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Firefly
07-17-2006, 10:58 AM
I have some definate views on what was the real cause of WW1.

Before I shared mine though I would be interested in hearing yours. Mine may be too mad to write down and I dont want to make a fool of myself.:D

PLT.SGT.BAKER
07-24-2006, 04:47 PM
I believe it was hitler, but then again i may be wrong.

Nickdfresh
07-24-2006, 04:56 PM
I believe it was hitler, but then again i may be wrong.


A corporal in the German Army started WWI?

Nickdfresh
07-24-2006, 04:59 PM
I have some definate views on what was the real cause of WW1.

Before I shared mine though I would be interested in hearing yours. Mine may be too mad to write down and I dont want to make a fool of myself.:D

I know nest to nothing about the First World War. But it would seem that decades, even centuries, of colonial and economic competition between Euro Imperial powers led to a colossal military blunder...

I think the open-ended, secret defense pacts had a lot to do with things spiraling out of control...

PLT.SGT.BAKER
07-24-2006, 05:06 PM
I also know etremely very little about WWI

FW-190 Pilot
09-27-2006, 07:50 AM
i think its started when a prince of austria was killed in a very small country. Germany and Austria declared war on that small nation, and russia, england, has to protect its allies, so they have to declare war on Austria and Germany.

I think Japan and Italy is on the allied side too, but did not play an active role.

Gen. Sandworm
09-27-2006, 10:06 AM
Too many alliances and to many big heads in the governments of Europe. It was a war just waiting to happen. I dont think anyone could have ever expected the consequences this war would have on the world.

Man of Stoat
09-27-2006, 11:24 AM
I did a great synopsis of the chain of events which turned the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand (no, not a prince) into a global conflict back in the days of tin walt. If one of the administrators could dig it out, I would be very grateful.

Oh, and by the way, Italy and Japan played very active roles.

Gen. Sandworm
09-27-2006, 11:33 AM
I did a great synopsis of the chain of events which turned the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand (no, not a prince) into a global conflict back in the days of tin walt. If one of the administrators could dig it out, I would be very grateful.

Oh, and by the way, Italy and Japan played very active roles.


If Britain went to war to protect its own interests in 1914 (as [pro?]claimed by the All Knowing and All Intelligent) and not due to the Treaty of London 1839, what exactly were those interests that would be protected by such an act?

One of the tragic things about the start of WW1 was that many countries got involved unnecessarily due to old treaty obligations after the assassination of a royal bloke in the Balkans. Back in the day, treaty obligations counted for rather more than they do today. A brief chronology:

*Archduke Frans Ferdinand assassinated in Sarajevo
*Austria-Hungary sends ultimatum to the Serbs
*Serbia was allied with Russia, so Austria-Hungary sought assurances from Germany for mutual defence
*A-H declares war on Serbia
*Russia, bound by treaty with Serbia mobilises
*Germany, allied to A-H sees Russian mobilisation as an act of war against A-H, declares war on Russia
*France was bound by treaty with Russia so found herself at war with Germany and thus also A-H
*Germany invades neutral Belgium
*Britain, although bound loosly to France by a "moral obligation", was obliged to defend Belgium due to the Treaty of London 1839, and declares war on Germany the day Belgium is invaded.
*Japan, honoring a military agreement with Britain declares war on Germany on 24th August
*Italy, although allied to Germany and A-H by a defensive pact, argues that the war is offensive, so stays out till 1915, siding with the Allies having been promised large territorial gains from A-H under the secret Treaty of London 1915 (here's your country that entered the war purely for its own interests).
*USA enters in 1917 cos the U-boats were pissing off US commercial shipping

précis of http://www.firstworldwar.com/origins/causes.htm

Thus, what should have been a little balkan scrap between A-H and Serbia turned into a world war, purely through treaty obligations.

Im assuming this is the one you are talking about!?!?

Man of Stoat
09-27-2006, 11:38 AM
But, essentially the "root causes" were a series of miscalculations of epic proportions. The European leaderships were still playing by the rules of 30 or 40 years earlier -- they took their mutual defence treaty commitments far too seriously, which escalated what should have been a little spat in Austria-Hungary's backyard into a global conflict due to the chain of events in the archived post (it's also quite easy to find the same information on the Internet -- try Wikipedia).

Essentially, once Austria-Hungary invaded Serbia to punish them for the assassination, the juggernaut was unstoppable. If Russia had not honoured her treaty commitment with Serbia and had instead said "your problem, you sort it out", it would not all have gone breasts skyward.

