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Going Over The Top: We Will Remember Them

#2
I think the most crucial piece to the build up to WWI is that Germany's natural allies all hated each other and Germany could only ever choose which one it wanted to piss off.

A more diplomatic Kaiser would certainly have helped and the Austrians being more diplomatically skilled would have been a god send but I think that the way things panned out was the logical consequence of the fault lines in European politics at this point.
 

Alex Richards

The Right Sort of Snail
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#3
I think the most crucial piece to the build up to WWI is that Germany's natural allies all hated each other and Germany could only ever choose which one it wanted to piss off.

A more diplomatic Kaiser would certainly have helped and the Austrians being more diplomatically skilled would have been a god send but I think that the way things panned out was the logical consequence of the fault lines in European politics at this point.
Not quite all really more that Germany could either have Austria-Hungary on side and know that the entire lengthy frontier from Bavaria to Silesia was secure, or guarantee that Russia, Italy, Serbia and Romania could be on side in a different alliance with the 'prize' being the dismemberment of Austria-Hungary and the cost being that you guarantee a two front war immediately with a very lengthy frontline.

The latter is much less promising for Berlin really, but theoretically possible and probably sees something like 'defensive positions/fighting retreat against France, smash through Bohemia and the Danube valley to Vienna, then once Austria are out the war turn round and apply full force to the French' strategy.
 

Redolegna

Champagne Socialist
Location
Paris
#4
Very interesting new series, will watch with attention.

I hope in the even of strict neutrality from Britain, people like Caillaux or Jaurès, leaning on détente with Germany would prevail Or at least that an offensive strategy such as the Plan XVII wouldn't be developed with its murderous consequences. Horrible as the trenches were, the losses were less severe for Frenchmen than they were in the opening months, I believe. Unfortunately, given some people like Joffre, I cannot swear to it.