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  • #31
    And, of course, the Germans did nothing to contribute-neither the Kaiser's obtuseness nor Bethmann-Hollveg's incompetence had no effect at all on the outbreak of the war.

    Seems to me that you have totally misread the situations that contributed to the outbreak of war in 1914 in a misguided attempt to exonerate the Germans.

    Sincerely,
    M
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
    Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
    To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Massena View Post
      And, of course, the Germans did nothing to contribute-neither the Kaiser's obtuseness nor Bethmann-Hollveg's incompetence had no effect at all on the outbreak of the war.
      The Kaiser was not "obtuse," nor was Bethmann-Hollweg "incompetent." They were certainly not deluded as was Edward Grey. Nor were they intent upon revanche as was Poincare. Neither did they have designs upon the Straits as did Sasonov.

      Seems to me that you have totally misread the situations that contributed to the outbreak of war in 1914 in a misguided attempt to exonerate the Germans.
      Seems to me that you have totally misread the situations that contributed to the outbreak of war in 1914 in a misguided attempt to implicate the Germans.
      Last edited by peterhof; 23 Dec 12, 18:57.
      "We have met the enemy and he is us." Pogo

      Comment


      • #33
        We'll have to agree to disagree on the characterizations of the Kaiser and Bethmann-Hollweg.

        My opinion on them is based on years of study and reading.

        And if the Germans had called a halt to Austria-Hungary's nonsense, the war might have been averted.

        The war was definitely not the fault of Great Britain.

        Sincerely,
        M
        We are not now that strength which in old days
        Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
        Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
        To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Massena View Post
          We'll have to agree to disagree on the characterizations of the Kaiser and Bethmann-Hollweg.
          Okay.

          My opinion on them is based on years of study and reading.
          So is mine.

          And if the Germans had called a halt to Austria-Hungary's nonsense, the war might have been averted.
          It wasn't "nonsense." AH was breaking up into its constituent parts due to pan-Slav agitation, aggravated in good part by Russia herself. Additionally, the British Ambassador in Vienna, Maurice De Bunsen, had repeatedly assured Austria of British sympathy.

          The war was definitely not the fault of Great Britain.
          The great fault of Great Britain was in aligning herself with France and Russia while rejecting any accommodation with Germany until July 31st when it was too late. As I said before: King Edward VII picked up the moribund spear known as the Franco-Russian alliance. Sir Edward felt its heft, cleaned, polished, and sharpened it, and used the Sarajevo crisis to hurl it at Germany. His purpose was to eliminate "a danger greater than Napoleon."
          "We have met the enemy and he is us." Pogo

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by peterhof View Post
            Okay.



            So is mine.



            It wasn't "nonsense." AH was breaking up into its constituent parts due to pan-Slav agitation, aggravated in good part by Russia herself. Additionally, the British Ambassador in Vienna, Maurice De Bunsen, had repeatedly assured Austria of British sympathy.



            The great fault of Great Britain was in aligning herself with France and Russia while rejecting any accommodation with Germany until July 31st when it was too late. As I said before: King Edward VII picked up the moribund spear known as the Franco-Russian alliance. Sir Edward felt its heft, cleaned, polished, and sharpened it, and used the Sarajevo crisis to hurl it at Germany. His purpose was to eliminate "a danger greater than Napoleon."
            Poetically put, but precisely,this projection was purely posthumous.
            And has been asked before: why would Edward have gained such a pathological hatred of Germany? I'm sure that it was not His Majesty who gave as his purpose the elimination of a "a danger greater than Napoleon himself" unless he was being remarkably prescient.

            When was this said, by the way ?

            Conversely, could it not equally be said that the great fault of Germany was not in coming to an accommodation with Britain ?
            "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
            Samuel Johnson.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
              Poetically put, but precisely,this projection was purely posthumous.
              And has been asked before: why would Edward have gained such a pathological hatred of Germany? I'm sure that it was not His Majesty who gave as his purpose the elimination of a "a danger greater than Napoleon himself" unless he was being remarkably prescient.
              As Ferguson said, Grey's apprehension about Germany was a "misreading."

              When was this said, by the way ?
              Grey said it to lord Morley during Cabinet deliberations in late July. See the "Memorandum on Resignation" for details.

              Conversely, could it not equally be said that the great fault of Germany was not in coming to an accommodation with Britain ?
              No. Bethmann was not at all opposed to an understanding with Great Britain. In fact, he was 100% in favor of rapprochement but Grey would not allow it as he had explicitly stated.
              "We have met the enemy and he is us." Pogo

              Comment


              • #37
                Peter, please respond to http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...&postcount=141 before spreading your 'opinions', oft discussed on other threads, further afield.

                Edit: That reads as being rather harsher than it should be. No offence was intended, apologies if offence was taken.
                Last edited by Full Monty; 24 Dec 12, 11:48.
                Signing out.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by peterhof View Post
                  As Ferguson said, Grey's apprehension about Germany was a "misreading."