Man of Stoat
09-27-2006, 11:40 AM
Im assuming this is the one you are talking about!?!?

Aye, that's the badger, thanks.

Dani
09-27-2006, 11:43 AM
GS you was faster than me!:D

ArmyDude1973
12-08-2006, 02:20 PM
i know very little about ww1 from outher countrys but i know a little on canadas role and and in ww1 aldof hitler was a privet in that war thats why there was no cemical war brought in to ww2 he seen the people that cemical brought and swore if he ran germany he would not use it and a canadaians made the first gas mask

arhob1
12-08-2006, 05:04 PM
Probably the best/worst case ever of adults not knowing when to back off.

i.e. Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated by some unknown Serb (Gavrilo Princip). Do the Austro-Hungarians act as mature adults and quietly ask for justice to be done through the courts? No, that would be too sensible, so they get all macho about it and send an ultimatum to the Serbs and declare war.

This is just the classic bar room scenario where some one accidently spills some one's drink. It could end up in a mature solution such as someone buying a fresh drink or at the other extreme some one ending up being knifed. Such stupidity happens every day of the week and always will whilst humans get macho instead of getting sensible.

So stupid human nature started WW1.

VonWeyer
12-09-2006, 08:17 AM
All true Gentlemen.

Wolfgang Von Gottberg
02-07-2007, 06:17 PM
Many don't know this, but the Tsar, Kaiser, Queen of England, etc. were all related through royal marriage. Before war broke out each were begging eachouther not to start, but it was pointless and inevetable.

The man who assassinated Arch Duke Franz Ferdinhand was part of the Black Hand, a Serbian terrorist group. While the war went on, the assassin sat in prison perfectly safe.

AlbertSpeer
04-09-2007, 09:29 PM
Probably the best/worst case ever of adults not knowing when to back off.

i.e. Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated by some unknown Serb (Gavrilo Princip). Do the Austro-Hungarians act as mature adults and quietly ask for justice to be done through the courts? No, that would be too sensible, so they get all macho about it and send an ultimatum to the Serbs and declare war.

This is just the classic bar room scenario where some one accidently spills some one's drink. It could end up in a mature solution such as someone buying a fresh drink or at the other extreme some one ending up being knifed. Such stupidity happens every day of the week and always will whilst humans get macho instead of getting sensible.

So stupid human nature started WW1.

It's a bit more complicated than that. Gavrilo Princip wasn't just a lone loon. He was a member of Black Hand, a Serbian nationalist organization. Many members of the Serbian government at the time were also members of Black Hand, and some knew about the assassination plot beforehand. Austria-Hungary had the right to declare war on Serbia, but Russia didn't have the right to mobilize against Austria-Hungary, solely because of their alliance with the Serbs. Russia was the initial aggressor.

Compare this to a more modern scenario. Al-Qaeda attacks the United States and kills 3,000 Americans on September 11th, 2001. Technically, the Taliban, nor the Afghan government, perpetrated the attack, but the Taliban had sheltered Al-Qaeda, was sympathetic to its ideas, and obstructed the investigation to bring Osama Bin Laden to proper justice. Just substitute Afghanistan for Serbia, Al-Qaeda for Black Hand, and Bin Laden for Princip.

The Austrians had a right to do what they did.

Walther
04-10-2007, 09:13 AM
The reason why Archduke Ferdinand was killed was that he was the successor for the KuK throne. Unlike other Austrian politicians, who wanted to solve the problem with Serbia (actually Serb ultranationalists who were striving for a greater Serbia which should include Bosnia-Hertzegovina and Croatia, at this time part of the KuK empire, even though a large part of the local population (the non-Serbs) did not want to become Serbs) with a hard hand and oppresion, Ferdinand was a realist and had started with a diplomatic initiative to defuse the tensions in the region by peacefull means and a regional autonomy of the two regions within the KuK monarchy, a special status like Hungary had. This, of course, would have torpedoed the Serb ultranationalist terrorist's aims, to get Bosnia and Croatia under Serb control.

There were lots of tensions in Europe starting from the late 19th century on. The French wanted revenge for the humiliation and reparations after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870/71. Bismarck at this time suckered the French into declaring war on Prussia, even though the French were not prepared for it, while Moltke had all the plans for an invasion of France ready in his desk drawer. The result was that France was still mobilising, while the Prussian troops (and their allies from the then other German states) crossed the border.
When the war was over and Germany united under the Prussian king as German Kaiser, Bismarck wisely rejected demands by other German politicians to demand reperations, but found himself overruled. As a result France had to hand over not just the disputed border area Alsace with it's German-French population, but also the industrial region of Lorraine with it's steel mills and coal mines. Additionally Germany demanded huge amounts of money from France, money which fueled the industrialisation of Germany.

