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 Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Thu 27 Feb 2014, 18:28

BBC discussion interesting on this. The Max Hastings view is being countered by Naill Ferguson tonight. I would like to know what Paul has to say on  Belgium's take on this issue...... not too many links, please Paul - what is your opinion?
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Fri 28 Feb 2014, 11:11

I suppose Britain could have sat it out, at least to start with, and indeed I think there was a genuine belief in some quarters of the German High Command, that that was what Britain would do. However to have not supported France, and to a lesser extent Belgium, would have almost certainly seen Germany take all Northern France, including Paris and the Channel ports. And this would have put Germany, the second most powerful navy after the RN, with access directly into the Straits of Dover, which surely would have been untenable to Britain.

It is possible that France alone could have stopped the initial German advance, and in effect this is what she did during the first Battle of the Marne in September 1914, but once the war got bogged down in the west and also spread globally, I don't think France alone could have prevailed, especially if as is likely she'd lost some key industrial areas. But at the same time one should not underestimate the might of the French army at that time. In the UK there is a tendancy, particularly at the moment during the current rememberance of the conflict, to give the impression that WW1 was won by the British Empire, with just a bit of help from France. In fact France and her African colonies fielded more men that Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India combined .... and sustained twice as many military casualties, nearly all of them on the western front.

Also of course to have not honoured the military cooperation agreements made following the Entente Cordiale would have been viewed throughout the world as fairly treacherous and would truely have earned Britain the title "Perfidious Albion". Remember British military/diplomatic policy for the previous 300 years had been to avoid having any one power in control of continental Europe. The Entente Cordial, while reversing centuries of Anglo-French animosity was still part of that same strategy. When faced with the growing power of Imperial Germany following German unification, and Germany's bellicose attitude directed not just against France but increasingly against Britain as well, to have not acted in support of France would have put Britain in a very difficult position, IMO.

PS : I haven't seen the Max Hastings/Naill Ferguson discussion ... what were their viewpoints?
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Fri 28 Feb 2014, 12:11

I support your view - that was the M Hastings view - the counter NF arguement is on tonight. I was raised on rather poor opinion about the French war efforts. Learning more myself about the Marne battle and later a visit to the St Anne war memorial in Brittany and subseqent research soon knocked better sense into that. I imagine that both progs will be on the BBc site for a bit. Stron opinion being thrwon about as to why Ma Hastings did the prog - especially from one of our RH members. Sadly he has not taken it up here for an airing - and a nice row even!
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Fri 28 Feb 2014, 12:34

I could have guessed that would be Hastings' view. A pity though I don't get BBC here.

I can imagine your "rather poor opinion about the French war efforts" might well have been clouded by France's performance in WW2, which was certainly not of the same calibre as in WW1. There's a very telling interview in the 1970s "The World at War" series, with a French general, I think part of Waygand's staff during the Battle for France in 1940, who says something like (I'm "quoting" entirely from memory here): "The trouble in 1940 was that we had won the first war ... and that made us think we were very clever and knew how it should be done ... but the world had changed .... it's a terrible handicap to win a war!"

EDIT : Just for completeness my "quote" was by Géneral Andre Beaufre, French High Command, 1940 - and what he actually says, in flawless English, is:

[In France, between the wars] ... "It was very deep decay probably caused by an excess of effort during the first world war. We suffered from an illness, which is not peculiar to the French, the illness of having been victorious, and believing that we were right and very clever. A victory is a very dangerous opportunity."


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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Fri 28 Feb 2014, 14:09

I was told a grass roots opinion in France that so many had suffered in WW! - and so many families bereft of wage earners that few had the heart for head on conflict a second time round.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Fri 28 Feb 2014, 15:52

Just look at the casualty figures for Verdun. Enough to explain the French attitude to a second round on its own.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Fri 28 Feb 2014, 20:39

If you want more of a reaction (and a row into the bargain  Smile ) then you'll have to explain exactly what the positions of Hasting and Ferguson are P. I really haven't an idea what this thread is about, those of us who live outside the UK are without access to the Beeb, and Beeb shows on the net iplayer also cannot be accessed outside the UK.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Sun 02 Mar 2014, 18:16

So sorry that you have been unable to see these two pros, I thought BBc allowed its iplayer world wide - how mean of them.