                  Grey said it to lord Morley during Cabinet deliberations in late July. See the "Memorandum on Resignation" for details.



                  No. Bethmann was not at all opposed to an understanding with Great Britain. In fact, he was 100% in favor of rapprochement but Grey would not allow it as he had explicitly stated.
                  Responded to here http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...postcount=1821 - Belgrave could you follow suit?
                  Signing out.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    I was impressed with Ferguson at first; now I believe him to be all wet and way off the mark.

                    Why was Germany building a fleet to compete with Great Britain if they didn't want confrontation?

                    And what interest did Britain have on the continent, as they were a naval and colonial power, except to maintain a balance of power?

                    Germany under Wilhelm was overtly hostile to just about everybody and their support of Austria-Hungary in the July crisis undoubtedly brought on a much larger war, whether or not the Germans wanted it. Great Britain certainly did not.

                    Sincerely,
                    M
                    We are not now that strength which in old days
                    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                    Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                    To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Massena View Post
                      I was impressed with Ferguson at first; now I believe him to be all wet and way off the mark.
                      The peer reviews of 'Pity of War' were pretty scathing. In that book at least he raises counter-factual ideas and then uses them as if they are 'proper' facts. His is the kind of book that makes for a good starting point for further discussion but is not one to appeal to as some kind of 'higher authority'.

                      Why was Germany building a fleet to compete with Great Britain if they didn't want confrontation?
                      We have a whole thread running on that particular issue.
                      Signing out.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Before Bethman-Hollweg, Germany had Bernhard von Bulow as Chancellor. He was as obtuse as his brother General Karl von Bulow. These people lived in the Napoleonic era and had neither: a way to adapt to modern warfare, nor an understanding of the need to restrain Austria. Austria-Hungary was falling apart, Turkey was the prize Russia sought, and the panSlavs were simply in it for themselves. How Nikola Pasic came so close of avoiding war is recommendable.
                        When looking for the reason why things go wrong, never rule out stupidity, Murphy's Law Nº 8
                        Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana
                        "Ach du schwein" a German parrot captured at Bukoba GEA the only prisoner taken

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Nickuru View Post
                          Before Bethman-Hollweg, Germany had Bernhard von Bulow as Chancellor. He was as obtuse as his brother General Karl von Bulow. These people lived in the Napoleonic era and had neither: a way to adapt to modern warfare, nor an understanding of the need to restrain Austria. Austria-Hungary was falling apart, Turkey was the prize Russia sought, and the panSlavs were simply in it for themselves. How Nikola Pasic came so close of avoiding war is recommendable.

                          Perfectly said. Do not forget that idiot- v.Waldersee, The shadowy presence of v.Holstein dominating the foreign affairs dept after Bismarck was dropped and the frequent "faux pas" of the kaiser [Hun" remark etc].
                          Germany had to follow some good diplomatic choices, 3 main are-
                          Ally with England at any cost, if necessary scrap that luxury fleet.
                          Ally with the Japanese to get them to attack Siberia, the loss of the minor african and asian colonies will be 3 times compensated by the capture of the baltics, ukraine and poland.
                          Keep Italy neutral or allied.
                          Finally- maintain good relations with the US of A.
                          If they had followed this agenda, instead of the "Willy Doctrine" they would have won the Great war in a repeat of 1870 and ruled Europe till today.

                          If they had done all of the above- War would have been good for them.

                          I must say- I am very impressed by the French diplomats, not by their army and its horrendous "Plan 17" and its incompetent staff. The diplomats saved France.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            A little off the topic,
                            has anyone read PLAN 17 with a topographical map of Europe detailing all the hills, valleys, rivers and a page of statistics for production of arms, factories and soldiers etc?

                            I tried this exercise once-- the valle de moselle from where the French attacked is low lying, whereas- colmar, muelhausen, sarrberg, strassberg, etc all are higher area at least a few hundred feet higher[favors defense! obviously];
                            Diederhausen(Thionville) and Metz are heavily fortified and behind rivers.

                            The German Staff after seeing the strong fortress line-- Verdun, Toul, Nancy, Epinal, Belfort etc was rightly scared and adopted the v.Schlieffen Plan.[also terrain favors defense]

                            Seeing all this one feels surprised the french din't mutiny in 1914 instead of 1917.

                            French plans looks worse than that disastrous Tsar Plan of East Prussia.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Plan 17 was a disaster waiting to happen. I think Joffre tried the attacks 3 times (1&2 armies, 3rd army, 4th army) before he figured out he had to redeploy to meet Germans in north. The big German mistake was not having their 6th army retreat, so as to let the French think that they were winning.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                The Germans did pull back trying to lure the French into a 3 sided attack. The French moved caustiously and did not take the bait entirely.
                                "War is sorrowful, but there is one thing infinitely more horrible than the worst horrors of war, and that is the feeling that nothing is worth fighting for..."
                                -- Harper's Weekly, December 31, 1864

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