Then Germany, up to 1871 a patchwork made up out of more than 50 independent kingdoms, duchies, counties and free cities, suddenly became a regional superpower. To be a full superpower at this time meant to have overseas colonies. Now most of the globe was already divided up between the British, French, Belgians and Dutch. The German government did not try to challenge Britain to much, even though they went close to it with Tirpitz's Risikoflotte (Risk fleet), a navy which should be large enough to blow everybody out of the water except for the British, but not big enough to threaten them seriously.
Then Germany started an adventure in the Middle East in cooperation with the ailing Ottoman empire, the Bagdad railway, which was supposed to connect Istanbul with Bagdad and a branch line down the Arab peninsula. Now this meant that troops could be moved fast into regions of British interest (e.g. the Suez canal). Also Germany sent military advisers and weapons to Turkey, which meant that Turkey could close the Bosporus at any time, which again infuriated the Russians.

Germany also went into a confrontation with France over colonies in Northern Africa.
BTW, the other newcomer on the international scene, Japan, got into similar conflicts with Russia and China in the Far East, leading to the first Sino-Japanese war and the Russian-Japanese war, which were both won by Japan.

In the Balkans there was another crisis brewing after the withdrawal of the Ottoman empire. Since the region is ethnically so mixed, it is difficult to draw clear borders, so there were soon border disputes between the different countries, like Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, austria-Hungary etc., which led to the Balkan wars. At the same time the big powers, Germany, France,Russia, Turkey, Austria-Hungary and the UK were pursuing their own interests and forging secret alliances with each other.

Very complicated, isn't it?

Jan

32Bravo
04-10-2007, 12:54 PM
It's even more complex than that. Under the impact of mass nationalism and economic rivalry (as explained above), relations between the Great Powers of Europe moved away from the balance-of-power politics practised since 1815 to a system based on rival alliance blocs. Rapid rearmament fuelled a growing tension in Europe which fianally exploded in 1914 with the outbreak of WW1.

The alliances were supposed to form a balance of power which would render a no-win (deterrant) situation. Unfortunately, Germany being paranoid for its position between France in the west and Russia in the east, devised a plan which would enable it to win. This was the Shliefen Plan. Germany expected to be able to deliver a quick knock-out blow against France by sweeping through neutral belgium and around Paris, thus encircling the French troops and forcing a surrender before swinging its forces east confront the more slowly mobilizing Russian Army, thus avoiding fighting on two fronts at the same time. By violating Belgian neutrality to attack France, Germany brought Britain into the war.

The distances the German Army was required to cover were too great for the time it had to cover them in, which enabled the Anglo-French armies to recover from the initial onslaught, regroup and hold the German advance.

And this is very simplified.

AlbertSpeer
04-10-2007, 02:21 PM
I don't think Britain cared all too much about Belgian neutrality, contrary to rumor. Belgium was a relatively weak nation compared to the great European powers, and was not a particularly close ally of Britain. More likely, they acted as they did to protect one of their strongest allies, France, because they wanted to contain growing German influence in Europe, and because there were growing rifts between themselves and the German empire, dating back to the Boer War, when Germany denounced what they saw as British imperialism in Africa.

32Bravo
04-10-2007, 03:16 PM
I don't think Britain cared all too much about Belgian neutrality, contrary to rumor. Belgium was a relatively weak nation compared to the great European powers, and was not a particularly close ally of Britain. More likely, they acted as they did to protect one of their strongest allies, France, because they wanted to contain growing German influence in Europe, and because there were growing rifts between themselves and the German empire, dating back to the Boer War, when Germany denounced what they saw as British imperialism in Africa.

That being so, then one can only conclude that Britain was ready to jump at any excuse for a war with Germany and was, therefore, prepared and able to field an army of a size to fight a continental war.

Failing that, then, Britain would obviously have a great deal of faith in the ability of the French Army, which of course was huge, to defeat Germany regardless of the example of the Franco/Prussian War.

Rising Sun*
04-11-2007, 03:44 AM
It's been years since I read it, but there is an excellent and very readable treatment of the many factors leading to WWI in Barbara Tuchman's "The Guns of August".

