Germany had to either get involved in the war and be on the front foot against France and Russia, or they could wait until they were attacked and be unprepared. They showed this fear in the German Imperial War Council of 1912. As well as this, they had pledged to defend Austro Hungary, and had a burden of responsibility after their show of support in November 1912. The Austro Hungarian Empire also had reasons for war, they had a large empire and wanted to protect their land from the rebelling Serbs. There was also the widely accepted claim that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the event that tipped the scales of war.
Explain How the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work. (7 marks) What was meant to happen: The Schlieffen Plan was devised in 1905 by General Albert von Schlieffen, when the possibility of a war on the eastern and western front was looming over Germany. It was a risky move on their part and was not guaranteed to work, since it relied on the Russian Army to be slow in their advances. The plan was to invade France through Belgium, since France had many defences in place on the French-German border. To attack on their own border would take longer and there would be much more resistance from the French so it was decided that they would march through Belgium and take Paris within a couple of weeks.
Question; What reasons did the Germans have to feel that they had been conquered by the Allies? After World War One, the leaders of the three major allied countries, Britain, America and France, decided upon several terms which aimed to maintain peace. These were compiled together, after much negotiation and compromise, into a treaty which was signed at Versailles. Many of the terms centred on the punishment of Germany, mainly to ensure that it couldn’t cause another war and to make it pay for all of the damage. Germany was treated in this way because, by invading Belgium, it was seen as starting the war by the Allies, as it had unnecessarily marched through a neutral country to invade a country with which it wasn’t yet at war.
The outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 was due to an aggressive German foreign policy which had been waged since c.1900. How far do you agree with this opinion? It has been a matter of controversy within Germany on whether or not they went to war with aggressive or defensive intentions. Source V seems to be of the opinion that Germany went to war solely for defensive reasons due to the extensive array of alliances that encircled the country as well as diplomatic tension in Europe. Source W seems to take the opposite approach deeming how Germany’s aggressive actions since the turn of the century resulted in war.
It was not until the 4th August, where the British declaration of war was announced. Why Britain joined the Great War is debatable and historians have come up with numerous reasons such as the threat of Germany, due to public opinion and was it over the invasion of Belgium? Each of these reasons and more I will discuss in the following paragraphs. Furthermore the impending threat of Germany was seen to be a reason for Britain going to war. According to Ferro in his book 'The Great War' he suggests that England felt threatened by Germany due to the unprecedented economic strides the country made between 1880 and 1914, although Germany did not have a financial base on the same scale as Britain's economic power.
Why did world war 1 break out in 1914? I think the reason why world war 1 broke out In 1914 was because was to do with the making up of Alliances which caused all the countries to fight for the country they had made a treaty with but there are many reasons that build up to the great war. Alliances are agreements or promises to defend another country when in need. There were two alliances the Triple Alliance which consisted of Germany, Austria and Hungary and also Italy whereas the Triple Entente was made up of Britain, France and Russia. The Alliances were made to protect the country when in war or whilst away and fighting.
This disagrees with the argument that Fischer states. Fischer states that Germany was planning the war and to occupy Central Europe before the war. Fischer also states that they were planning an offensive war, whilst source one says “which at its beginning was to be a defensive war.” This shows that Germany was resorting to a preventive strike as an attempt to break free from the pressures brought about by diplomatic isolation and the threatening power of Russia. These are both supporting the argument that German aggression didn’t cause World War One. The source carries on to say “…nor anyone else at the time, and a special plan to dominate Europe” This shows an argument that all the countries in Europe ‘slithered into war’.
The fact that the September Programme detailed territories in Northern France, Belgium and buffer states between them and Russia (such as Poland) very much show that Germany’s expansionist aims would cause a general European war. Fischer also found later on in Riezler’s diary entries (Bethmann Hollweg’s advisor) the word ‘Kriegswilligkeit’ which translates to willingness for war appears on several occasions. Even Source 3 that argues for shared guilt still shows that German was still heavily involved, because although James Joll argues that von Tirpitz hoped Germany’s naval forces would be so strong that ‘no British government would risk going to war’, it doesn’t mention the War Council meeting of 1912. At this meeting von Tirpitz claimed that it
In the summer of 1914 war swept across Europe which turned into a prolonged global struggle. In World War I there were the Allies, which were composed of Britain, France, Belgium, Italy, and the US. The Allies were against the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. The Europeans quickly rushed into war but United States at first did not want any part in the war. At the time the President of US was Woodrow Wilson who wanted to stay Neutral.
Many historians argue that the reason for Germany going to war was due to the aggressive behaviour of Germany in the build up to the war. Throughout this essay I will be addressing this issue looking at whether Germany was responsible for the outbreak of a general European war in August 1914. There are many factors which contribute to the outbreak of the war from a short-term trigger such as the assassination of Franz Ferdinand to the long-term annexation aims Germany implemented in the years building up to the war, the most important reason was Germany’s aggressive foreign policy, they had provided Austria-Hungary with a ‘blank cheque’ while also pressurising them into presenting an ultimatum to Serbia, there had been vast amounts of preparation in the follow up to the outbreak of war, the overall military spending of Germany had been increased by fivefold, way ahead of any other developing country, however it is also important to consider other factors which may have played a role in the outbreak of war such as the isolation of Germany by the remaining superpowers which is described as forcing them into a defensive war and the role that Austria-Hungary played in the outbreak of war as well as the individual involvement of the military in relation to the outbreak of war. Source 1 unlike sources 2 and 3 has a clear opinion, this opinion agrees with the judgement posed in the question that Germany was responsible for the outbreak of war due to high levels of aggression. ‘As early as 1906 Germany had in place a plan for an aggressive war’, this statement strongly suggests that Germany always had intentions of a war based on aggressive motives, most likely to have been driven by annexation views possessed by the Kaiser and the military in general, this was seen within the war council meeting of 1912 where they had decided upon