HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > Non-Sports > Sciences
Mobile Hockey's Future Become a Sponsor Site Rules Support Forum vBookie Page 2
Notices

Sciences A place to discuss natural, applied & social sciences, along with any other academically-oriented topics of interest to membership.

WWI Centennial

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old
06-06-2014, 06:37 PM
  #176
TheMoreYouKnow
Registered User
 
TheMoreYouKnow's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Eire
Posts: 10,812
vCash: 500
France and Russia had a treaty in common which committed the other to war once one party of the treaty was involved in war with Germany.

Given the size of the Russian army and the formidable resources at Russia's disposal the key in any war with Russia was to get to them early before their resources could be appropriately pooled and directed. Russian mobilization meant war with Russia. This was conventional military thought at the time.

War with Russia as per the Franco-Russian alliance also meant war with France - there was literally no room for any other belief at the time. The French made no moves whatsoever that implied they would not fulfill their commitments toward Russia.

The French-Russian alliance made sure that the Balkans conflict would not be an isolated "Eastern" issue and that meant Germany's action could not be a limited Eastern one at any point.

Much is made of Germany's unlimited support for Austria-Hungary, much less is made of France's guaranteed support for Russia. If Russia had been told by France that the Balkans business does not concern French interests and Russia would be on its own - it is doubtful Russia ever mobilizes. In reality the contrary occurred - France reassured Russia that it would get involved.

TheMoreYouKnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-06-2014, 06:50 PM
  #177
Vyacheslav
Pro
 
Vyacheslav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Dat mitten
Country: United States
Posts: 18,472
vCash: 500
Send a message via AIM to Vyacheslav
I don't think France's saying that would have stopped Russia. They weren't going to let their influence in the Balkans slide any further.

Vyacheslav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-08-2014, 11:35 PM
  #178
Rob
Registered User
 
Rob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: New Brunswick
Country: Canada
Posts: 5,582
vCash: 500
Here is a question I would like to pursue further.

Would England have become involved if German had not invaded neutral Belgium?

Rob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-09-2014, 09:48 AM
  #179
Leafsdude7
Stand-Up Philosopher
 
Leafsdude7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ontario
Country: Canada
Posts: 20,721
vCash: 500
Send a message via AIM to Leafsdude7 Send a message via MSN to Leafsdude7 Send a message via Yahoo to Leafsdude7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
Here is a question I would like to pursue further.

Would England have become involved if German had not invaded neutral Belgium?
If anything occurred within French borders, probably. They'd given France its word that they would defend them in the case of a naval attack from Germany. Whether that would have extended to a land invasion is hard to say (Britain had a relatively small troop reserve, but many of their Commonwealth nations [Canada, Australia, India] were very much willing to send their troops to support them without much delay).

Leafsdude7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-09-2014, 10:16 PM
  #180
top_gun36
Hometown hero
 
top_gun36's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Vancouver BC
Country: Canada
Posts: 1,001
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
Here is a question I would like to pursue further.

Would England have become involved if German had not invaded neutral Belgium?
The British Cabinet was bitterly divided, and it was the invasion of Belgium that pushed enough doubters (Especially David Lloyd George) for the commitment of war

That being said, it was not in the British's best interest to have Germany to solidly dominate the continent should they conquer both France and Russia

top_gun36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-09-2014, 10:20 PM
  #181
Hasbro
Can He Skate?!
 
Hasbro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Rectangle
Country: Sami
Posts: 36,391
vCash: 500
Assuming some kind of stalemate with France the forces that drew America into the war would have been even more intense on the British.

Hasbro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-11-2014, 03:41 AM
  #182
Hasbro
Can He Skate?!
 
Hasbro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Rectangle
Country: Sami
Posts: 36,391
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
I just finished "The War the Ended the Peace". Has anyone else read it?
Yep, and I'm finishing up Paris 1919 right now. What impresses me about McMillan is how she gives some of the smaller events and nations their due. It's not easy finding much analysis of things like the Turkish War of independence, but it makes for some compelling narrative.

__________________
I am encountering more and more of my own readers that I don't even like, nitwits who glom onto something superficial in the book and misunderstand its underlying message- Bill James
Hasbro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-12-2014, 06:44 PM
  #183
McThome
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Edmonton
Country: Canada
Posts: 9,032
vCash: 500
Send a message via ICQ to McThome
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
France and Russia had a treaty in common which committed the other to war once one party of the treaty was involved in war with Germany.
The treaty was a defensive treaty against what was assumed to be an aggressive, expansionist Germany. Assumptions proven accurate through the course of events.