My recollection of one often overlooked but interesting aspect is that because of the reliance on railway transport and the intricacies of timetabling to move troops and supplies there was a degree of almost unstoppable momentum once the German war machine got going. This contemporary comment reported by Tuchman, has stuck in my mind, along the lines "The German Army takes the best brains and puts them on railway timetabling, and sends them mad."

32Bravo
04-11-2007, 05:48 AM
Tuchman's account is very definitely the 'Vicars nickers' on this topic!

Rising Sun*
04-11-2007, 05:50 AM
Tuchman's account is very definitely the 'Vicars nickers' on this topic!

Why am I not surprised that you've read it? :D

32Bravo
04-11-2007, 05:58 AM
Why am I not surprised that you've read it? :D

It sits, permanently, on my bedside table....next to Monica Bellucci :)

Rising Sun*
04-11-2007, 06:32 AM
Monica Bellucci :)

That'd be the sheila that Bill Clinton didn't have to reimburese for her dry cleaning, owing to her being a bit slack in the laundry department? :D

32Bravo
04-11-2007, 07:27 AM
That'd be the sheila that Bill Clinton didn't have to reimburese for her dry cleaning, owing to her being a bit slack in the laundry department? :D

Naahh! That was her sister!

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000899/

http://resolutereader.blogspot.com/2006/10/barbara-w-tuchman-guns-of-august.html

32Bravo
04-11-2007, 07:34 AM
http://resolutereader.blogspot.com/2006/10/barbara-w-tuchman-guns-of-august.html

In the link, it refers to Sir John French as being 'cowardly' I don't think that that is Tuchman's description of him. She explains his situation rather well.

Rising Sun*
04-11-2007, 08:01 AM
In the link, it refers to Sir John French as being 'cowardly' I don't think that that is Tuchman's description of him. She explains his situation rather well.

I think that 'cowardly' is a very difficult description to apply to a commander.

Indecisive, weak, irresolute, unwilling to suffer casualties, and many other criticisms may be applied to any commander, as may positive comments such as cautious, prudent, concerned for his men which, depending upon one's viewpoint, could all apply to the same commander in a given situation.

But at the HQ level of divisional, corps or army commanders, (and frequently brigade and perhaps battalion CO's) cowardice in the sense of being afraid of being personally hurt in the same sense it is applied to front line troops is generally a fairly empty criticism.

32Bravo
04-11-2007, 08:44 AM
I think that 'cowardly' is a very difficult description to apply to a commander.

Indecisive, weak, irresolute, unwilling to suffer casualties, and many other criticisms may be applied to any commander, as may positive comments such as cautious, prudent, concerned for his men which, depending upon one's viewpoint, could all apply to the same commander in a given situation.

But at the HQ level of divisional, corps or army commanders, (and frequently brigade and perhaps battalion CO's) cowardice in the sense of being afraid of being personally hurt in the same sense it is applied to front line troops is generally a fairly empty criticism.

Yes, Indeed. The 'cowardly' comment is taht of the book reviewer. Tuchman was a person and writer/commentator of class - not crass.

Rising Sun*
04-11-2007, 09:51 AM
Yes, Indeed. The 'cowardly' comment is taht of the book reviewer. Tuchman was a person and writer/commentator of class - not crass.

I might add that I don't like anyone being called 'a coward'.

It's a great Victorian or Edwardian eptithet, but it means nothing.

I find it particularly obnoxious when women at no risk of immediate harm but expecting men to go off to distant places to defend them handed them white feathers, in both world wars, presumably plucked from a chicken which was not a ration available to the troops who were actually fighting in far off places to save these grand feminist heroines.

Courage is doing something you're scared of doing. The more you're scared of it, the more courageous your act.

Some blokes of gentle disposition displayed more courage just going into camp than others of greater fortitude did charging the enemy under fire.

Some blokes who fought on and on, fighting their fear every moment, couldn't do it any more. They didn't become life-long 'cowards' in a moment, nor did their moment of inability to continue wipe out what they had endured and done beforehand.

I don't know how I'd define a coward.

I do know I'd be very reluctant to label any soldier, sailor or airman who was on active service facing the enemy as a coward.

That's not the same thing as regarding a man as letting down his mates, which is both a lesser and greater offence.