The first was Max Hastings giving a more graphic lornalese programme of why Britain had no choice.

His arguments settled around the instability of the Kaiser, the machinations of his generals, fear of Russion and hegemony of French ports being a threat  to Britains navy - and therefore her Empire.

That we also had a treaty with Belgium since 1877(?) came into it too - also some pressure from those who  drive the economy.

Prof Neill's presentation was in an illustrated lecture style with him on a sort of catwalk before an audience of peers in education and students of the period.

He dwelt quite  a lot of the time to the istory of warfare and why people fight - interesting but not as conclusive as he made it sound, IMO. he argues that A short war with France overcome - to weaken her alliance with Russia, they would have ruled with a benign hand and forming much as we have   in the current EU with proress in economies flourishing. he said    left wingers were opposed - but Churchill, of course was not. Was he a Tory at the time? His part was not expanded.

The     historians spoke up in the main for the war having been necessary because Prof Naill's envisaged Europe was unproven - and unlikely.

It was  such great TV to hear and see informed minds in reasoned argument - we were riveted to it. My précis does not do either programme justice - but I hail the BBC for the effort. We have a further dose this coming week in a three nightly episode docu-drama called the 37 days.

A major flaw that I pounced on in the Prof's presentation  - and later mentioned by one of the guests was his ignoring the fate of the Belgians and people in occupied  France. Though he wondered if Stalin and Hitler would have risen to such despotic power had we stayed out of the war.

Forgive my simple account - perhaps someone else will fill it out better
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Sun 02 Mar 2014, 19:09

Ah .... so where Max Hastings was exploring the question of whether Britain could have avoided involvement in the war, Neill Ferguson was addressing the completely different question of whether Britain should have gone to war. That is basically a "what if" type of speculation relying as it does on our hindsight of the whole affair, and its subsequent "results".

But I still stand by the opinion that the British government, given what they knew and immersed as they were in their own time, could not really have avoided getting involved. A lot of the responsibility rests with Grey as Foreign Secretary but from all I've read, while advocating Britain's involvement he was far from naively commiting the country to war, and in 1914 I believe he fully understood, probably better than most others, the truely awful disaster that could befall Europe ... yet he could see no other honourable, logical, sensible ... course open for Britain.


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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Sun 02 Mar 2014, 19:11

Thanks P.

Rather than just two British historians bashing it out, I'd have been interested to see German, French, Belgian, Serbian and Russian historians included in the debate too. Their versions of the same events would have given the debate a more rounded perspective, rather than only the one version of the events to which we have become accustomed.

I'm increasingling suspicious of the current revisionism regarding the war, it seems at times some are, at best, viewing WWI through the lense of WWII or, at worst, conflating the two. Both are doing history a disservice imo.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Sun 02 Mar 2014, 20:27

Max Hastings had a German historian who laid blame on Germany high command - the prof had a German historian too - and bless me but at the moment I cana't recall what he was saying -not putting the blame on Britain for entry but more about fear of Russia - someone else ought jump in here because I'm not too sure I of the full gist. He did feel a big growth in economy of both countries would have happened earlier because Germany was very advanced at that time.
Hastings said it was regretful but necessary and both historians admitted that non of the combatants had envisaged the death toll. The prof did much take on that with percentages of male populations who died... he had a slight Scottish take on this because, for one thing, their death toll was higher than England's; subtle but there several times.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Mon 03 Mar 2014, 03:32

Yes, that's the German version I have heard also. 

That Germany declared war as a result of Austria declaring war on Serbia, which in turn resulted in Russia responding to Austria. Germany invaded Belgium for strategic reasons, it had to face war on two fronts and wanted to beat France in the fastest and cheapest possible way in order to be able to fend off Russia. The main scope of the German strategy was to consolidate its position despite being isolated and surrounded by the triple entente.

The triple entente had all three very different strategic aims but had each something to give to each other, and each a reason to see Germany, by then the largest and economically strongest nation, as a nuisance. France wanted Alsace-Lorraine back and had therefore sought the other's assistance. Britain felt challenged by Germany's economic and naval initiatives, although at least the latter were trumped comfortably by the UK (which is certainly the reason why today some British historians say they'd better staid out of the war). But Britain saw the Empire perspective and could settle interests in Africa and Asia with France and Russia, whereas Germany had nothing much to offer in either continent.