Quote:
Given the size of the Russian army and the formidable resources at Russia's disposal the key in any war with Russia was to get to them early before their resources could be appropriately pooled and directed. Russian mobilization meant war with Russia. This was conventional military thought at the time.
The key was that the Germans had such vastly superior artillery that they essentially wiped the floor with the Russians whenever they fought. The Russian Empire was only a threat to the Dual Monarchy, not to Germany.

Quote:
War with Russia as per the Franco-Russian alliance also meant war with France - there was literally no room for any other belief at the time. The French made no moves whatsoever that implied they would not fulfill their commitments toward Russia.

The French-Russian alliance made sure that the Balkans conflict would not be an isolated "Eastern" issue and that meant Germany's action could not be a limited Eastern one at any point.
You are trying to blame two powers for starting a war because they had a treaty of mutual defense against a power which, in turn, did attack both of them? Do you see the nonsensical nature of that?

Quote:
Much is made of Germany's unlimited support for Austria-Hungary, much less is made of France's guaranteed support for Russia. If Russia had been told by France that the Balkans business does not concern French interests and Russia would be on its own - it is doubtful Russia ever mobilizes. In reality the contrary occurred - France reassured Russia that it would get involved.
Your attempt at equivalencies depend upon a simplistic perspective which reduces the matter to a farce. France and Russia were both defeated nations who were in fear of the establishment of a German hegemony (again, for good reason as German actions demonstrated). The position and situation that France/Russia found themselves in compared to Germany is profoundly different. Although fear existed on both sides, the social, economic, and military realities show the irrational nature of the 'fear' of the German government. And to the extent that the German Empire 'feared' these powers, it was in that these powers would prevent them from the continued enhancement of their power to the point of hegemony. not quite as valid as the fear of being dominated by another state that existed in France and Russia.

__________________
http://hfboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=160 - the Unofficial HF Political board
McThome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-12-2014, 06:50 PM
  #184
McThome
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Edmonton
Country: Canada
Posts: 9,032
vCash: 500
Send a message via ICQ to McThome
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyacheslav View Post
I don't think France's saying that would have stopped Russia. They weren't going to let their influence in the Balkans slide any further.
Absolutely correct. This was a state that for nearly a century (the Congress of Vienna to the Crimean War) was the unchallenged military power in Europe. After the Crimean war and, more importantly, the Russo-Japanese war, Russia was essentially in a position to defend her position in the Balkans or lose her great power status along with the Ottomans.

Now, this isn't to say this should have given them carte blanche for any of their actions. But Russia wasn't acting to establish a hegemony in the Balkans or re-take Constantinople for Christendom. France (with Britain) would have and did fight Russia in living memory (when the Hohenzollern and Habsburg would not) to prevent such Russian aggrandizement.

The only thing that united France and Russia was their fear of Germany's designs on Europe. Any view that fails to understand this is either delusional or simply not educated enough on the matter.

McThome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-12-2014, 07:34 PM
  #185
TheMoreYouKnow
Registered User
 
TheMoreYouKnow's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Eire
Posts: 10,812
vCash: 500
You accuse others of simplified views when you just follow the typical Brit interpretation of the issue in which Russia and France do one thing and it's "defensive" and when Germany does the same, it's "aggressive" purely based on the Germanophobe sentiment so common among Brits.

I don't assign war guilt on anyone for what it's worth, I am pointing out that the system of alliances and the "threat scenarios" in different capitals led to war. This does not mean Germany has no blame to shoulder, it means that all the Great Powers do so. You are the one painting the one-sided picture here, the picture which drew the continent into the tragedy of Versailles and St.Germain.

It is undeniable that Russia had pan-Slavic designs on the Balkans and everyone knows that the Dardanelles were a key strategic objective for Russia. Both those aspects play a strong part in Russia's policies *today* 100 years later but for some reason we're supposed to disregard them in 1914. That makes no sense.

Excusing both Russia and France by pointing to their relative weakness is ridiculous - aggressive intentions don't become defensive purely on the merit of the fact that you do not have the strength to follow up on your articulated desires. In fact the relative weakness of France and Russia *each on their own* compared to Germany made a two front war scenario a much more likely scenario.

