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  • Originally posted by peterhof View Post
    It does exactly that! Germany had the single advantage of speed to counter the large, hostile armies on both her eastern and western frontiers [not to mention a large, hostile battle fleet in the North Sea]. Fay spends a dozen pages to explain Germany's strategic dilemma which could only be resolved by crossing Belgium. Grey exploited the Belgian issue by appealing to crass emotion and sway public opinion. Ferguson confirms that Britain would have invaded Belgium if Germany did not. As early as 1911, Lord Esher had issued a stern warning to Major Huguet: “Never, no matter on what pretext, let the French commanders be led into being the first to cross the Belgian frontier” thereby depriving Britain of her casus foederus.
    Drivel! Ferguson doesn't know what he's on about. If that's what he actually said at all!
    Signing out.

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    • Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
      My sources state otherwise.
      So cite your sources.
      "We have met the enemy and he is us." Pogo

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      • Originally posted by peterhof View Post
        So cite your sources.
        Already cited.
        Signing out.

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        • Originally posted by peterhof View Post
          The Kaiser maintained - accurately - that the German 1st army had uncovered evidence of advance British preparations to station troops in Belgium and northern France which included conversion tables to exchange British pounds for Belgian currency. Considering the detailed preparations by Wilson and Haldane, why is anyone surprised by this?

          Belgium had forfeited any and all claims to neutrality as proven by actual Belgian documents captured in Brussels in 1914 and cited By Dr. Fuehr.
          Considering this is explicitly denied in Der Widerstand Kardinal Merciers gegen die deutsches Besetzung Belgiens 1914-1918 by I Meseberg-Haubold, the Belgian reaction to the invasion can be explained on a much simpler level - as a profound anger at the abrogation of its freedom.

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          • Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
            Merely because the Russians mobilized does not justify a reason to invade Belgium.
            At that point the war with France is inevitable and so you need to invade Belgium immediately or after provoking the French into marching into Belgium by moving towards the Belgian border .
            Anyway, as you intend to keep the war short, you need to go through Belgium and even Holland as Schlieffen had originally intended..

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            • For the new ones;while it is so that PH's interpretations of the interpretations from Fay and Ferguson are legendary (they still are not forgotten at the History Forum),it also is so that not every where they are saluted by every one with approving mumbling,or even with enthusiasm .

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              • Originally posted by pasar View Post
                At that point the war with France is inevitable and so you need to invade Belgium immediately or after provoking the French into marching into Belgium by moving towards the Belgian border .
                Anyway, as you intend to keep the war short, you need to go through Belgium and even Holland as Schlieffen had originally intended..
                Ah yes- the end justifies the means.

                But it didn't work.
                "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                Samuel Johnson.

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                • Originally posted by pasar View Post
                  At that point the war with France is inevitable and so you need to invade Belgium immediately or after provoking the French into marching into Belgium by moving towards the Belgian border .
                  Anyway, as you intend to keep the war short, you need to go through Belgium and even Holland as Schlieffen had originally intended..
                  There is very little in history that can be termed "inevitable". War with France only became "inevitable" after the German invasion. If the aim was to keep the war short why invade Belgium and invite British participation ? After the failure of the Schlieffen Plan it was the one sure way to extend the conflict to become a world-wide catastrophe lasting four years. That, at least, was "inevitable".
                  "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                  Samuel Johnson.

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                  • Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                    and
                    Two contradictory views, one of which isn't even supported by rational thinking. Comments, Glenn?
                    Broderick, if you are unable to understand basic facts, like that general Moltke and chancellor Bethmann were two different people, why are you even posting?

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                    • Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
                      Would you elaborate upon your view of Moltke's position. Are you saying that he believed that Britain would, or wouldn't become involved ? Or that he didn't care either way ?
                      The position of the German army was that the British would support France, and that the BEF would fight. So, by 1908, German map exercises showed the BEF on the French left flank. The German civilian government, OTOH, believed British neutrality possible, even likely.