A bit different from the usual gumph we get these days, Britain single handedly saving Europe from German expansionism etc etc. Which never quite rings true imo, a) because I don't believe the invasion of Belguim was about expansionism b) if Germany was expansionist, it seems ok for Britain and France to have had expansionist tendencies particularly in Africa and Asia but wrong for Germany somehow and c) Britain didn't do it single handedly at all. 

I'm not sure I buy the point, that if they had known what the death toll would be then there wouldn't have been war, either and surprised that such a flimsy argument comes from historians.

And how much of the war had to do with ego and the old 'mine is bigger than yours' between the three cousins, the King, the Kaiser and the Tsar?
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Mon 03 Mar 2014, 09:10

ID wrote:
And how much of the war had to do with ego and the old 'mine is bigger than yours' between the three cousins, the King, the Kaiser and the Tsar?


"Families and How to Survive Them" - especially royal ones?

The German Kaiser was an absolute nutter, ID, ("clinically unstable" Hastings puts it); even you must admit that. The Tsar was a jealous, vindictive man, as weak people so often are; and as for the English King George V - did he just do what he was told?

Must recommend here the old ITV mini-series Edward VII: as TV teach-yourself-a-bit-of-history programmes go, this is superb. Stars Timothy West as Edward, Annette Crosbie as Victoria and Robert Hardy as Prince Albert. The cousins are all featured and, crucially, the tensions and rivalries that built up between the three men and their wives during the years before the Great War are thoughtfully presented. Felicity Kendal plays that unhappy woman, the Princess Royal, Empress of Germany, the Kaiser's mother. Seems he never forgave her for being English.  

Odd that Edward VII turned out to be so sane (despite, or perhaps because of, the drink, the food, the smoking and the women), whereas the Kaiser, the grandson of Victoria and Albert, seems to have inherited all their worst traits: Victoria's tendency to hysteria and denial, and Albert's mad need to control everything and everybody. Edward saw the danger in his Anglo- German ("I'm a Prussian really") cousin - declared him at one point to be "barking mad". I often wonder if, had Edward lived, he could have used his considerable diplomatic skills to prevent the debacle. Probably not.

I'm half way through the programmes at the moment; they are excellent - pity not all posters have access to them.

But, as pointed out in the Max Hastings' presentation, professional historians have spent a lifetime studying the reasons for this war - and they still argue. As ever, one hesitates to venture an opinion on any of it when one is actually so woefully ignorant of the complex politics involved.

That said - and sorry to be an Eng. Lit. bore, as usual - I still wonder if Wilfred Owen put it best in one short sonnet. The reference to the "Ram of Pride" says it all.

The Parable of the Old Man and the Young

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretched forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in the thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.

But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.


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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Mon 03 Mar 2014, 09:49

@Temperance wrote:


The German Kaiser was an absolute nutter, ID, ("clinically unstable" Hastings puts it); even you must admit that. The Tsar was a jealous, vindictive man, as weak people so often are; and as for the English King George V - did he just do what he was told?

Well that's what we are told Temp to justify going to war, to demonise the enemy is standard practice but truthfully I don't know. That was my point about including other historians in on the debate to add different perspectives, as I'm way past the stage of believing everything I'm told where history is concerned. Especially when dealing with our conflicts.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Mon 03 Mar 2014, 10:04



He had some great helmets, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Mon 03 Mar 2014, 15:54

Enough for us to go to war? Surel  not - but on the other hand......

TO ID and anyone else not getting BBC - you could have a read gf the Beeb Message board Points of View TV  There are some interesting opinions there.

You may have to  back a few hours to find ones about Max Hastings' presentation the riposte  by Prof NF is called  The Pity of War.