There was a strong element in French public opinion that wanted war with Germany - fact. There was a strong element in French political circles that worked toward reclaiming Alsace and Lorraine and possibly establishing the Rhine border - fact. Russia was on a collision course with Austria-Hungary on the Balkans on the issue of the Slavic territories in former Ottoman areas - fact. Most importantly, Russia and France had a military alliance which was almost certain to trigger a European war if Russia made any moves against the Central Powers as France promised it would attack Germany in the event of a Germano-Russian war - fact.

These were facts known in Europe in 1914. These were facts the German government and leadership would have to appreciate. Of course, Germany had to *tactically* strike first - that was a fate determined by geographic realities and the automatisms of the alliances.

Was injuring Belgian neutrality avoidable? Unlikely if the Germans wanted any operational freedom in the West. The British invaded neutral Iceland in 1940 for purely strategic purposes of a lower order. The high horse the Brits, conquerors and occupiers of vast foreign lands across the globe, got on with regard to this was even at the time recognised as being at best "expedient". Yet to this day Brits and British-influenced scholars insist on this shallow self-serving line of argumentation.

TheMoreYouKnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-13-2014, 02:12 AM
  #186
McThome
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Edmonton
Country: Canada
Posts: 9,032
vCash: 500
Send a message via ICQ to McThome
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
You accuse others of simplified views when you just follow the typical Brit interpretation of the issue in which Russia and France do one thing and it's "defensive" and when Germany does the same, it's "aggressive" purely based on the Germanophobe sentiment so common among Brits.
The writing of significance on this topic is actually by German authors. The Fischer thesis is today accepted by the vast majority of academics with expertise in this area.

Even to the extent the French and Russians had any aggressive/expansionist hopes, it is simply not in keeping with the evidence that those two countries 1) had the ability to act on them and 2) were about to act on them.

My description of the German governments actions as aggressive is not only supported by the evidence of their plans leading up to the war, but also by their execution of the war and their diplomacy in the east after the fall of the Czar.

Quote:
I don't assign war guilt on anyone for what it's worth,
It isn't about assigning 'war guilt' as if the German people today should feel guilty. On the contrary, I wish they would re-arm and do their part as a bulwark of strength for western liberal-democracy in Europe and the world.

Quote:
I am pointing out that the system of alliances and the "threat scenarios" in different capitals led to war. This does not mean Germany has no blame to shoulder, it means that all the Great Powers do so.
Again, a perspective routinely debunked by academics who study this topic. This wasn't some dreadful accident that world leaders unknowingly slipped into simply because it was always an inevitable event. Decisions were made by men and governments that implemented policies and pursued foreign/diplomatic ends which caused the first world war.

Quote:
You are the one painting the one-sided picture here, the picture which drew the continent into the tragedy of Versailles and St.Germain.
Understanding what happened to cause the outbreak of the first general European war in a century is not the same as being supportive of some form of retribution. I'm a staunch believer that had the Dual Monarchy been upheld and supported it could have been a great force for peace in the world and prosperity for the Habsburg's subjects.

Though even then, you would seemingly be attempting to imply that the Second World War was the logical/unavoidable outcome of Versailles/St. Germaine/Trianon. I think that argument is also whiggish.

Quote:
It is undeniable that Russia had pan-Slavic designs on the Balkans and everyone knows that the Dardanelles were a key strategic objective for Russia.
There were certainly pan-Slavs in the Russian empire. I've said as much in this thread. However, the notion that this was the driving force of the Russian Empire is nonsensical and not supported by the evidence. Though it is funny that you raise the Dardanelles as support for your argument considering that within living history, France had went to war to prevent Russian aggrandizement in the Balkans/Black Sea region. And frankly, Russia essentially abandoning those aspirations was an essential aspect to their securing a treaty with France and the entente with England.

Quote:
Both those aspects play a strong part in Russia's policies *today* 100 years later but for some reason we're supposed to disregard them in 1914. That makes no sense.
Completely irrelevant to the topic at hand (and I'm one of the staunchest anti-Putin people I know. I believe Putin's Russia is a grave threat to western liberal-democracy).

Quote:
Excusing both Russia and France by pointing to their relative weakness is ridiculous - aggressive intentions don't become defensive purely on the merit of the fact that you do not have the strength to follow up on your articulated desires. In fact the relative weakness of France and Russia *each on their own* compared to Germany made a two front war scenario a much more likely scenario.
Are you so crazy as to think that the people of the French republic would have been willing to fight an aggressive war against Germany at the behest of a Russian autocrat? Not only did neither have the capacity (which, is not irrelevant, but is central to the understanding of the situation in Europe) to fight a successful war of aggression against Germany, these two allies, again, were united by nothing except their fear of German hegemony. France wasn't trying to establish hegemony in Europe. Russia was barely able to maintain their great power status after defeats in both the Crimean War and then, more significantly, their defeat at the hands of the Japanese.