32Bravo
04-11-2007, 11:08 AM
One of the causes of the shift in the balance of power in Europe, was the Royal Navy. Britain had, since Trafalgar, a navy that was far greater in size than that any other nation. When they launched HMS Dreadnought, the first of the Dreadnought Class of Battleship, they changed the goal-posts. The Dreadnought rendered all other Battleships obsolete. Therefore, other nations could build their own Dreadnoughts and compete with Britain as rulers of the waves. Thus, began a whole new arms race.

http://www.royalnavalmuseum.org/visit_see_20th_dreadnought.htm

32Bravo
04-11-2007, 01:44 PM
Count Alfred von Schlieffen, Chief of the German General Staff from 1891 to 1906 was, like all German officers, schooled in Clausewitz’s precept, ‘The heart of France lies between Brussels and Paris’. It was a frustrating axiom because the path it pointed to was forbidden by Belgian neutrality which Germany, along with the other four major European powers, had guaranteed in perpetuity. Believing that war was a certainty and that Germany must enter it under conditions that gave her the most promise of success, Schlieffen, determined not to allow the Belgian difficulty to stand in Germany’s way. Of the two classes of Prussian officer, the bull-necked and the wasp-waisted, he belonged to the second. Monocled and effete in appearance, cold and distant in manner, he concentrated with such single-mindedness on his profession that when an aide, at the end of an all-night Staff ride in East Prussia, pointed out to him the beauty of the River Pregel sparkling in the rising sun, the General gave a brief, hard look and replied, ‘An unimportant obstacle’. So too, he decided, was Belgian neutrality.

Source: The Guns of August – Barbara W Tuchman

32Bravo
04-11-2007, 03:07 PM
I might add that I don't like anyone being called 'a coward'.

It's a great Victorian or Edwardian eptithet, but it means nothing.

I find it particularly obnoxious when women at no risk of immediate harm but expecting men to go off to distant places to defend them handed them white feathers, in both world wars, presumably plucked from a chicken which was not a ration available to the troops who were actually fighting in far off places to save these grand feminist heroines.

Courage is doing something you're scared of doing. The more you're scared of it, the more courageous your act.

Some blokes of gentle disposition displayed more courage just going into camp than others of greater fortitude did charging the enemy under fire.

Some blokes who fought on and on, fighting their fear every moment, couldn't do it any more. They didn't become life-long 'cowards' in a moment, nor did their moment of inability to continue wipe out what they had endured and done beforehand.

I don't know how I'd define a coward.

I do know I'd be very reluctant to label any soldier, sailor or airman who was on active service facing the enemy as a coward.

That's not the same thing as regarding a man as letting down his mates, which is both a lesser and greater offence.


A very good book - and film - on this subject, is Pat Barker's Regeneration, both are excellent. Also, I recently treated myself to a DVD of the original film of All Quiet on the Western Front! Again both book and film are excellent. Another read describing the realities of war, from a personal account, is Robert Graves's Goodbye to All that which was also a source for Pat Barker's Regeneration.

From my own experiences, the chiselled mesomorph is not necessarily the bravest soldier when the odd angry shot is zipping about. No, it's usually the bespectacled endomorphs, or the goofy ectomorphs that turn out to be the brave ones. Probably because it is least expected of them and, perhaps, they finally find themselves. What ever the reason, they're as brave as they come.

Many soldiers experiencing the fear of a fire-fight, or a stonking, for the first time, find courage when seeing the fear in their mates' eyes and realize that it's okay to be scared.

Rising Sun*
04-11-2007, 05:01 PM
A very good book - and film - on this subject, is Pat Barker's Regeneration, both are excellent. Also, I recently treated myself to a DVD of the original film of All Quiet on the Western Front! Again both book and film are excellent. Another read describing the realities of war, from a personal account, is Robert Graves's Goodbye to All that which was also a source for Pat Barker's Regeneration.

It must be about 35 years since I read Graves, but it was an outstanding book.

I think that WWI produced better writers than WWII in some ways, on both sides. Remarque stands the test of time. Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon's poetry capture war's horrors, none better than Owen's "Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori" (It is a sweet and fitting thing to die for one's country"). The last verse sums up the futility and hypocrisy of war in a few words.


Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! — An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, —
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Spike Milligan's account (?in Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall?) of breaking and running as a gunner in Italy after solid service in North Africa and Italy is about the only published personal account I can recall by someone who couldn't take it any more during WWII. It haunted him for the rest of his life, not least because he wasn't allowed to return to the front to redeem himself.

32Bravo
04-12-2007, 04:44 AM
‘Anthem For Doomed Youth’, is a recently published compilation of poems from different authors from the various armies of WW1. It takes its title from the work of Wilfred Owen.

http://hbllmedia2.lib.byu.edu/~english/WWI/newmain.html