Our members Vizz and shivaf are both strongly featured in both lots of posts.. I wish they would bring them here.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Mon 03 Mar 2014, 17:58

Had a read of the POV board P, I must say thank the stars for Viz and Shiv with their contributions to counter the dunderheads. The thread even included some Russian bashing, which is the order of the day at the moment.  Sad 

Here is the link if anyone is interested http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/NF1951566?thread=8449593
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Mon 03 Mar 2014, 18:17

Can't find the Beeb debates on Youtube, but here is an interview with Niall Ferguson on his book The Pity of War




There is not much from Max Hastings either, just this

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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Mon 03 Mar 2014, 18:52

Thank you for the link to BBC's POV board ID ... I never thought to look there and the BBC's search function is worse than useless. Yes, interesting to read the debate (whilst ignoring numerous gung-ho posters that seem to plague these sort of things) and a lot more infomative reading some of the comments than anything else I could find on the BBC. It's a pity Vizzer and Shivfan don't post here more often.

I'll watch Ferguson's interview in a bit ... at the moment I'm working my way through a Channel 4 (I think) production on Youtube, called simply 'The First World War' (not sure of the exact date it was produced). It's in ten, one hour programs and is laden with original photos, film footage, and voiceover quotes from contemporary sources. So far very interesting and, despite being a UK production, not too partizan, although as always there are some little niggles .... just don't waste your life reading any of the bizarre and bigotted comments that, as usual, are attached to each episode on Youtube.


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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Mon 03 Mar 2014, 19:09

Even eternal life would be too short to read comments on Youtube ...
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Tue 04 Mar 2014, 04:41

I see the POV discussion has been closed unfortunately, I would have liked to see Viz's reply to that T tosser.  Typical Beeb though, can't have too much dissention from the party line.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Tue 04 Mar 2014, 08:07

The POV opening times are from 10am to 10pm daily. That thread will open again. If you ever used the Beeb boards before and have a password it will still be valid - or you can re reregister. Threads are closed for  offensive remark not dissention. The Beeb  usually veers towards Labour - there has been much recent chaffing about that in the rightwing press.


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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Tue 04 Mar 2014, 09:19

Yes, I forgot this morning that the boards closed after hours. I've become so accustomed to normal boards that I'd forgotten what an antiquated system they still operate there.

And I've given up reading any Beeb news reports these days, ever one step behind everyone else and not overly accurate in their reports either. The BBC has become a shaddow of its former self.  Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Tue 04 Mar 2014, 09:48

The antiquated system is dependent upon that good ol'  antiquated consideration, salaries. Monitoring their boards is necessary because  really nasty comments appear otherwise. We have fewer trolls actually finding us here but even then I think the Boss has to make safe guards beyond my ken. I ran a series of Google searches for RH last night, as it happens. RH is stymied because of the word Res. It needs a History Forum referencing label in another way. .... don't tell the Boss I criticised, please.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Tue 04 Mar 2014, 10:11

I was rather surprised that shivfan said he would tell his students to give the Hastings programme a miss.

Hastings gets a hard time on the BBC messageboard; his contributions to the Daily Mail and his leaving Oxford after one year clearly damn him as an authority of any kind. Seems a bit unfair - lots of people have left Oxford without taking a degree - some of them quite thoughtful folk. I think Hastings has a fair grasp of the necessary onions - doesn't he?

ID, re the Kaiser's mental health - I am trying to find a little more information. Quite a few people - including Bismark apparently (see below) - were concerned that Wilhelm II was unbalanced. I know very little, so I should not have blithely declared him (the Kaiser, not Bismark) to be an "absolute nutter" without bothering to find out more. This New Statesman article seems reasonable, and, although the second site is not exactly academic (whatever that means these days), it does give some interesting quotations. As ever, however, "reasonable" is always a dangerous word to apply to anything to do with history. The New Statesman is a respected organ, I believe, but, as you point out, nothing or no one should be trusted. Makes life hard, but interesting.

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/crips-column/2009/01/germany-wilhelm-war-austria




http://redroom.com/member/frank-sanello/writing/the-madness-of-kaiser-wilhelm-ii-the-certifiable-lunatic-who-ignited-wo


Chancellor Otto von Bismarck wrote that the emperor suffered from an “abnormal mental condition.”