Quote:
There was a strong element in French public opinion that wanted war with Germany - fact. There was a strong element in French political circles that worked toward reclaiming Alsace and Lorraine and possibly establishing the Rhine border - fact.
Certainly. And Germany had a bunch of socialists who wanted nothing to do with the Kaiser and Bethmann-Hollweg's ambitions. Again, when talking about this, one has to divorce the sense of some kind of unitary body politic all pulling in one direction seeking the same ends by the same means. However, while the French government certainly wanted Alsace and Lorraine back, it wasn't looking to fight a war of aggression against Germany to re-establish the Napoleonic Empire.

Quote:
Russia was on a collision course with Austria-Hungary on the Balkans on the issue of the Slavic territories in former Ottoman areas - fact.
I would disagree. Austria-Hungary was on a collision course with Serbian nationalists. Had Austria-Hungary been told by the German government to talk to the Russians about dealing with the Serbs (again, the Great Powers were quite sympathetic towards Vienna in the aftermath of the assassination) There probably could have been a conclusion reached on spheres of influence in the Balkans. It is important to understand, Austria-Hungary was in zero position to act as an aggressor-expansionist state. There existed a very delicate balance between Vienna and Budapest which the annexation of Bosnia complicated. Adding Serbria or the preposterous drive the Salonika was not something that was every possible. On the other side, Russia was barely holding onto Great Power status at the time. Any dreams of Constantinople were just delusional dreams. Again, France and Russia had fought against each other over the matter within living memory.

Quote:
Most importantly, Russia and France had a military alliance which was almost certain to trigger a European war if Russia made any moves against the Central Powers as France promised it would attack Germany in the event of a Germano-Russian war - fact.
You seem inclined to treat the Franco-Russian alliance as though it was some kind of natural or long standing reality which was just a simple fact of life that influenced European power politics. In reality, it was very much a response to the European power politics that existed. This relationship didn't exist in a vacuum. The only, I say again only reason there was a Franco-Russian alliance was because of their fear of Germany. They weren't close partners who all of a sudden realized they had this big aggressive neighbor. They were traditional enemies who, having been isolated in defeat by the new emerging power which sought hegemonic power in Europe.

Quote:
These were facts known in Europe in 1914. These were facts the German government and leadership would have to appreciate. Of course, Germany had to *tactically* strike first - that was a fate determined by geographic realities and the automatisms of the alliances.
What patent nonsense. You sound like the entire basis for your position is based on the Guns of August (which most modern academics scoff at and which was made famous simply because JFK read the damn book).

You either are unaware or like to pretend to ignore the fact that it was Germany who refused to renew the Reinsurance Treaty. It was this action which facilitated the end of French isolation. It was a preposterous decision made by Wilhelm because he believed that such cooperation with Russian hindered his his goal of creating a partnership, if not a formal alliance, with England (in reality, his other goal of rivaling England as a maritime power was what ensured that could never come to pass).

Quote:
Was injuring Belgian neutrality avoidable? Unlikely if the Germans wanted any operational freedom in the West.
Operational freedom to win a swift and crushing war of aggression against France? No, you're right they needed to go through Belgium for that. But the notion that German arms couldn't have repulsed a French attack just as well is downright foolish. But, German war plans weren't about defense. They were about swift and crushing aggression.

Quote:
The British invaded neutral Iceland in 1940 for purely strategic purposes of a lower order.
You're right, the allies should have allowed the Nazi's to move into Iceland the same way the Nazi's moved into Denmark and Norway...

Your attempt at moral equivalency is somewhere between amateurish and sad.

[/QUOTE]The high horse the Brits, conquerors and occupiers of vast foreign lands across the globe, got on with regard to this was even at the time recognised as being at best "expedient". Yet to this day Brits and British-influenced scholars insist on this shallow self-serving line of argumentation.[/QUOTE]

What completely irrelevant bunk. Again, the most convincing academic work on the 'guilt' of the German government in all of this has been done by German academics.

McThome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-13-2014, 02:25 PM
  #187
TheMoreYouKnow
Registered User
 
TheMoreYouKnow's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Eire
Posts: 10,812
vCash: 500
Fischer was a broken man disillusioned with his country after WW2 whose entire thesis was based on the dubious idea that there was an underlying cultural force in German protestantism that directly led to Nazism. He searched for that in German policy leading up to WW1 and like someone who only has a hammer everything looked like a nail to him.

