rest. Austria invades Serbia anyway - a belligerent act.
Russia mobilises - risking expansion of the war, but doesn't declare war.
Germany declares war on Russia, France and Belgium - belligerent acts.
Britain sees this German aggression as dangerous (as pointed out, Germany would have occupied the Channel ports), so declares war on Germany.
Austria declares war on Russia.

The war declarations and invasions were by Austria and Germany, except for Britain fulfilling its treaty obligation for Belgium.

"marching through Belgium (not invading it)"

LOL. Spoken like a true aggressor who cannot actually understand anything from someone else's point of view. Yeah, that's the attitude that the Germans brought to WW1. "We're going to kill people, and anyone who is in the way will get killed too." You're arguing Germany was entitled to go wherever it wanted, and kill people, but that it was someone else's fault they felt this way.
#14726708
Potemkin wrote:The Belgians (not unreasonably) objected to the idea of German troops marching through their nation without so much as a by-your-leave, and resisted it. This necessitated the military occupation of Belgium by Germany, which meant that, in effect, Germany had invaded Belgium.

Oh Pote, you know how naive the Germans are :lol:

They thought the Belgians wouldn't mind. The Kaiser completely freaked out the Belgian king during a dinner when he spontaneously proposed to the Belgian to jointly attack France. After that, his cabinet ministers tried to keep the Kaiser (who as you know had a birth defect) from matters of state.
#14726711
Oh Pote, you know how naive the Germans are :lol:

Not so much 'naive' as autistic, Atlantis. Even if you're going to aggressively fuck people over (and sometimes it is regrettably necessary to do exactly that), you must at least have some understanding of their point of view as you are fucking them over, otherwise you risk making serious miscalculations.
#14726741
Why should Belgium had allowed any army to march over her territory that would had basically meant an invitation of invasion for other side.
#14726742
Why should Belgium had allowed any army to march over her territory that would had basically meant an invitation of invasion for other side.

Somebody needed to take Kaiser Wilhelm II to one side and carefully explain to him that if you march your armies across a nation's territory without the consent of that nation's government, then you have in effect invaded that nation. He didn't seem to be able to grasp that rather simple idea. He seemed to think that the Belgians should have felt honoured to have German armies marching across their territory. He was the kind of person who would invade a neutral nation, then give them a finger-wagging moralistic lecture about how it was for their own good and was all their own fault anyway. How dared they resist the noble German armies?! I mean, they even shot at German soldiers! Outrageous!! >:

You know, I think Germany learned the wrong lesson from their catastrophic experiences of the early 20th century. Instead of learning "Don't be evil!", they should have learned "Don't be an autistic imbecile!" :roll:
By Rich
#14726863
Germany's leaders were not responsible for starting world I, but they were certainly responsible for losing it. Taking Alsace Lorraine in 1871 was the right thing to do. In fact Bismark should have used his military dominance while he had it to demand Algeria, annex Luxembourg and make territorial adjustments with Belgium. However having taken Alsace Lorraine Germany had to ally with Britain or Russia and keep allied with them. Germany had to suck up if necessary. And its no good whining that it wasn't fair that Germany had to suck it up to Britain or Russia, some have argued that German's treatment of the Herero wasn't exactly fair.

I think Germany should have sought alliance with Britain and sought to support minority nationalism to break up Russia. They should have studiously avoided challenging British naval supremacy until Russia had been broken and union with Austria had been achieved. Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer.
#14726877
I think Germany should have sought alliance with Britain


:eh:

They did make a massive effort to do that and Britain told them to get lost.
#14726892
They did make a massive effort to do that and Britain told them to get lost.

What did Britain have to gain from allowing Germany to become the hegemonic power in continental Europe? And Germany's response was to build a stonking great naval fleet. What were they going to use it for? Playing a game of 'Battleship' in the Kaiser's bath-tub? This was a clear challenge to British naval hegemony, which was absolutely essential to keep the British Empire in one piece. If Britain lost control of the seas, the British Empire was finished. In the event, their navy was of little use to the Germans - the British and German fleets fought each other to a standstill at Jutland, and then the German navy retired to its ports and played no further strategic role in the War. The Germans needed a decisive victory at Jutland, and failed to get it. No, they played their hand badly.
#14726921
Why should Britain had preferred Germany over France, Empire building was almost over, it was consolidation time and they had come to an understanding with France which basically meant, this belongs to me and that belongs to you, mmkay.

Germany was a threat to that magnificently built understanding by claiming, naah that kinda belongs to me. Morocco first then who knows what next and furthermore France had accepted British naval superiority, Germany hadn't.
#14726925
They should have put a pillow on Wilhelm II's face while he was still in the cradle. And instead of wasting resources on a navy, they should have sought an understanding with Russia. Russia has plenty of resources, what did we need African colonies for? We could have established another silk road and kicked Britain's ass in Afghanistan with the help of our allies.

Oh, to have a time machine...
#14726943
They should have put a pillow on Wilhelm II's face while he was still in the cradle. And instead of wasting resources on a navy, they should have sought an understanding with Russia. Russia has plenty of resources, what did we need African colonies for? We could have established another silk road and kicked Britain's ass in Afghanistan with the help of our allies.