                      "Moving through Belgium/Lux...of minor concern"???!!! If Bethmann Hollweg really believed that (which I doubt, despite his "scrap of paper " declaration) then he was even more incompetent than was feared.
                      Well, the term 'scrap of paper' tells us that Bethmann thought the 1839 treaty was a dead letter, insignificant, obsolete, right?

                      There may well be grounds for believing that the survival of an independent, unfettered France was not a vital British interest but the survival of an independent Belgium most assured was.
                      We have to credit the Germans for modelling the British with rational views, not irrational ones. It makes no sense geopolitically that Britain could be OK with Germany defeating France, and all the potential harm there was in that, but not OK with Germany doing so by way of Belgium. That's because it makes no sense whatever geopolitically that Germany occupying Antwerp is somehow more dangerous than Germany occupying Brest. On my map of Europe, a German port at Brest is far more dangerous to Britain than a German occupation of Belgium.

                      So, to sum up what the Germans had to make sense of. The British are telling the Germans all along that their neutrality was possible. That means that the Germans have to conclude the British trust them to defeat France, because if this is not the case, then the only conclusion for Germany is that the British were lying, that they would not trust Germany to be at war with France, that a German war with France automatically meant war with Britain, that the French had a function blank British cheque for war.

                      The guaranteeing of Belgium integrity was not just a matter of honouring the 1839 treaty: it was also motivated by shear self-interest.
                      That depends on what Grey and Asquith actually thought Britain's 'self interest' was.

                      The Kaiser's assault upon so critical and so oft-asserted an area of British anxiety defined,with even more fearful clarity than his Navy Laws,the attitude of Germany's rulers to Britain's position in the world "
                      Bismarck, shortly before he died, commented that what Britain really wanted was for Germany to go back to being a farming economy and not bother Britain with its industrial revolution.

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                      • Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                        Not according to Willamson.
                        Plan 17 was designed to handle a huge number of contigencies during mobilization.


                        Which still wouldn't mean they went behind the backs of the Cabinet. As I said, it is proven that the Army didn't receive their mobilisation orders until late afternoon on 4th August.
                        Well, if cabinet actually authorized the mobilizations of the army and navy, then show me where it authorized it prior to Churchill and Asquith penning the orders.

                        Yes, and the Radicals within the Party ensured that the note, which Grey had to be persuaded to accept, fell very far short of the commitment which Cambon and the French government had been trying to secure.
                        Irrelevant, actually. Grey got his naval pledge, which was all he really needed at that time, and Churchill/Asquith mobilized the armed forces, which was necessary to engage in the opening campaigns. Whether cabinet snapped in line on 4 August or 20 August didn't matter; the ball was rolling and the result was inevitable; Asquith would have ordered the BEF to France while cabinet dithered, and then German 1st and 2nd armies would have mooted any further nonsense by crashing into the BEF head-long around 25 August, 1914.

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                        • Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
                          Even if such charges can be authenticated Germany had a certain remedy: -don't invade Belgium.
                          Unless Germany commands the French army, I fail to see the remedy you're thinking existed, because I'm pretty sure that if Joffre commanded his forces to move into the Ardennes, that the French army would not ask Moltke to second the order.

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                          • Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                            Considering this is explicitly denied in Der Widerstand Kardinal Merciers gegen die deutsches Besetzung Belgiens 1914-1918 by I Meseberg-Haubold, the Belgian reaction to the invasion can be explained on a much simpler level - as a profound anger at the abrogation of its freedom.
                            Belgium would have preferred neutrality if possible, but if forced to choose, would have gone with Britain.

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                            • Originally posted by pasar View Post
                              At that point the war with France is inevitable and so you need to invade Belgium immediately or after provoking the French into marching into Belgium by moving towards the Belgian border .
                              But the French need not violate Belgium until the Russian army is fully mobilized along the German frontier, hence the act of allowing France to make the first move is the act of allowing the Franco-Russians their desired two-front assault, with the Russians at full strength.

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                              • Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
                                Ah yes- the end justifies the means.

                                But it didn't work.
                                You were thinking the next four years of combat on the Western Front occured on German soil?

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