In fact, Fischer is the best example of someone analyzing WW1 through the prism of WW2. The fact this idea proved popular is hardly surprising given that the Germans were the bogeymen of the moment (even in Germany which in the 60s went through its major crisis of confidence) and Fischer's argument was mightily convenient to the West and East alike. After all now one could point to the "German scholars" who did this work.

I am fully aware that Germany did not renew the treaty with Russia. Germany did not extend the treaty for two reasons - one was the fear of being tied to Russia at the cost of improving relations with Britain, the other was the increasing hostility between Vienna and Moscow and a decision to pick Austria over Russia. Neither reason had to do with advancing an aggressive agenda any more than any other power's alliance decisions.

Russia's interests in the Dardanelles put them at odds with France - but while you say "fear of Germany" tied them together, one could also say French animosity of Germany made France eager to recruit Russia and Russia which had no one left at her side was an easy recruit.

The German decision to ditch Russia in favour of Austria was likely a mistake in hindsight but if Germany had ditched Austria instead (and I believe along with the German leadership at the time that this was likely an either/or question at some point whether then or 10 years later) a whole new strategic dilemma would have opened for Germany. But this is a key point - Germany made mistakes in judgment rather than acted as a warmonger. Germany was generally at peace between 1871 and 1914 when the other powers engaged in multiple wars.

The Dardanelles were a key issue because the Russian ambition there upset Austria-Hungary, the Ottomans and Britain, all nations the Germans were eager to maintain good relations with. Notably the Franco-Russian alliance did not address that issue. Why? You say fear of Germany or could it be that rivalry with Germany drove France more so than any concern about the Dardanelles?

I find this one-sidedness in the presumptions about motivations so telling because it is so based on conventional Anglo cliches about the European powers. The French are "afraid", the Germans are "aggressive". In reality both were fearful of each other and both considered aggression to gain the upper hand in what they saw as a defensive struggle. The Franco-Russian alliance explicitly said that even though the alliance was defensive on a grand scale any conflict with Germany would have to be pursued aggressively.

The German war plan featured attack because Germany's military planners knew the value of initiative in a two front war against one opponent who is close in proximity and another one who requires a long war buildup. Germany logically anticipated a French attack after Russia mobilized - it was good military logic to strike first before any French attack gets going and while Russia is still mobilizing. The American plan for the defense of Western Europe vs Russian invasion conceded most of Germany to the initial Soviet attack - a luxury the German planners did not have especially given the memories of the Napoleonic Wars in which France pushed deep into German territories.

You consistently appeal to the fact that Russia and France couldn't hold against the German war machine but how silly would a German grand strategy have been that simply assumed automatic victory against either country? Germany had to deal with what was *known* and what was known was that those two powers had considerable military firepower and especially France was assumed to be eager to use it against Germany.

I am not arguing WW1 was an accident by the way, I am arguing it was an inevitability given the mindset and ideologies prevailing in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow and London. The "lessons" that make a grand European war exceedingly unlikely today had not been learned yet.

My mention of Iceland 1940 was not about moral equivalence, it's about the value of neutrality in itself as an absolute. The British can perhaps justify it to themselves through the moral case vs Nazi Germany but that did not change the objective reality of military necessity trumping international law. Neutrality is worth a World War one day and easily argued away the other day when the shoe is on the other foot. At the end of the day, Britain joined WW1 on the side they did because when they had a choice between a continent dominated by an uneasy French/Russian coalition or dominated by an ascendant Germany - they knew which scenario suited Britain better.

TheMoreYouKnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-14-2014, 01:35 AM
  #188
Rob
Registered User
 
Rob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: New Brunswick
Country: Canada
Posts: 5,582
vCash: 500
Germany absolutely did not have to invade neutral Belgium. A one front war for Germany was possible. It was the military's blind adherence to the Schlieffen plan that was the problem. Just days before the invasion Wilhelm asked Moltke if it could be stopped and he said no.

Rob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-18-2014, 11:07 PM
  #189
McThome
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Edmonton
Country: Canada
Posts: 9,032
vCash: 500
Send a message via ICQ to McThome
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
Fischer was a broken man disillusioned with his country after WW2 whose entire thesis was based on the dubious idea that there was an underlying cultural force in German protestantism that directly led to Nazism. He searched for that in German policy leading up to WW1 and like someone who only has a hammer everything looked like a nail to him.
I'm sorry, but international academia, even today has established a pretty strong consensus; including German academia (Fischer's ground breaking book wasn't just some one man rant, it was perhaps the most detailed and most evidence based consideration of the topic that was performed by an entire team).