Oh, to have a time machine...

That would be a great idea for a science-fiction movie, Frollein. A modern-day German nationalist travels back in time to try to assassinate Kaiser Wilhelm II, to save Germany from its catastrophe defeat in 1918 and prevent the rise of the Nazis. The only man who can stop her is, ironically, a British Communist. He ends up obtaining help from the Imperial German authorities of the early 20th century to save the Kaiser and end the threat to our timeline. The ironies of the situation would be delicious.... :D
#14726947
Interesting, indeed. How come that the British Commie is the only one with the means to stop the German Patriot? Don't say TARDIS, it's copyrighted.
#14726953
Interesting, indeed. How come that the British Commie is the only one with the means to stop the German Patriot? Don't say TARDIS, it's copyrighted.

I am The Potemkin, Frollein. I shall say no more. :smokin:
By Rich
#14726992
Frollein wrote:Interesting, indeed. How come that the British Commie is the only one with the means to stop the German Patriot?

Yes particularly odd as most of the the founders of the British Communist Party were anti war in August 1914, the British Communist Party opposed war in September 1939 and the Trotskyists continued to oppose the war until the end, arguing that a victory for Hitler and a defeat of the British "Bourgeois" would be a victory for the British working class.

Decky's attempt to create an anti-German, Irish catholic identity, a sort of Rubert Murdoch meets "The Morning Star", is particularly laughable as the British Isles' Irish Catholics were the most anti war ethnicity in the British Isles in both wars. There seems to be a general ignorance of importance of the anti Irish Republican motivation for war amongst the British establishment in 1914. Many Unionists supported war in 1914 not because they cared about Orthodox Serbia or poor old Catholic Belgium but as way to put off Irish home rule.
#14727020
The Great Powers were manipulated by the Black Hand (Црна рука), a secret military society formed by Serbian military officers who were dreaming about the creation of a Greater Serbia. The terror plot was hatched in order to trigger war between Austria and Serbia, which would eventually lead to Serbian independence from Austrian colonial rule. A world war was the unintended consequence of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, caused by the complicated alliance system that was designed to prevent war. Elite Japanese military officers also formed a secret society in a mountain resort in Austria in the 1930s, which changed the course of history by a series of terror plots that shook the foundations of the political system. Japan was drawn into war by a small group of military officers stationed in Europe, who were influenced by European fascism.

On October 8, 1908, just two days after Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, many men, some of them ranking Serbian ministers, officials and generals, held a meeting at City Hall in Belgrade. They founded a semi-secret society -- Narodna Odbrana (National Defense) which gave Pan-Slavism a focus and an organization. The purpose of the group was to recruit and train partisans for a possible war between Serbia and Austria. They also undertook anti-Austrian propaganda and organized spies and saboteurs to operate within the empire's provinces. Satellite groups were formed in Slovinia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Istria. The Bosnian group went under the name Mlada Bosna -- Young Bosnia.

Narodna Odbrana's work had been so effective that in 1909 a furious Austria pressured the Serbian government to put a stop to their anti-Austrian insurrection. Russia was not ready to stand fully behind Serbia should things come to a showdown, so Belgrade was grudgingly forced to comply. From then on, Narodna Odbrana concentrated on education and propaganda within Serbia, trying to fashion itself as a cultural organization.

The Black Hand took over the terrorist actions of Narodna Odbrana , and worked deliberately at obscuring any distinctions between the two groups, trading on the prestige and network of the older organization. Black Hand members held important army and government positions. Crown Prince Alexander was an enthusiastic and financial supporter. The group held influence over government appointment and policy. The Serbian government was fairly well informed of Black Hand activities.

Friendly relations had fairly well cooled by 1914. The Black Hand was displeased with Prime minister Nikola Pasic. They thought he did not act aggressively enough towards the Pan-Serb cause. They engaged in a bitter power struggle over several issues, such as who would control territories Serbia annexed in the Balkan Wars. By this point, standing up and saying 'no' to the Black Hand was a dangerous act. Political murder was one of their well known tools.

It was also in 1914 that Apis decided that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir-apparent of Austria, should be assassinated. Towards that end, three young Bosnian-Serbs were recruited and trained in bomb throwing and marksmanship. Princip, Cabrinovic' and Grabez were smuggled across the border back into Bosnia via a chain of underground-railroad style contacts.
The decision to kill the Archduke was apparently initiated by Apis, and not sanctioned by the full Executive Committee. Those involved probably realized that their plot would invite war between Austria and Serbia. They had every reason to expect that Russia would side with Serbia. In all likelihood, they did not anticipate that their little war would mushroom into world war.

http://net.lib.byu.edu/~rdh7/wwi/comment/blk-hand.html
Last edited by ThirdTerm on 17 Oct 2016 00:49, edited 2 times in total.
#14727054
There would had been a greater chance, but we will never know really. The other factor that is claimed to have contributed to stalling German offensive in France is First Battle of the Masurian Lakes at the eastern front. Germans pulled troops from the western front to the eastern front in order to successfully reverse the Russian offensive there into Germany. Thus weakening their offensive momentum towards Paris.
Last edited by Albert on 17 Oct 2016 01:24, edited 1 time in total.

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