EDIT: that's not a criticism of the Boss at all - it's true: Res His needs to have History as the first word. This is a great site, and I just don't understand why more people don't contribute. Are we really so terrifying? Or are we not terrifying enough? Have we all become too matronly, Priscilla, in our approach? What a depressing thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Tue 04 Mar 2014, 13:08

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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Tue 04 Mar 2014, 13:40

Thank you, Gil, but I was really thinking of:



Let us swiftly return to WW1.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Tue 04 Mar 2014, 14:11

There is a school of thought which runs along the lines that part of the Army hierarchy had invested so much time & effort into joint planning with the French that it was unthinkable to them that the British would not join in.

Further, consider the position in the Med. Could anyone be certain that Italy would take the escape route they did? If not, the French clearly could not match the combined German, Austrian, and Italian fleets. Control of the Med sea routes to the east was pretty much essential to the British, and that meant taking on the open ocean and the French concentrating on the Med, even then, they would have needed (and in fact received) RN reinforcement.

In hindsight, it appears fairly obvious that the Italian and Austro-Hungarian fleets were principally intended to counter each other - the Irredentists seem to have lead a school of thought that being part of the Triple Alliance was mostly a way of ensuring that Italy wouldn't have to face Franz Josef's army and Wilhelm's at the same time.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Tue 04 Mar 2014, 15:06

@Priscilla wrote:
RH is stymied because of the word Res

Is it? If I google "res historica" this site is first on the list. Maybe it's a default language thing (as yet there is no Latin version of Google - tutus, tutus!)

I agree with that school of thought Gil, and it's one that featured in many memoirs of the period written by the same generals. Haig's springs to mind. An utterly contemptible man one reads his own account of things almost through one's fingers, so unashamedly arrogant and just plain thick he comes across as he glibly explains why, for example, a fatality rate of under three thousand men a day made for a champagne celebration in HQ. However on the question of whether Britain even had a choice in the matter once France and Belgium had been sucked into the conflict he is unequivocal, and for the reasons you state. And nor was he in any way fooled at the outset by the rather optimistic opinion that it would be a quick war. The day war was declared he made a rather ribald comment to his fellow senior generals regarding going about re-populating the stock of males in the country post haste. A charming bugger.

(To evaluate Haig's military expertise here is a snippet from something he wrote - in 1926!!! - "I believe that the value of the horse and the opportunity for the horse in the future are likely to be as great as ever. Aeroplanes and tanks are only accessories to the men and the horse, and I feel sure that as time goes on you will find just as much use for the horse—the well-bred horse—as you have ever done in the past." )
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Tue 04 Mar 2014, 15:22

Quote :

Nordmann wrote "If I google "res historica" this site is first on the list. Maybe it's a default language thing (as yet there is no Latin version of Google - tutus, tutus!)




Lookus, lookus here, matus, Boss-sahib - who is going to search for a history forum beginning with res?

Even I can get this site if I google Res  - so that part seems idiot proof. People seeking history forums surely look up History Forum - or have I missed yet another vital step in the logic of common sense?
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Tue 04 Mar 2014, 15:24

Well, Haig had a sort of point about the horse. Once The Bull was moved to a theatre where the horse was able to be used in the "traditional" fashion, he stopped fighting typical Western Front meat grinder battles, and engaged in something like a traditional war of movement - but the war couldn't be won in Mespot, only in Europe. So, in keeping with the habit of always being prepared to fight the last war, perhaps one can excuse him to a small extent.
Re Haig - you should have heard my Great-grandfather on the subject. DE-Nixonned, "He thinks more about those poppies than he did about my pals' lives"
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Tue 04 Mar 2014, 15:37

@Priscilla wrote:
Quote :

Nordmann wrote "If I google "res historica" this site is first on the list. Maybe it's a default language thing (as yet there is no Latin version of Google - tutus, tutus!)




Lookus, lookus here, matus, Boss-sahib - who is going to search for a history forum beginning with res?

Even I can get this site if I google Res  - so that part seems idiot proof. People seeking history forums surely look up History Forum - or have I missed yet another vital step in the logic of common sense?


Oh thank you for explaining that, P. I didn't like to. If, with hope in your heart, you google "History Message Boards" several fora come up: Alternate History Discussion Board, History Forum and the dreaded Historum. But, alas, no Res Historica, because it begins with Res, not History, and "Historica" is not the same word as  "History".

Most young people today know no Latin: even if they did, they - or older folk for that matter -  would have no idea that an excellent site called Res Historica exists and so would not think to google it.