Quote:
In fact, Fischer is the best example of someone analyzing WW1 through the prism of WW2. The fact this idea proved popular is hardly surprising given that the Germans were the bogeymen of the moment (even in Germany which in the 60s went through its major crisis of confidence) and Fischer's argument was mightily convenient to the West and East alike. After all now one could point to the "German scholars" who did this work.
I'm sorry, but in the 60's a great deal of German academics reacted with great hostility. Folks like Ritter were extremely hostile to Fischer for raising the question the cause/guilt of the outbreak of war in 1914. Further to that, Fischer was shunned by much of the west, also because the west wanted/needed a strong and motivated West Germany to stand against Communism and the Soviet bloc.

Quote:
I am fully aware that Germany did not renew the treaty with Russia. Germany did not extend the treaty for two reasons - one was the fear of being tied to Russia at the cost of improving relations with Britain, the other was the increasing hostility between Vienna and Moscow and a decision to pick Austria over Russia. Neither reason had to do with advancing an aggressive agenda any more than any other power's alliance decisions.
Germany didn't renew the reinsurance treaty because they didn't think they needed it. Wilhelm believed that his relationship with Alexander would suffice to ensure that Russia and Germany would never go to war. The notion that Germany had to pick between the Dual Monarchy and Russia is also foolish. Austria-Hungary was very dependent upon Germany in any dealings with Russia. And the almost inescapable fact of the matter is that had the common government of the Dual Monarchy been told to temper their response to Serbia rather than encouraged with a blank cheque, Austria-Hungary would not have essentially taken a stance which would have deprived Serbia of its standing as a sovereign nation.

Quote:
Russia's interests in the Dardanelles put them at odds with France - but while you say "fear of Germany" tied them together, one could also say French animosity of Germany made France eager to recruit Russia and Russia which had no one left at her side was an easy recruit.
France had been isolated since the Franco-Prussian war (just as Bismark intended). The French were eager to end their isolation regardless of who that meant partnering with. What Bismark understood and what the German government failed to appreciate in 1890, was that having established French isolation, any power that would now feel isolated would almost inevitably partner with the isolated French.

Quote:
The German decision to ditch Russia in favour of Austria was likely a mistake in hindsight
Likely? In the field of historical diplomacy, few judgments can be such a slam dunk as the question of the stupidity of abandoning the Reinsurance Treaty and consequentially, the isolation of Russia (which really wasn't the isolation of Russia, but the binding together of Russia and France).

Quote:
but if Germany had ditched Austria instead (and I believe along with the German leadership at the time that this was likely an either/or question at some point whether then or 10 years later) a whole new strategic dilemma would have opened for Germany.
It is difficult to see how a Franco-Habsburg alliance would have come anywhere close to the threat to Germany as a Franco-Russian alliance. The reality is, Germany picked the weaker power as it was concerned with Russian power and plainly understood that of all the continental powers, Russia was the only one with the potential ability to challenge it for hegemony in central/eastern Europe.

Quote:
But this is a key point - Germany made mistakes in judgment rather than acted as a warmonger. Germany was generally at peace between 1871 and 1914 when the other powers engaged in multiple wars.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. There is a difference for seeking hegemony and being a war monger. The German government wasn't seeking a two front war. But it was not prepared to avoid one at the expense of Germany's geopolitical ambitions.

Quote:
The Dardanelles were a key issue because the Russian ambition there upset Austria-Hungary, the Ottomans and Britain, all nations the Germans were eager to maintain good relations with. Notably the Franco-Russian alliance did not address that issue.
The Dardanelles weren't of great concern to the Dual Monarchy. Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria were the concerns of Austria-Hungary.

As for the Franco-Russian alliance addressing that issue, that is because it was a non-issue. Though Russia still desired Constantinople and the Dardanelles, it was plainly obvious that under the existing realities, such an attempt could only mean war with multiple European powers. This reality was unchanged until the Ottomans sided against the Entente powers in their life and death struggle with the Central powers.

Quote:
Why? You say fear of Germany or could it be that rivalry with Germany drove France more so than any concern about the Dardanelles?
Absolutely fear of Germany drove the French more than concern over the Dardanelles (there was none).