History Matters - not as erudite and classy as Res Historica, I know - would nevertheless probably work better.

Apologies for interrupting flow on WW1, but I think Priscilla has pointed out something very important.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Wed 05 Mar 2014, 15:53

Right, the Max Hastings prog is on youtube;



BBC programmes on youtube have a tendency to disappear, so watch/download it quick.

 Niall Ferguson's response has yet to appear.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Wed 05 Mar 2014, 16:36

Thanks Trike.

Well Hastings used a whole hour to bang on about the nasty Germans and to say absolutely nothing new, just the usual Britain is good and Germany is bad/disfunctional/insane justification for war that we've received for the last 100 years. 

I had hoped that enough time had past that there could finaly be a good unbiased analysis that included all sides. Maybe in another 100 years?
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Wed 05 Mar 2014, 16:53

Bearing in mind the controversy still surrounding the battle of Hastings, 1000 is probably nearer the mark.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Wed 05 Mar 2014, 20:35

@Islanddawn wrote:
Thanks Trike.

Well Hastings used a whole hour to bang on about the nasty Germans and to say absolutely nothing new, just the usual Britain is good and Germany is bad/disfunctional/insane justification for war that we've received for the last 100 years. 

I had hoped that enough time had past that there could finaly be a good unbiased analysis that included all sides. Maybe in another 100 years?


Islanddawn and Gil,

interesting thread, where I wanted to contribute to, but so busy for the moment with a man from Oregon on the Historum...and it is a Sisyphus' labour...better to stop it perhaps as the others do...but you know me...once engaged in a thread...perhaps some German characteristics in my behaviour...
http://historum.com/history/68491-dark-ages-renaissance-15.html

Kind regards and with esteem,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Wed 05 Mar 2014, 23:48

Paul : If you can spare some time to contribute to this, I would value your views.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Thu 06 Mar 2014, 18:35

Good article here, 10 interpretations of who started WWI from varying historians. I notice that the Beeb promote Max Wastings yet again by placing his German obssession first on the list. But I just skipped him and read all the other opinions with great interest.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26048324
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Thu 06 Mar 2014, 19:58

One thing that the outbreak of war in 1914 proved - the emptiness of the old adage "Si pacem vis para bellum" The great powers had been preparing for war for years. The result, mirabile dictu - WAR.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it necessary for Britain to enter WW1?   Thu 06 Mar 2014, 20:39

Islanddawn,

coincidentilly I mentioned the same overhere in the thread about the Russian Tsar...from a Swiss contributor on the French "Passion Histoire"
"
Subject: Re: King George and the Tsar: Why did he refuse refuge?   Sat 22 Feb 2014 - 21:08


Ferval,

concerning the "Royal Cousins at War"

In a similar discussion a Swiss contributor mentioned the following on the French Passion Histoire...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26048324
I spoke in a former message about John Röhl. his vision is also among the ten opinions in the former URL...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_C._G._R%C3%B6hl

You can see Röhl's vision in the Wikipedia. But there is also mentioned the critique of the Australian historian Clark.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Clark
If I recall it well the British historian Evans, who is also in the ten opinions, was also a critique? or it has to be a critique of the German "Sonderweg" (apart way, special path)?
I mentioned also in my former message Fischer (with the Fischer controversy) I found now that the guy that I didn't remember in my former message was Wehler...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Ulrich_Wehler

What Wehler said was also a bit what I read in von Krockow's "Die Deutschen in ihrem Jahrhundert" translated into Engish under the title "The Germans in Their Century"


OOPS I see now that you can't read the yellow URLs. But if you move over the yellow with your cursor it turns as by magic in blue Rolling Eyes  Wink ...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26048324

OOPS again it is only on the "Draft" that this is the case , in the "Preview" it turns in readable bright yellow... what a tricky thing internet is... Twisted Evil

And you see if a lady on a Greek island is focusing on the same subject as a Swiss from Switzerland or as someone from Belgium it can be that they all end with the same URL independent even from the messageboards... Cheers 

Kind regards and with esteem,

Paul.

PS: sorry for this at random remark, having nothing to do in this interesting discussion... Embarassed
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