Quote:
I find this one-sidedness in the presumptions about motivations so telling because it is so based on conventional Anglo cliches about the European powers. The French are "afraid", the Germans are "aggressive".
Again, patent nonsense about this being due to some kind of simplistic yet convenient stereotyping by the British. Indeed, British academia was perhaps the least convinced (after the German like Ritter) by some kind of German war guilt perspective. Britain, very quickly, bought in to the perspective that the Germans were wronged and no different from any of the other powers.

Quote:
In reality both were fearful of each other and both considered aggression to gain the upper hand in what they saw as a defensive struggle. The Franco-Russian alliance explicitly said that even though the alliance was defensive on a grand scale any conflict with Germany would have to be pursued aggressively.

The German war plan featured attack because Germany's military planners knew the value of initiative in a two front war against one opponent who is close in proximity and another one who requires a long war buildup. Germany logically anticipated a French attack after Russia mobilized - it was good military logic to strike first before any French attack gets going and while Russia is still mobilizing.
Yet they never attacked Germany. Yet they never invaded neutral countries to attack Germany. Actual actions actually matter (Churchill eat your heart out).

Quote:
The American plan for the defense of Western Europe vs Russian invasion conceded most of Germany to the initial Soviet attack - a luxury the German planners did not have especially given the memories of the Napoleonic Wars in which France pushed deep into German territories.
You like to talk about plans as if both sides actually acted aggressively (am I on a roll or what?). Nobody argues that the Entente powers were these self sacrificing saints forced into war despite repeated offers to give the Germans anything/everything in some kind of Gandhi non-violent resistance. All states have their ambitions and their fears. One state, more than any other in 1914 pushed them all over the brink.

Quote:
You consistently appeal to the fact that Russia and France couldn't hold against the German war machine but how silly would a German grand strategy have been that simply assumed automatic victory against either country? Germany had to deal with what was *known* and what was known was that those two powers had considerable military firepower and especially France was assumed to be eager to use it against Germany.
German assumptions of hostile intentions of those states it sought to dominate are immaterial to the discussion of German war aims. It can help us understand why Germany held and followed the policy it did (I don't think anybody hear is arguing the Germans acted in a completely incoherent and nonsensical fashion). But it does not diminish or replace the reality of what happened in 1914.

Quote:
I am not arguing WW1 was an accident by the way, I am arguing it was an inevitability given the mindset and ideologies prevailing in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow and London. The "lessons" that make a grand European war exceedingly unlikely today had not been learned yet.
How very whiggish of you. I wouldn't hand in a paper to a credible academic with a specialty on the subject. Other crisis had occurred in the past. Other events and destabilized European diplomacy. Because this one time it ended up in a general European war (the first time in a century) and you are here to tell us that it was an inevitability?

Quote:
My mention of Iceland 1940 was not about moral equivalence, it's about the value of neutrality in itself as an absolute. The British can perhaps justify it to themselves through the moral case vs Nazi Germany but that did not change the objective reality of military necessity trumping international law.
Nazi Germany was making use of Iceland's neutrality. Nazi Germany had already invaded, other non-belligerent states. The two situations are so incomparable that, again, your raising them can serve to only to delude the conversation or to present a moral equivalency argument. I'll take you at your word that you didn't seek to perform the latter.

Quote:
Neutrality is worth a World War one day and easily argued away the other day when the shoe is on the other foot.
That might have me re-thinking my taking you at your word regarding the moral equivalency approach.

Quote:
At the end of the day, Britain joined WW1 on the side they did because when they had a choice between a continent dominated by an uneasy French/Russian coalition or dominated by an ascendant Germany - they knew which scenario suited Britain better.
Sorry, you have entirely failed to accurately characterize the scenario. Europe was neither under or at risk of being under a French/Russian hegemony. Had peace prevailed, Germany would have remained the dominant state on the continent for the foreseeable future. Indeed, had Austria-Hungary had the chance to modernize and the Berlin to Baghdad endeavor been allowed to come to fruition, Germany may very well have been more dominant in 1950 than it was in 1914 (had there been no war).

No. The choice for Britain was not between German dominance and Franco-Russian dominance. The choice was between a balance of power and Germany hegemony. Without British intervention, it is quite possible -actually likely- that Paris would have been taken and France would have lost another war to Germany.

Even if Germany would have made the unlikely choice and taken the kind of magnanimous approach to peace in the west that Bismark might have advised (not annexing more French territory, not turning the low countries into client states or annexing them outright). It is pretty inconceivable that Germany wouldn't have still sought territorial aggrandizement in the east (as it did with Brest-Litovsk).

So, did Britain pick the side which 'suited' them better? Well one might be able to argue that London could have brokered a better deal with Germany that the latter gets the low countries and and eastern Europe while the former gets all French overseas possessions

McThome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-22-2014, 08:12 AM
  #190
Muuri
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Country: Finland
Posts: 1,597
vCash: 500
This war was the main reason Finland got the independence. Obviously not worth it thought.

Muuri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-28-2014, 07:29 PM
  #191
Hasbro
Can He Skate?!
 
Hasbro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Rectangle
Country: Sami
Posts: 36,391
vCash: 500
100 Years Ago Today

Hasbro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-28-2014, 08:36 PM
  #192
Rob
Registered User
 
Rob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: New Brunswick
Country: Canada
Posts: 5,582
vCash: 500
Bosnian Serb nationalist have erected a statue in honor of Princip.

Rob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-28-2014, 08:36 PM
  #193
Talks to Goalposts
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Edmonton
Country: Canada
Posts: 4,587
vCash: 500
thome_26, I think you are mis-characterizing the academic consensus on the matter. The Fischer thesis is not universally accepted today in academia, even if it may have been a consensus position in the past. If it was, you wouldn`t have a book like The Sleepwalkers be a recent English language general work on the subject. Likewise, I understand the German language consensus has shifted away from Fischer over the last generation. Fischer may have won the debate in the 60s, but he didn`t win it for all time.

Talks to Goalposts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-29-2014, 12:12 PM
  #194
Xelebes
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Country: Canada
Posts: 5,666
vCash: 692
Does anyone know of any decent books that explore the economic situation preceding the war, during and after the war? I know lots of people looking at the purely political and military events that precipitated the war, but I think one of the most important events overlooked is how the financial and economic regimes changed during the war. Any economics buffs know of any?

Xelebes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-29-2014, 12:40 PM
  #195
Hasbro
Can He Skate?!
 
Hasbro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Rectangle
Country: Sami
Posts: 36,391
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xelebes View Post
Does anyone know of any decent books that explore the economic situation preceding the war, during and after the war? I know lots of people looking at the purely political and military events that precipitated the war, but I think one of the most important events overlooked is how the financial and economic regimes changed during the war. Any economics buffs know of any?
I'll see what I can find, but most of what I have read has been part of more expansive books.

However, post-war Germany and the depression are well explored.

Hasbro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-29-2014, 03:22 PM
  #196
Xelebes
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Country: Canada
Posts: 5,666
vCash: 692
Yeah, I want to explore certain ideas: whether the Long Depression ended due to the Race for Africa (concession of territory by the Ottoman Empire), and whether the creation of new financial institutions created during the Long Depression provided an out for the beliggerents or an answer for the Great War,

Xelebes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-29-2014, 05:00 PM
  #197
Hasbro
Can He Skate?!
 
Hasbro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Rectangle
Country: Sami
Posts: 36,391
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xelebes View Post
Yeah, I want to explore certain ideas: whether the Long Depression ended due to the Race for Africa (concession of territory by the Ottoman Empire), and whether the creation of new financial institutions created during the Long Depression provided an out for the beliggerents or an answer for the Great War,
One of the points made in Prohibition by Okrent was despite Lloyd-George's personal support of the policy in the US the massive amounts of alcohol exports England got from the 18th amendment helped offset their war debt to the US, so he wouldn't take any measures to stop the supply.

Hasbro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-29-2014, 05:07 PM
  #198
MoreOrr
B4
 
MoreOrr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Mexico
Country: Canada
Posts: 24,177
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasbro View Post
Rather than honoring 100 years since the beginning of a war, wouldn't it be better to honor 100 years of peace?

Oh wait...

MoreOrr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
06-29-2014, 08:58 PM
  #199
Hasbro
Can He Skate?!
 
Hasbro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Rectangle
Country: Sami
Posts: 36,391
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
Bosnian Serb nationalist have erected a statue in honor of Princip.
Epitome of one man's terrorist being another man's freedom fighter.

Nice bit if Franz Ferdinand lived.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/w...had-lived.html

Hasbro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
07-01-2014, 03:51 PM
  #200
Hasbro
Can He Skate?!
 
Hasbro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Rectangle
Country: Sami
Posts: 36,391
vCash: 500
Orgin of the war told through epic rap battle:


Hasbro is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:29 AM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. 2016 All Rights Reserved.